Remember or discover the poignant end of the animated series “X-Men” of the 90s, but beware, sensitive souls abstain!
“Guitar riff!” Yes, no lyrics for this credits however cult! The Marvel series X-Men started in 1992 and ran for 5 seasons, until 1997. Created by Eric Lewald, Sidney Iwanter and Mark Edensit has a rather dark tone, as was the series Batman, launched on the DC Comics side the same year. In France, X-Men was broadcast from 1995 on Canal+ then France 2.
The cartoon tells how Charles Xavier, a mutant, decides to create a school for other individuals like him, who are reduced to hiding. He will bring together several people with special abilities and form with them the X-Men, a team of superheroes dedicated to protecting the Earth.
The final episode is the 76th in the series. Entitled “Graduation Day” (literally), it was renamed in French: “Adieu Charles”. Get your tissues ready!
Graduation Day opens in the United States Congress where politician Henry Peter Gyrich attacks mutants, whom he describes as a danger to the population. Professor Xavier steps in to calm his rant, but Gyrich takes a turn by using an energy disruptor that puts the leader of the X-Men in a daze.
Inanimate, he is taken by Serval (alias Wolverine), Hank (alias the Beast) and Cyclops to heal him, and understand that Xavier’s healing may require the help of a creature from another planet: Lilandra (introduced in Season 3, Empress of the Sh’iar Empire and lover of Professor X).
Meanwhile, on Muir Island, some mutants begin to wonder if the humans will declare war on the mutants as Magneto predicted. Small groups with no links between them decide to drive out the anti-mutant demonstrators in several countries and the government sends them the national guard.
Morph (character created especially for the series) takes on the appearance of Professor Xavier and sends a message of peace intended to calm things down. Except that Magneto harangues the mutants of Muir Island and prepares for a global attack on Earth.
Wolverine, Jean Grey, and Cyclops travel to Muir in order to convince Magneto to stop his madness. A fight begins and learning that Charles Xavier has only a few hours left to live, Magneto, who won the confrontation, agrees to let the three heroes leave as they came.
Jean Gray, however, convinces the telepath that only he can heal Xavier by sending a mental message to Lilandra. By connecting his magnetism to the spirit of his dying rival, he will have the power to warn Empress Lilandra. But if Xavier dies during the operation, the shock could also kill Magneto!
The anti-hero runs the risk and Xavier regains consciousness. The leader of the X-Men then pays tribute to each: Morph, Gambit, Jubilee, Tornado, Serval (Wolverine), Malicia, Jean, Hank and Cyclops. Then he quietly passes away. Lilandra arrives and announces that no resurrection is possible.
On the other hand, if Xavier loses his carnal envelope, his spirit remains in each of the X-Men, which is “his only and true place”.
End of the series.
The first two seasons are currently available on Disney+ and a new series that follows, X-Men ’97is in the works for the platform and will arrive in 2023.