Morph is one of the best X-Men '97 characters (plus two perfect actors to play them)

Dive into the fantastic journey of Morph in X-Men '97 as they transform from comic relief to a key hero, showcasing their incredible shapeshifting powers and becoming a beacon of diversity and humor.
(L-R): Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd) and Morph (voiced by JP Karliak) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL.
(L-R): Wolverine (voiced by Cal Dodd) and Morph (voiced by JP Karliak) in Marvel Animation's X-MEN '97. Photo courtesy of Marvel Animation. © 2024 MARVEL. /

In the world of X-Men '97, Morph isn't just your average mutant superhero - they're a real game-changer.

Imagine having the coolest party trick ever, which allows you to change your appearance to look and sound exactly like anyone else. How awesome would that be? That's exactly what Morph, or Kevin Sydney as they were also previously known, can do. Whether it's turning into Wolverine for a quick joke or mimicking the mighty Colossus to punch through a wall, Morph can do it all.

But Morph isn't just about the fun and games.

Originally created for the classic X-Men: The Animated Series in the '90s, they were the team's heart and the occasional comic relief. Morph made such a splash that they were brought back for X-Men '97 and now they're bigger and better than ever, showing off their amazing powers and even playing a key role in the team's adventures. Plus, Morph isn't just any hero - they're the first openly non-binary character in Marvel's animated universe. That's a huge deal: it shows everyone that heroes can be as diverse as the world we live in. But Morph isn't just about the cool factor of turning into any mutant or human you can think of. They aren't cool just because they can change shapes - they're also a beacon of inclusion and diversity on the superhero team.

Morph brings something super important to the superhero table: representation. As the first openly non-binary character in Marvel's animated world, Morph is breaking barriers and showing fans everywhere that heroes come in all forms. They mix up a perfect blend of humor, heart, and heroics, making them not just valuable to the X-Men but also a big hit with fans who see them as a symbol of inclusivity and change.

Let's take a look at what makes Morph who they are: an invaluable character in X-Men '97.

1. Versatility and Powers

Think of Morph as the ultimate party trickster turned superhero. Their shapeshifting abilities are more than just for laughs; they're a crucial tool for the X-Men. With the power to transform into any mutant - or anyone else - Morph is a jack-of-all-trades in battles and sneaky missions. Need to rescue a teammate from a tight spot? Morph can turn into Angel and swoop in for the save. Facing a tough villain? No problem! Morph can become Lady Deathstrike and go claw-to-claw with the bad guys. This makes them super versatile, handling everything from high-flying rescues to face-offs with formidable foes.

2. Strategic Asset

As we've just discussed, think of Morph as the X-Men's Swiss Army knife. During their missions, Morph's quick-change abilities let them adapt on the fly, turning into any mutant needed at that very moment. This isn't just cool, it's a game-changer, giving the team strategic advantages that are tough to match. In a battlefield scenario where tactics shift faster than you can blink, that's where Morph shines by transforming into just the right mutant to tackle any challenge. Their flexibility has been crucial in numerous team operations. For instance, when the X-Cutioner was about to strike, Morph quickly shifted into Lady Deathstrike, claws ready to rumble, stopping the villain in their tracks. And when it came to battling the gigantic Master Mold, Morph morphed into Blob, creating a sturdy launch pad for Wolverine to leap into action and deliver a smashing finale. In every mission, Morph's rapid transformations ensure that the X-Men are always a step ahead, making them an invaluable asset to the team.

3. Representation and Impact

Let's talk about breaking the mold here for a minute, and not Master Mold. Morph in X-Men '97 isn't just any character - they're a trailblazer as Marvel's first openly non-binary character in an animated series. This is huge. It's like opening the doors to a party where everyone is welcome, no matter who they are. Morph's presence on screen is a big thumbs-up for diversity and sends a powerful message that heroes, just like humans, come in all identities. By stepping into the spotlight, Morph isn't just mixing up their appearance - they're also mixing up the norms, bringing a fresh perspective to the superhero scene. This kind of representation is super important because it helps viewers see themselves in their heroes, which is pretty cool. Plus, having such a diverse character adds so much depth to the X-Men team dynamics. X-Men isn't just about fighting bad guys - it's about understanding and celebrating our differences, and Morph's addition only makes the team stronger and way more interesting.

Morph's shapeshifting coolness and their stand-out role as a non-binary superhero don't just highlight how they change shapes, but also how they're helping change the world, one episode at a time.

4. Comic Relief and Morale Booster

Every superhero team needs someone to lighten the mood, and that's where Morph shines in X-Men '97. With a knack for jokes and a flair for the dramatic, Morph is the life of the party at the X-Mansion. Imagine Morph turning into Professor X and rolling into the room, only to crack a joke with a perfect imitation - classic. And who else could tease Wolverine about his complicated love life by transforming into Jean Grey, complete with a playful wink and a love confession?

This humor does more than just make everyone chuckle - it keeps the team glued together. When missions get tough and dangers loom, Morph's lighthearted antics help keep everyone's spirits up. This not only makes Morph a team favorite but also a vital part of keeping morale high, ensuring that the X-Men can face any challenge with a smile. While their powers are definitely cool, their real superpower might just be the ability to bring a smile to their teammates' and viewers' faces, making Morph an indispensable morale booster for the X-Men.

Why Morph needs to be a bigger part of the MCU

If there's one character who absolutely deserves a spot in the big, bustling world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's Morph.

First up, let’s talk about fun. Morph's shapeshifting powers mean they could literally be anyone - from Iron Man to Doctor Strange - in a heartbeat. Imagine the hilarious scenes and surprise elements Morph could add to the mix. One minute they’re Hulk, and the next, they’re Ant-Man. That’s the kind of unpredictability and excitement Morph could inject into any MCU movie or show. Then there’s the representation angle. With Morph being openly non-binary, having them in the MCU would be a massive step forward for inclusivity. It'd send a powerful message that heroes can be anyone and that everyone deserves to see themselves as a hero on the big screen. This kind of positive representation can inspire fans and make the superhero community even more welcoming.

As for who could play Morph? We'd need someone versatile, charismatic, and able to handle comedy and drama with ease while still representing the non-binary identity. Also, considering non-binary actors would be a great way to honor the character’s actual identity. Two fantastic choices could be:

Asia Kate Dillon
MGM+'s "A Spy Among Friends" New York Premiere / Jamie McCarthy/GettyImages

1. Asia Kate Dillon - Known for their role as Taylor Mason in Billions, Asia Kate Dillon is a trailblazer in representing non-binary characters in mainstream media. Their ability to portray complex, intellectual, and multi-layered characters would make them an excellent choice for Morph, allowing them to explore a range of personalities and identities seamlessly.

Lachlan Watson
Paramount+'s "Evil" Special Screening / John Lamparski/GettyImages

2. Lachlan Watson - Gaining prominence from their role as Theo Putnam in Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Lachlan Watson has shown incredible range and depth in their performances. They bring a youthful energy and sincerity to their roles, which could add a fresh, vibrant layer to Morph’s character in the MCU.

Both actors not only bring talent but also embody the spirit of inclusivity and diversity that Morph represents, making them ideal candidates for the role.

In the end, adding Morph to the MCU isn’t just about making the movies more entertaining (though it totally does that). It's also about enriching the universe with more depth, humor, and a big dash of inclusivity. So, Marvel, if you’re listening, let’s make this happen and bring some of that Morph magic to the big screen, whaddaya think?

Morph's transformation from a side character in the original X-Men: The Animated Series to a major hero in X-Men '97 is like watching a butterfly come out of its cocoon, fully dazzling and ready to show off its colors. Back in the '90s, Morph was mostly around for some laughs and sadly, a bit of tragedy. But fast forward to X-Men '97, and wow, have things changed. Now, they're not just another face in the crowd - they're central to the action, using their shapeshifting powers in super clever ways to help the team out of tight spots.

Morph's evolution is so much more than just a power upgrade - it's about becoming a beacon of diversity and showing everyone that being different is indeed super powerful.

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