To me, my X-Men! It’s hard to believe it’s actually happening, but at last: visual evidence that the iconic X-Men: The Animated Series is returning for all new adventures in X-Men ‘97. And if the first look at the series right out of Marvel’s animation panel at San Diego Comic-Con is any indicator, we’re in for a treat.
Today at Marvel Studio’s animation panel at Comic-Con, the studio lifted the lid on the first character designs for the revival of the beloved ‘90s cartoon. Set after the events of The Animated Series, ‘97 will see the latest iteration of the X-Men led by none other than Magneto himself, clad in a new helmetless costume inspired by his design in the first volume of New Mutants, when Magneto turned away from his villainous actions and joined the X-Men.
That team that he’s leading is a mix of classic faces from the show and some new, chronologically suitable additions. The main team of course is returning, voiced by their original Animated Series actors: Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm (sporting her mohawk look, but still in her classic white costume), Wolverine, Beast, Rogue, Gambit, and Jubilee. But designs were also shown for Sunspot, Cable, Nightcrawler, Forge, Bishop, and Morph, all in their classic ‘90s looks, suggesting we’ll be getting a much more expanded mutant roster this time around. In a brief moment of footage teased to attendees of the panel, the X-Men fought off an attack from one of Bolivar Trask’s sentinels, with the classic XTAS theme playing as Cyclops leads the charge, Rogue and Wolverine distract the massive mech, and Beast sweeps its legs and goes to destroy its chest unit.
Sentinels are all well and good, but who else will oppose the X-Men this time? It wouldn’t be X-Men without some villains, and teaser art included a cavalcade of familiar and deep-cut X-Men antagonists of the era to pit against the team. Shown to attendees were classic designs for Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club, Mr. Sinister, Callisto of the Morlocks, and none other than Valerie Cooper, Special Assistant to the President’s National Security Advisor and a longtime government liason/frenemy between Mutantkind and humanity.
X-Men ‘97 will begin streaming exclusively on Disney+ in fall 2023.