X-Men ‘97 Trailer Teases Hellfire Gala, Baby Cable, And Headmaster Magneto

X-Men ‘97 Trailer Teases Hellfire Gala, Baby Cable, And Headmaster Magneto

When X-Men: The Animated Series aired its final episode in 1997, it marked the end of one of the best comic adaptations ever put to screen. With the stylistic flair of Jim Lee’s iconic designs and the excellent narratives pulled straight from Chris Claremont’s all-time great story arcs, it gave X-Men fans everything they could want. It’s been over thirty years since the show ended, but Disney is about to bring it back in a big way—not as a reboot, but as a continuation of the original story. The series, called of X-Men ‘97, will air on Disney+.

The first trailer for the show just dropped, revealing that the series will release on the streaming service on March 20. It’s only a minute and 46 seconds long, but it is packed full of hints and Easter eggs that give us an idea of what the long-awaited continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series will be. That includes a new art style, as well as old and new voices taking on the roles of the titular mutants. Let’s break down everything we caught in the official trailer for X-Men ‘97.

Last time on X-Men

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

As this is a continuation of the ‘90s animated series, the trailer for X-Men ‘97 starts with a refresher on where we left off with our merry mutants. A TV plays footage of the series finale “Graduation Day.” That episode ended the series with Xavier near death of after an attack from an energy disruptor. Lilandra, the empress of the Shi’ar and one of Xavier’s main love interests, swoops in to save the day, but under the condition that Xavier has to travel back to the Shi’ar Empire with her in order to fully recover. In the final scene, the X-Men and Magneto (putting aside his plans for world domination in order to see off his closest friend) say goodbye to Charles. “Fate lies in our hands now,” says Jean Grey as the screen crackles and the Marvel logo appears. Welcome to X-Men ‘97.

Coming back in style

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

The trailer kicks off with an establishing shot of what looks to be New York, considering the front page of the Daily Bugle flutters through the frame. Cyclops is heard saying that mutants “have to stay vigilant,” which, when don’t they, Scott? More interesting are the handful of Easter eggs found on the Daily Bugle front page. One headline reads “Is Spiderman a mutant?,” which sounds like known Spider-Man hater and Bugle owner J. Jonah Jameson is up to his usual antics. To the right of that is a headline that reads “Hellfire Gala” with text by Eddie Brock and photos from Peter Parker. X-Men: The Animated Series did crossover with the Spider-Man cartoon, so perhaps we will see more of the webhead in X-Men ‘97.

The Hellfire Gala is most likely a nod to the Hickman age of X-Men comics that is currently coming to an end which includes an annual event called the Hellfire Gala. In the context of X-Men ‘97, it likely means more Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw, but the fashion the event has come to always bring to the comics will still be around. The main story in the newspaper reads “Inside Scoop Mutant Fashion Show” with pictures of mutants dressed in some sick styles. We see Banshee (Sean Cassidy in this case), but most intriguing is the appearance of Dust. Created by Grant Morrison in 2002, Dust signals that X-Men ‘97 will pull characters and plotlines from the 21st century comics. With so much talk of fashion, I also can’t help but hope for an appearance by the most magnificent designer in mutantdom: Jumbo Carnation.

A death in the family?

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

We get a quick shot of a casket being lowered into the ground after another shot of a shrine to Xavier. And while this implies the beloved professor’s death, don’t get too worked up over this. As mentioned earlier, Xavier is off to recover with Lilandra. The X-Men may say that he’s dead to explain his absence to the world, though. This could mean we are seeing a fake burial, or more alarmingly, the burial of another mutant altogether.

Old enemies

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

Well, this big robot arm is a clear indicator that the Sentinels, giant mutant killing robots, are back. The creations of scientist and mutant enemy Bolivar Trask is often used by the government’s of the world to hunt down mutants and was a favorite enemy in the animated series. With mutant and human relations seemingly at a boiling point, it makes sense that the Sentinels will be making a return in X-Men ‘97. But why are humans so mad at mutants this time around?

Magneto on trial

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

While the majority of the trailer does a good job at obscuring what exact storylines from the comics will be adapted, the shot of Magneto standing before the United Nations makes it pretty clear that “The Trial of Magneto” will play a big part in X-Men ‘97. The 1985 issue was written by Chris Claremont, with art by John Romita Jr., and saw the X-Men’s greatest villain stand trial for his crimes against humanity. In a shocking decision, the master of magnetism is acquitted of his crimes, marking a major point in Magneto’s redemption arc. This decision will likely not be received well by most of the human public, hence the growing hate between Homo Sapien and Homo Superior.

A trip to the Savage Land

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

We get a handful of shots of a location that is most likely the Savage Land, a secret area in Antarctica where prehistoric creatures thrive, based on the tropical vibes and colorful animals. Season two of X-Men: The Animated Series included a lengthy plot about Xavier and Magneto being lost in the Savage Land and working together. Eventually, the X-Men show up to help defeat Mister Sinister, who has been secretly behind the events in the Savage Land. In the trailer, we see large statues of Xavier and Magneto in front of a large pyramid structure, so maybe the residents of the Savage Land haven’t forgotten their saviors.

Best frenemies forever

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

After a shot of the team suited up in the Blackbird, Cyclops gives out some orders and Wolverine cannot help but be irritated. “Geez, bub. Keep buzzing in my ear,” Wolverine snaps at him. How good is it to see these two bickering again? The begrudging co-worker dynamic of Scott and Logan truly never gets old.

A new look

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

Also on display in a montage of action shots is the new animation. It’s 3D with comic-adjacent style in the same manner as What If…? While I would have preferred a full return to 2D, the cel-shading and bright color palette does a good job at keeping the vibe of the original series alive.

Party time

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

The X-Men won’t just be fighting bad guys while wearing spandex, as we see Gambit, Logan, Rogue, Jubilee, and who I think is Sunspot entering a party. It’s always good to see some more stories that don’t involve endless crime-fighting in an X-Men story so I am all here for it. And hey, if that is Sunspot, that means we will get some New Mutants action in X-Men ‘97. Do I even begin to dream that we will see Magik? Though with Magneto taking a larger role it would make sense for the New Mutants to also be a part of the new series based on their history with Magneto in the comics.

Jean and Scott are expecting

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

Wow! Hello pregnant Jean Grey! Scott and Jean have gotten busy since Xavier left and are now expecting a child. Considering we have already gone through the Dark Phoenix Saga and Jean has come out on the other side, this is unexplored territory. The Animated Series never dug in to Jean’s clone Madelyne Pryor and the origins of Cable but this will all likely act as inspiration for Jean’s pregnancy in X-Men ‘97. Of course the big question is: who is the baby? My money is on Nathan Summers, the baby who later turns out to be Cable, as Cable played a small role in The Animated Series Speaking of Cable, we don’t see him in the trailer, but Theo James is on the project in an undisclosed role that showrunner Beau DeMayo teased as a “fan-favorite,” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. Maybe James is Cable.

To me, my X-Men!

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

And there it is, we get a full shot of the team in all their glory. The line-up in this shot includes Morph, Storm, Gambit, Cyclops, Rogue, Wolverine, Bishop, and Beast. We also get to hear Cyclops utter the famous phrase “To me, my X-Men!” signaling that with Xavier out of the picture, he has become the new leader of the squad. Unless…

Under new management

Screenshot: Disney / Marvel

Seems like Charles did actually have a plan set aside that included who his chosen successor would be in the event he could not lead the X-Men himself. We see a shot of Magneto in Xavier’s office holding The Last Will & Testament of Charles Xavier. Turns out he left everything to Magneto, and now the Xavier Institute and the X-Men are under the leadership of Magneto. This is something pulled directly from the comics. During his time as leader, he takes on the name Michael Xavier and eventually becomes a mentor to the New Mutants. The X-Men (decked out in some truly incredibly ‘90s basketball attire) do not seem happy about this.

I can’t wait to see what wacky adventures they all get up to together when X-Men ‘97 releases on March 20. Is there anything you caught in the trailer that we missed? Let us know!

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