Summary

  • X-Men ’97 has the advantage of adapting Marvel Comics storylines that would be challenging for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
  • The reboot can explore omitted or post-original series stories and be more effective than the MCU in terms of narrative.
  • The release of the X-Men ’97 trailer hints at the continuation of the original series’ impressive legacy, teasing several possible stories to be explored.

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Marvel's X-Tinction Agenda event, X-Men and X-Factor Covers side by side

X-Men ’97 is in a privileged position to adapt storylines from Marvel Comics that the Marvel Cinematic Universe would struggle with. X-Men ’97 will continue the classic X-Men: The Animated Series, which was known for its incredible and faithful story adaptations. However, several great stories were omitted from the original series or were released afterward. Many of these would be ideal for X-Men ’97 and could function more effectively than they would in the MCU.

X-Men ’97 is Marvel’s reboot of the classic X-Men: The Animated Series which ran from 1992-1997. While produced by Marvel Animation, X-Men ’97 is considered strictly separate from the MCU timeline, and, as such, benefits from a privileged position, exploring narratives with fewer canonical consequences. With the X-Men ’97 trailer released, several possible stories have been teased, continuing the original’s impressive legacy.

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10 X-Tinction Agenda

1990 Crossover Event In Uncanny X-Men, The New Mutants, and X-Factor

Marvel's X-Tinction Agenda event, X-Men and X-Factor Covers side by side

“X-Tinction Agenda!” is a gripping Marvel storyline that intertwines X-Men, X-Factor, and the New Mutants in a battle against the oppressive Genoshan government. The narrative delves into themes of discrimination, identity, and the price of freedom – these which X-Men ’97 is primed to explore after setting up several aspects in X-men: TAS – such as Genosha’s role in season 1, episode 7 “Slave Island.” It would allow for an examination of the moral dilemmas and a diverse range of mutants and introduce further X-Men teams. Its multi-layered plot would provide ample material for engaging stories in the X-Men reboot.

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9 Rachel Summers

First Appeared In The Uncanny x-Men #141

Rachel Summers in chains in Marvel Comics

Rachel Summers, also known as Phoenix and Prestige, possesses a compelling narrative arc ripe for adaptation in X-Men ’97. As the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey from an alternate future, Rachel grapples with her identity and the weight of her lineage. Her journey involves time travel (a classic feature in X-Men: TAS), battles against formidable foes such as the Shadow King, and her struggle to control her immense psychic powers. With The Phoenix Saga covered perfectly in X-Men: TAS, Rachel could provide further exploration of the Phoenix Force and its consequences.

8 The Onslaught Saga

A 1996 Crossover Event In Avengers, Fantastic Four, X-Men, & Onslaught

X-Men villain Onslaught standing with outstretched arm

Onslaught, a formidable amalgamation of Professor X and Magneto’s consciousness, presents a compelling narrative opportunity for X-Men ’97. With the established dynamic between Magneto and Professor X, the series is uniquely positioned to explore the complexities of their relationship and the consequences of their combined power. Onslaught’s storyline delved into the psychological struggle of the X-Men as they confront their mentor’s dark side, leading to intense battles and profound character development. Onslaught could make a compelling villain in X-Men ’97, though this would require Xavier’s return from space, as depicted in the X-Men: TAS finale, “Graduation Day.”

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7 House Of M

A 2005 Storyline Across Numerous Marvel Titles

The “House of M” storyline, with its intricate plot and high-stakes drama, is ideal for adaptation in X-Men ’97. While it’s been rumored as a potential entry point for mutants into the MCU, its complexity might be better suited for animation. The narrative’s focus on the Scarlet Witch altering reality and threatening mutants’ place in the world offers rich storytelling potential. Wanda’s reality-warping powers would thrive in an animated format, particularly with the character’s relationship with her father, Magneto, established in X-Men: TAS. “House of M” is one of the biggest X-Men stories to have occurred after X-Men: TAS concluded.

6 Messiah War

2009 Crossover In X-Force/Cable: Messiah War, Cable, & X-Force

Hope Summers in Marvel Comics X-Men

X-Men‘s “Messiah War” storyline offers a dynamic and action-packed narrative perfectly for X-Men ’97. With its focus on time travel, dystopian futures, and a battle for the fate of mutantkind, the story provides ample opportunity for imaginative animation, exploring similar territory to X-Men: TAS. “Messiah War” would include a return from Cable, a classic X-Men: TAS character, and would facilitate introducing Hope Summers. Hope’s narrative as the potential savior of mutants would offer a compelling continuation of several X-Men: TAS stories, including Apocalypse, Archangel, and Bishop. With this back story “Messiah War” could flourish in X-Men ’97.

5 Cyclops, Jean Grey, & Emma Frost Love Triangle

Story Began In New X-Men #128

The love triangle between Jean Grey, Cyclopes, and Emma Frost was a compelling narrative that X-Men ’97 could adapt. Jean Grey’s longstanding relationship is tested when Emma Frost becomes involved with Cyclops. Frost even uses her telepathic powers to project Jean’s image into Cyclops’ mind to seduce him. Emma Frost appeared throughout X-Men: TAS‘s “The Dark Phoenix Saga” adaptation but was sadly underutilized in the rest of the series. Frost’s attempts to seduce Cyclops would be a compelling way to evolve the character. X-Men ’97 could depict the consequences of this across multiple episodes in a way an X-Men movie couldn’t.

4 Bastion in Operation: Zero Tolerance

A 1997 X-Men Crossover Event From Generation X, X-Force, X-Men (Vol. 2), Wolverine, Cable, & X-Man 30

Bastion standing in the rain as an X-Men villain.

Bastion, a ruthless anti-human Sentinel hybrid, stands as a formidable foe introduced in the X-Men comics crossover event “Operation: Zero Tolerance.” His relentless pursuit of mutant eradication and advanced technology would make him a compelling antagonist for X-Men ’97. Bastion’s complex backstory as a human/Sentinel hybrid infused with Nimrod’s programming would continue the Sentinel narrative arc established in X-Men: TAS. The X-Men crossover event “Operation: Zero Tolerance” would be the perfect way to introduce Bastion into X-Men ’97. Exploiting the years of Sentinel lore established in X-Men: TAS, X-Men ’97 could explore the character more completely.

3 Madelyne Pryor

First Appeared In Uncanny X-Men #168

Madelyne Pryor’s compelling story from Marvel Comics offers a perfect blend of intrigue and tragedy for adaptation into X-Men ’97. As a clone of Jean Grey manipulated by Mister Sinister, her narrative is rife with themes of identity, betrayal, and redemption. X-Men: TAS never introduced Madelyne Pryor, who was a prominent character in X-Men comics. Madelyne was introduced after Jean Grey seemingly died in “The Dark Phoenix Saga.” After marrying and having a son with Scott Summer, she was immediately abandoned upon Jean’s return, triggering her descent into villainy. With complex themes, Madelyne’s demonic corruption would be perfectly adapted in animation.

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2 Professor Xavier In Space

As Per X-Men: The Animated Series Season 5, Episode 10 “Graduation Day”

The X-Men gather to watch Professor X head to space for medical treatment in X-Men: The Animated Series

The final episode of X-Men: TAS depicted Charles Xavier being gravely injured. This prompted his long-term romantic partner, Lillandra, to take him into Shi’ar medical care, forever leaving Earth to live in Space. Xavier also travels into Space in Marvel Comics, living for a time as Lillandra’s Consort Royal. Depicting Xavier’s adventures in Space would be a heartwarming way to continue X-Men: TAS‘s legacy in X-Men ’97. With the X-Men‘s uncertain position in the MCU, the animated series is in a unique position to depict such a specific story, exploring a smaller, more concise narrative than a movie could.

1 Days Of Future Present

From The 1990 Annuals For Fantastic Four, X-Factor, New Mutants, and The Uncanny X-Men

Rachel Summers and an adult Franklin Richards are attacked in Marvel Comics.

“Days of Future Present” was a sequel to the classic The Uncanny X-Men story “Days of Future Past.” It continued the alternative future and a time-travel narrative featuring Franklin Richard’s – Reed Richards and Susan Storm’s mutant son. The consequences of such a narrative in the MCU would be far too great to depict in a live-action movie, but X-Men ’97 would be the perfect place to depict the story. Given X-Men: 97‘s established foundation and freedom from live-action continuity constraints, it can fully realize the story’s depth and deliver a captivating tale from X-Men history.

X-Men 97 Disney Plus TV Series Poster

X-Men ’97

Release Date
March 20, 2024

Cast
Jennifer Hale , Chris Potter , Alison Sealy-Smith , Lenore Zann , Cal Dodd , Catherine Disher , Adrian Hough , Ray Chase , Chris Britton , George Buza

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+

Key Release Dates

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