X-Men ’97: 10 Burning Questions After The Season 1 Finale

X-Men ’97: 10 Burning Questions After The Season 1 Finale

X-Men ’97 had the hard task of following up on X-Men: The Animated Series, one of the most beloved Marvel cartoons ever made. But instead of bending under the weight of fan expectations, X-Men ’97 exceeded them with one of the most thrilling and daring superhero adaptations in years. The first season masterfully remixed storylines from the ’80s and ’90s, including Lifedeath, Fatal Attractions, and Operation: Zero Tolerance with a few modern touches and animation that far surpassed the original X-Men animated series.

Thankfully, X-Men ’97 already has a second season in the works. Because after the Season 1 finale, we’ve got 10 burning questions about what comes next for Marvel’s mutant heroes.

Warning: The following contains spoilers from the entire first season of X-Men ‘97 on Disney+. If you aren’t up to date on the show and don’t want to know what happened, stop reading now.

1. What was the fallout from Xavier leaving the Shi’ar empire?

Before Charles Xavier headed back to Earth to reunite with his students, he left behind a potentially dangerous situation with the Shi’ar and Empress Lilandra, who may no longer be his beloved. The Shi’ar people were decidedly cool to the notion of Xavier and Lilandra getting married and sharing the throne. That was enough for Lilandra’s sister, Deathbird, to openly defy her empress in a bid to seize power for herself.

Xavier was in the process of winning over the Shi’ar council to change the very nature of their empire when he received the psychic backlash from the mutant massacre in Genosha. Lilandra warned Xavier that if he left, everything Deathbird said about him would be validated. And he left anyway. While Lilandra still has the loyalty of Gladiator and the Imperial Guard, it’s likely that Deathbird will make another play for the throne. Without Xavier, can Lilandra hold her empire together? The show’s heroes may have bigger problems to face first, but this is something that may come back to haunt all of them.

2. Will Wolverine devolve without his adamantium skeleton?

The three-part season finale recreated the scene from Fatal Attractions where Magento ripped the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton. Even with his healing factor, Wolverine didn’t wake up in the season’s last episode. If the show follows Wolverine’s progression from the comics, it means he’ll soon discover that he’s still got bone claws.

But the biggest issue facing Wolverine now is whether the loss of his adamantium will have the same adverse effects that it did in the original comics. Without having to compensate for the metal in his body, Logan’s healing powers were amplified and he began devolving into a more animal-like state. Wolverine eventually got his metal back, but it took a few years for that to happen.

3. Did Bastion survive the destruction of Asteroid M?

Bastion was a pretty convincing choice to be this season’s big bad, and he has to be considered one of the deadliest enemies that the X-Men have ever faced. This is especially true now that Bastion used the future tech from Cable’s arm to transform himself into something more machine than man.

Although Bastion scoffed at the team’s attempt to recruit him, he did reach for Cyclops’ outstretched hand when Asteroid M was hit by missiles. The finale left Bastion’s final fate ambiguous. Yet as comic fans have said for years, if there’s no body, then he’s not dead.

4. Where are Magneto’s children?

The last episode of the season briefly acknowledged that Magneto’s children–Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Polaris–are still on his mind, even though none of them directly appeared this season. We don’t even know if Polaris is aware that she’s Magneto’s daughter. The one clue that we have to work with is that Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver were both marked as “off world” on Forge’s chart of mutant heroes. Why are they in space? And when will they return?

5. Will Graydon Creed become the next President of the United States?

Graydon Creed, the son of Mystique and Sabretooth, also skipped this season, but he was prominently mentioned as running for President against the incumbent, Robert Kelly. President Kelly came to office on an anti-mutant platform before embracing the X-Men as heroes. In the ’90s, it was unthinkable for a Presidential candidate to come to power who openly spewed racism and division. But in 2024, it’s no longer such a far-fetched concept.

As President, Graydon Creed could be even deadlier to the X-Men than Bastion. Unless Mystique takes the same step to prevent that from happening as she did in the comics…

6. Who kidnapped the X-Men through time?

As Bishop said on the show, this isn’t the first time that the X-Men have been missing and presumed dead. The finale has some echoes of The Fall of the Mutants, a storyline where the X-Men appeared to die saving humanity from the Adversary, only to be quickly resurrected and allowed to maintain the illusion of their death. Forge was also left behind that time.

The key difference here is that Bishop is convinced that something or someone kidnapped the X-Men and scattered them in time. If so, who could have pulled that off and why?

The common denominator between two time frames in the past and the far future are Apocalypse. The team in the past has now met En Sabah Nur when he was still mortal, while Apocalypse is the enemy of Clan Askani in the future. We’re also curious if Mother Askani is Rachel Summers, Cyclops and Jean Grey’s other child from an alternate timeline. Rachel was briefly glimpsed in Episode 8 during Cable’s description of mutantkind’s future under Bastion’s control. Until now, that was the only confirmation that Rachel existed in the world of the show. And if young Nathan is in the future, can his clone Stryfe be far behind?

7. What happened to Wolverine, Morph, and Storm?

Three of the X-Men are currently unaccounted for after the time-travel shenanigans. Morph stayed by Wolverine’s side as he was comatose, while Storm was outside of Asteroid M during the event that ripped it from the present. None of those three were shown alongside their teammates in either the past or the future.

Did that trio wind up in another historical era or future? And if so, where are they?

8. Where are the missing mutants?

Forge’s board noted that Cable, Jubilee, and Sunspot are all AWOL, which means they went their separate ways after E Day. But the more-alarming update on the board was Archangel, who was noted to be missing and presumed dead. He was one of the original X-Men, and a key player in the comics for decades. It’s unlikely that the show would kill off someone that important off-screen, especially given his connection to Apocalypse.

9. Who will be on Forge and Bishop’s new team of X-Men?

The idea of Forge putting together a new team does have some precedent in the comics, even though he only teamed up with Banshee with any regularity before both of them were reunited with their friends. In this continuity, it looks like Bishop will play the role of Forge’s partner as they search for the X-Men. Yet what we really want to know is simple: Who will join their team in the present?

This scene marked the first time that the show has acknowledged Kitty Pryde aka Shadowcat, and it’s unclear if she has the same connection with the team that her comic-book counterpart did. Other potential members listed were Iceman, Havok, Dust, White Queen, Colossus, Magik, and even Exodus. Bringing some of those characters together could be very interesting.

10. Will Apocalypse resurrect Gambit?

Despite the suspicion that X-Men ’97 would undo Gambit’s grand sacrifice by time travel, the popular X-Man remains dead at the end of the season. But probably not for long. The post-credits scene certainly seems to be setting up Apocalypse to resurrect Gambit as Death, a member of his Four Horsemen. Gambit was also Death for a brief period in the comics, but he didn’t have to die for that to happen.

Mister Sinister already resurrected Morph in the original series, and if he can do that, then so can Apocalypse. The real question is why would Apocalypse only resurrect Gambit? With so many dead mutants on Genosha, he could have his pick of new Horsemen from the victims.

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