Enter Magneto

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"Enter Magneto"
'X-Men: The Animated Series' episode
Magneto 1992.png
Magneto
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 3
Written by Jim Carlson
Terrence McDonnell
Production code 103
Original air date November 27, 1992
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Night of the Sentinels"
Next →
"Deadly Reunions"
List of X-Men 1992 TV Series Episodes

"Enter Magneto" is an episode in the animated TV series X-Men Animated Series. This episode is loosely based on "Uncanny X-Men #1" (September 1963), where Magneto attacked the Cape Citadel missile base.[1] The episode's title ("Enter Magneto") appears in various additional works involving the X-Men.[2][3]

Summary[edit]

"Enter Magneto" begins with Beast incarcerated for his actions in the last episode. As Beast reads Animal Farm, he is mocked by the prison guards, who think that he is reading a picture book. The bigoted guards cannot fathom that Beast is literate. The prison, however, is soon under attack, and anything metal is twisted and torn: Enter Magneto.

Magneto has come to rescue Beast, but Beast refuses to escape. He wants to prove his innocence at a public trial. Magneto and Beast debate the Mutant/Human conflict as the prison guards mount an attack against Magneto. Magneto destroys the small attackforce including their tanks and other armored vehicles.

In the X-Mansion, Professor Xavier watches the video tape from the prison, and informs Jubilee of his past relationship with Magneto. He describes Magneto as an old friend that he met in an hospital, and how in the face of a brutal army, Magneto becomes convinced that peace between mutants and normal humans is not possible. Xavier was forced to stop Magneto then, and it appears that Xavier must stop Magneto again.

At Beast's bail hearing, Wolverine and Cyclops watch the proceeding from the back of the courtroom. Beast explains to the court that he is incarcerated because he was rescuing mistreated mutants. The enraged courtroom audience begins to shout at Beast. He borrows language from William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice", thus comparing antisemitism to anti-mutant bigotry, and when he is denied bail, he is seen holding a copy of "Crime and Punishment", by Fyodor Dostoevsky.

As the guards escort Beast back to his cell, Sabretooth watches as a prison guard shoves Beast to the ground, and demands that Beast be set free, prompting the guards to shoot Sabretooth with laser guns. Cyclops wants to aid Sabretooth before the guards inflict serious injury, but Wolverine refuses to help and warns everyone that Sabretooth can not be trusted; however, Cyclops brings Sabertooth to the Mansions' infirmary anyway. Wolverine wants Sabretooth removed from the mansion, but Xavier refuses. Storm states that some people wanted Wolverine to leave when he first came, but that he was also allowed to stay. The argument is interrupted when an alarm indicates Magneto is attacking a military missile facility.[4]

As the X-Men arrive on the scene, Magneto is preparing to launch nuclear missiles at strategic human targets in order to ensure the outbreak of a war between mutants and humans. Cyclops, Storm, and Wolverine face off with Magneto, but are unable to stop him. As Magneto leaves to prepare for the war, Storm is able to use her control over wind and lightning to cause the computers in the missiles to short-circuit, deactivating them and drop them into the water. Nevertheless, disabling the missiles demands too much from Storm's powers; she becomes unconscious and is caught just in time by Wolverine. Having prevented a nuclear war, the X-Men return to the mansion, having learned the full power of Magneto. Magneto on the other hand, ponders why Charles Xavier "turns on his own kind."

Production[edit]

This action-packed episode introduces Magneto and Sabretooth.[5] Xavier's flashback is a toned down version of Magneto's origins. While it is clear that these events occurred during World War Two, the Holocaust and the Nazis are depicted in subtext and generic army men. Future episodes, however, would be much less subtle (most likely due to extraordinary popularity of the first three episodes, which were aired as "demos" several months before the show was fully contracted). The events depicted in this episode (Magneto attacking an army base and hijacking missiles, then facing down the X-Men) are very similar to those depicted in the first X-Men story (X-Men #1).[6]

Reception[edit]

At the height of the series' popularity, Pizza Hut sold two VHS tapes that featured "Night Of The Sentinels (Parts 1 & 2)" and "Enter Magneto"/"Deadly Reunions". Also contained were round-table discussions between prominent names such as X-Men creator Stan Lee and 1990s writer Scott Lobdell. The story of this episode was also adapted in the comic book "X-Men Adventures (vol 1) #3" released in January 1993.

Cultural references[edit]

In the opening of the episode, Beast is in his cell, reading Animal Farm, much to the derisive pleasure of his mutant-hating guards. When Magneto comes to break him out of prison, he says "Magneto, I presume," which could be a reference to Henry Morton Stanley's famous quote ""Dr. Livingstone, I presume?". During his bail hearing, the Shakespearean speech Beast paraphrases is Shylock's "I am a Jew" speech from The Merchant of Venice, replacing "Jew" with "mutant". When the judge denies bail, Beast sighs and says "Guess I'll have time to catch up on my Dostoevsky". In the scene where Cyclops, Storm and Wolverine confront Magneto, he quotes Shakespeare, this time quoting Miranda's line from act V, scene i of The Tempest, 'O brave new world, That has such people in't!', then later paraphrasing Emiliano Zapata, saying "Better that we die on our feet than live on our knees!"

Cast[edit]

Voice actor Role
Cedric Smith Professor Charles Xavier
Cathal J. Dodd Wolverine/Logan
Norm Spencer Cyclops/Scott Summers
Iona Morris Storm/Ororo Munroe
George Buza Beast/Dr. Hank McCoy
Alyson Court Jubilee/Jubilation Lee
Len Carlson Senator Robert Kelly
David Hemblen Magneto/Erik Lehnsherr
Don Francks Sabretooth/Victor Creed

References[edit]

External links[edit]