X-Men ’97: 5 things that must happen for the revival to succeed

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 29: Cosplayers dressed as characters from "X-Men" attend C2E2 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place on February 29, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 29: Cosplayers dressed as characters from "X-Men" attend C2E2 Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo at McCormick Place on February 29, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images) /

If the X-Men: The Animated Series revival is going to be successful, these five things are a must. 

The 1990s X-Men animated series is one of the most beloved comic book cartoons of all time. If we’re being honest, it was more adult than it had any business being. It discussed important topics ahead of its time. Other cartoons did this too, but few did it as well as the X-Men. Because of this, future animated shows and movies could be bolder with their stories.

Disney Plus Day saw some exciting announcements made about the future of Marvel content on Disney Plus. One of the most exciting announcements saw the confirmation that there will be a continuation to X-Men: The Animated Series.

Marvel.com revealed that a whole “new generation, and fans of the original decade-defining cartoon, will enjoy this all-new animated series that revisits the iconic era and cast of characters from 1992’s X-Men: The Animated Series.”

While the revival of the classic series is great news, this series can’t thrive on nostalgia alone. Here are five things that need to happen.

Let Wolverine be himself

One of the biggest disappointments from the X-Men animated series was Wolverine. For someone who’s known in the comics as a savage, he was something of a letdown. First of all, he only used his claws on doors and robots. Next, his healing factor seems non-existent. There were times he’d wake up from being gassed at the same time as everyone else. That’s not how his healing factor works in the comics. Sure, his super sense of smell and hearing was there, but the show only scratched the surface of his abilities.

Of course, a lot of this was down to what the animated series was and wasn’t allowed to do. That said, people are tired of the PG-13 Wolverine. This was obvious after seeing how revered the 2017 film Logan was.

Of course, Wolverine probably won’t be able to draw blood in the revival series, but he doesn’t need to. The early 2000s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles proved this as Leonardo used his sword on people without ever getting graphic. The same can happen here. If Logan looks weak, it might put some people off.

No fainting X-Men

Counting the amount of times that the X-Men faint in The Animated Series could have been turned into a game. They pass out much more than they should. It went from being funny to annoying and predictable. It would be shocking if a joke wasn’t made about it in the first episode of the revival.

However, it stops being comical if it keeps happening, especially since the X-Men are among the toughest teams in all of comics. Taking this away will go a long way to making the program a success.

Hit on more comic stories

It’s been over twenty years since the X-Men have been the stars of an animated series. Since then, they’ve had dozens of storylines in the comics books. House of M, Messiah Complex, and their move to California are only a few of them. This writer fully expects to see all of the X-Men’s best stories adapted in the new series. Particularly since they got the Phoenix Saga right in the original series.

The Dark Phoenix Saga in X-Men: The Animated Series adapted the source material properly by taking its time with the story. Multiple episodes helped explain the severity of the situation and help explain the characters involved. All of this is why both Dark Phoenix movies not only failed, but are looked at poorly.

When we see these tales, there will be more of the same. Maybe even start them in the new age of Krakoa.

More Morph

Morph was one of the most popular characters in the original show. The funny thing is he wasn’t in a lot of the episodes. What made him well-liked was the story he was given. When he was tormented by being left, people understood. It couldn’t have been easy to think your friends abandoned you. When Morph eventually came back, it was an amazing moment. He saved the day in spectacular fashion.

Morph becoming a regular would add some much-needed levity to the show. There are times when the program can get too heavy so some light-heartedness at the right time can be a necessity. Plus, with Disney owning other Marvel Comics properties, her could turn into more than just X-Men related characters.

More than just X-Men characters

Lastly, there is an opportunity to explore the X-Family here. The X-Men are more than just the Alpha team. X-Factor (who were in the ’90s cartoon), X-Force, Hellions, and a host of other teams should be involved too. There are also characters like Laura Kinney, Monet St. Croix, and Kitty Pryde who can appear and have their own adventures or team up with someone else.

This is something that the original show did right. They made it a point to explore the X-Men’s catalogue, especially in regards to their villains. Magneto was an obvious choice but he wasn’t the only antagonist used. Apocalypse (who was a fan favorite), Juggernaut, and Mr. Sinister all made appearances as well. The best part is they all looked good in their appearances.

With a bigger budget, more stories, and advances in animation, X-Men ‘97 should be a hit. This writer would be lying if he said he didn’t have his doubts. However, he remains optimistic. Disney Plus hasn’t let us down yet. Why should they start now?

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What do you think? Are you excited for X-Men ’97? Let us  know in the comments below.