All the Marvel Cameos in the Final Episodes of X-MEN ’97

The last few episodes of X-Men ’97, “Tolerance is Extinction Part I-III,” were chock-full of Marvel Comics cameos. Some have never even appeared in the X-Men: The Animated Series universe before now. Let’s break down each of them, and what we think they mean for the future of the series.

Spoiler Alert


Daredevil in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

Helping to control the chaos and looting on the streets of New York during the blackout after Magneto’s EMP wave is Daredevil, who appeared as part of this universe in Spider-Man: The Animated Series.

Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

With hospitals having no power, Doctor Stephen Strange appears, doing mystical surgery on a patient. Doctor Strange’s magic powers have the same look as they do in the MCU in this X-Men ’97 Marvel cameo, something not present in his original Spider-Man: The Animated Series appearances. The mystics of Kamar-Taj were mentioned by Beast in this series as well.

Iron Man and Captain America

Iron Man and Captain America in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

Although most of the Avengers are off-world dealing with the Kree-Shi’ar war, we do see Iron Man (in his ’90s armor) and Captain America advising the government on what to do about Magneto. Sadly, Tony Stark didn’t have any speaking lines in his X-Men ’97 cameo. Maybe next season, Shellhead.

Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and Polaris

Magneto's children in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

Speaking of Magneto, when Charles Xavier is in his mind trying to reason with him, we see glimpses of Magnus’ children. We see the twins Wanda and Pietro (the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver) as well as Lorna Dane, a,k.a. Polaris. Lorna appeared as a former X-Man and member of X-Factor on the classic show.

Black Panther

Black Panther in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

Marvel’s Black Panther also cameos in X-Men ’97, but he’s not who you think. It’s not Prince T’Challa in the role of the Panther. Instead, it’s his father, King T’Chaka. We’re not sure why Marvel went with this choice, except maybe thinking no one else should even voice act for T’Challa since Chadwick Boseman’s passing in 2020.

Cloak and Dagger

Cloak and Dagger in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

This is a deeper cut. The superhero duo Cloak and Dagger are seen on the streets of New York trying to control the chaos. In older Marvel lore, these purveyors of light and dark were mutants themselves. That has since been retconned. But back in the ’90s, they certainly thought they were mutants!

Psylocke, Alpha Flight, and Cecilia Reyes

Psylocke, Alpha Flight, and Dr. Reyes in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

On the ruins of Genosha, we see the mutant telepath Psylocke. She appeared a few times before, in the classic X-Men: The Animated Series. Alongside Psylocke is the Canadian mutant team Alpha Flight, including members Puck, Northstar, and Aurora. Also with them is Dr. Cecilia Reyes, a mutant and occasional X-Man.

Mister Fantastic

Morph as Reed Richards in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

Morph transforms into Reed Richards, a.k.a. Mister Fantastic of the Fantastic Four, our first visual reference to a member of Marvel’s First Family. This wasn’t technically an X-Men ’97 cameo, but we were happy to see this Marvel character all the same.


Sauron in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

Morph also transforms into Sauron, the mutate from the Savage Land who is part human/part pterodactyl. Not to be confused with Sauron from The Lord of the Rings, although he was named for him.

The Hulk

Morph transforms into Hulk in X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

This wasn’t technically an X-Men ’97 cameo, as it was shapeshifting Morph in disguise, but the Incredible Hulk smashed through Bastion’s forces in “Tolerance is Extinction Part II.” Still, it was amazing to see the Jade Giant in the world of the X-Men. Hopefully, the real Bruce Banner shows up before too long, and gets to battle his old nemesis Wolverine.

Rachel Summers

Rachel Summers, daughter of Jean Grey and Cyclps, as she appears in X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

The most important Marvel cameo came early on in episode 8 of X-Men ’97. As Cable tells the X-Men the history of his future, he explains how Bastion’s plan resulted in his timeline. In one of the images we see, we witness how the surviving mutants in Bastion’s future are used as slaves to humanity. Among them is a telekinetic/telepathic young woman named Rachel Summers. She’s the (as yet) unborn daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey. Raised in the dystopian Days of Future Past timeline, she was one of the remaining mutants who were reconditioned by Sentinels to be mutant hunters called Hounds. The tattoos on her face are the signature of the Hound program.

Mother Askani in the season one finale of X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

In the comics, Rachel breaks free of her programming, goes back in time to our present, and becomes an X-Man. She even absorbs part of the Phoenix force, taking after her mother. Eventually, she goes thousands of years to the future, where she founds the Clan Askani. This is the same group that took in baby Nathan Summers. When Cable says a rebel from his time sent him back, we had a hunch he means his half-sister Rachel. This was confirmed in the final moments of season one, when we see Rachel as Mother Askani (voiced by Star Trek’s Gates McFadden) with Clan Askani in the far future.

Polaris (Lorna Dane)

The magnetically powered Polaris, as she appears in the future timeline of X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

Also in the same dystopian future is an older version of the magnetically-powered Polaris. She’s being used as slave labor by humans just like Rachel. In the X-Men: TAS continuity, Lorna Dane was a former member of the X-Men in the early years. She had a romantic relationship with Iceman/Bobby Drake. She is the daughter of Magneto, half-sibling of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, as noted in Magneto’s mind in the season finale.

William Stryker

Anti-mutant bigot William Stryker's cameo in X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

One of the X-Men’s deadliest human enemies from Marvel Comics, Reverend William Stryker, appears in a “blink and ya miss him” X-Men ’97 cameo. We see him on a TV news show, predicting a war between humanity and mutants. In the comics, Stryker was an anti-mutant televangelist, who was the primary villain in the 1982 graphic novel God Loves, Man Kills.

That story was adapted into live-action in 2003’s X2: X-Men United. In that film, Stryker was reimagined as a military general, not a preacher. Actor Brian Cox portrayed him in the film. Stryker as a younger military man appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse played by Josh Helman.

Doctor Doom

Doctor Doom appears on a video screen in X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

Another big X-Men ’97 cameo is the first official appearance by Doctor Victor Von Doom in a Marvel Studios project. He appears on a monitor talking to Bastion, presumably from his castle in Latveria. He admits to his complicity in the Genoshan attack, however, the level of war crimes committed by Bastion disgusts him. Doom seems to regret allying himself with him, before cutting off the feed. To Victor Von Doom, someone like Bastion is quite beneath him.

Baron Helmut Zemo

Baron Zemo appears on a monitor to talk to the villain Bastion in X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

Baron Helmut Zemo, sporting his classic comic book-accurate face mask, also pops up on one of the monitors talking to Bastion. He seems far less remorseful than Doom about what’s been happening. This minor X-Men ’97 cameo could be hinting that Zemo and his Masters of Evil, usually Captain America and Avengers villains in the Marvel Comics, might be fighting the X-Men in the future. Or maybe the Avengers and the X-Men team up against Zemo? Our heads are spinning at the thought.

The Silver Samurai

Wolverine villain Silver Samurai in his brief appearance on X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

When Magneto unleashes his power and shifts the polarity of the Earth, we see electricity go out all over the world. In Japan, we get a quick look at a long-time Wolverine enemy. Looking out of a high-rise window is the mutant gang leader Silver Samurai, whose real name is Keniuchio Harada. Silver Samurai appeared in the classic X-Men: The Animated Series episode “The Lotus and the Steel.” Samurai appears again in the finale episode of season one.

Omega Red

The Russian mutant Omega Red wakes up from his slumber in X-Men '97.
Marvel Animation

In Russia, we see a government facility that looks like a nuclear power plant. As Magneto’s wave cuts the power across the world, we see that held in suspended animation in this scientific research base is the mutant operative Omega Red. With the power out, Omega Red awakens. Omega Red appeared in four X-Men: The Animated Series episodes over the course of five seasons. We later see him with the Russian Winter Guard, including Darkstar and Crimson Dynamo, in the season finale.

The Soviet Winter Guard in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation


Spider-Man's brief cameo in X-Men '97 episode eight.
Marvel Animation

Oh yeah, then there’s this guy. You might have heard of him. Yes, the amazing Spider-Man himself appears in a silent X-Men ’97 cameo as the power shuts down in New York City. Former X-Men ’97 showrunner Beau Demayo confirms via social media this is the very same wallcrawler who starred in Spider-Man: The Animated Series in the ‘90s, which crossed over with X-Men: TAS. Could this be leading to a revival of that show too? We have our suspicions. In the season one finale, we see Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson, and Flash Thompson on the streets of New York. Showrunner Beau DeMayo confirmed on social media that Peter and MJ were reunited after the events of Spider-Man: TAS, resolving that cliffhanger ending.

Peter Parker, MJ Watson, and Flash Thompson in the season finale of X-Men '97 season one.
Marvel Animation

Originally published on May 1, 2024.

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