Of all the new animated projects announced during last fall’s Disney+ Day event, X-Men ’97 easily took the cake as the one that fans were most excited to hear more about. And today, they finally got their wish. As expected, the long-awaited revival of X-Men: The Animated Series was the crown jewel of Friday’s SDCC panel focusing on Marvel Studios’ ongoing foray into animation. But when the producers screened new footage from the upcoming show, it really got the nostalgic juices flowing.
Just announced at #SDCC2022:
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) July 22, 2022
Sadly, Marvel isn’t releasing the footage online. But according to several outlets, the clip showed a long-haired Magneto wearing a sleeveless purple costume with a big “M” on the front. Gizmodo observes that this suit is likely inspired by the character’s look from the mid-’80s, when he abandoned his quest for mutant domination and tried to become a hero instead. So perhaps it’s fitting that the clip also introduced Magneto as the X-Men’s new leader, setting the stage for big things to come.
This shocking development appears to pick up right where the flagship X-Men series left off in 1997. In the original series finale, Henry Peter Gyrich attacked Professor Xavier with an energy weapon, destabilizing his psychic powers and leaving him in a coma. Faced with no other option, the X-Men turned to Magneto. The mutants’ longtime nemesis was able to help them contact the Shi’ar empress Lilandra, who left Earth with the professor in order to keep him alive. Many fans theorized that X-Men ’97 would open with the team venturing off-planet to reunite with Xavier. Regardless, this doesn’t seem to be the plan (yet).
Another unfinished scene showed the X-Men fighting Sentinels while the original series’ theme music played in the background. Plus, the creators revealed updated character designs for supporting mutants like Nightcrawler, Cable, Forge, Bishop, Morph, and Sunspot. Morlock leader Callisto and government agent Val Cooper will appear in the series as well. We can also anticipate the return of Mister Sinister and Hellfire Club members Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw.
By and large, it sounds like the show will stay true to the look and feel of what made its predecessor so much fun to watch on Saturday mornings back in the ‘90s. But needless to say, the real stars are the classic lineup of Cyclops, Wolverine, Jean Grey, Rogue, Beast, Storm, and Gambit. As if this wasn’t exciting enough, the producers also confirmed that a second season is currently in the works.
Most of the surviving cast members from the original series are reprising their roles in X-Men ’97. Returning performers include Cal Dodd (Wolverine), Lenore Zann (Rogue), George Buza (Beast), Catherine Disher (Jean Grey), Chris Potter (Gambit), Alison Sealy-Smith (Storm), Adrian Hough (Nightcrawler), and Christopher Britton (Mister Sinister). New actors are voicing Cyclops and Magneto to replace Norm Spencer and David Hemblen, who both died in 2020. Another OG cast member, Alyson Court, previously confirmed her involvement with the revival last year. But instead of reprising her role as Jubilee, she’s letting an actress of actual Asian descent play this part while she lends her voice to a different character.
X-Men ’97 will premiere on Disney+ in the fall of 2023. In the meantime, subscribers can catch up on all 76 episodes of the original X-Men series (which, as of today, are finally in the correct viewing order).
Are you looking forward to watching the revival next year? Let us know in the comments below!
Recommended Reading: Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series
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