Is Marvel’s X-Men ’97 the Perfect Revival Series?

Will Disney be able to strike gold twice with season 2?

Is Marvel’s X-Men ’97 the Perfect Revival Series?

The perfect blend of nostalgia and storytelling.

Marvel has been having a lot of trouble with their storytelling capabilities as of late. While they have been producing more content than ever, much of it isn’t meeting the audience’s expectations. Luckily, their new series X-Men ’97 is receiving glowing reviews and may just be the best animated comic series of a generation.

While animated series tend to be outshined by their live action counterparts, X-Men ’97 seems to be the exception to this rule. The series is blowing away expectations and creating an unprecedented amount of buzz across social media platforms. With some fans stating that this may be the greatest X-Men project ever created.

(L-R): Jubilee (voiced by Holly Chou), Morph (voiced by JP Karliak), Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd), Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith), Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase), Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann), Jean Grey (voiced by Jennifer Hale), Gambit (voiced by AJ LaCascio), Bishop (voiced by Isaac Robinson-Smith), and Beast (voiced by George Buza) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL.

X-Men ’97 takes place one year after the conclusion of X-Men: The Animated Series. As always, the series explores themes of racism, prejudice, and acceptance. The main goal is a peaceful union between the mutants and the human population. However, this series isn’t afraid to get into the darker elements of the comic book series.

To Me, My X-Men. - Cyclops

While the series provides a serious blast of nostalgia, it isn’t bound to its 90s roots. X-Men ’97 forges its own path as it explores the beloved characters and themes of X-Men lore. You don’t need to watch the five seasons of X-Men: The Animated Series, or know anything about these beloved comic book characters to understand what’s going on.

However, for those who are already familiar with X-Men lore, X-Men ’97 is filled with easter eggs and references for you to enjoy. The series does an amazing job of taking the long comic book arcs and condensing them down into single episodes. Although it isn’t as detailed as the comic series, these episodes provide a great primer for the events that take place in the Marvel Universe.

One of the most impressive feats of X-Men ’97 is just how much time and detail is given to each comic book character. This series manages to cram over 50 comic book characters into ten episodes and all of them feel fully fleshed out and released by its completion.

X-Men ’97 isn't content to just use well known heroes such as Wolverine, Storm, Magneto, and Professor X. They even include lesser known heroes such as Sunspot, Marrow, Banshee, and Gladiator. Watching a single episode of X-Men ’97 can provide audiences with a wealth of new and interesting comic book characters to explore.

Another important aspect of X-Men ’97 is its retro animation style. Studio Mir and Tiger Animations managed to keep the 90s animation style the original series used while making it cleaner and more stylish. The result is a world that feels alive and pops with beautiful style. This style of animation allows each superpower to feel unique and powerful.

Unlike the action driven plots of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, X-Men ’97 is more akin to a slow burn drama. This isn’t to say there isn’t loads of action, there definitely is, it's just that this series takes its time laying everything out throughout the season. Each episode provides enough world building and character development to really enthrall the audience. Keeping us on the edge of our seats as we watch the Mutants fight for equality in an unfair and uncaring world.

X-Men ’97 has managed to shock the world with its release. No one would have imagined that this animated reboot could be this good. Now, the real question is, will Disney be able to keep this up for a second season? Or, will it crumble under the pressure like so many shows that have come before it?

Cameron McFarland | Contributing Writer

Covering all things sci-fi, horror, gaming, and tech with an old-school, retro twist. Welcome to Sci-Fi 3D. We were geek…before it was cool!

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