Cartoon Country: SHS – “Mysterious Mayhem at Mutant High!”

Today’s Cartoon Country takes a look at one of my favorite episodes of Marvel’s Super Hero Squad Show: episode 18, “Mysterious Mayhem at Mutant High!”.

Mutant High 1

This episode’s title card is a parody of the comic book cover for X-Men Vol.2, issue #1, in case anyone’s interested.

Premise: Captain America sends Wolverine back to Xavier Academy to get his diploma and finish his remaining credits. Reptil, being the mutant fanboy that he is (I can relate), tags along to see what Xavier Academy is like and meet the X-Men. To make matters worse, Ringmaster shows up and hypnotizes the entire X-Men team in order to find an Infinity Fractal for Doctor Doom.

I’m not going to bother reviewing this episode or running down everything blow by blow; we don’t do reviews here, and most fans of SHS have already seen this episode a few times already by now (It’s floating around on the internet in various places, so if you haven’t already seen “Mysterious Mayhem at Mutant High!”, I’m sure you can find it somewhere in cyberspace). Instead, I’ll just be geeking out over the things I liked about this episode.

Firstly, it centers on the X-Men, one of my favorite Marvel franchises, and it takes place largely at the Xavier Academy, one of my favorite locations within Superhero City.

Xavier's_School_for_Gifted_Children_(Earth-91119)

The Xavier School for Gifted Children. The giant X-shaped roof makes it look cool, although curiously, in this episode the roof of the Academy is gold, rather than the pale slate gray that it’s typically seen as in the establishing shots and opening title sequence.

Also, it’s a Reptil-heavy episode and Reptil’s one of my favorite characters on the show.

Mutant High 6

In Iron Man’s obligatory appearance, he admonishes Reptil for keeping his room like a wild animal (what do you expect from a kid whose power is morphing into dinosaurs?) and insists that Wolverine take the shrimp with him in the hopes that “maybe Xavier can pound some discipline into him.” Reptil’s one of the few ‘kid sidekick’ character who isn’t instantly annoying.

Curiously, the Xavier Academy has the semblance of a stereotypical American public high school rather than the austere private boarding school that it’s usually depicted as. Perhaps this was done intentionally to parody cliched high-school tropes. Given the farcial nature of The Super Hero Squad Show, that wouldn’t surprise me.

The X-Men characters here (Prof. X and his alumni, all, you know, 6 of them) are likewise reminiscent of typical high school archetypes: Iceman is the class clown, Colossus is the somewhat thick but genial jock, Storm (who like Wolvie is only there on a technicality–all of her foreign credits evidently didn’t make it over to the States) is the elegant foreign student, etc.

Mutant High 7

Cyclops is the preppy Class President type who’s “Darn glad to meet ya!” Any kids cartoon that can slip in a National Lampoon’s Animal House reference is A-OK in my book.

And then we come to Jean Grey, here depicted as vain, vapid cheerleader (voiced here by Hynden ‘Starfire/Princess Bubblegum’ Walch) wearing a skimpy cheerleader version of her comics uniform.

SHS Jean Grey

BOM-CHICKA-WOW-WOW!

At one point, the Ringmaster (disguised as a lunch lady, don’t ask) hypnotizes Jean…

Mutant High 5

“BOINNGG! I. Am. Totally. Hypnotized.”

And before telekinetically tearing the hallway a new one, she busts out with the perfect cheer:

Mutant High 3

“Call me Phoenix/Call me Jean/Red-haired mutant prom night queen!/I’ll hit you with a mental/hurl/if you call me Marvel Girl!” GO MUTANTS!!”

Beavis & Butt-Head

“Ooh, baby! Huh-huh-huh! Come to Butt-Head!”

“Yeah! Heh-hehe-heh! And then come to me! Heh-heh-heh!”

Shs_cyclops

“How’d you like a face full of laser?”

(Afterwards, Xavier attempted to telepathically erase their brains, but since their heads are already empty, nothing happened.)

Speaking of the Professor, I’ve got to call baloney on the scene where the Ringmaster puts the whammy on Xavier. Charles Xavier is supposed to be THE most powerful telepath on Earth; I get that this is a silly comedic take on the Marvel Universe, but there’s no way that Xavier should’ve been manipulated so easily, especially by a D-List super-villain who specializes in cheap parlor tricks.

Mutant High 2

“Your honuh, I wuz Hyp-Mo-Tized!”

Also, did you notice how Colossus was in his armored form throughout this entire episode? He was metallic in all of the scenes of the Deadpool trailer as well (still haven’t seen the movie yet, forgive me). So is Piotr strictly metallic now? Or were the animators just lazy?

Mutant High 9

SHADOWCAT AND LOCKHEED CAMEO!

The Super Hero Squad Show was basically killed after Disney acquired Marvel. I don’t need for there to be a 3rd season of the show (the Squaddies saved the flippin’ UNIVERSE in season 2, how could they possibly top that? Plus, I liked season 1 a little more since season 2 largely discarded Superhero City–one of my favorite elements of the show–as a backdrop), but one thing I do regret is that we never got another X-Men centered episode. It would have been cool to see some of the mutant characters who never appeared in SHS form on the show, like Angel…

SHS Angel

Or Rogue…

SHS Rogue

..Or Beast.

SHS Beast

Ms. Marvel mentioned Beast in the show’s pilot episode, titled appropriately “And Lo!…A Pilot Shall Come!”, but he never appeared on camera.

Plus, we never got to see Magneto and Xavier appear in an episode together. That might’ve been fun. Or maybe Reptil could’ve met Jubilee; the 2 of them could’ve competed for the role of Wolverine’s teen sidekick or something.

Finally, a word about Angelica Jones, aka Firestar.

Firestar

Firestar didn’t appear until a season later, in “Too Many Wolverines!”, attending the same class as Reptil and getting paired with him for a science project. Personally, I think it would’ve made more sense for Angelica to have been a student at the Xavier Academy, given that she’s a mutant, but Firestar had to have been in the same class as Reptil, otherwise they wouldn’t have had a story. If only the circumstances had allowed for them to have been classmates at the Academy.

Wolverine & His Amazing Friends

The mind boggles.

 

 

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