Summary

  • X-Men ’97 introduces new hero Sunspot, potentially bridging MCU plot threads for a seamless live-action debut in the near future.
  • Despite being self-contained, X-Men ’97 has become Marvel’s highest-rated show, emphasizing the importance of drawing inspiration from its success.
  • Sunspot and the New Mutants offer a route for Marvel to unite disparate MCU groups and tell compelling stories, bringing back cohesion to the franchise.



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The newest hero to team up with the X-Men in X-Men ’97 may hold the key to having the MCU reconnect its myriad plot threads and characters. X-Men ’97 began streaming in mid-March and has already made its mark on Marvel’s streaming offerings in a big way, which is a positive sign for the studio’s handling of the team ahead of their live-action debuts in the MCU. The show continues the story of the beloved animated series of the 1990s and features many of the same characters but begins introducing new ones in the first episode alone.


As it stands, X-Men ’97 is not a part of the MCU and will, therefore, present a self-contained story that does not impact the MCU’s history. Despite this, the show is Marvel’s highest-rated ever production, and the studio could stand to draw inspiration from the team that seems to have struck a chord with audiences worldwide. In that regard, Sunspot, and the team with which he most commonly associated, the New Mutants, could be a key takeaway for the MCU.

Related

X-Men ’97 Review: This Really Is The Next Step In Evolution For Marvel’s Beloved Show

27 years after The Animated Series ended, X-Men ’97 takes the original further, adding freshness without betraying anything that made us love it.


Why Sunspot & The New Mutants Would Be Great For MCU’s Current Timeline


X-Men 97 Disney Plus TV Series Poster

X-Men ’97

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

Release Date
March 20, 2024

Seasons
1

Streaming Service(s)
Disney+

Sunspot is a founding member of the New Mutants, a team contrived in the 1980s by Marvel to represent the X-Mansion’s teenage contingent of mutants and the deep and angst-ridden stories they come with. Short of being merely a spin-off team, however, the New Mutants and their members would go on to tie together multiple facets of the MCU in ways the original X-Men never did. Since their arrival, the team has associated closely with separate spheres of Marvel including Asgard, Marvel’s cosmic heroes, the Avengers, and, of course, the X-Men.

A critically lambasted New Mutants movie has already been released, though as it did so within Fox’s X-Men franchise, the MCU is free to bring an entirely new take on the team in whichever way fits the MCU narrative best.


Currently, these spheres are still relatively disparate within the MCU, considering the Multiverse Saga has already passed the halfway mark. Aside from the rumored MCU debut of several of Fox’s X-Men in Deadpool & Wolverine, the arrival of the X-Men and how they are planned to interact with the Avengers and several other contingents of the MCU is still mired in mystery. Sunspot and the New Mutants represent a route through which Marvel can begin joining these groups together while serving up some of the most compelling stories from the comic books all the while.

Why The MCU Needs To Bring Its Story Elements Back Together


Since the Avengers’ leaders, Tony Stark and Steve Rogers, made their departure after the Infinity Saga, the MCU has never been more disconnected. Though the looming threat of superhero fatigue threatens to turn audiences off keeping abreast of every MCU story, the cohesiveness required to maximize investment in its grand finale is not as strong as it was for the Infinity Saga. For one thing, the MCU hasn’t had a coherent Avengers team in which to invest since 2019.

In the absence of the Avengers, the MCU instead seems to be exploring other teams, such as the Thunderbolts, whose eponymous movie is set to release in 2025 and joins together the miscreants of the MCU in a manner akin to DC’s Suicide Squad. Ms. Marvel, meanwhile, has finally begun assembling the Young Avengers in earnest. This is a positive sign for an MCU that is in danger of losing even more investment from its audiences.

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