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Sanctuary, Part One And Two
Review by Stu, Media by James Harvey

Episode #45 - Sanctuary, Part 1
Original Airdate - October 21st, 1995

Magneto announces his plans for all mutants to live free from humans on Asteriod M... but will the world let him?

Episode #46 - Sanctuary, Part 2
Original Airdate - October 28th, 1995

With Magneto resumed dead and the X-Men to blame, Cortez begins his rule of Asteriod M.

Written By: Steven Melching, David McDermott (Part 1), Jeff Saylor (Part 2)
Music Composed By: Shuki Levy
Animation Services By: AKOM

Review: These episodes are among the series most memorable, and greatly help develop Magneto. Iím in the camp that believes that Magneto isnít really a villain; he has reasons for what he does, and given how he and his family have been treated in the past, they are just. He may go about them in the wrong way, but again, given what he has previously been through, can you really blame him for hating humanity?

The opening sequence from part one is easily one of the shows best. Brilliant staging, a great script and an excellent vocal performance made it one of the episodes high points. The animation in this episode is some of the best in the show. Itís not certain who actually animated it, it doesnít look like a Philippines effort, but itís much better than any of AKOM previous efforts. When Magneto shows the clips from previous episodes, thereís a hugely noticeable difference in quality. If you take a lot at the screen grabs below, youíll notice just how much stronger the visuals in this episode are, especially Magneto himself.

I think part one is slightly better than part two, if only because Magneto is absent for the majority of the second act, and Cortez takes centre stage. Cortez was an annoying villain, but that was the intention.

One of the stranger parts of the episode was Gambitís inclusion. Iím aware that he wanted to visit the episode to see one of his old friends, but itís never made clear as to why he wanted to see him. Thankfully, his appearance here made for some very good development for him. It also added an interesting layer to his relationship with Rouge, as it was clear that she didnít quite trust him, both when he asked to leave, and later after he failed to return with Beast and Xavier she assumed that he stayed there by choice.

One of the more baffling aspects of the episode however, was The X-Menís space suits. I do remember seeing action figures of these in the toy aisle, so I donít know if they were asked to include them here by Toy Biz, but man, they were laughably bad. Oddly enough, theyíve been in space before without the silly suits.

I liked seeing Emila on the ship, and it was nice that she served to tell us a little more about Xavierís back-story, especially as Beast mentions that he lost the use of his legs ďbattling MagnetoĒ. Another small bonus, we got to see the X-Men in their original Kirby suits, and interesting enough, Angel is shown among them.

Itís Magneto however that owns the episode. His dream of a mutant populated world was finally realised, and he lost it all. This was followed up in a later episode, in which he is shown grieving the loss of Asteroid M, maintaining the strong continuity throughout the shown.

In closing, ďSanctuaryĒ stands as an outstanding X-Men story, and a great moment for Magneto fans.