‘X-Men’97’ Episode 4 Recap & Ending Explained: Who Is Adversary?

Journey becomes introspective for key X-Men members, as this week’s latest episode of X-Men’97 focuses on two separate adventures with distinctive tone and treatment, like an old-school comics double bonanza issue. On the one hand, the youngest member of the team, Jubilee, gets a reality check in the form of getting taken inside Marvel’s gameverse for a trip down memory lane, and on the other hand, Ororo is up for some nasty revelations regarding her loss of power. 


Previously, members of X-Men had rescued teenage mutant Roberto De Costa from the clutches of mutant hate group Friends of Humanity, and he eventually befriended Jubilee. While saving Magneto, the new leader of the team, as decreed by the last will of the late Professor X, from the assassination attempt of X-Cutioner during his hearing at the UN, Ororo was shot by a permanent power-dampening projectile. Losing her powers, a heartbroken Storm decided to leave the team and, in Texas, met with Charles’ old friend, Forge, who offered his assistance to restore her powers. In the fourth episode of the season, titled “Motendo/Lifedeath Part 1,” Jubilee and Ororo take center stage in their own segments as the story delves deeper into X-Men lore.

Spoilers Ahead 


Who Is Mojo? Why Did He Bring Jubilee And Roberto To The Gameverse?

The episode begins in the X mansion, as we see Magneto bossing around the team and emphasizing the importance of extra preparation in case Mr. Sinister returns to haunt the team once again. As we know, in the previous episode, it was revealed that the supervillain had abducted and cloned the original Jean Gray to create Madelyn Pryor, who led a false life as Jean for a significant duration until she and Cyclops became parents of baby Nathan Scott. Sinister abducted Nathan to run his vile experiments on him and turned Madelyn into the Goblin Queen through mind control, causing much trouble for the team. Eventually, Madelyn came to her senses as Jean psychically connected with her and, along with Cyclops, managed to rescue Nathan from Sinister. However, infected by Sinister’s techno-organic virus, Nathan’s life turned out to be in mortal danger, which forced his parents to entrust Bishop with taking him to the future to find a possible cure, and a dejected Madelyn left X mansion, returning Jean to her place. 

The rest of the team members aren’t feeling Magneto’s urgency that much as the day marks the eighteenth birthday of the youngest member of the team, Jubilee, and the kid deserves a day off at least. The birthday girl herself shares her wish to bring the team to the arcade to spend the day, but Magneto’s frowning gaze indicates that is unlikely to happen. Jubilee’s mood is spoiled further when the majority of the team goes for political meet-ups as mutant nation Genosha gets officially inducted into the UN on that very day. In her room, she shares her grievances with Roberto, and the duo comes across a unique video game console named Motendo. Jubilee doesn’t have any recollection of playing it and seems excited to try her hands at it—when all of a sudden, she and Roberto get pulled into a virtual world and get attacked by a giant Sentinel robot. Later, they find themselves transported to Genosha, and Jubilee realizes that events from her past are being played out—a time when she was captured by Trask along with his fellow mutants. As the duo get chased by a bunch of Trask’s militia, a mysterious woman helps them but remains out of reach for reasons unknown. 


Jubilee soon realizes that they have been pulled inside a gameverse, and her suspicion is confirmed by the perpetrator who brought the duo in the first place. A psychotic interdimensional alien named Mojo, who feeds on TRP ratings, is responsible for bringing them into the virtual world. The current TRP ratings are at an all-time low, which is why the deranged alien has shifted to the world of games and wants to use Jubilee as the lead of his first game, Motendo, with her memories acting as the foundation of all the stages. Thus, Mojo forces Jubilee and Roberto to play through multiple arenas and levels, with the visuals resembling the 8-bit classics of Capcom Marvel games, side-scrolling platform games, etc. Eventually, Jubilee starts warming up to this new world without paying any heed to Roberto’s concerns about returning to the real world, as her childishness continues to distance her from reality. 

There is another catch, though: dying in the game means dying in real life, which creates trouble as, while engaging in a boss battle against the gameverse’s Magneto, Roberto gets knocked out. Jubilee defeats Magneto’s boss form, manages to revive Roberto using a bug in the game, and realizes that someone is definitely helping them in secret. 


Who Is Abscissa? 

Just as the thought comes to Jubilee’s mind, she and Roberto once again get transported away to a different digital dimension, this time by the mysterious woman who had helped the duo previously. She turns out to be a digital replica of Jubilee, who was stuck inside the gameverse, playing through different stages forever until she eventually grew old. Although she doesn’t reveal her name, she is mentioned as Abscissa and is an obscure part of X-Men lore. In comics, Abscissa is a dark take on Jubilee’s future in an alternate timeline, and she was an unfortunate victim of Mojo’s machinations. In the ongoing series, however, the situation is not that grim, as Abscissa advises Jubilee to prioritize reality first, as no matter how engaging this virtual world might seem to her, it can never take the place of her one true family, the X-Men. As Mojo catches up to the duo, Abscissa and Jubilee join hands to defeat the psychotic tyrant, and it is later revealed that Mojo’s other captive mutant, Spiral, who was forced to work for him, had betrayed him at long last, which allowed Roberto and Jubilee to return to their reality. Relieved to have finally returned to the mansion in one piece, the teenage lovebirds share a kiss.

How Did Storm Learn About Forge’s Role In Her Loss Of Power?

The scene shifts to a Western setting as viewers are taken to Forge’s house, where he and Ororo discuss his past. Ororo marvels at Forge’s ability to create whatever he conceives (his mutant powers), and Forge assures her that he can help with regaining her powers. Forge’s kindness and care win over Ororo, and as they race each other on horseback, Storm once again feels the wind speaking with her. However, Ororo notices something strange about the weather through the abnormal behavior of an owl but fails to ascertain possible reasons. 


Forge creates a machine that can theoretically reignite Ororo’s latent powers, but it doesn’t work, as she feels no connection has been established between her and the elemental forces of weather. Storm weeps in agony, and Forge tries his best to comfort her. Later, as Forge continues to work on his machine, Storm curiously asks why it is so important for him to see her powers returned. A guilt-ridden Forge reveals that, during a vulnerable period in his past, he had provided the government with designs for mutant power dampeners, the likes of which have been used to make Storm powerless. Storm is appalled and disgusted after hearing the news, as instruments of Forge’s design have been used by the bigoted government and mutant hate groups to subdue and torture numerous hapless souls. Forge tries to win her trust desperately and even confesses his feelings for her, but an infuriated Storm leaves after slapping him in the face. 

Later, Ororo leaves Forge’s house on horseback amidst tumultuous weather, and all of a sudden, flashes of something demonic startle her, and she falls from a cliff. Moments later, Ororo falls into Forge’s house, confused as to how she ended up there, and a giant, demonic owl creature announces its presence inside the house. The creature makes quick work of Forge by throwing him elsewhere and grabbing Ororo to transport her into a bloodred, nightmarish landscape. Ororo contemplates whether she is facing death, and the creature introduces himself as Adversary, who seeks to feed on her misery. The episode ends with Storm in the grasp of adversity, and viewers are left wondering about her fate.


Who Is Adversary?

As a character in Marvel comics, Adversary is a malevolent and powerful demon who has plagued the X-Men for a long time and is also associated with Forge’s shamanic ancestral background. Perhaps through demonic affiliation, Storm’s godhead will be restored, and she will return in her most empowered form in the upcoming episodes. 

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Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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