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TV Review - Marvel's X-Men '97

New episodes. New era.

X-Men '97 is a 2024 animated superhero television series created by Beau DeMayo, produced by Marvel Animation, and distributed by Disney+. The series is based off of various X-Men comics by Marvel Comics. It stars Ray Chase and Jennifer Hale. The show acts as a continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series. A second season has been confirmed.

"To me, my X-Men." - Magneto


After the death of Professor Charles Xavier, the X-Men are left figuring out how to manage themselves and continue the professor's legacy by living out his dream. However, when the mutant-killing Sentinels resurface, the X-Men are faced with their toughest challenge yet.

The Sweet

I had absolutely no interest in X-Men '97. I have never watched the animated show from the '90s. I am not the biggest fan of the X-Men movies (although some of them are great). And Marvel Disney+ does not have a good track record. I didn't watch it when it first came out. I didn't even really pay attention to the reviews. I was just bored one day and I decided to watch the first episode.

And this may be one of the biggest surprises I have ever had watching a show. X-Men '97 is not only the best Marvel show I have ever seen - it is possibly the best X-Men content I have ever seen. It is near perfect.

The best thing about this show are easily the characters. My main point of reference for the X-Men up to this point were the movies, which don't do a good job of capturing the team as a whole. The films are heavily focused on Wolverine, but that isn't really true to the comics. X-Men '97 puts Cyclops and Jean Grey front and center as the leaders of the team. They are fantastic, but the side characters are really what elevates this show. Rogue and Gambit were my personal favorites. They were bright, vibrant personalities that also had clear character arcs and traits that made them stick out. Jubilee, Morph, Beast, Storm, and, of course, Wolverine, are all incredible side characters, too. I plan to do a ranking of the X-Men '97 characters, and it is really hard, because I love so many of them.

But the best character in the show is easily, easily Magneto. That's no surprise, because Fassbender's Magneto in the films is the strongest character, but this show captures everything that Magneto should be. He isn't evil, but you can see how this broken man feels wronged by the world and takes it out in this vengeful, violent way. They balance his monstrosity with his humanity so well. All of the little complexities and nuances that make him one of Marvel's headline villains are put on display here. He is such a layered, deep character that is so rich and compelling. He's just fantastic.

X-Men '97 is also an example of how to do social commentary right. Since their debut in 1963, the X-Men have always been a metaphor for how the world treats those who are different wrong. Mutants are the subjects of discrimination and bigotry, and we see this theme done in both subtle and non-subtle ways. In no way does this commentary take away from the pure entertainment of the show - rather, it elevates it. It communicates a message about how we treat those who are different with hatred and shows how that can lead to terrible things happening all while being an animated show about a guy who shoots laser beams out of his eyes. That's when you know a show is well written. It balances the commentary and entertainment so well.

X-Men '97 is also shockingly emotional. Besides Logan and First Class, the X-Men movies never really delivered on the emotion. They oftentimes felt dull or at arms length because they were more focused on blockbuster entertainment than meaningful story and characters. X-Men '97 is the polar opposite of that. This season has some heavy elements. It gets dark. Characters that you love are not safe. As you go further into the season, you get more emotionally invested in these characters and this story, which just makes for a truly engrossing watch. There are moments in this show that rival the emotions of the best of the MCU. And that's saying something.

The animation here is also stunning. They do a similar thing here as they did in What If...? but I think it's done better here. It has a style that is reminiscent of X-Men: The Animated Series while also being updated for the modern, 3-D style of animation. And, with animation, they are able to create visceral, thrilling action sequences that will make your eyes pop.

I also love that X-Men '97 takes place in the middle of a very lived-in world. As I said before, I have not watched X-Men: The Animated Series. As a matter of fact, I have not watched any of the '90s Marvel animated shows. This season works as an entry ramp into this version of the Marvel world while also showing us that things have already happened here. Jean Grey has already become the Dark Phoenix. The X-Men have already fought Apocalypse. Other non-X-Men Marvel characters (I won't say who) already exist and have cemented places within this universe. This is how I want future Marvel content to be. We don't need to build up this one, big multiverse. I want to see one-off stories in separate universes that can have already established characters and be great.

X-Men '97 almost feels like it was made by Pixar. At their best, Pixar can deliver powerful stories that are family movies. Not kids' movies, not adults' movies. They have all this fun, exciting stuff that kids can enjoy, but they also have an engaging, emotional story that adults can follow. That's what X-Men '97 is. And that is what we have been missing from recent Disney (that includes Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, etc.).

The Sour

The main thing I disliked about X-Men '97 was how dense it was. This season could've easily been made into two seasons. There's a lot that happens here. Each episode is about thirty minutes long, but it oftentimes feels like fifty minutes of story is stuffed into a thirty minute episode. They could've either made this two seasons or given us more episodes. Certain plot lines involving Jean and Professor X are very important...but they feel glossed over because they aren't the main story. Story beats can get lost in translation because of how much is crammed into this season.

And, piggybacking off of that, I think some of the storylines don't really land. There are certain episodes that don't work. Although Storm, Jean, and Professor X are great characters, they have some weaker subplots within the show. X-Men '97 sticks very true to the comics, and, while that can be a good thing, it can also be a bad thing, because the comics get very, very weird at times.

But those are my only complaints. This show is freakin' awesome.

Final Thoughts and Score

X-Men '97 is one of the best things Marvel has put out since Endgame. It is nearly perfect.

I am going Sweet here. Age range is 8+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad) Moldy (Terrible)

"X-Men '97"

Fun Factor: 9.5/10

Acting: 7.5/10

Story: 8.5/10

Characters: 10/10

Quality: 9/10

Created by Beau DeMayo

Premiered on March 20, 2024

Rated TV-14 for superhero violence and action, frightening themes and images, thematic elements

Episode runtime: 35 minutes

Ray Chase as Scott Summers / Cyclops

Jennifer Hale as Jean Grey / Marvel Girl, Madelyne Pryor / Goblin Queen

Matthew Waterson as Erik "Magnus" Lehnsherr / Magneto

Alison Sealy-Smith as Ororo Munroe / Storm

Cal Dodd as James "Logan" Howlett / Wolverine

Lenore Zann as Anna Marie / Rogue

A.J. LoCascio as Remy LeBeau / Gambit

J.P. Karliak as Morph

George Buza as Hank McCoy / Beast

Holly Chou as Jubilation Lee / Jubilee

Isaac Robinson-Smith as Lucas Bishop

Ross Marquand as Charles Xavier / Professor X

Adrian Hough as Kurt Wagner / Nightcrawler

Gui Agustini as Roberto da Costa / Sunspot

Christopher Britton as Nathaniel Essex / Mr. Sinister

Chris Potter as Nathan Summers / Cable

Gil Birmingham as Forge

Theo James as Bastion

Catherine Disher as Valerie Cooper

Gavin Hammon as Bolivar Trask


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