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Episode #19: Guardian Angel
Original Airdate - September 4th, 2009

WX-017 “Code of Conduct”:
Warren Worthington Jr. has been helping fellow mutants despite his father’s participation in Senator Kelly’s anti-mutant campaigns. Worthington Sr. now finds his son’s efforts interfering with his work and relationship and decides to call the MRD himself. Col. Moss and his team hunt down and capture Angel with brute force. When his father arrives to the hospital it’s apparent his son is in grave condition. Many bones are broken and his wings will need expert surgery to be salvaged. So Worthington Sr. makes a decision to save his son’s life, but not his wings. Waking from the medication, Angel discovers that his wings have been removed and is completely devastated and enraged. Sinister visits Angel and offers to give him his wings back. Angel refuses. He escapes the hospital and takes refuge at the X-Mansion. The X-Men strongly advise Angel to forget about Sinister and his hollow, evil promises. But the pain of his loss is too powerful to overcome and against his better judgement he goes to Sinister, who turns him into his own science experiment. With his new mechanical wings and Sinister’s wicked mind-control Angel has become the infernal Archangel. Armed with a fierce vengeance he storms his father’s Pharmaceutical company that is working on a ‘cure’ for mutants and he will take what is most precious to him, his work. Archangel destroys the facility and is about to do the same to his father’s Sentinel facilities when the X-Men looking for him. They manage to control Archangel but only long enough for him to disappear. Regretful of his decisions, Worthington Sr. officially pulls out of Kelly’s anti-mutant ‘cure’ and Sentinel projects. But as Kelly points out, it is too late the plan is moving forward weather he continues to be a part of it or not.


Credits
Story by Greg Johnson, Craig Kyle, Chris Yost
Written By Boyd Kirkland
Directed by Nick Filippi
Music by Dean Grinsfelder
Animation By Noxxon Entertainment

Voices
Steve Blum as Wolverine
Kieren van den Blink as Rogue
Fred Tacasciore as Beast
Susan Dalian as Storm
Jim Ward as Professor X
Liam O'Brien as Angel
Clancy Brown as Mr. Sinister

Review: Arsenal - Warren Worthington III is not an inherently interesting character. He’s a rich guy who can fly. That’s it. He’s like Tony Stark, if Tony Stark lacked a personality and all he could do is fly.

But I’ll be damned if three consecutive X-Men shows haven’t made him work.

X-Men: The Animated Series focused on Archangel—the vengeful man who lost it all. X-Men Evolution emphasized Angel—the playboy who could do nothing, but chooses to care, instead.

Wolverine and the X-Men splits the difference. They let us get to know Angel. He’s the kind of fun-loving guy who will go for early morning jaunts through the sky with Storm. Like his Evo counterpart, he could separate himself from the problems of mutants. He has the money to do it. Instead, he supports the X-Men, even as they bump heads with his prejudiced father.

Then, in “Guardian Angel,” he’s forced to become Archangel—a weapon, a man not completely in control of himself.

Angel hasn’t seen a lot of screen time in previous episodes, so the scenes before Warren’s transformation are crucial. It demonstrates his love of flying; and Warren’s attachment to the act of flying—as meditation, as a means of communicating with Storm—is paramount to understanding why he would make a deal with the figurative devil when he loses his wings.

The “devil” in this case is Mr. Sinister. Though Apocalypse performs the surgery in the comics, Sinister is a natural substitution.

Sinister and Angel both play their scenes well, but the reason this episode works is Storm. Ororo Munroe has been marginalized during most of this series. Name something cool Storm has done since she showed up in the fourth episode. Stumped? Me too. Marrow’s received better exposure than Storm, and that’s criminal considering she is a marquee character in the pantheon—only Wolverine and Cyclops indisputably rank higher. (You could make a case for Jean Grey or Professor X.)

However, Storm is used wonderfully here. She is compassionate, sensible and powerful. She is the one who tries to reason with an uncontrollable Archangel. When that doesn’t work, she begrudgingly fries him with a gesture of the finger.

Neither X-Men: TAS nor Evo nailed Storm. Wolverine and the X-Men had not given me much hope for this version either, but this episode gives me hope that they understand this character as well as they seem to understand Wolverine, Kitty or Beast.



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