X-Men ’97 2024 / A wonderfully old school superhero series with dynamic storytelling and powerful, emotional writing


As a continuation of the original animated series done in a similar visual style, X-Men ’97 could have very easily settled for cheap nostalgia pandering to fans old and new. But what we get instead is a show that hardly seems pressured by expectations and focuses all its energy on simply telling a good story with powerful themes. The best X-Men stories have always touched on prejudice, systemic inequality, and the struggle to come to terms with one’s own differences from society. And this new series follows right along, already communicating so much character within its first two 30-minute episodes while maintaining dire stakes for its entire ensemble.

And even with the occasional awkward line reading, the quality of the writing always shines through—whether in an emotionally charged conversation between Cyclops and Jean Grey about what a parent’s responsibility should be; in the empathetic words of Storm to the rest of her team; or in one of several show-stopping speeches given by Magneto, who finds himself reluctantly aiming for balance between humans and mutants more than ever before. And in every exchange or monologue, there’s always an unease about the situation the X-Men find themselves in, caught between protecting those who wish them dead and leaving this responsibility behind to begin their own lives.

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