Nearly 30 years after “X-Men: The Animated Series” debuted, many of the beloved characters are returning for Marvel Studios’ upcoming show “X-Men ’97,” coming to Disney+ in fall 2023 with a second season already confirmed.
“X-Men ’97” will continue the story of the original “Animated Series,” which ran from 1992 to 1997 on Fox Kids Network. “X-Men: The Animated Series” helped usher in the popularity of the mutant superheroes before Fox made the first live-action take on the team in 2000. The new series will include Rogue, Beast, Gambit, Jean Grey, Wolverine, Storm, Jubilee and Cyclops. The animation, revealed at Comic Con on Friday, stays true to the original animated series, but looks more modern, updated and sleek.
Magneto, Cable, Bishop, Morph and Nightcrawler will also join the X-Men onscreen. Battling them will be the (non-“Stranger Things”) Hellfire Club with Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw, plus Mr. Sinister and Bolivar Trask will appear.
The “X-Men ’97” team explained that episodes were beginning to ship, so they showed the Comic-Con crowd an animatic in which the X-Men fight Trask and multiple Sentinels. The X-Men team up to take the robots down, as Wolverine slices a Sentinel in the face and Beast rips out the circuitry to take control of another.
As a bonus for fans of the original animated series, Disney+ is rearranging the episode order as it’s intended to be watched. For example, Jean Grey’s Dark Phoenix Saga was out of order in the original run, which Disney+ will rectify.
Beau DeMayo, who wrote Netflix’s animated “The Witcher” spin-off “Nightmare of the Wolf,” will serve as head writer on “X-Men ’97.”
While the X-Men have yet to make their official live-action entrance into the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Disney’s acquisition of Fox, there have been two major hints at “X-Men: The Animated Series” this year. In “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” Patrick Stewart reprises his iconic role as Prof. Charles Xavier from the live-action “X-Men” series. However, instead of playing his Prof. X from the Fox film franchise, Stewart’s character was from the “Animated Series,” complete with his yellow hover chair and green suit. In the Disney+ series “Ms. Marvel,” Iman Vellani’s lead character makes a shocking discovery that her powers stem from a genetic “mutation” in her DNA. In both the “Doctor Strange” and “Ms. Marvel” scenes, the theme song from “X-Men: The Animated Series” briefly played.
The show was first announced in November 2021 alongside other upcoming animated Marvel shows on Disney+, including “Spider-Man: Freshman Year” and “Marvel Zombies.”