Season 3 Episode 9

X-Men: The Animated Series Season 3 Episode 9

Savage Land Strange Heart (part 2)
Original Air Date: 
Sat 17th September 1994

Richard Unger (co-executive producer), Shuki Levy (music), Larry Houston (Director), Steve Olds (property master), Shannon Denton (production designer), Steven Melching (story), Larry Houston (storyboard artist), Eric Lewald (story editor developer), Dan Hennesey (voice director), Marty Isenberg, Robert N. Skir (writer)

Brief Description: 

Continuing her rampage, Storm unwittingly aids in the malevolent plan of the mysterious Garokk. The X-Men manage to stop her, but it’s too late, for Garokk has already begun his corruption of the land. Recharged by Storm’s energies, Garokk seeks to take over the Savage Land by bonding himself to the primal forces, which maintain it’s Tropical Climate. In the end, it Sauron who brings about the downfall of Garokk, seeking to claim the Savage Land for himself. With Garokk defeated and the X-Men gone, Karl Lykos is free to live out his life free of the menace that is Sauron.

Full Synopsis: 

The Savage Land. Storm continues her rampage, allowing her powers to rip out of control. Wolverine yells that Storm has lost her mind, but Lykos is quick to correct him, stating that it is Sauron’s doing. Rogue asks how they are going to stop Storm. Jubilee mounts her Pterodactyl. Still overconfident from her victory over the weakened Sauron (last episode) she believes she can take on Storm as well. As she takes off, Wolverine calls after her, and Rogue takes off to help her. Nearby, as Storm commands the primal forces of nature to be unleashed, a tidal wave knocks a Diplodocus cub into the raging river. Luckily, it’s mother reaches down and saves it. As Jubilee approaches, Storm easily gets rid of her with a focused gust of wind. Fortunately for her, Rogue is there to catch her.

Nearby, Zaladane kneels before the statue of Garokk, telling him that she has released Storm. He bellows that he can feel himself growing stronger. He explains that he is feeding off the elemental energies surging around him. Circling overhead, Storm destroys the statue with a bolt of lightning. Though the pieces of the statue seep into the soil, spreading outward in the form of liquid shadow. As it passes, everything affected by the shadow seems to turn to crystal. Smiling, Zaladane says: "It has begun."

Meanwhile, Storm causes a herd of Stegosaurus to stampede after she destroys a section of a rock face. Wolverine pops his claws and demands from Lykos what it is he did to Storm to cause this. Lykos defends himself saying he did nothing, that it was Sauron’s powers of suggestion that caused Storm to lose control. Landing with Jubilee, Rogue vouches for the strength of Sauron’s influence. The earth starts to shake. Beast asks if Storm has added earthquakes to her meteorological repertoire, but Wolverine calls out that this is not an earthquake. They turn to see a plethora of Dinosaurs charging toward them. As they follow Ka-Zar into a cave, Rogue grabs Wolverine and Jubilee and flies them out of the Dinosaurs’ way. Ka-Zar expresses his concern for their lives, as well as the lives of his people if Storm continues. Beast states that they must find a way to calm Storm in order to undo the damage Sauron has done. Rogue volunteers to absorb Storm’s powers, but Wolverine reminds her that they would then have her ripping out of control. Lykos states that he can absorb Storm’s powers, if Rogue can only get him close enough. But again, Wolverine dismisses the idea, as it would turn Lykos into Sauron again.

Lykos professes his hatred for Sauron and all that he is, and Beast believes him. As, had Lykos wanted to become Sauron, he could have used any one of the X-Men. Lykos explains that it is the only way for him to make right what Sauron has done. Ka-Zar adds from the side that fighting Sauron is preferable to Storm’s maelstrom. They have no choice. A short while later, Ka-Zar, Beast and Wolverine use a catapult to get Storm’s attention. She destroys the catapult with a tornado, allowing Rogue to approach from behind with Lykos. He grabs Storm, and almost instantly, the storm dies down. Ka-Zar calls out for Lykos to let go, but the transformation has already begun. Rogue catches Storm as Sauron circles round to face her. She threatens to take him out, unless he agrees to help them fix Storm. He moves to grab her but she diverts his hand, telling him that it is not a good idea to touch her. He grabs her anyway, but something strange happens. Both Rogue and Sauron are affected physically by their respective absorption powers canceling each other out. As they pull free of each other, Sauron calls out that it is not finished between him and Rogue.
Nearby, the shadow of Garokk spreads, crystallizing more and more of the ground and vegetation.

Back at the camp, Beast retrieved his first-aid kit from the Blackbird. He gives Storm a sedative to keep her from fully regaining consciousness and creating another tempest. He pulls Rogue aside and asks what she was able to learn from Sauron when they connected. She explains that one word stood out in her mind. Zaladane, Ka-Zar recognizes the name as the self-appointed high priestess of Garokk. Inside the hut, Storm can sense the effect Garokk is having on the land. She cautions the other X-Men that an evil other than Sauron must be purged. She gets up, and walking out of the hut, destroys the statue of Garokk. Wolverine and Jubilee hold her arms while Beast sedates her again.

Meanwhile, Sauron approaches Zaladane, ordering her to rally his troops. But she refuses, proclaiming that Garokk has no more use for Sauron. As he moves to hypnotize her, Garokk takes control of the nearby vines and uses them to ensnare Sauron. As Sauron yells that Garokk does not exist, Garokk tells of how he came to be as he is. He explains that he once ruled the Savage Land, until a powerful enemy calmed the raging forces of the Savage Land, leaving Garokk powerless as statue. He remained like this for centuries, until Mr. Sinister brought the X-Men, and more specifically-Storm-to the Savage Land. Her elemental energies awoke him, but he would need much more to regain his former strength. Which is why he used Sauron to bring her back. He explains that he wishes to bond himself with the technology, which maintains the Tropical Climate of the Savage Land, so no one will ever be able to imprison him again.

Back at the camp, Storm cries out for them to restrain her. They notice the change in the land wrought by Garokk. Most notably, his face forms on the side of a mountain. As a display of power, Garokk tears a deep gorge through the land with his mind. The X-Men combine their efforts to save the people from falling in. Garokk grabs Ka-Zar with a huge hand of clay, but Wolverine frees him with his claws. In turn, Garokk grabs Wolverine from behind. Inside the hut, Storm leaps from the bed, sensing the corruption of the land. The hut topples, sending Storm into a claustrophobic panic. She frees herself with lightning, and summons the full catalogue of weather to combat Garokk. Beast notes that Garokk is directing himself toward the volcanoes, and together, he and Ka-Zar catch on to his plan. Beast tries to warn Storm that her efforts are only worsening the situation, but she does not want to listen. Rogue tries to grab her, but Storm frees herself, freeing Sauron in the process with her lightning. Now fully recharged, Garokk assumes corporeal form and proclaims his invincibility as he grows to gigantic proportions. Sauron silences him, yelling that there is only one ruler of the Savage Land. He flies to the volcano, and placing his hands on it, threatens to absorb every ounce of Garokk’s energy. Though it soon becomes too much for him, and he begins to grow in size, causing Garokk to shrink.

The two of them begin to fight, and Storm flies toward them, yelling that the evil must be destroyed. Rogue pulls her back, right before both Garokk and Sauron explode. The explosion is so huge, it can be seen all the way from space. In the aftermath, the Savage Land returns to normal, and the X-Men frantically begin to search for Rogue and Storm. Just as they are about to give up, Rogue pushes the boulders covering them off. Beast checks, and determines that Storm is unconscious, but alive. As they leave, Garokk, again a statue lying on its side states bitterly how close he was, before the statue’s eyes fade and go out. Nearby, Lykos lifts his head weakly before dropping it again. Ka-Zar recharges him by grabbing his arm, stating that Lykos need not worry about Sauron any longer now that the Savage Land is devoid of mutants. In the Blackbird, Storm apologizes to Rogue for her behavior. Rogue comforts her, telling her that she knows it was not really Storm. Storm thanks her for understanding, and tells her that she liked expressing her emotions. Never before has she felt to free.

Featured Characters: 

Beast, Jubilee, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Ka-Zar and Zabu
The Fall People

Karl Lykos/Sauron

The High Evolutionary (unnamed) (in Flashback)


During the episode, Garokk mentions an enemy who imprisoned him as statue. In the comics this enemy is known as The High Evolutionary. A brilliant geneticist who is constantly meddling in human/mutant affairs.

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