X-Men '97 is hands down one of Marvel Studios' greatest achievements

X-Men '97 more than lives up to the high expectations set for the series, it's one of Marvel Studios greatest achievements managing to recapture the magic of one of the most iconic animated series of all-time.

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

From the moment Marvel first announced it would be revisiting X-Men: The Animated Series, the legendary animated series that defined a generation myself included, fans who grew up watching the show were met with both feelings of excitement and concern. 

The idea of bringing the X-Men back into the fold with a series that revisited the iconic era of the 1990s was everything. This was a show that for many, ignited our love for comics and superheroes. Sure Batman was cool, but it was the X-Men that made me the Marvel fan I am today. 

While I was admittedly too young to fully understand and appreciate the storylines that played out over the course of the show’s five seasons at the time, a rewatch of the series upon its arrival on Disney+ only managed further to fuel my appreciation for X-Men: The Animated Series. That’s the brilliance of the show and of these heroes, they’re both timeless. It’s why so many fans have always gravitated towards the X-Men over many other heroes in their space. 

The mutant metaphor of the X-Men’s stories enhances their stories with themes of societal prejudice and discrimination against marginalized groups. These are individuals who are judged, feared, and persecuted just because they’re different. The X-Men have long been Marvel’s most diverse team and the hardships they’ve had to endure and overcome allow so many individuals to feel seen and why so many hold X-Men: The Animated Series so close to their hearts. 

Fortunately, X-Men ‘97 more than lives up to its predecessor and is a true celebration of the series and characters that so many fell in love with three decades ago.

X-MEN '97
X-MEN '97, exclusively on Disney+. © 2024 MARVEL. /

 X-Men ‘97 review: Everything fans could have hoped for (and more!)

I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the first three episodes of X-Men ‘97 before their arrival on Disney+ and I’ll admit, I entered my binge-watch hesitant and unsure of what to expect. Sure the promotional materials for the show captured my attention and seemed to honor the legacy of X-Men: The Animated Series but could Marvel Studios pull off the seemingly impossible task of building upon the original show’s legacy in a way that would recapture the magic of the original series while also still making it accessible to new fans. 

From the moment the show’s iconic theme song began playing, I was hit with an instant wave of nostalgia. Flashbacks of watching the original show on Saturday mornings and memories of dreaming up adventures as I played with my X-Men action figures, quickly came flooding back and my heart was so full of joy. 

As the first episode unfolded, the writers quickly brought us back into the X-Men universe with an episode that paved the way for bigger stories to come. Admittedly, the first episode was a bit slower in pacing compared to the second and third episodes of the season but once the show hits the ground running in episode 2, it never looks back.

I truly cannot remember the last time an animated series managed to hold my attention and captivate me in the way X-Men ‘97 was able to. From start to finish, there is no fluff or filler tossed in just for the sake of padding the episode. Each episode is an action-packed adventure full of intense battles, complex relationship dynamics, brilliant social commentary, and incredible storylines that will have you feeling all the feels – including an overwhelming sense of eagerness thanks to the jaw-dropping cliffhangers every episode throws fans’ way. 

The brilliance of the show is that it manages to honor the legacy of X-Men: The Animated Series and delivers the nostalgia original fans were hoping for, while also being accessible to new audiences looking to dive right into the new series. Your viewing experience is richer and more rewarding if you’ve watched the original series as there are so many fun nods to the plotlines that played out in X-Men: The Animated Series; however, new fans needn’t worry about being lost as the storylines are easy to follow along with if you by chance are a new fan. 

Again though, if you’re a fellow fan of the original series be prepared to eat your heart out because this show is a love letter to all of us fans who grew up with the X-Men on Saturday mornings. We get to see the X-Men celebrated in all of their glory once again with the show further building upon the already iconic legacy of its key characters. 

Yes, there have been many X-Men movies over the years, but it’s X-Men ‘97 and X-Men: The Animated Series that truly embraces these beloved characters and honors their rich comic history. Take Storm for example. In the first three episodes, the show gives the character a more complex and rich storyline than we saw in any of the films – an arch that is going to take fans on quite a rollercoaster ride and will have you yelling at the TV on a few occasions. 

That’s the beauty of the show, we finally get to see the X-Men back in a project that captures the essence of these amazing characters and celebrates them through bold and thought-provoking storylines. I for one cannot wait to see where the rest of the season takes us and am excited to go along with my beloved X-Men on the journey ahead. 

Marvel Studios has truly outdone itself and deserves all the praise it will soon be getting for this masterpiece in animation! 

Don’t miss new episodes of X-Men ‘97 Wednesdays on Disney+!

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