Thirty years since X-Men: The Animated Series first premiered on television, the characters of the beloved cartoon are set to return to the small screen, offering a dose of nostalgia for kids of the '90s.
X-Men ’97, a revival of the beloved ’90s children's cartoon series that followed the adventures of Marvel's favorite mutant team, will debut new episodes on Disney Plus starting Fall 2023.
After announcing the revival last Nov. 2021, Disney unveiled the first look af the animated series and confirmed that a second season is already in development during San Diego's Comic-Con on Friday, July 22.
— X-Men Updates (@XMenUpdate) July 22, 2022
X-Men ’97 will continue the story of the animated series, which originally ran from 1992 to 1997 on Fox Kids Network as part of the Saturday morning lineup.
The upcoming series, which stays true to the retro look and style of the original, will pick up right where the show last ended, with key cast members reprising their voice roles. The series will include fan-favorite characters Rogue, Gambit, Wolverine, Jubilee, Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey and Beast.
The early images also showed a new team of allies joining the X-Men including Sunspot, Morph, Cable, Bishop, Forge, and Nightcrawler.
The original "timeless team" will reportedly be led by Magneto, now sporting long hair and a purple suit based on his look in the 80’s Uncanny X-Men comics.
Villains set to appear in the show include Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost, Callisto, Val Cooper, and Mister Sinister, who will serve as the series’ main antagonist.
When previously talking about the series, consulting producers Eric and Julia Lewald, who worked on the original series as writers and producers, said: "They want it to be an extension of X-Men: The Animated Series, considered by many as a pop culture phenomenon and one of the most important cartoons of its time."
Dana Vasquez-Eberhardt, VP of Animation at Marvel Studios previously said: "As an animated show, the original X-Men was the forerunner to some amazing action series. Everyone that is making X-Men '97, top-down, is a fan. On this project, instinctually, we knew exactly what this is. To bring this series forward and pick up that baton, and not just keep running at the same pace, but to really elevate. That's the responsibility."
For those not so familiar with the original cartoons, X-Men: The Animated Series actually helped popularize the mutant superhero team before Fox produced the first live-action movie of X-Men in 2000, which kickstarted the modern era of superhero movies.
In the Philippines, X-Men: the Animated Series aired on Friday nights on ABS-CBN and became a certified hit among kids of the '90s alongside other classics of the era such as Batman: The Animated Series, The Real Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, to name a few.
The previous five seasons of the iconic 90s cartoon series featured a similar style and team line-up to the early 1990s X-Men drawn by Jim Lee, while adapting the comic book storylines of Chris Claremont and Louise Simonson written in the ’70s and ’80s, including "Days of Future Past" and "The Dark Phoenix Saga."
During its original run, the series dealt with mature themes and various social issues including anti-mutant prejudice, discrimination, intolerance and racism, among others. Unfortunately, by the fifth season, Saban Entertainment cut costs and switched production to a different animation studio, which resulted in cruder animation quality and the end of the series after 76 episodes.
X-Men '97 is the first X-Men title produced by Marvel Studios. While the X-Men have not officially made their live-action debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Disney’s acquisition of Fox, there's been a major reference to X-Men: The Animated Series in a recent MCU film.
In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Patrick Stewart reprised his role as Prof. Charles Xavier from the live-action Fox X-Men series. In one of the multiverses visited by Stephen Strange, Professor X’s appearance in a yellow hover wheelchair and green suit seemed inspired more by the animated series than the Fox version. The theme song from X-Men: The Animated Series could also be heard in the background when Professor X made his appearance in Doctor Strange.
As a bonus for fans of the original series, Disney Plus also announced that it would be rearranging the episode order currently available on the streaming platform. Previously some episodes were aired out of order during its original run, including Jean Grey’s Dark Phoenix Saga.
X-Men ’97 will be written by Beau DeMayo, who penned The Witcher‘s animated spin-off Nightmare of the Wolf for Netflix. DeMayo also confirmed that a second season was already in development. The series will retain the original theme music from the iconic X-Men animated series of the past.
Relive the nostalgia of your favorite cartoon below and get ready to return when the revival airs in 2023.