Out of all announcements made last friday at Disney+ day, I find the most exciting of them all to be the revival of the classic 90’s X-Men: The Animated Series. Titled X-Men 97, the show is set to pick up right where its predecessor left off continuing the story of our favorite mutants.
Some writers, directos, and creative leads have been announced for the new project set to debut in 2023, but the real juicy details are still under wraps. At this point, all fans can do is speculate over the big questions and that’s exactly what we intend to do over here at the Small Screen Society.
Where EXACTLY will the show pick up?: For those that may not remember, the look and feel of the animated series went through an intense shift for its fifth season after the show switched production companies. The final season, which consisted of just six episodes, ranged from stories of Sinister’s origins, a mythical ode, and a Cannonball origin. Yet, the most signficant of the short season would be its final episode where Xavier is attached at a summit and ultimately leaves with Lilandra to space.
Much like Wolverine and the X-Men (the too short lived 2009 series), the new show will likely pick up with the team without Xavier and all its members having to find a way to continue without him. This was something that enriched the 2009 series, and though I wasn’t a fan of the Wolverine focus nor his role to be the glue that brought them back together, it will be something worth seeing when X-Men returns in 2023.
Who will be there when we return?: There is no doubt that the eight principal characters will return front and center for the show’s revival. But will they be the only ones? This may be a return of the classic show but this new creative team has an opportunity to not just bring back all the elements that made it strong but enrich upon them as well. For those not familiar with the comics, the members of this on screen team, along with their costumes, are all inspired by the 90’s Jim Lee art and classic Blue and Gold team. My hope is that the remaining members (Iceman, Colossus, Psylocke, Bishop, and Angel) who were all featured in the 90’s show step into regular roles as well. Dare we say they get added to the iconic intro?
What new stories can we expect to see?: Aside from that universally known theme song, the other thing that has allowed this series to withstand the test of time is the fact that it remains the single X-Men property of any medium to do the best job of adapting the stories that made them famous.
It has been some time since the show went off the air and fortunately more legendary tales have hit the pages of the X-Men books since. Onslaught, House of M, Astonishing, Messiah Complex, Scism, Inferno, Lifedeath, God Loves Man Kills, and the most recent game changer House of X/Powers of X to name a few.
No doubt the series will continue this trend in the seasons to come and we will hopefully get to see some of the above adapted.
What Costumes will they wear?: The X wardrobes are some of the most unique and varied of all comic book heroes. Yet, at least for the start, the uniforms our heroes will sport will likely be the Jim Lee creations we know and love. Perhaps with some slight tweaks? Jean ditched the ponytail and flesh colored suit? Wolverine and Cyclops ditching the undies?
Now, for Marvel studios to decide for this series revival to be the first X-Men investment under Disney control means that it can serve as a strong indicator to how and who we will see in the live-action MCU when the time comes.
2023 cannot come quick enough!