A computer screen showing Cyclops from X-Men '97 and mutants in the background | Agents of Fandom

‘X-Men ’97’ Effortlessly Rekindles the Spark From the Original

X-Men fans rejoice! The most popular team in Marvel history is back on television, and they don’t disappoint.

The following review is made possible by advanced screeners of Episodes 1-3 of X-Men ’97 provided to Agents of Fandom by Walt Disney Studios for review purposes.

Very few animated television series have become as iconic as X-Men: The Animated Series over the years. The opening theme has become synonymous with Marvel’s most popular superhero team. Revisiting a show that lives so fondly in the hearts of fans is no easy task, but X-Men ’97 passes the test with flying colors.

The new series boasts the return of most of the original voice cast and maintains the same heart and soul. While the stories are brand new, X-Men ’97 manages to have the same feel as a ’90s Saturday morning cartoon. The animation is a beautiful blend of 2D and 3D and is the most impressive upgrade from the original. Even with sky-high expectations, the newest series from Marvel Animation has no problem blowing them out of the water.

Much like its predecessor, X-Men ’97 mirrors societal issues and opens the conversation by asking important questions. Mutant acceptance is still an overarching theme, but the storytelling methods are brand new and unique.

‘X-Men 97’ Review: The Perfect Blend of New-Age and Nostalgia

The X-Men are ready for a basketball game in X-Men '97 on Disney+ | Agents of Fandom
The current rendition of the X-Men aren’t too busy to stop for a game of basketball. Image Credit: Marvel Animation/Disney+.

Although the team is slightly different, the original X-Men are heavily featured throughout. It’s refreshing to hear iconic voices returning to their roles. Rogue (Lenore Zann), Wolverine (Cal Dodd), Beast (George Buza), and more return from X-Men: The Animated Series, while new cast members for Gambit (A.J. LoCascio) and Jubilee (Holly Chou) immediately excel as well.

However, Storm (Alison Sealy-Smith), Jean Grey (Jennifer Hale), and especially Cyclops (Ray Chase) stand out the most throughout the three episodes of X-Men ’97. Storm has some incredible moments early on where her magnificent abilities are on full display. Unfortunately, they don’t last very long as they’re often cut short to progress the story of other characters. Hopefully, Ororo Munroe will get her due before the season ends.

Cyclops and Jean Grey are the Standouts of ‘X-Men ’97’

Cyclops and the X-Men protect their home against invaders in X-Men '97. | Agents of Fandom
Cyclops leads is ready to lead the new-look team against whatever trouble comes their way. Image Credit: Marvel Animation/Disney+.

At the beginning of X-Men ’97, the plot is heavily focused on Jean Grey and Cyclops and the series thrives from that decision; the portrayal of Cyclops in X-Men: The Animated Series has often been criticized for being whiney and boring.

However, the revival rewards fans of Scott Summers. X-Men ’97 keeps Scott’s strength on the battlefield and leadership abilities at the forefront of the story. Meanwhile, Jean Grey’s future remains clouded in mystery alongside her husband. The arc between the two of them is the highlight of the entire series so far. Although Wolverine can often be a claw in the side of their relationship, Jean and Scott are the heartbeat of the first three episodes.

The X-Men, Beast, Rogue, Morph, Cyclops, Wolverine, Gambit, and Bishop are ready for battle led by Wolverine and Cyclops in X-Men 97. | Agents of Fandom
“To Me, My X-Men” is about to surpass “Avengers Assemble” as the new top superhero call. Image Credit: Marvel Animation/Disney+.

Although X-Men ’97 is certainly made for people of all ages, the series doesn’t hesitate to tackle more adult themes. In typical X-Men fashion, the relationships are messy, complicated, and even a little sexy. Tension rises, characters clash, and arguments are had throughout. However, above all, this team is a family that shares a common goal.

While Mutants may not exist in real life, their fight for equity and acceptance in the world is incredibly relatable to everyday life. The X-Men have been and always will be a symbol of unity, and that will not change anytime soon. This is perfectly portrayed in the new series and will undoubtedly hook a new generation to their story.

X-Men ’97 is now streaming on Disney+. Whether someone is diving into the series for the first time or as a long-time fan of X-Men: The Animated Series, the revival can be enjoyed by all. By combining large-scale societal issues, the balance of personal relationships, and top-tier animated action, X-Men97 cements itself as elite television.

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'X-Men '97' Review

'X-Men '97' Review
4 5 0 1
4.0 rating
Total Score

The Good

  • X-cellent animation improves upon the original's strong foundation.
  • Takes core aspects of its predecessor and improves them.
  • Nostalgic for longtime fans while being easily accessible for new viewers.

The Bad

  • Somewhat predictable storylines for those with knowledge of characters' comics history.
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