X-Men ’97 Review: Sappy Drama, Good Ending

If you can stick with it, there is a lot of payoff, but it's a bit of a slow start.

x men 97 review

I finally got a chance to watch all ten episodes of the X-Men ’97 series on Disney+ and to be honest, I’m not all that impressed.

According to the fans, X-Men ’97 is the best thing since sliced bread; however, I found the series boring and slow at times, filled with sappy drama and exposition (did Bendis write this?), especially at the start.

x men 97 jean scott

Basically, each episode consisted of a lot of blah blah blah, then a cool scene or two, followed by more blah blah blah. On to the next episode, rinse and repeat.

While watching, I found the series to be inaccessible for newcomers. It’s definitely not aimed at the 23 million kids who used to watch the original on Saturday mornings (questionable if that’s a bad thing but the viewership ratings seem to suggest so).

x men 97 jean grey cyclops

Speaking of the original, it’s been 30 years, and X-Men ’97 doesn’t do enough to bring viewers up to speed. While watching, I often wondered how things connected, and assumed it was due to the original show. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for hardcore fans, but they make up a small percentage of viewers. I haven’t watched the original in years.

Regarding the start, the first four episodes are really boring and drawn out, and things only get good at the end of episode 5.

x men 97 storm

I found watching the first half of the season to be a chore. It focuses too heavily on the female characters—two Jean Greys, Storm, Rogue, and even two Jubilees—with too much soap opera drama involving all of them!

Wolverine is useless in the series. Morph is also useless and only seems to push woke BS. Cable and Bishop are equally useless. Initially, Magneto looks like Caitlyn Jenner with his goofy purple costume and ascot.

So while I really didn’t like the first half of the season, I did like the second half a lot and found myself binging through the end of the season rather quickly compared to the first half. Honestly, you could start watching from the last ten minutes of episode 5 and not miss a beat.

That said, the latter half of the season was good, particularly the last three episodes making up the three part “Tolerance Is Extinction” storyline.

Some thoughts:

I was lost when they said Sinister replaced Jean Grey with a clone. I knew this happened in the comics, but I couldn’t remember if it happened in the original series. Later, Sinister said something like, ‘I’ll let you know when I replaced Jean,’ and then Cable appeared, with both Jean/Madelyn and Scott calling him Cable and Nathan. I was scratching my head until I remembered that Cable appeared in the original series. So, back then, Cable knew they were his parents, but Jean/Madelyn and Scott didn’t because Jean Madelyn hadn’t had the baby yet or sent him to the future? It felt confusing and rushed. The series has a lot going on, and you need to connect a lot of dots.

wolverine xmen 97

Wolverine wouldn’t have “missed” when he tried to kill Magneto. I found that lame. Or they should have showed Magneto using his powers to coagulate his blood and heal himself using the iron in his blood. Maybe I missed it.

gay morph x men 97

Morph is just pure cringe. He wasn’t gay in the original. They didn’t use pronouns back in the ’90s. Get over yourselves.

nightcrawler x men 97

Nightcrawler comes off really cool.

x men 97 sentinels

The voice cast took some getting used to, especially Rogue, who sounded like she had sucked helium, and Jubilee, who didn’t sound right. Magneto and Cyclops also sounded a bit different. Given that it’s been 30 years, and some of the voice actors may have passed away or aged, it’s understandable, but noticeable.

Anyone else dying to hear the original voice of the Sentinels say, “Mutant detected?” Miss that!

There is a scene where Bishop absorbs the power of Cyclops and takes out some bad guys, why didn’t Cyclops simply take them out himself???

x men 97 magneto

I liked when Magneto went back to being his normal self and reverted to his original costume. I’ve never liked Magneto as the head of the X-Men.

There’s a lot of OP moments (lot of cosmic!), which I enjoyed: Jean Grey as Phoenix, Rogue is badass, Bastion is super powerful, Magneto at the end when he causes the blackout and creates Asteroid M. Cool stuff!

The final scenes were also super cool!

Final thought: The first few episodes need more of a hook, especially the two-part premiere. If you can make it through the first half of the season, things really pick up and there is a lot of payoff. I would watch a Season 2. X-Men ’97 gets a 6/10.

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