|This article is written from the Real World perspective|
|Series||Wolverine and the X-Men|
|Release Date||September 27, 2008 (Canadian)|
February 6, 2009 (United States)
|Episode Number||4 (Overall)|
Professor Xavier foretells the destruction of Africa, by none other than Storm. When the X-Men investigate they discover an insidious plan by one of Xavier's oldest enemies. Meanwhile, Logan and Emma Frost struggle to deal with each other. The two must put aside their differences if they want to save all life on the continent.
A man wanders through the deserts of Africa before collapsing. The sun beats down on him before another man on a camel finds him and gives him water. The fallen man opens his eyes revealing themselves to be completely black. He grabs the second man's face and a blackness transfers itself to the other man. The second man opens his newly blackened eyes. He leaves on his camel leaving the first man in the desert.
At the Xavier Mansion, Logan is sound asleep until Charles Xavier's voice from the future wakes him up. He gets up and heads towards the War Room where the present Xavier is being kept. Unbeknownst to him he is being followed by Emma Frost, but she is locked out.
Logan suddenly finds himself surrounded by white, alongside a standing Xavier. Xavier explains that they are still at the Institute but are talking on the astral plane. Xavier shows Logan the continent of Africa from high in Earth's atmosphere where much of the coast and Madagascar is destroyed. Xavier explains that twenty years ago, in Logan's time, something terrible happened. Xavier takes him to the ground, which is a barren wasteland covered in deep crevices and dust tornadoesl. He tells Logan that no one survived. When Logan asks Xavier tells him that the former X-Man Storm did it. Wolverine doesn't believe that Storm would do such a thing, but Xavier says that she did and it cost her her life. Suddenly Xavier senses Emma's presence and ends the vision.
Logan sees Emma and angrily asks how she got in. She explains that she just read his mind for the security codes. He throws her into an elevator to get her out of there, explaining that he won't need her help.
In his lab, Beast is examining Africa but cannot find any abnormalities. Fortunately this means that whatever pushes Storm over the edge hasn't happened yet and there's still time to find her and stop it. Unfortunately this means that they need a psychic to use Cerebro to find her.
Logan finds Emma and takes her to Cerebro. She says that she'll find Storm if Logan lets her stay on the team. Logan says she needs to continually earn her place and his trust. Tired of him, Emma goes to leave but Logan relents and Emma uses Cerebro. She scans hundreds of people in Africa before finding Ororo Munroe.
In Africa, Ororo is using her powers to create a rainstorm to fill her tribe's reservoir. When she is done she asks Abasi, the tribal leader, what she should do next. He tells her about the southern crops and a celebration in her honor to be held later on.
At the mansion, Shadowcat is at Scott's room asking if he'll come along but he doesn't open the door. Iceman walks by and reminds her that Logan said not to bother. But Shadowcat knows that the old Scott would have gone along. The two leave without him.
In the hanger, Forge is polishing the Blackbird when the Beast, Emma, and Iceman come in. Since he just finished it he doesn't want to the team to take it out, let alone to Africa, so he asks them to be gentle. Wolverine claims that the first scratch is the most painful, so he makes three of them with his claws so Forge can relax. Just then Cyclops enters the hanger and boards the jet.
The jet leaves the hanger through the tennis courts and blasts off.
The man on the camel walks up to a man with a boat. Later, the man with the boat transfers the darkness to a woman on a pier. At a market the woman transfers the blackness to a young girl with a kiss on the forehead. A man with a truck picks up the girl to take her off and acquires the blackness.
At the celebration, Ororo is getting food from the people of her tribe, and thanks each one as they do. The man with the truck walks up and transfers it to a boy. The boy walks up to another man and transfers the blackness. The blackness moves to another man and a woman to get in front of the crowd. The woman walks up and Ororo takes her hand, but the woman does not let go. She opens her eyes to reveal they are solid black. The blackness transfers itself to the former X-Man, who opens her eyes to reveal solid blackness.
In her mind, Ororo is confronted by a large creature who calls himself her former master. Abasi wonders what is wrong with Ororo as she is suddenly freaking out. Ororo cries out to the thing that has invaded her mind so Abasi tells the people of the tribe to go to their homes. Ororo does not remember the creature, who claims to have been like a father to her.
The creature shows a flashback to when Ororo was a young street urchin and petty thief stealing wallets, watches, and jewelry. Amahl Farouk berates her when she doesn't bring as much as he would like. She then admits that she has a friend who says she is more than just a thief. When she refuses to reveal the friend's name he enters her mind and learns that it is Xavier. He promises to make both pay when Xavier himself enters to defend Ororo. The two then battle on the astral plane.
Ororo suddenly remembers him, but also that he was destroyed. He explains that only his flesh was destroyed, but he now lives as the Shadow King. Shadow King promises to make her wander without a home as he did. Suddenly the tribe's huts burst into flames. Ororo tells Abasi to run from the fires and flies up to create a storm to put them out. However, Abasi is confused as there are no fires.
Ororo sees the entire surrounding areas engulfed in flames. Shadow King tells her to stop the fires using the full force of the elements before everything is destroyed. To do so she creates a giant storm over the continent.
Beast sees the storm on the Blackbird's monitors. Wolverine tells everyone to hang on while he dives the Blackbird right into the storm.
Due to the rains, the reservoir is now flowing over the dam, which has begun to crack and break. The unleashed waters rush through the tribe while the people climb the trees for safety. As the waters rise they climb into boats and on top of their huts.
The Blackbird screams through the sky above the tribe. However, Ororo sees a giant fireball and uses a tornado to try to put it out. This causes the Blackbird to spin out of control and crash into the reservoir. The glass breaks and the plane sinks below the surface while the X-Men are knocked unconscious.
As the Blackbird sinks below the surface the team wakes up and Cyclops blasts the side so he, Emma, and Iceman can swim up. Meanwhile, Shadowcat phases Wolverine and Beast up through the cockpit. The team makes it to the top of the dam to see Ororo controlling the storm. Wolverine looks around but the waters rage too wildly to swim through, so Iceman slides the team across.
Shadow King taunts Ororo into increasing the storm. In addition to high winds Ororo creates a hail storm, pelting the X-Men. Wolverine slashes the ice shards as best he can while Cyclops blasts them out of his way. Shadowcat phases through them while Iceman creates a wall to protect himself and Beast. The team inches closer until the top of a hut flies off and hits Iceman while Shadowcat phases through it. Shadowcat grabs Iceman from the water he fell in but is knocked out by the hail. Beast grabs the two and seeks protection under a tree.
The other three continue on, with Wolverine telling Emma to stay behind them. However, Emma uses her secondary mutation to turn herself into a diamond. Wolverine asks her why she never told them about her new form. She says she doesn't like it because it prevents her from using her telepathy. They get close to Ororo and Emma suggests that Cyclops blast her. When Cyclops is reluctant she says it's her or Africa. Wolverine then asks Cyclops to blast him instead.
Wolverine climbs to the top of a large rock near Ororo. Cyclops blast Wolverine so he is propelled towards her and knocks her out of the sky. Wolverine tries to reason with her but she ignores him. Emma enters her mind to see Africa on fire. She tries to reason with Ororo but is knocked away by the Shadow King. Emma tells the others about the Shadow King and enters once more but again is knocked away by the Shadow King's scythe. However, Emma tells them that Ororo knows the truth now.
Wolverine tries to reason with her again and this time she regains control of herself long enough to see the damage she is causing. She then calls back the storm and collapses from exhaustion.
Wolverine tries to convince Shadow King to leave Ororo. Instead the disembodied villain tries to transfer to him so he can kill Ororo. Emma runs up to the two and tackles the Shadow King on the astral plane. Shadow King gets up and knocks her away. Shadow King transforms his fingers into knives and throws them at Emma. She creates a shield to protect herself but is still knocked back.
When Shadow King's hand begins to shrink he moves towards Ororo. Ororo knows that if he cannot find a host he will not survive. Cyclops tries to blast him but it goes right through the projection and he keeps coming. Emma gets up and creates a whip which she uses to snag Shadow King as he tries to infect Cyclops.
Cyclops takes Ororo while Wolverine takes Emma away from the battle, so that Shadow King has farther to travel. Shadow King tries to follow but Emma knocks him away and creates a Battle Ax. Shadow King makes his own battle ax and attacks Emma. She gets out of the way and he makes another swing. She continues dodging his attacks and stabs him in the stomach.
He again knocks her away and forms his hands into blades. Emma does the same and the two continue their battle. Shadow King forms a hammer and knocks her away. He forms two more axes and moves to attack her. Fortunately he is beginning to shrivel up after being out of his body for so long. Emma taunts him by revealing that there's no body around for him to infect. She then slices him in two with a long blade and he dissolves away.
Ororo gets up as Emma returns to her body. The people of the tribe come out and thank the X-Men and Ororo. Wolverine smiles and gives a nod to Emma, who smiles back, acknowledging that she's earned her place on the team.
Back at the mansion, Ororo visits Xavier. She tells Logan that she will stay with the X-Men so she can help make the world a better place for Xavier to wake up in.
"Don't be alarmed, Logan. We're still at the Institute. But this is what you might call a meeting of the minds on the astral plane. It's through here that I'm able to communicate with you from the future."
- -Future Charles Xavier
"It's good to see you, Chuck."
"And you my friend."
- -Logan and Future Charles Xavier
"What could've done something like this?"
"Not what, who. It was Storm."
"That doesn't make any sense. Storm would never attack Africa."
- -Logan and Future Charles Xavier
"I don't think we're alone."
- -Future Charles Xavier sensing Emma
"How'd you get in here!?"
"Hmm, well you know the security code and I am psychic. You tell me."
- -Logan and Emma Frost
"We gotta find her. Fast."
"That will require the use of Cerebro."
"I know, Hank."
"And she'll want something in exchange."
"I know, Hank."
- -Logan and Beast
"Your attempts to manipulate me are demeaning. If I perform to your satisfaction you favor me by extending my stay here. If I assist you, that ends. Now!"
"I'm manipulating you!? You showed up at my door and traded your telepathy for a spot on the team. Who's using who?"
"I found the Professor for you. I've earned my place with the X-Men."
"And just like the others you have to continue proving it every day."
"But you trust them."
"Because they've earned that too."
"Trust is a two-way street, Logan. Find yourself another telepath."
- -Emma Frost and Logan
"What is next Abasi?"
"The southern crops, your highness. And later there is the celebration."
- -Ororo Munroe and Abasi, first lines
"Scott? Are you in there? You should know we're all heading to Africa. It's Storm. She's in trouble."
"I thought Logan said not to even bother with him."
"He did. But the Scott I knew would've been first on the jet."
- -Shadowcat and Iceman
"No, no, no no no no. I just got her back together. This is only a test run right? Sort of a roll out the carpet and run around the block kind of thing, right?"
- -Forge and Shadowcat
"At long last we meet, little store thief. Now that you've finally returned to your master."
- -Shadow King, first line
"WHO ARE YOU!?"
"You do not remember me, Ororo? I was like a father to you."
- -Ororo Munroe and Shadow King
"Where is the rest?"
"This is all I could get today."
"You scabrous little cheat! You're holding out on me!"
"No. I...I was delayed. I ran out of time."
- -Past Amahl Farouk and Past Ororo Munroe
"Your power over this child ceases now Farouk."
"Ah, so the friend is a telepath. Then pit your powers against mine, trespasser. Because she is my property."
- -Past Charles Xavier and Past Amahl Farouk
"Abasi, run from the fire!"
"But, there is no fire!"
- -Ororo Munroe and Abasi
"It's begun. It's expanding at an alarming rate."
"You are failing, Ororo. Give it more. Give it everything you have."
- -Shadow King
"Diamond. Would've been nice to know you could do this."
"It's not my favorite form. It prevents me from using my telepathy."
- -Wolverine and Emma Frost
"There she is."
"Shoot her down."
"Are you insane?"
"It's her or Africa. You choose."
"Wait. Take a shot at me instead."
- -Wolverine, Emma Frost, and Cyclops
"Storm. You've been deceived. Fires is not what is destroying Africa. You are. You're doing it."
- -Emma Frost
"It's over Shadow King! You used her up! Her strength is gone!"
"Then it'll be you who finishes her."
- -Wolverine and Shadow King
"Keep him out. He cannot survive...without a host."
- -Ororo Munroe
- -Shadow King, last line
"Shame. And there's not a host body to be found."
- -Emma Frost, last line
"It is difficult to see him like this."
"It kinda helps knowing that he will wake up."
"Then we must assure that when he does, it is a future worth living in."
"So, you're staying?"
"My place is here, alongside my family."
- -Ororo Munroe and Logan
- First time Logan calls Xavier Chuck, a nickname only Logan calls him.
- When Shadow King possesses someone their eyes are solid black. A stark contrast to the solid white eyes Storm has when she uses her powers.
- Other media has suggested that psychics often have a difficult time reading Storm's mind because of her ability to control electricity as it creates static in her head. This may be why Shadow King does not simply take her body over and destroy Africa himself.
- The first time Emma's diamond form has been seen in animation.
- Wolverine's plan to have Cyclops blast him to Ororo and the situation surrounding it has striking parallels to the ending of the first X-Men film.
- The plot of the episode is similar to X-Men's "Whatever It Takes".
- Logan says it's good to see Xavier, as though he hasn't in a while. However, he just saw the future Xavier in the previous episode and can see the present Xavier at any time.
- Before the commercial break all the X-Men are knocked unconscious as the Blackbird sinks. But afterwards they are all awake, not a one seen waking up. While it provides a good cliffhanger for the break, it does not present very good continuity.
- The team stands still while sliding on Iceman's ice, but the ice under their feet never moves once it's created. So how exactly are they sliding?
- Apparently Logan sleeps in his regular clothing.
- Africa would reappear in the chronologically earlier The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "The Man in the Ant Hill".
- Only appearance of Shadow King.
- First time Xavier gives Wolverine a specific mission to perform in order to prevent the nightmarish future.
- First significant appearance of Storm. Though Storm appeared in "Hindsight, Part One" she had one line and only appeared briefly.
- Forge says he just got the Blackbird back together. While the comment may seem strange since they flew it to Genosha and back, it was just holding together because of Beast's and Forge's constant repairs. He may mean that he just got it in fully working order.
- Shows how Storm met Xavier and came to be an X-Man.
- Storm rejoins the team.
Greg Johnson and Craig Kyle outlined the basic story and gave each script off to another writer. This way the series could maintain a continuity without the two being overwhelmed writing each and every episode.
This is the first episode that is based on one of the classic stories rather an reinterpretation like the first three episodes.
Johnson and Kyle said that the X-Men didn't disband because they thought their fight wasn't worth it, but that without leadership they all found more important things for themselves. Ororo's is helping her tribe.
The reason for the Wolverine-Emma subplot was to make her a part of the team. Johnson and Kyle felt that they couldn't have him doubt her for the entire season and they needed a reason for him to trust her.
The scene in Cerebro was supposed to show that both Emma and Logan know how to manipulate each other.
Cerebro was portrayed several different ways throughout the series. This was because the producers could not agree on how it should look and kept changing it. Johnson and Kyle believe this version is one of the more successful versions.
Forge was brought into the series to provide some comic relief, since the rest of the cast is so dark and serious.
The shots of the rain hitting the water are all computer generated imagery.
The battle on the astral plane was meant to set up an event later in the series.
Johnson and Kyle intended that since Shadow King had no body to worry about he could focus all his attention on the mind. And after years of focus on just his powers he was far more powerful than Emma.
"Arsenal" of Marvel Animation Age enjoyed having a good, evil supervillain for the X-Men to fight for once, rather than previous enemies that were doing bad things with good intentions. He also felt Shadow King and Storm's past was handled better than X-Men's "Whatever It Takes". He noted that since the episode only introduced two new characters it had time to develop the ones already established. He also enjoyed the subplot involving Emma and Wolverine. "This is a decent episode, nothing incredible. It has a serviceable villain which is overcome while several serial plots are pushed forward. It will be nobody’s favorite episode, but it is too good to call it filler."
Dan Philips of IGN.com called the episode entertaining and well-crafted as it was an individual episode that added to the overall story arc. Though he pointed out that the episode presented two formulaic aspects: that Xavier was giving telling of catastrophes to come and that the X-Men would be trying to recruit former members. He said that Emma had some much need personality and dramatic depth, and enjoys her better than Jean Grey. He said fans of Emma would enjoy her rift with Wolverine. He said the ending was definitely exciting, making him optimistic about the rest of the season. "As long as the series' writers find fresh, entertaining ways to utilize this season's formulaic set-up, I think we'll be in for a fun debut year of Wolverine and the X-Men."
The episode has a rating of 8.4 on TV.ocm and 7.4 on the Internet Movie Database.