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No Mutant Is An Island
Review and Media by Stu

Episode #34 - No Mutant Is An Island
Original Airdate 21st Semptermber 1996

Cyclops leaves The X-Men and returns to the orphanage where he was raised... but not all is as it seems

Written By: Sandy Scesny
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy
Animation Services By: AKOM

Review: An episode that had most of it’s effects lost due to huge animation delays airing it nearly 2 years out of place. For those not in the know, this episode deals with Cyclops grieving over the loss of Jean. When viewed in order, it’s actually very good. When aired 2 years out of sequence, it’s confusing as hell, why is Cyclops grieving over someone who we know is alive and well?

The majority of The X-Men only appear for a few minutes in the opening act, and then it’s all an out-of-costume Cyclops episode, which is a pretty ballsy move for a children’s cartoon, when you think about it. Another odd inclusion is that the episode features a “standard” Marvel comic book villain rather than a mutant that this show usually uses. Whilst he’s never referred to by that name, the villain is indeed The Purple Man, one of Daredevil’s early villains, who’s recently appeared in Marvel Comic books such as Alias and The New Avengers. In an even cooler moment for us Daredevil fanboys, there’s a small cameo of ‘The Man Without Fear’ in the form of a cut out in Purple Man’s bedroom.

Purple Man himself wasn’t too interesting a villain here, as I found his plot to be a little lame. However, there is one unintentionally hilarious moment in the episode. One the orphans mutant powers is the ability to transform his wheelchair into a tank. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud for several minutes after I saw it, and then snigger to myself every time I saw him again.

The best part of the episode is Cyclops’ grieving. I thought his characterisation was spot on throughout the episode, grieving, yet not going into a sulk every few minutes. I thought it was interesting that he would return to the orphanage he grew up in, especially after he revealed how much he hated it in Orphans End.

The episode’s ending is very optimistic, but unfortunately, it suffers from having a poor follow up. It was never fully explained what happened to Phoenix/Jean, or how she managed to return to Earth. It was certainly a set of very odd circumstances, but they don’t ruin this very enjoyable episode.