X-Men ’97 May Change The Future Of Marvel Mutants In The MCU

X-Men '97 May Change The Future Of Marvel Mutants In The MCU


Contains spoilers for "X-Men '97" Season 1, Episode 3 — "Fire Made Flesh"

"X-Men '97" doesn't mess around when it comes to covering major events from the comics. After Season 1, Episode 2 introduces a second Jean Grey (Jennifer Hale), Episode 3 sees the show's version of the "Inferno" storyline play out to its conclusion — and it's not the only iconic comic book story the show jogs through with comparative haste. This fairly quick pacing is par for the course for a retro animated show, especially one that features a superhero team that's had so many significant adventures that the series doesn't exactly suffer from a shortage of source material. 

However, the rapid-fire progress may also offer hints of the X-Men's potential future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe … or rather, it might clue viewers in on the storylines the group's inevitable MCU arrival will steer clear of to avoid repetition. It's true that "X-Men '97" isn't MCU canon. Even so, it seems unlikely that Marvel Studios and Disney would retread the animated series' story arcs in whatever live-action X-Men projects may come. This could mean that the stories "X-Men '97" covers may be off the table for the mutant group's eventual MCU adventures. 


X-Men '97 covers a wide variety of comic book storylines

X-Men '97 May Change The Future Of Marvel Mutants In The MCU


If "X-Men '97" storylines are indeed out the window when it comes to the team's live-action future, it's almost worrying to see the first three episodes run through a vast array of iconic comic book arcs and characters. Episode 1 features Bolivar Trask (Gavin Hammon) and his Sentinels — though it's worth noting that a version of Trask (Peter Dinklage) already plays an important role in both the setup and the ending of "X-Men: Days of Future Past," so he might be a bit too recent of a live-action villain in any case. Magneto (Matthew Waterson) joining the X-Men to maintain Charles Xavier's (Ross Marquand) legacy and subjecting himself to a United Nations trial is a version of a similar storyline in the comics, with the attacking Fenris twins replaced with the X-Cutioner (Lawrence Bayne) … whose weapon causes Storm (Alison Sealy-Smith) to lose her powers, which leads to her meeting Forge (Gil Birmingham) to kick off the "Lifedeath" arc.

It remains to be seen how many other classic storylines the show explores. The "X-Men '97" Season 1 episode titles may offer some insight into the plot points they cover, but the references they make can be stealthy. For instance, Episode 3 is essentially a demon-free mini version of the "Inferno" storyline but is called "Fire Made Flesh." As it stands, it may be wise to assume that pretty much any story arc that "X-Men: The Animated Series" hasn't already covered could potentially be featured on "X-Men '97." Combine this with the fact that the entire live-action "X-Men" timeline already covers a fair few classic story arcs, and it will be interesting to see what's left by the time the mutant team makes its official MCU debut. 


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