Mid-Season Review of X-Men ‘97: A Powerful Start!

If Marvel knows one thing, it’s how to destroy the emotions of their audience. We’ve seen it over and over with different Marvel shows including WandaVision, What If…? and even Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The MCU’s animation department is definitely starting to kick up a notch, as we can see with the re-introduction of the original X-men series from the 90s with the X-men ‘97 project currently out. It is a 10 episode season and last week we hit the middle of the season, so let’s get into a short mid-season review of X-men ‘97! 

The X-Men ’97 Team

To start out, we have the team consisting of everyone from the original series with the addition of Morph. I think this addition is actually really fun because Morph is a character that, in the comics, essentially started off as a joke. It’s actually really fun to see him being taken a bit more seriously as a teammate and showing what it is he truly has to offer when it comes to being part of this team. Another thing that I love about how they’ve done this team is the shift in team dynamics after the “death” of Charles Xavier and how the team has not only dealt with that going forward but how they have dealt with the official position of leader being defaulted to Scott Summers. 

While the team seems to be well adjusted and working together as only they know how, it was also amazing to see how well they treated Storm. With all of the discourse around her power level and whether or not she was an omega level mutant, it was fun to see the respect she has earned all these years be given to her. Through all 5 of these episodes and getting to this mid-season, we’ve seen the team splintered after the arrival of Magneto and the departure of Storm. The revelation of Jean really being Madelyne Pryor and now the loss of not only Magneto (another leader), but also Madelyne and Gambit. It will be very interesting to see how the team deals with this entire situation, especially Rogue as it pertains to Gambit, and Scott as it pertains to Madelyne.

The Story

It can’t be a mid-season review without talking about this story! Of course it is one singular story but they are pulling from multiple comic book stories to pull together this one linear line. And to be honest, it is working! Now, I have seen some people complain about the pacing. The pacing was more in how the team was handling these hard hitting situations that were happening so fast and back to back. The most relevant situation being finding out that Jean wasn’t really Jean and them fighting Madelyne as the Goblin Queen and her simply leaving or the situation of Storm losing her powers. I think the pacing is actually perfect. In comic books they have to flesh out the stories into multiple issues so it seems as if they have the time to sort out these feelings and think on these situations and how they affect them. 

However, in actuality, they have exactly as much time as a 30-35 minute TV episode will give them which is none. These situations happen incredibly fast in real time that the processing of what is happening, almost never happens. So in that aspect I think it has translated well from comics to TV. Getting into episode 5 which pulled from E is for Extentincion, some of the fans felt like the characters could have done several things in a different order or at a different time without realizing how QUICK everything happened. When the mutants on Genosha were killed, they didn’t have time to think about the feelings of others or plans on how to save someone or even who to save. Everything happened on a dime. And I think that is what X-men ‘97 is getting right. 

The Future

We all know how Marvel is and how they like to keep things close to the vest. They have essentially planned out about 3 seasons of this so we have 2 more seasons coming. I don’t think they are going to reveal their true hand in season 1. I do believe that they will be having a bigger big bad coming in towards the end. But again, Marvel likes to drop surprises. I do believe the future of this show is going to depend on itself. I don’t think it would need to coincide with any other movies and hopefully we can get some cool crossovers just like we did with the original because all throughout Marvel, the X-men have non-mutant allies so I think that would be fun for future episodes and seasons. 

Final Thoughts

My final thoughts on this are that I think this is great. These first 5 episodes really showed that Marvel is not afraid to come out swinging and that they have built this for the mature audience that started with the 90s show. The death of Gambit really did it for me because it showed that they aren’t afraid to go there. They aren’t afraid of bringing a character in, making you love them, and then ripping them away from you in the most intense way possible. And we’re only MID-SEASON! I can’t wait for the rest of this to finish out, I can’t wait for what is to come and I am just truly here for the craziest ride. Because if the mid-season of X-men ‘97 is like this, just IMAGINE how the season finale is going to be. I somehow feel like I’m going to be crying. Yet again, because I’m not going to lie, I cried when she said she couldn’t feel him. I was beyond hurt. But I truly can’t wait to see how this ends for now. 

Dr. K the Anime Bae 

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