April 1, 2024

CABLE | 'X-Men '97' Defends Mutantkind on Disney+

"The Professor entrusted us with his dream."
Alison Sealy-Smith Beau DeMayo | Marvel Annimation's X-Men '97 | Disney+
Marvel Animation
Marvel Animation's much-anticipated revival of the groundbreaking and wildly influential original X-Men: The Animated Series (1992-97) ultimately proves to be a refreshing endeavour. X-Men '97, a direct continuation of the aforementioned Saturday morning cartoon, also provides some worthwhile contemporary updates to the comic book adaptation's narrative that makes this new version of the old animated series a fresh take on the popular mutant superhero team, picking up where they left off twenty-seven years later.

Creator/showrunner Beau DeMayo, who was abruptly fired right before the show's premiere, starts where the previous show's cliffhanger series finale left off in 1997 with Professor X's near-death and subsequent indefinite off-world absence. X-Men '97 features an ambitious initial story arc that directly addresses what fans loved about the colourful characters by faithfully adapting the source material comics alongside most of the previous voice cast returning to their iconic animated roles.

More than just a mid-'90s nostalgia trip, the new X-Men series celebrates both the past and future (or "Days of Future Past," rather) through its reverence for the same kind of progressive themes of societal prejudice it was known for—see Morph coming out as non-binary—told using long-form serialized storytelling for both kid and adult audiences alike. It brings something new to the revitalized series and fixes some of the more dated elements, including the trademark janky animation, while also addressing how far we have come in terms of adapting mainstream superhero entertainment.

X-Men '97's ten-episode first season is available to stream weekly on Disney+.

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