Review: X-Men ’97 | The X-Men Are Back

While Marvel fans eagerly await the full introduction of a new team of X-Men in the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Animation has released a continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series. After viewing the first three episodes of this 10 episode initial season, it’s safe to say that fans of the original series are in for a treat with X-Men ’97.

If you have fond memories of X-Men: The Animated Series, but haven’t watched any episodes in decades, X-Men ‘97 is about as close to perfect as it gets. It feels like a proper continuation of the original series, both in storyline, and in style. The animation has been updated, and only about half of the voice cast has returned, but unless you’ve been watching the original series relentlessly, you won’t notice most of these changes.

The story in X-Men ‘97 picks up right where X-Men: The Animated Series left off. Charles Xavier is gone, and the X-Men have to come to terms with that loss. While the world seems to be more open to accepting mutants, there are still a number of enemies the X-Men must face. The beginning of the new series takes significant inspiration from the comics, but it’s not a direct adaptation. It’s close enough to feel familiar, yet different enough to feel fresh.

Beau DeMayo, marvel, Marvel Animation, marvel studios, x-men, X-Men 97

Like the original show, X-Men ‘97 is mature enough to cater to older fans of the series, while still clearly being a cartoon for kids. There are plenty of one-liners, and a bit of cheesy dialogue, but this adds to the charm. It’s never so overwhelming that you feel the need to stop watching. The characters are all well done, with standout moments for each throughout the first few episodes.

With only three episodes to view, we haven’t even seen half of the first season. It’s difficult to make a concrete analysis of how the series will fare once the first season is complete, but so far it’s everything we’d hoped for. Some purists may take issue with the animation, but using the What If…? animation, styled to resemble X-Men: The Animated Series works well for modern audiences.

It’s too early to tell if X-Men ‘97 will have any direct tie-ins to the live-action MCU, but that connection has been teased a number of times by the production team. At the moment, we can’t wait to see the remaining episodes, with the first two episodes arriving on March 20, then one episode releasing each week after that. Season two is nearly complete, with development of a third season well underway, so X-Men ‘97 will be around for some time.

About X-Men ‘97

Synopsis: Picking up after the events of X-Men: The Animated Series, the X-Men face dangerous new challenges following the loss of their leader, Professor X.

Creator: Beau DeMayo

Stars: Jennifer Hale, Ray Chase, Lenore Zann

Rated: TV-PG

Number of Episodes: 10

Average Runtime: 30 Minutes

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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