The announcement of X-Men ‘97 by Disney+ as part of their Marvel content reveal a few days ago is very exciting for a few reasons. This is the first project that will be released on the Disney+ platform using the intellectual property of the X-Men series that we all know and love. I was under the assumption that it was still owned by Sony Pictures, so if that has changed and Disney can start putting stuff in the same universe as their other Marvel characters, I will be very pleased.
This series is also set to be a spinoff of the animated series that ran from 1992 to 1997 (hence the name). Although there have been a few movies made since then, none have been as true to form as the original show that helped launch superhero media in the mainstream in the 90s. And part of my frustration with that is that great characters are sidelined when they have a much larger role in the comics and original show. Here are some characters I’m excited to revisit in this new series.
Storm does play a large role in the films that have been released since, and she’s a pretty well known character. But the X-Men films really only serve the purpose of driving forward the stories of Wolverine, Jean Grey, Magneto, and Professor X. No matter how much screen time she has, it’s often during fight scenes where she is reduced to “The Chick Who Can Control the Weather.” She has a fascinating backstory relating to themes of colonization, poverty, and astral projection. Yet it is not fully explored outside of the original animated series. Hopefully we get more of this.
I didn’t know who Rogue was before I started researching the original animated show. She has a pretty large role, larger than in the original X-trilogy, in fact. Her ability to absorb people’s abilities when she touches them (on the condition that they’re alright with being comatose for a few hours) is reduced to relationship drama between herself and Wolverine. This poses problems for her in the comics, but that explores the deeper recesses of the effects of not being able to touch another person: isolation, rejection, loneliness. It will be nice to see her with such depth again, not just to help develop a male protagonist’s character.
Jubilee is a peak 80s-90s character, and with nostalgia for those eras in full swing from Stranger Things and the resurgence of the colorful 80s party aesthetic and the grunge of the 90s, it’s the perfect time to bring her back. She wears a yellow vinyl coat with denim shorts and colorful acrylic glasses and shorts out arcade machines with her power to shoot colorful fireworks out of her hands. She’s a carefree party girl and she would be a great person to revisit with an extra dose of Cyndi Lauper tracks to underscore.
Psylocke has only made an appearance in X-Men Apocalypse. Even though she’s a pretty small character, she offers some very visually pleasing powers to work with. She is able to create objects out of her own mental energy,and that translates to organic shapes to suggest objects constantly floating around her and being hurled at other people. She’s very ferocious and that lends itself to a campy superhero TV show.
Gambit is very attractive. And her would be quite the asset to have again considering that he can explode things with his mind. Professor Xavier wishes he could hold his own against him.