Review By Jon T, Media By Kolbar
Episode #23 - The X-Men Adventure
Written By: Michael Reaves
Music Composed By: John Douglas
Guest Starring: Melissa Sue Anderson as Sprite, Stanley Jones as Professor Professor X, Anne Lockhart as Storm, Neil Ross as Cyclops and John Stephenson as Colossus/Thunderbird
With the X-Men's popularity ever-increasing at the time, it was no surprise when a whole episode guest starring most of the recent "New" X-Men turned up. This episode was something of a backdoor pilot for an early 80s X-Men series, and in many respects this is very obvious, with many small set-pieces devoted to each character. One character noticeably absent from the X-Men's last appearance was obviously Wolverine. Although he was given short shrift in "A Firestar Is Born", it would have been nice to see him here in some capacity. Clearly, NBC had a big problem with him!
Even though this episode is s spotlight for most of the X-Men, the main story is quite well-constructed as a Spider-Friends episode, with Firestar turning out to be the key character. With Cyberiad and Firestar sharing a tragic history, this only serves to add some poignancy to the plot and shows us a partially sympathetic villain for a change.
One thing I always liked about this episode was that it was a literal race against time, with our heroes forced to go up against the mansion's own awesome defenses. Speaking of which, I do think that some of those defenses were over the top, but when youíre a writer trying to prevent ten heroes from reaching their objective, I guess it makes more sense! Still, although I thought the idea of a "Maze of Madness" was intriguing, I did think that concept was a little too much for the X-Men. It was something that seemed more at home in the Fantastic Fourís Baxter Building.
An interesting point I noticed that really makes the episode seem dated these days, is Spider-Man's reticence at possibly disclosing his real identity to Professor X. Imagine that, a time when Spider-Man kept his real name to himself!