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“X-Men ’97” is the superhero revival that we needed

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Disney Plus premiered its new superhero animated series this year in March, and since then it has proven to be not only a “x-spectacular” comeback of familiar faces but also of important topics. Starting with two initial episodes on March 20th, the series will release new episodes weekly, and here’s what you need to know about it.

Plot and context

Although its release year was 2024, X-Men ‘97 was not a randomly picked name. The “97” in question, represents the fact that the new series is actually a continuation of X-Men: The Animated Series, since its last season was released in 1996. That also explains the strong and iconic use of 90’s references and visuals. 

Following one year after the events of the previous series, the plot of the X-Men ‘97 episodes focuses on the famous mutant team having to deal with the absence of Professor Xavier – considered legally dead after the ’96s season finale battle – whilst fighting missions against villains and anti-mutant movements. Besides its loyalty to the continuity of the previous animation plot-line and characters, references to the comics are also made.

elements and figures

Being set in the 90’s scene, the animation´s visuals send the spectator back to that period. That effect is reached with retro-looking scenarios, the original design of the characters and their original, vintage – and kind of quirky – uniforms, the ones we saw previously in the comics and old animations. The nostalgic feeling also comes from the use of the classic theme song, added with the return of some voice actors that were on the first version. As in the technique area, the spectator feels like they’re watching an older animation because, not only was it done entirely by hand, like in the old days, but also with the technique of purposely creating fewer frames for each scene.

Between the classic characters of the comics, X-Men ‘97 brings back iconic names such as: Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm, Magneto, Gambit and Beast

There is also a Brazilian character, Roberto Da Costa – or Sunspot – who speaks Portuguese in some scenes! His voice actor, Guilherme Agustini, is also from Brazil.

Analogies and important themes

The X-Men comics were first created and released in the 60’s, at a time when the world scenario was shaken by racial segregation and prejudice. Also during this period, the Civil Rights Movement in the United States fought for the end of racial segregation in the country.

Analogically, the main theme of the comics, around anti-mutant movements and the fight for unity between mutants and humans, is mirrored in the important fight for racial equality rights. Mutants, used as a metaphor for social minorities, are socially excluded, hunted and even killed for being who they are.

Even though it was inspired by the world scenario in the 20th century, the topics are, unfortunately, still very current. With that in mind, X-Men ‘97 continues to remind us that true justice lies in a world with socio-racial equality and tolerance, where prejudice is no longer present.

The superhero revival

This is the first X-Men production made by Marvel Studios since they regained the rights to the characters from 20th Century Fox, and also the first produced project of the same company that is not a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Due to these factors, the new series is considered a great ambition, relying on its nostalgic factor to attract the public and take us back to the essence of superheroes. Not just the original designs and voices, but also the way we view the superhero media. We look up to them, we see ourselves in their greatness and qualities, but also – and sometimes mainly – in their imperfections. Nowadays, when superhero media is so popular and commercialized, its output is often more prioritized than its quality, banalizing its true function. So it’s always great when we get to have projects like X-Men ‘97, that are made as the result of a careful direction, trying to deliver what fans expect in the grandest and truest way possible.

Future seasons

With one episode released per week, the first season of the animated series will have a total of 10 episodes, ending on May 15th. Brad Winderbaum, the series executive producer, has already confirmed that season three will soon be in the making, and that the story will continue to be faithful to its prequel, while also adding new narrative arcs to be explored.


The article above was edited by Isadora Quaglia.

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Maria Palermo

Casper Libero '27

Journalism student with a passion for music, movies and culture in general. Hoping to write, learn and communicate more to the world each day!