7 Important X-MEN: THE ANIMATED SERIES Episodes to Watch Before X-MEN ’97

The trailer for X-Men ’97 was brief, but it gave us a glimpse of some important plot developments. Magneto inheriting the X-Mansion? A pregnant Jean Grey? Many of these things were actually set up in the original ’90s series. Here are some episodes of the classic X-Men: The Animated Series you may want to watch again before X-Men ’97 releases in March on Disney+.

Rogue, Jubilee, Wolverine, Storm, Cyclops, and Charles Xavier in the X-Mansion on X-Men: The Animated Series.

X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1, Episodes 1 & 2, “Night of the Sentinels”

Rouge fights a Sentinel robot in the first episode of X-Men: The Animated Series in 1992.

In the trailer for X-Men ’97, we see the unmistakable hand of a Sentinel robot. The giant mutant-hunting machines are the embodiment of humanity’s hatred of homo superior. In many ways, they are the X-Men’s biggest enemy. We were first introduced to these Sentinels in the two-part opening episode of X-Men: The Animated Series, “Night of the Sentinels,” way back in 1992. They are responsible for killing the shapeshifting X-Man named Morph (he gets better), who will be a key player in the new series. Besides, what’s a better place to start getting ready for X-Men ’97 than with X-Men: The Animated Series very first episodes?

X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1, Episode 3, “Enter Magneto”

Magneto tries to break Beast out of jail in the X-Men: The Animated Series epsiode Enter Magneto.

The trailer for X-Men ’97 also shows Magneto inheriting the X-Mansion, and, presumably, the fortune of Charles Xavier via his last will and testament. It shows that Charles Xavier believed in the good within his former friend turned enemy. The backstory of their complicated relationship is explored in Magneto’s first appearance in X-Men: The Animated Series, “Enter Magneto.” Given Magneto has such a big role in the new show, there’s no better time than now to go back and see how the friendship between Xavier and Magneto fractured. This X-Men: The Animated Series episode will surely come into play in X-Men ’97.

X-Men: The Animated Series Season 1, Episodes 11 & 12, “Days of Future Past”

Bishop travels back in time to meet Xavier's mutants in the X-Men: The Animated Series version of Days of Future Past.

“Days of Future Past” is one of the most iconic X-Men stories of all time. It tells of a future where Sentinel robots have all but made the mutant race extinct. So, one of the future X-Men must go back in time to change history, preventing this apocalyptic future. The original ’80s comics had Kitty Pryde as the time-traveling X-Man, while the film adaptation used Wolverine. But in the two-part adaptation of the story for the cartoon, Lucas Bishop was the character to go back in time. Since Bishop is now a member of the “prime timeline” X-Men in X-Men ’97, the version of the story found in these episodes of The Animated Series may be one you wish to revisit.

X-Men: The Animated Series Season 4, Episode 8, “Nightcrawler”

Nightcrawler in his first X-Men: The Animated Series appearance.

Although not seen in the trailer for X-Men ’97, Marvel Studios has confirmed that the teleporting mutant Nightcrawler will be a series regular. For the show, he’ll be voiced by Adrian Hough. Although a main member of the team since 1975 in the comics, X-Men: The Animated Series only used him twice. Still, the episode “Nightcrawler” was a great chapter in the series. It really summed up why the demonic-looking (yet devoutly religious) mutant is so amazing. This is one episode of X-Men: The Animated Series you might want to revisit to get to know Kurt Wagner better before his X-Men ’97 return.

X-Men: The Animated Series Season 4, Episode 18, “Beyond Good and Evil Part 1”

The wedding of Scott Summer and Jean Grey from the X-Men: The Animated Series episode Beyond Good and Evil, which also features Psylocke.

Jean Grey and Scott Summers are the premiere X-Men couple. Although they attempted to get married in season two, their actual nuptials actually took place at the end of season four. Why does this matter? Because in the X-Men ’97 trailer, we see a very pregnant Jean Grey. But what if that’s not Jean, and Scott married someone else? Toy releases tied to X-Men ’97 show that Madelyne Pryor, Jean’s clone and Scott’s first wife in the comics, will play a big part in the show. These toys also show Maddy with a baby. That baby grows up to be the cyborg warrior Cable in the comics. Our theory is that they replaced the real Jean shortly before their wedding in Beyond Good and Evil. Therefore, Scott actually married her clone Maddy. Considering that, it might be a great time to revisit this famous wedding episode of X-Men: The Animated Series.

X-Men: The Animated Series Season 5, Episode 75, “Descent”

The X-Men: The Animated Series episode Descent shows how Nathanel Essex became Mister Sinister.

Marvel has already confirmed that Mister Sinister will be the main villain of X-Men ’97. The white and pasty-skinned mad scientist has a fixation with mutant bloodlines, and he experiments to create even more powerful mutants. But who is he really? In the final season, the episode “Descent” tells us the origin story of Nathaniel Essex, who used his gifts to give himself powers back in Victorian England. It also ties Sinister into the real-life legend of Jack the Ripper. Given his importance to the upcoming X-Men ’97 series, this episode of X-Men: The Animated Series feels like essential viewing.

Spider-Man: The Animated Series Season 2, Episodes 17 & 18, “The Mutant Agenda” and “Mutants’ Revenge”

Spider-Man welcomes the X-Men in the two part episode The Mutant Menace in 1995.

You might be confused about these episodes being included, as they are part of the ‘90s Spider-Man animated series, not X-Men. But in the X-Men ’97 trailer, we see a copy of the Daily Bugle, with the headline “Is Spider-Man a Mutant?” This lets us know that Spidey is part of the X-Men: The Animated Series world. But we knew this already because the versions of the X-Men from the ‘90s cartoon appeared in a two-part episode of Spider-Man. It is possible that we might see that version of Peter Parker appear in X-Men ’97. How cool would it be to see these Marvel ‘90s icons meet once again? The ‘90s Spider-Man series is also on Disney+. So it’s worth rewatching the X-Men’s two-episode appearance, as it might actually matter to upcoming events in X-Men ’97.

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