What you need to know about Marvel’s new animated series

By | March 19, 2024

Marvel Studios comes full circle X Men ’97a direct continuation of the beloved X-Men: The Animated Serieswhich premiered on Fox Kids in 1992. Both shows are based on the comic book series that Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby created in 1963.

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Marvels X Men comic books were bestsellers in the 1980s before breaking sales records in the early 1990s. But it was only until X-Men: The Animated Series was a bull’s-eye that Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Rogue and the rest became widely known to the general public. Thanks to the success of the series, Fox greenlit the series in the 20th century X Men film starring Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart. Behind the scenes, a young Kevin Feige worked as an associate producer before eventually running Marvel Studios and leading the MCU.

X Men and its various sequels – in addition to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films – also helped kick off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in earnest in 2008 Iron Man. However, it took Disney’s purchase of Fox’s entertainment assets in 2019 to bring the X-Men under the control of Marvel Studios.

X Men ’97 also marks the first X-Men adaptation of any kind since 2019 Dark Phoenix, aside from the characters’ brief cameos Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness And The miracles.

Ahead of the two-episode premiere, here’s everything you need to know about the show.

Previously on X-Men…

For five seasons X-Men: The Animated Series details the team’s attempt to create a better world for both humans and mutants. However, in 1997, things took a darker turn with the series finale, “Graduation Day.” The team’s mentor and founder, Professor Charles Xavier, was publicly exposed as a mutant and fatally wounded in an assassination attempt. This sent mutant-human relations off the brink, prompting the X-Men’s frequent adversary – and one of Xavier’s best friends – Magneto, to raise an army of mutants to attack their enemies.

The X-Men were able to convince Magneto to step back from that ledge and use his powers to help them send a message into deep space to reach Xavier’s lover, Empress Lilandra of the Shi’ar. Lilandra managed to save Xavier’s life, but he had to be placed under the permanent care of the Shi’ar, leaving the X-Men on Earth to continue his legacy.

Therefore X Men ’97 begins with a new status quo for the team that takes place after the X Men series finale.

What’s happening inside X Men ’97?

X Men ’97 takes a cue from the X-Men’s comic book adventures of the mid-’80s by having Magneto join forces with the team and attempt to follow in Xavier’s footsteps as a hero. But before Magneto can be redeemed, he may have to stand trial for his crimes against humanity.

Mister Sinister will also appear early in the first season with a nasty surprise for one of the show’s main couples, Cyclops and Jean Grey. In addition, Bolivar Trask and his mutant-hunting Sentinels will return and there will be other classic villains, including Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club.

Luckily, the X-Men have some extra backup in this show. After encountering the X-Men several times in the first series, the time-traveler Bishop resides in the present as a new member of the team. Morph – who infamously died during the two-part series’ premiere in 1992 before his eventual resurrection – is also back on the team.

Season 1 consists of 10 episodes, with the first two episodes releasing on March 20. The next eight episodes will be released weekly on Wednesdays.

Who voices the X-Men?

Many of the remaining voice cast members return for X Men ’97, starring Cal Dodd as Wolverine; Lenore Zann as Rogue; George Buza as the beast; Alison Sealy-Smith as Storm; Adrian Hough as Nightcrawler and Christopher Britton as Mister Sinister.

Newcomers to the cast include Ray Chase as Cyclops, Jennifer Hale as Jean Grey, JP Karliak as Morph, AJ LoCascio as Gambit, Holly Chou as Jubilee, Isaac Robinson-Smith as Bishop, Matthew Waterson as Magneto, Gui Agustini as Sunspot, Gil Birmingham as Forge, and Ross Marquand as Professor Charles Xavier.

Theo James also has a mysterious role in the show that has not yet been revealed.

Changes behind the scenes

Since X Men ’97 was announced in 2021, executive producer and head writer Beau DeMayo is one of the show’s most prominent advocates, providing fans with regular updates on the series’ progress. DeMayo had previously written for Marvel’s Moon Knight series and also contributed to early versions of the upcoming Sheet Restart. That’s why it was shocking when Marvel ended DeMayo earlier this month.

Beau DeMayo Beau DeMayo

Beau DeMayo at San Diego Comic-Con 2022. (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney)

DeMayo had been actively involved in promoting the series premiere of X Men ’97 and was working on early plans for the show’s future when he was fired. DeMayo has since deleted his Instagram account, skipped the series’ world premiere in LA and declined to comment on his departure. Similarly, Marvel Studios has also refrained from discussing the topic of DeMayo’s departure.

Marvel Studio’s head of streaming, TV and animation told Variety that DeMayo “did an excellent job” on the show.

“I can’t wait for fans to see the series,” said Winderbaum. “The entire team came together to create a revival worthy of the X-Men’s 60-year legacy. From Stan and Jack, to Claremont, to the Lewalds, we all truly stood on the shoulders of giants.”

Will there be a season 2? X Men ’97?

Marvel confirmed the second season of X Men ’97 was in the works in 2022. At Comic-Con 2023, DeMayo told Marvel’s official site that he was “writing the season 2 finale.”

The question now is whether there will be a third season. Since DeMayo had completed his work on the first two seasons, a new showrunner would have to be hired if Season 3 picks up.

The first two episodes of X Men ’97 streaming March 20 on Disney+.

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