• Marvel Studios’
    X-Men ’97
    introduced Nathan Summers, the son of Scott Summers’ Cyclops and Jean Grey.
  • X-Men ’97
    may have changed Nathan Summers’ origin story, as he is the son of Cyclops and Jean Grey’s clone in Marvel Comics.
  • Nathan Summers grows up to be Cable, who debuted in
    X-Men: The Animated Series
    season 1.



Marvel Studios’ X-Men ’97 just reworked the origin story of one of Marvel’s most powerful mutants, 34 years after he first appeared as a time-traveling mercenary in Marvel Comics. Following Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox in 2019, Marvel Studios gained the rights to produce projects featuring Marvel Comics’ mutant characters, including the X-Men team. After the success of the animated MCU series, What If…?, Marvel Studios began work on a revival of X-Men: The Animated Series, which previously ran for five seasons between 1992 and 1997, and the highly-anticipated X-Men ’97 finally premiered on Disney+ on March 20, 2024.

X-Men ’97 kicked-off with a double premiere in March 2024, set one year after Professor X left Earth in the finale of 1997’s X-Men: The Animated Series season 5. Many members of The Animated Series’voice cast returned for X-Men ’97, bringing popular characters, including Cyclops, Jean Grey, Wolverine and Beast, back to life as if no time had passed. The first two episodes saw Magneto assume control of the X-Men in Professor X’s absence, and featured the X-Men continuing their fight for mutant civil rights, but X-Men ’97 episode 2, “Mutant Liberation Begins”, also debuted an exciting new character.


All 15 Marvel Easter Eggs & References In X-Men ’97 Episode 1 & 2

X-Men ’97’s premiere is here with the first two episodes, featuring a collection of exciting Easter eggs to the comics and original animated series.

Who Is Nathan Summers In Marvel Comics?

Cable with bulky armor in Marvel Comics

X-Men ’97 episode 2 saw Jean Grey give birth to her and Scott Summers, a.k.a. Cyclops’, son, Nathan Charles Summers. Nathan Summers made his first appearance in Marvel Comics as a newborn baby in 1986’s The Uncanny X-Men #201, but is perhaps better known by his superhuman alter ego, Cable, who first appeared in 1990’s The New Mutants #87. As an infant, Nathan Summers was inflicted with a techno-virus, leading to him being sent into a future timeline where he could be treated. He grew up to be the fierce warrior known as Cable, enemy to powerful X-Men villain Apocalypse.

Cable later returned to the present day and battled alongside the X-Men, including his parents, Jean Grey and Scott Summers, and even established his own X-Force team from the New Mutants group, and became an on-again, off-again ally to Wade Wilson’s Deadpool. However, Jean Grey wasn’t actually Nathan Summers’ mother, as he had been born to Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor, a clone of Jean Grey created by the formidable villain Mister Sinister, who intended Nathan to be the perfect living weapon. Nathan Summers’ debut in X-Men ’97 could hint at this origin being changed for the animated series, however.

Cable made his live-action debut, portrayed by Josh Brolin, in 2018’s
Deadpool 2
, set in Fox’s

How X-Men ’97 Changes Nathan Summers’ Marvel Origin

Indeed, audiences will need to wait for further episodes of X-Men ’97 to release to find out whether Marvel Studios is sticking to Nathan Summers’ Marvel Comics backstory. However, it’s possible that X-Men ’97 may have changed the Madelyne Pryor storyline, as there’s been no hint of the series’ version of Jean Grey being a creation of Mister Sinister. In Marvel Comics, Pryor meets Scott Summers in the wake of Jean Grey’s death during the Dark Phoenix Saga, and the pair spend a great deal of time establishing their relationship before Nathan was born, which X-Men ’97 has already altered.

X-Men: The Animated Series ended with Jean Grey still alive, so it could be assumed that X-Men ’97’s Jean Grey was, in fact, her, and not Madelyne Pryor. Marvel Studios may have changed Cable’s backstory to make his mother Jean Grey, rather than her clone, especially since this version has all of Jean Grey’s memories, though the appearance of a second Jean Grey in X-Men ’97 episode 2 may have confused this even further. Mister Sinister had a large role in X-Men: The Animated Series’ final season, so it’s certainly possible he could have been scheming this entire time, however.


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Cable’s X-Men: The Animated Series History Explained

Cable with Beast in X-Men The Animated Series

Since X-Men ’97 is continuing the story of X-Men: The Animated Series, viewers have actually already met Nathan Summers, only in his future, adult form. Cable made his first appearance in X-Men: The Animated Series season 1, episode 7, “Slave Island”, which saw Storm, Gambit and Jubilee learn the mutant haven of Genosha wasn’t the idyllic setting it claimed to be. In The Animated Series, Cable, voiced by Lawrence Bayne and Chris Potter, never got the chance to investigate his origins, though Marvel Comics’ X-Men ’92 in 2015 explored these, but its unclear how canon this is to the series.

In Marvel Comics’ X-Men ’92, Cable was revealed to be a clone of the combined DNA of Jean Grey and Scott Summers, created by Mister Sinister to help in the battle against Apocalypse. However, with Nathan Summers’ birth being explored in X-Men ’97, it’s possible that this comic story might not actually be considered canon to the animated series. Cable aided the X-Men many times throughout The Animated Series’ five seasons, so it’s exciting that his backstory may now be explored in X-Men ’97, though it remains to be seen how close to Marvel Comics’ history this will actually be.

X-Men 97 Disney Plus TV Series Poster

X-Men ’97

X-Men ’97 is the direct continuation of the popular 1990s animated series X-Men: The Animated Series. Taking up where the third season left off, Marvel’s revival brings back famous mutants such as Wolverine, Storm, Rogue, Gambit, Cyclops, Beast, Magneto, and Nightcrawler, who fight villains like Mr. Sinister, the Sentinels, and the Hellfire Club.

Release Date
March 20, 2024

Streaming Service(s)

Key Release Dates

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