All 10 X-Men '97 episodes ranked from worst to best

The first season is over... But that doesn't mean we can't theorize, rewatch, and continue to pick apart little clues from the first stellar season of X-Men '97.
Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL.
Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

X-Men '97 is like jumping back into your favorite comic book - except it moves, it's loud, and it's totally awesome.

Remember all those cool mutants from the 90s cartoon, the original X-Men the Animated Series? They’re back! Wolverine’s still got his claws out, Cyclops is still firing laser beams from his eyes, and Jean Grey? She’s as mind-bendingly powerful as ever. Professor Charles Xavier is still an awful being with good intentions, kind of. Magneto is still struggling with his ideals and being accepted by humanity. It's like a superhero high school reunion, with more flying and less awkward small talk.

The gang is all here, duking it out with baddies and trying to make the world a better place, despite everyone being a bit scared of them. There are familiar faces, some new kids, and loads of action. And it's not just punch-outs and powers - there's a whole lot of heart, too. These mutants aren't just fighting villains, they're fighting for a place to call home, where they can be themselves without anyone freaking out. It's honestly a wonderful series that does almost everything right.

Now, with the first season having wrapped up as of this morning, let's go over all 10 episodes and rank them from worst to best, shall we?

X-MEN '97
(L-R): Roberto Da Costa (voiced by Gui Agustini), Mojo, and Jubilee (voiced by Holly Chou) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

10. "Motendo/Lifedeath - Part 1" (episode 4)

In this episode, we've got Mojo, the big, bad, reality-TV-loving villain making a comeback, and he's not here to play nice. This time, he's got his sights set on Roberto (Sunspot) and Jubilee, dragging them into a twisted game on Jubilee’s birthday of all days. Meanwhile, Magneto is too busy dealing with some serious mutant affairs to care about birthday celebrations.

The episode throws us another curveball with Storm and Forge, giving us a peek into their rocky romance. Storm's struggling with her lost powers, adding a touch of drama to the mix. There's also a quick glimpse of The Adversary, but honestly, the episode tries to juggle a lot and ends up dropping a few balls along the way.

As for where this episode stands in the grand lineup of all 10 episodes from the season, it lands at the bottom. Why? While it’s packed with action and the thrill of Mojo's chaos, the episode feels like a puzzle with mismatched pieces. It attempts to weave together too many subplots, and the result is a fun, yet somewhat confusing medley. So, it's memorable but could have used a bit more coherence to really shine among its siblings in the series.

X-MEN '97
Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

9. "Lifedeath - Part 2" (episode 6)

In this episode, we zoom back into the world of our beloved Storm, who earlier in the season was left power-less thanks to some very angry mutant protestors. Just when you think she might have to retire her weather-wizard cape, along comes a twist with The Adversary and, wouldn't you know it, Storm gets her powers back. And not just that, she also rocks a snazzy new suit. But the plot thickens with the return of Professor Charles Xavier, who’s apparently been chilling on another planet. Professor X gets slapped with a cosmic ultimatum to forget his beloved X-Men. Classic Xavier, though, he’s not about to let his team vanish from his mind like last season's TV shows.

This episode ranks ninth out of the 10 because it's as if someone threw darts at a storyboard. While it’s super cool seeing Storm reclaim her powers and Xavier doing his intergalactic brain battle, I guess, the episode feels like a sandwich made out of leftovers. The two main plots stumble around each other without ever really holding hands. It’s a bit of a narrative mess, and it kind of does a disservice to Storm’s powerful comeback story.

X-MEN '97
(L-R): Bishop (voiced by Isaac Robinson-Smith), Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase), Jean Grey (voiced by Jennifer Hale), Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann), Morph (voiced by JP Karliak), Magneto (voiced by Matthew Waterson), Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd), Jubilee (voiced by Holly Chou), Beast (voiced by George Buza), and Gambit (voiced by AJ LoCascio) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

8. "Mutant Liberation Begins" (episode 2)

"Mutant Liberation Begins" really shakes things up in the mutant world with Professor X handing the reins to Magneto. Talk about a plot twist. Now, if you thought that was wild, Scott and Jean are all about baby fever, planning to leave the superhero life to be full-time parents. But as you can imagine, not everyone is thrilled about Magneto's new role. The guy has a history, and it's not all sunshine and rainbows.

The episode gives us a front-row seat to the "Trial of Magneto," where tensions are as high as Magneto's old villainous schemes. Just when you think you've got a handle on things, bam! Storm loses her powers as she literally takes an anti-mutant bullet for Magneto. And if that wasn't enough drama for one episode, the real Jean Grey shows up, adding a whole new layer of confusion and chaos to the mix. Meanwhile, the other Jean is not waiting around - she goes ahead and gives birth to her son.

This episode is a wild ride full of twists, but it's a bit of a mixed bag. The jam-packed plot sometimes feels rushed, and some fans might miss the deeper character development seen in other episodes. However, it's a crucial pivot point for the series, setting the stage for new dynamics and future adventures. Plus, who can resist a good old mutant melodrama?

X-MEN '97
(L-R): Jubilee (voiced by Holly Chou), Morph (voiced by JP Karliak), Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd), Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith), Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase), Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann), Jean Grey (voiced by Jennifer Hale), Gambit (voiced by AJ LaCascio), Bishop (voiced by Isaac Robinson-Smith), and Beast (voiced by George Buza) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

7. "To Me, My X-Men" (episode 1)

This episode serves as the grand opener for the long-awaited return of our favorite mutants. It's like a whole superhero family reunion! We’ve got my fellow Brazilian Roberto Da Costa, a.k.a. Sunspot, in a bit of a pickle, and who better to lend a helping hand than the X-Men? Enter Jubilee, bursting onto the scene with her signature spark (literally) to assist.

The episode does a stellar job of throwing us right back into the thick of the mutant drama, echoing the beloved vibes of the original X-Men: The Animated Series. And, just when you think it’s all teamwork and laser beams, the plot throws a curveball - Magneto is back. Yep, that’s right. The master of magnetism makes a grand entrance, ensuring that the stakes are as high as ever. This comeback not only stirs up the pot but also sets the tone for the season, promising heaps of action and intrigue.

"To Me, My X-Men" sits comfortably in the middle, primarily because while it brilliantly sets the stage with familiar faces and nostalgic nods, it's more of a warm-up act. The real fireworks are saved for later episodes where the new plots thicken and the character arcs expand. Still, as openers go, it’s a solid start that perfectly whets the appetite for more mutant mayhem.

X-MEN '97
Goblin Queen (voiced by Jennifer Hale) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

6. "Fire Made Flesh (episode 3)"

"Fire Made Flesh" stars Madelyne Pryor, who isn't just any character - she's a clone of Jean Grey. Just when Jean and her doppelganger start figuring out who's the "real" Jean, in swoops Mister Sinister with his creepy vibes, throwing everything into chaos. Now, Mister Sinister isn’t here just to stir the pot; he reveals a whopper: Scott (yes, our Cyclops) actually had a kid with Madelyne, a.k.a. the Goblin Queen, instead of the real Jean Grey. Mind blown, right? This revelation sends Scott spiraling into a sea of emotions and the team into a series of nightmares.

The episode doesn't just delve into the dark arts - it’s also about transformation and redemption. Madelyne turns away from her Goblin Queen persona, embracing her role as a mother who needs to send her son Nathan to the future to save him from Mister Sinister’s evil experiments. This episode is right in the middle because while it’s jam-packed with action and juicy reveals, it juggles a lot of plot lines, which can get a tad overwhelming. But, if you’re into dramatic twists and deep dives into characters' backstories, this episode is a feast.

X-MEN '97
Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

5. "Bright Eyes" (episode 7)

"Bright Eyes" brings the drama to an 11. Rogue, our beloved Southern powerhouse, is in a world of pain after losing Gambit and, in her view, Magneto too. Feeling betrayed and heartbroken, she transforms her sorrow into a fiery vendetta against the notorious Trask, the guy behind those pesky Sentinels. The twist comes when Rogue, consumed by grief, finds herself with Trask’s life literally in her hands. In a moment of intense drama, she lets him fall to what could be his death.

But the plot thickens - Trask doesn’t just go splat; he becomes a living Sentinel himself, revealing a terrifying new possibility in the Sentinel program. Talk about an "oops" moment that turns into a "what have we done?!" "Bright Eyes" is all about emotional depth and brings massive implications for the storyline. This episode does a stellar job of showcasing Rogue’s inner turmoil and the consequences of revenge, all while pushing the overarching plot into new, exciting territory. It’s a fantastic blend of personal journey and broader narrative impact that makes it a standout, but not quite the top episode, as others might delve deeper into character backstories or feature even more jaw-dropping twists.

X-MEN '97
Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

4. "Tolerance is Extinction, Part 1" (episode 8)

In this absolute barn-burner, the X-Men face off against one nasty piece of work: Bastion. This guy isn’t just your run-of-the-mill villain. He’s a living sentinel with a diabolical plan to turn Joe and Jane Public into living sentinels too. Now, imagine Wolverine and Nightcrawler, aka Kurt, doing a superhero tango, smashing through these wannabe sentinels left and right. But there’s a twist - these Sentinels are everywhere and they are literally anyone and everyone around our mutants.

Meanwhile, Cable’s teaming up with his folks, Scott and Jean, in a family reunion slash survival spree. Just when you think things can’t get more intense, Magneto pulls a Houdini and escapes, leaving everyone in even more of a pickle. And just when all hope seems lost, Professor X rolls back into town. So, why does this episode sit at number four out of the 10? It's a full-throttle thrill ride packed with action, surprise team-ups, and a cliffhanger that leaves you hanging on the edge of your seat, craving more. It's not just about fighting; it’s about survival and the chilling realization of how far Bastion will go. Plus, it sets up an epic showdown that promises to be a game-changer. What’s not to love?

X-MEN '97
(L-R): Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase) and Jean Grey (voiced by Jennifer Hale) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

3. "Tolerance is Extinction, Part 2" (episode 9)

It’s getting real in the mutant world as tensions boil over into a full-blown war. In a twist we all saw coming from miles away, the dreamy, "peace-loving" Professor Charles Xavier at odds with his once-close friend, the now hardline Magneto. The battleground? Their very beliefs, of course.

Having seen enough of humanity's darker side, Magneto is all in on the idea that mutants need to ditch the humans to survive. Meanwhile, Charles clings to his vision of a world where everyone, human or mutant, can get along. As if that’s not spicy enough, the X-Men find themselves picking sides. It’s friend against friend, and the stakes couldn't be higher. The episode ends with us all on the edge of our seats, not knowing who will make it out alive.

Why does it rank third out of the 10? Simply put, it's an emotional powerhouse. This episode doesn’t just bring the action - it makes you think and feel. It challenges the characters (and us viewers) to really question what we believe about coexistence and survival. Plus, it sets up a finale that promises to be epic. Definitely a standout in a season that's all about pushing boundaries and exploring deep themes.

X-MEN '97
(L-R): Magneto (voiced by Matthew Waterson), Gambit (voiced by AJ LoCascio), and Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

2. "Remember It" (episode 5)

This episode rockets us to the mutant paradise (or is it?) of Genosha, and it's a rollercoaster ride from start to finish. Our beloved mutants are split into teams: while Scott (Cyclops), Jean, Logan (Wolverine), and Hank (Beast) are back at the school, diving into their roles in a mutant-centric documentary, Magneto, the Daddy of Magnetism, is up to his old tricks. He's not alone though - he's brought along Gambit and Rogue for a little mutant road trip to Genosha. Sounds fun, right?

But Genosha isn't just any mutant haven - it's the kind of place where Rogue starts daydreaming about wearing a crown and sitting on a throne. Just as we start getting comfy and start to relax, the peace is shattered. Sentinels crash the party. These giant robots are not here to dance but to disrupt, leaving us biting our nails, wondering who'll make it out alive, and feeling absolutely destroyed once we see our favorite Cajun boy, Gambit, sacrifice himself to save everyone.

"Remember It" snags the number two spot in the lineup of ten episodes because it packs a punch with its blend of intrigue, character development, and sheer unpredictability. One minute you're watching a documentary and the next you're in the thick of a Sentinel smackdown. It's a classic X-Men blend of personal drama and high-stakes action that reminds us why we love these characters so much. Plus, any episode that teases Rogue as a queen definitely deserves some royal recognition.

X-MEN '97
(L-R): Beast (voiced by George Buza), Forge (voiced by Gil Birmingham), Morph (voiced by JP Karliak), Storm (voiced by Alison Sealy-Smith), Rogue (voiced by Lenore Zann), Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd), Roberto Da Costa (voiced by Gui Agustini), Jubilee (voiced by Holly Chou), and Nightcrawler (voiced by Adrian Hough) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

1. "Tolerance is Extinction, Part 3" (episode 10)

The season finale of X-Men '97, "Tolerance is Extinction Part 3," is nothing short of a mutant-powered rollercoaster. Genosha's still in ruins and the big bad Bastion's been stirring the pot, Magneto decides to throw a worldwide blackout party, and everyone's invited... to quite the showdown.

Poor Wolverine has a rough go in this episode. The previous episode ended with a mega cliffhanger with Magneto, in true dramatic flair, ripping the adamantium right off his bones - so Wolverine is currently out for the count... But don't count our cranky friend totally out just yet. Just when things look grim, Professor X is back in the game and ready to lead the team to kick some serious villain butt. Bastion and Mister Sinister don't stand a chance against the united X-Men. And just when you think it's all over, bam - post-credits! We get a sneak peek at Apocalypse eyeing Gambit’s charred playing card. Talk about a teaser!

This episode, my friends, lands right at the top of the list - numero uno out of ten. Why? It's got everything: high stakes, deep feels, and a setup for more mutant madness. X-Men '97's first season wraps up with a bang, proving once again that no matter how tough things get, our heroes are tougher.

And there we have it!

While we sit here and wait for the second season of this incredibly nostalgic show, we have plenty of time to theorize and rewatch these 10 episodes over and over.

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