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Graduation Day
Review and Media by James Harvey and Stu

Episode #76 - Graduation Day
Original Airdate - September 20th, 1997

It's the final episode! At a Mutant/Human Relations Summit, Henry Peter Gyrich attacks and severely injures Professor Xavier with an energy disruptor. Meanwhile Magneto makes final preparations to take over the world with his mutant army, but on the eve of the invasion Cyclops, Wolverine, and Jean Grey infiltrate Genosha to tell Magneto that Xavier is dying. Magneto halts his plants out of respect to his long-time friend and joins the X-Men as they say farewell to their beloved mentor.

Credits
Written By: Jim Krieg
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy
Animation Services By: Phillipines


Review: I suggest you get comfy, I could be here a while.

Giving the X-Men a fitting finale had to one of the most one of the most daunting tasks ever, but somehow, itís pulled off, almost flawlessly. Hell, just giving each character the appropriate screen time for a single episode is a near impossible task but giving the fans something to remember their last appearance by mustíve taken some hard graft.

The basic plot of the episode is that a critically ill Xavier needs Magnetoís help to survive, but Magneto is this close to finally realising his dream of starting the war between humans and mutants. This episode proves beyond a shadow of all doubt that Magneto himself isnít actually evilÖ he just does bad things. This show has never had generic supervillians, and Magneto stands as the best of a great bunch.

There are some drawbacks to the episodes, mainly animation troubles. For example, Gyrich shows clips from previous episodes that AKOM animated, which simply clashes with the new Philippines animation. That, and the new Gyrich design was simply unrecognisable from the previous AKOM design. It took me a while to figure out just whom Xavier was arguing with.

I loved Xavierís deathbed speech. I didnít see this during the showís original run due to the station airing deciding not to buy the last few episodes, but I managed to catch the rerun a few months and remembering almost disbelieving what I was seeing. Whilst screen grabbing this episode for this site, I almost began chocking up. Itís a very powerful speech, and the episode ends with the very best shot this series ever did, a fitting image for the final moments of the show.

This show wasnít perfect. Thereís an inexcusable amount of mistakes in what has to be some of the crappiest animation ever, some of the voice work is excrutiatingly bad and some of the characters do tend to get on your nerves, but all that is missing from this episode. Itís not a perfect episode, but itís damn close. Considering the task at hand, I think ĎDetectiveí Jim Krieg did more than an amendable job. Hats off to you Mr. Krieg, you did us proud, which is especially well done, seeing that heíd never wrote an episode of X-Men before this one.

Itís a finale that is seriously hard to fault. It doesnít quite wrap everything up like Iron Manís Hands Of The Mandarin but it doesnít leave a huge hanging cliffhanger like Spider-Man. Iíd compare this to the Fantastic Four finale. Not everything is answered, but itís difficult to ask for anymore.

Truly one of, if not the finest episode of the series.

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