Bastion – X-Men ’97’s New Obsession: The Destroying Power of the Sentinels Assassin

X-Men ’97 episode 7 just revealed the powerful arch-villain to plague the remaining three episodes of the season, with his origins giving some clues.

A close up of Bastion's eyes squinting in X-Men '97

Warning: This article contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 episode 7.

Despite X-Men ’97 episode 6 revealing that Mister Sinister was manipulating Bolivar Trask, episode 7 has revealed the real villain pulling the strings, and his origins and powers suggest that the animated series is about to conclude on a dark Marvel storyline. While the world is reeling from the events of X-Men ’97 episode 5, many theories surrounding who was responsible for the death of so many X-Men have emerged. Cassandra Nova, who orchestrated a similar massacre on Genosha in Marvel Comics, was among the prime contenders, but X-Men ’97 episode 7, “Bright Eyes,” has put this theory to bed.

Bright Eyes” depicts the funeral of Gambit following his self-sacrifice to destroy the Wild Sentinel Master Mold, and Rogue going rogue in pursuit of the man she deems responsible for it, Bolivar Trask. The mutants eventually reconvene in Madripoor, revealing that Trask’s designs have been vastly altered to produce a kind of sentinel far worse than the monster seen on Genosha. The true mastermind is later revealed to be a villain in cahoots with Sinister, but with a far more threatening plan to eradicate mutants.

The final three episodes of X-Men ’97 will be released in three parts, all entitled ” Tolerance is Extinction .”

X-Men ’97’s Bastion Is The Real Villain

Bastion smiles in X-Men '97

Mister Sinister is one of the most prevalent villains throughout the X-Men animated series, which made his apparent emergence as the mastermind behind the Genoshan massacre somewhat underwhelming. Thankfully, episode 7 quashed this by having Bastion emerge in the second half of the episode. After killing Henry Gyrich, Bastion would later join up with and chastise Sinister for his repeated failures to defeat the X-Men. He also reveals his awareness of Professor X’s survival, before rounding off the episode by interacting with a captive Magneto, who has apparently survived the events of Genosha.

Bastion’s debut pays off a series of clues littered throughout X-Men ’97 episode 6. While the mutant massacre hinted at the designs of Cassandra Nova, supervising Director Jake Castorena quickly quelled theories that she would emerge as the arch-villain. Cable’s futile attempts to warn the mutants on Genosha also stated that “he” was coming, suggesting the villain would be male. Finally, Forge’s refrigerator in episode 6 featured a picture of Bastion’s costume from Marvel Comics, which also indicates a connection between the two characters in the show.

Bastion Marvel Comics Origin Explained

Bastion in Marvel Comics' Operation Zero Tolerance

In Marvel Comics, the Master Mold absorbed the systems of an immensely powerful Sentinel prototype from another universe: Nimrod. The resulting beast was far too powerful for the X-Men to defeat, causing them to force the entity through the Siege Perilous, a pan-dimensional portal that grants those who step through it a new life. Bastion emerged from this portal as Sebastion Gilberti, an ostensibly human version of the two sentinels, completely devoid of memory of the life that came before.

As a human-sentinel hybrid, Bastion was raised as Sebastion Gilberti before his hatred of mutants eventually arose from his innate sentinel makeup. This would lead him to form Operation: Zero Tolerance (OZT), the mysterious strike force depicted in “Bright Eyes” as Rogue and her fellow X-Men attempt to decipher its origins. Bastion would then create the Prime Sentinels, which were also seen in X-Men ’97 episode 7, which comprise humans imbued with nanotechnology. This particular brand of sentinels uses unwitting humans as sleeper agents, with their nanotech weaponry posing a significant threat to the X-Men and mutants in general.

How Powerful Is Bastion?

Zombie Bolivar Trask smiles with glowing yellow eyes in X-Men '97

The human-sentinel hybrid, Bastion, is kitted out with cybernetic enhancements that can pose as much of a threat to mutants as the most powerful sentinels. This includes adapting to myriad mutant abilities – stemming from Nimrod – while displaying the typical bevy of perks that come with extremely advanced cybernetic enhancements, including superhuman strength, agility, and durability. Bastion’s true power, however, stems from his control over the OZT strike force and the Prime Sentinels, which Beast described in “Bright Eyes” as bearing technology “light years ahead” of modern examples.

In the comics, Bastion’s cybernetics and exposure to the techno-organic virus that infected Nathan Summers allow him to extend direct control over sentinels and other mechanical devices. He is also able to reanimate dead bodies, as he seemed to do with Trask in X-Men ’97, using the same virus. The true extent of his power can be seen in his holding Magneto captive – a feat that indicates just how powerful Bastion can be – while the episode seems to be headed toward his eventual defeat of Charles Xavier himself.

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