Marvel Studios has revealed the ten episode titles for the first season of X-Men ’97 in a fun way. The X-Men are on what looks like a TV Guide cover straight from the ’90s. These titles tell us a lot, especially if you are a longtime comic book fan or a fan of the classic animated series. Let’s break down what each episode title is likely referencing from the X-Men’s long history.

X-Men 97 episode titles
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Episode One: “To Me, My X-Men”

Marvel Comics

This X-Men episode title reference is simple enough. We hear Cyclops say this turn of phrase in the trailer. Traditionally in the comics, “To me, my X-Men” is what Charles Xavier says to his students when he’s summoning them. This goes all the way back to X-Men #1 in 1963 and later leaders of the team carried on that tradition. Our guess is this episode will mainly deal with who gets to lead the team after Xavier — Cyclops or Magneto.

Episode Two: “Mutant Liberation Begins”


The phrase “Mutant liberation begins” is usually uttered by Magneto in the comics. He says it in his introductory episode of X-Men: The Animated Series, “Enter: Magneto.” We have a feeling this episode will deal with Magneto transitioning from the X-Men’s enemy into a member of the team. Maybe he will be the team’s leader.

Episode Three: “Fire Made Flesh”

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When Jean Grey became the Dark Phoenix, Uncanny X-Men writer Chris Claremont had her say the phrase “I am fire and life incarnate.” This happened midway through “The Dark Phoenix Saga.” In the animated adaptation, Dark Phoenix said the words “I am fire made flesh.” While we don’t expect to see the Phoenix return, the death of Dark Phoenix (or in the animated series, its departure) is when Jean’s clone Madelyne Pryor awoke. Based on this X-Men ’97 episode, it could mean we will discover that the pregnant Jean from the trailer is really Madelyne.

Episode Four: “Motendo/Lifedeath Pt.1”

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We know there is a Nintendo-themed episode this season, which features the X-Men as ’90s video game characters. The episode centers on mall arcade aficionado Jubilee. We think this will take place in Mojoworld, the dimension ruled by the grotesque Mojo, who believes the X-Men are just fodder for entertainment.

Marvel Comics

As for the meaning of the X-Men ’97 episode title “Lifedeath,” it is a reference to another seminal story from mid-’80s Uncanny X-Men focusing on Storm coping with the loss of her powers. It also marks the start of a romantic relationship with the mutant inventor Forge. We know Forge appears in the series, so it might be an adaptation of this story.

Episode 5: “Remember It”


Gambit’s catchphrase on X-Men: The Animated Series after defeating a villain is usually “The name’s Gambit! Remember it!” in a thick Cajun accent. So we bet this episode focuses mainly on Remy LeBeau. Since Mr. Sinister is the main villain of the season, we might get into their mutual past and how Sinister helped stabilize a young Remy’s powers.

Episode 6: “Lifedeath Pt. 2”

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The seminal Storm story in Uncanny X-Men #198, by writer Chris Claremont and artist Barry Windsor-Smith, actually got a sequel of sorts. This issue featured Storm and no other X-Men characters, except as hallucinations. Maybe this one is a Storm solo episode, exploring her African past in a story that is not tied to the rest of the series.

Episode 7: “Bright Eyes”


During the original X-Men: The Animated Series, “bright eyes” is something that Rogue often said in her signature southern drawl. Often before landing a punch on a baddie, she’d say “Remember me, bright eyes?” Sometimes she said this regarding Gambit. Our best guess is that this episode explores the Rogue/Gambit romance and its many obstacles. Of course, the chief obstacle is that Rogue can’t touch anyone without draining their life force.

Episode 8-10: “Tolerance is Extinction”

Marvel Comics

This three-part finale could draw inspiration from three separate X-Men comic book events of the past. The first is “The X-Tinction Agenda,” a 1990 storyline that had the Genoshan government, which used mutants as slave labor, put the X-Men on public trial. The word extinction spelled normally however means we could see an adaptation of Grant Morrison’s 2001 “E is for Extinction” storyline that introduced Xavier’s evil twin sister, Cassandra Nova.

One other clue in the title is the word “Tolerance.” It suggests “Operation: Zero Tolerance,” a story that ran in the X-Men comics (appropriately enough) in 1997. That story had the human/Sentinel hybrid Bastion create a new army of government-backed Sentinels to wipe out the remaining mutant heroes after the Fantastic Four and Avengers disappeared. Maybe X-Men ’97 is adapting all these stories, combining them into one. Certainly, the X-Men movies have done that in the past.

We’ll know for certain how X-Men ’97 draws inspiration from the classic comics when the series drops on Disney+ on March 20.