Home TV Shows Reviews Marvel Studios ‘X-Men '97’ Episode 4 Review - A Gamer Girl In A Gamer World

Marvel Studios ‘X-Men '97’ Episode 4 Review - A Gamer Girl In A Gamer World

A nostalgic Jubilee is forced to relive the X-Men’s greatest escapades on her birthday after an entertainment system transfers her into a 16-bit video game.

Vikas Yadav - Wed, 03 Apr 2024 13:01:28 +0100 1207 Views
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Superheroes, almost every day, fight crimes, save civilians, and prevent world-ending threats - not necessarily in this order. They are burdened with the safety of a world, a galaxy, and they cannot afford to fail. What the third episode of X-Men '97 indicates is that the situation is not so different, even on birthdays. The opening scenes quickly inform us that it's Jubilee's 18th birthday. She wants to go to the arcade, play games, and enjoy one day without freaking out about the Professor, Jean and her clone, or Cyclops and his latest control issue. What's wrong with having some fun? Even Logan thinks the kid deserves a break.

Magneto, however, turns out to be a party pooper. He wants Jubilee and everyone else to report to the Danger Room for drills. "We must be ready should Mister Sinister resurface," he says at the breakfast table. Jubilee, of course, gets irritated and goes to Roberto to vent her anger. There, she notices a gaming console, which sucks her and Roberto into the realm of video games. Well, Jubilee did want to play games. Her wish is granted, along with that of Magneto's, as in this world, she gets to exercise her superheroic muscles. Who says you cannot have a blast and do something drill-like at the same moment?

At first, I thought the video game console was planted by Magneto to trick Jubilee into doing exercise on her birthday. But it's revealed to be the work of an interdimensional media mogul named Mojo. Wikipedia tells me this villain "uses the X-Men to fuel his ratings and power in the Mojoverse." Does he live in a Mojo Dojo Casa House? This episode doesn't say. Jubilee, though, is referred to as "a gamer girl in a gamer world." I was half-expecting Jubilee to go to a doctor (after having an epiphany) at the end. Well, this is not that kind of story.

Mojo wants to dominate the galaxies as well as the 18-to-45 age demographic. He, in other words, is like the men in suits who run the entertainment business. Mojo says, "Picture this, the future of Motendo, that's 'mo' for 'Mojo,' in every home, one every world, in every dimension! Hah! Zapping up nom-nom-nom energy from the brains of all who play!" He basically wants to numb his customers' senses, which is something streaming services also want to do by bombarding you with a profusion of content. The aim is merely to keep you watching, to keep you glued to your screen/devices.

What's funny is that this episode ends up being the very thing it makes fun of or, as the creators would say, criticizes. Jubilee and Roberto go from one level to another and take down pixelated opponents, while the audience is meant to be as excited as the crowd of creatures who cheer at the game. We, however, remain unmoved. It feels as if the screen is sucking the joy out of us. Amidst all the unimpressive fights, the episode dispenses kindergarten-level insights like, "Living doesn't have an extra life," and reality is much more exhilarating because it's filled with twists and surprises.

Mojo puts Jubilee into his game and makes her the main character because...he can. Executive producer Brad Winderbaum said in interviews that Kevin Feige had two conditions before greenlighting X-Men '97: He wanted the original cast and the song. Of course, they got what he wanted. With X-Men '97, Feige and Winderbaum use nostalgia to attract the attention of more Marvel enthusiasts. But instead of giving them something pleasing, something worthwhile, they have been (so far) just numbing our senses through elementary drama and mediocre fights. Turns out it's not only Storm who is trapped in a nightmare.



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