Quick Links

X-Men ’97 Could Introduce Uncanny X-Force X-Men ’97 Could Do Its Own Take on the Dark X-Men X-Men ’97 Is Doing What the MCU Failed To Do

The following contains major spoilers for X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 5, “Remember It,” now streaming on Disney+.

One of the main concerns of X-Men ’97 Season 1 is how much belief Professor Xavier’s mutants have in mankind. No matter how many times these mutants save citizens and nations, people constantly turn against them. This anti-mutant sentiment continues to be explored through villains like the Friends of Humanity.

Episode 5, “Remember It,” is poised to test the relationship between X-Men and the outside world in a big way. With a massive genocide having occurred on Genosha, the stage is set for mutants to really tap into their dark sides. In the process, X-Men ’97 could take a macabre turn and unleash two of Marvel’s bloodiest teams.


X-Men ’97’s Adversary, Explained

X-Men ’97 Episode 4 introduces a supernatural entity known as the Adversary, but who exactly is this dangerous, mystical threat to the merry mutants?

The X-Force squad spun out of the New Mutants in the early 1990s. Cable led this team against villains like the Mutant Liberation Front. They were more field soldiers than diplomats. In time, they would transition into a more terrifying black-ops team, with Cyclops setting them loose to find Cable and Hope Summers in the Messiah Complex and Second Coming arcs. Many mutants have been swapped into the team, but one constant remained: they were meant to get their hands dirty and achieve the job by any means necessary.

Cyclops admitted that he would disavow them when they became the deadlier Uncanny X-Force. However, with Wolverine aka Logan marshaling the troops, not only did Cyclops have plausible deniability, he had the perfect leader in Logan. In time, Logan secretly kept the team running, admitting even Cyclops couldn’t cross certain lines. But characters like X-23, Fantomex, Deadpool and Archangel could. They charted some of Marvel’s most brutal missions, going after villains like Apocalypse, the Deathlok Nation and Daken’s Brotherhood of Mutants. It didn’t matter who died on the job, or if the enemies were humans, mutants, machines, aliens, as long as the job was completed.

Season 1 of X-Men ’97 positions Cyclops to fall into this bitter, enraged mode, knowing he has to go under-the-radar to truly protect mutants. This is evident when he lashes out in an interview in the first act, admitting humanity has always been jealous, ungrateful and toxic towards his kind. He is angry about how a doctor refused to help at Nathan Summers’ birth. It’s the mark of a tired, frustrated father who had to send his son to the future, but also, a very impatient hero. He can’t stand the way his personal and professional lives are being scrutinized, especially by people he knows will always be intolerant to him. Cyclops even boasts about mutants’ power and why they allow humanity to live.

With Sentinels killing so many mutants in the Genosha ambush, including his beloved Madelyne Pryor, it’s easy to see Cyclops putting his Scott Summers identity aside and falling more into the military leader that Charles Xavier may have been restraining when he was around. Cyclops can commission X-Force to hunt down the villain Cable teased that caused the slaughter. Scott has Wolverine to deploy, plus this is a chance to bring in new faces such as Fantomex or other Magneto acolytes who would want revenge for his demise.

Mystique would be a prime candidate as she hates the Friends of Humanity, Sentinels, and anyone who would leave her children — Rogue and Nightcrawler — near-death. Uncanny X-Force has always been about using heroes and villains as weapons with no quandaries about morals and ethics. Cyclops doesn’t trust the world anymore, paving the way for this team to become his revenge squad.

X-Men ’97 Could Do Its Own Take on the Dark X-Men


X-Men ’97’s Abscissa, Explained

X-Men ’97 Episode 4 introduces a huge change for Jubilee, thanks to the introduction of a seedy, cool character named Abscissa. But who is she?

The Dark X-Men came into play during Norman Osborn’s Dark Reign. Emma Frost wanted to ensure she was cool with Norman, who was running H.A.M.M.E.R. and America. Emma wanted to protect mutants via shady projects, making this team her version of Uncanny X-Force. Emma used Wolverine, Namor, Mimic, Omega, and even Dark Beast — all mutants with a gripe against humanity.

Emma is part of the Genosha council when the attack occurs in Episode 5 of X-Men ’97. With her Hellfire Club colleague, Sebastian Shaw, killed, this is a chance to become the White Queen once more. Emma may well decide she needs her own X-Men to do things her way. She doesn’t have a romantic bond with Scott in this animated series, as he is tangled up in a love triangle with his Jean and Madelyne. This frees Emma up to evolve past the Hellfire Club and stop answering to men.

Fans have long-clamored for Emma to have a bigger role in X-Men ’97. This freshens the narrative up and positions her as the new Magneto — someone who can’t be reasoned with, not by any members of the X-Men, or even Valerie Cooper and the United Nations. Emma set aside her ego to forge this alliance with Genosha, so one can only imagine how much rage she has to unleash. Conversely, should Madelyne survive, she can also start her own team, with or without Scott’s approval.

2023 saw Madelyne embrace her Goblin Queen persona even more as the leader in Marvel’s new Dark X-Men comics. She used a team, which included Havok (Cyclops’ brother) and Azazel, to murder Orchis’ troops for the attack on the Hellfire Gala. With X-Men ’97 embarking on a similar road, the stage is set for someone to wed the ideas Xavier and Magneto had with their respective teams, creating a Dark X-Men that won’t have an issue retaliating against humanity in the name of respect and survival.

X-Men ’97 Is Doing What the MCU Failed To Do


X-Men ’97 Fixes the New Mutants’ Movie Mistake

X-Men ’97 Episode 3 unleashes a visceral horror episode that remixes and improves what Josh Boone’s New Mutants movie attempted to do in 2020.

This mutant massacre on Genosha proves that X-Men ’97 Season 1 is ready to accomplish what the Marvel Cinematic Universe couldn’t. The MCU still doesn’t feel like it has high stakes, outside Black Widow and Iron Man’s sacrifices. There was even chatter that these original characters could be revived. Just the notion of that, or the older Steve Rogers being alive in the present, feels like the MCU can’t let go. Nostalgia with these familiar faces can be a double-edged sword, but properties need to move on from the past and work on building a stronger future.

Death is a natural part of life, and should be reflected in stories. X-Men ’97 gets this, which is why it has the emotional massacre occur. It’s about moving forward to tell a new story, rather than be bogged down by its own history. This approach helps in terms of growth and character development, illustrating that heroes can organically become disenchanted and make human decisions. The MCU is more about idealistic solutions and keeping their heroes as true blues. However, just like Marvel has done in the comics with Cyclops or Xavier, the door is always open for the oppressed to fight back in questionable ways.

There isn’t a group in the Marvel universe that’s more oppressed than mutants. The X-Men aren’t Avengers for that reason. They don’t police the world — they’re just trying to take care of their own kind. It goes beyond personal differences between Captain America and Iron Man, and if superhero identities should remain hidden. Those are small in the grand scheme of things. The X-Men by contrast are literally fighting for a reason to exist and not just to play ball in optics and politics.

Ultimately, X-Men ’97 subverting the Children of the Atom can tell elevated stories about the X-Men no longer wanting to be symbols for the world. Instead, they just want to inspire hope within their own communities, which builds naturally to a fighting, rebellious spirit that even Xavier cannot refute in such perilous, discriminatory times. X-Men ’97’s Genosha is that nail in the coffin that emphasizes that the gloves have to be taken off if mutants are to remain alive.

X-Men ’97 streams Wednesdays on Disney+.

X-Men ’97

X-Men ’97  is a continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series (1992).

“}]] X-Men ’97 Episode 5 has a horrific tragedy occur that could be the catalyst for a series of revenge-driven killers to emerge to defend mutants.  Read More