15 Marvel Easter Eggs in X-Men ’97 Episode 6 You Might Have Missed

X-Men ’97 features a major character return along with a collection of great references and exciting Easter eggs for the new animated Marvel series.

X-Men '97 Episode 6 Easter Eggs Xavier, Nightcrawlwe, and Adversary Demon

Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for X-Men ’97 Episode 6, “Lifedeath- Part 2”

X-Men ’97 features a collection of very exciting Easter eggs and references with every episode, connecting not only to the original animated series but also to the comics, and even the MCU. As such, the new X-Men ’97 episode 6 is no exception. Featuring the dynamic return of major characters (while recently lost characters are mourned), this new episode features a handful of very exciting nods across the board.

X-Men ’97 episode 6 continues Storm’s arc with Forge which began in X-Men ’97 episode 4, featuring her struggle to face both inner and outer demons as she seeks to reclaim her lost power. Likewise, X-Men ’97 episode 6 also features the long-awaited return of Professor Charles Xavier, confirmed to have survived his near-fatal wounds from the original X-Men series finale thanks to the healers of the Shi’ar. To that end, here are 15 of the biggest Easter eggs and references from the new X-Men ’97 episode 6, “Lifedeath- Part 2”.

15. Lost X-Men Members

Gambit/Magneto

Magneto Opening Title Card

Tragically, X-Men ’97 brutally reminds viewers right off the bat of the losses suffered during X-Men ’97 episode 5’s Fall of Genosha. During the brutal attack on the mutant island nation of Genosha, both Magneto and Gambit lost their lives at the hands of the massive Wild Sentinel. To that end, the opening credits sequence of X-Men ’97 episode 6 has both of their traditional title cards removed, making their absences even more heartbreaking than they already were. While one or both of them could possibly come back to the land of the living, both Magneto and Gambit are currently presumed dead.

14. New X-Men Member

Nightcrawler

Nightcrawler Opening Credits 1

Despite losing Magneto and Gambit from the official X-Men roster, the opening credits do make an exciting addition in their place. Despite her injuries during the Fall of Genosha, Kurt Wagner’s Nightcrawler did manage to survive the brutal massacre. As such, it seems as though he’s now part of the official X-Men team. Seeing as how Kurt only made guest appearances in the original X-Men animated series, finally seeing Nightcrawler as an official X-Man is incredibly exciting and well-deserved for Marvel’s classic teleporting mutant.

13. New Scenes In X-Men Opening Theme

From The OG Series

Nimrod and Master Mold in X-Men '97

The opening credits seen in X-Men ’97 also include brand-new scenes from the original X-Men series. This includes the X-Men’s encounter with Forge and X-Factor, as well as their battles with the Nimrod Sentinel and the Shi’ar Imperial Guard on the moon. The beginning of Professor Xavier’s romance with the Shi’ar Empress Lilandra is shown, as is Bishop’s time-travel mission where he was allied with an alternate future version of Storm and Wolverine who were romantically involved (unlike in the main X-Men timeline). If only Wolverine could get over Jean Grey…

12. The Kree

Featuring Ronan The Accuser

Ronan and Kree In X-Men '97 Episode 6

X-Men ’97 opens with the Shi’ar doing battle with none other than the Kree. A major alien force in the original Marvel Comics as well as in the MCU, the Kree are quite formidable, while also being responsible for the creation of the Inhumans and taking in Carol Danvers after she lost her memory as seen in 2019’s Captain Marvel. Likewise, the Kree were most recently seen in 2023’s The MarvelsThe Kree in X-Men ’97 are also led by Ronan the Accuser, though not the more fanatical rogue version seen in the MCU’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

11. Imperial Guard

Heroes of the Shi’ar Empire

Shi'ar Impieral Guard in X-Men '97

Thanks to the Shi’ar Imperial Guard, the Kree are promptly defeated at the beginning of X-Men ’97 episode 6. Led by Gladiator, the Imperial Guard has fought the X-Men in the past, most notably during the various Phoenix arcs seen in X-Men season 3 of the original series. Besides Gladiator who’s long been the most prominent member on-screen, the X-Men ’97 roster includes Starbolt, Flashfire, Smasher, Titan, Warstar, Manta, and Vulcan (brother to Scott Summers’ Cyclops).

10. Xavier Returns

“Consort of the Empress”

Xavier Debuts To Shi'ar Empire

X-Men ’97 episode 6 confirms what had long been expected based on the original X-Men series’ ending. Taken by the Shi’ar to be healed from his wounds, Xavier is alive and well in X-Men ’97, albeit living in the cosmos with his love Lilandra as her official consort. While this mirrors Xavier’s brief tenure in the comics as Lilandra’s love, X-Men 97’s Xavier seemingly intended to go further to prove his commitment after being challenged by Deathbird.

Initially, Xavier agrees to sacrifice all of his memories about Earth and the X-Men to be with Lilandra and help lead the Shi’ar long-term. However, Xavier being altered to the Fall of Genosha via the astral plane has changed his entire trajectory. Instead, Xavier is now determined to leave Lilandra and finally return home to his X-Men.

9. Ross Marquand Voices Xavier

Who Can’t He Play?

Ross Marquand looking intently sideways in The Walking Dead with the X-Men 97 poster in the background

It’s also worth noting that X-Men 97’s Professor Xavier is voiced by Ross Marquand. Best known for his work on The Walking DeadMarquand is an accomplished vocal impressionist with a solid Marvel tenure. Not only did he play the Red Skull in Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, but he’s also voiced both the Red Skull and Ultron in the animated Marvel’s What If…? series, as well as the Ultron sentries in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. To that end, Marquand’s work is uncanny in X-Men ’97, having successfully mirrored the voice of original Xavier actor Cedric Smith.

8. “Terran”

A Classic MCU Term

Gladiator Calls Xavier a Terran

While the original X-Men series might have used the term once or twice, the Shi’ar refer to Xavier as a “Terran” on multiple occasions throughout X-Men ’97 episode 6. Referring to beings who hail from Earth, the term “Terran” became increasingly popularized in the Marvel Cinematic Universe beginning with the first Guardians of the Galaxy film. As such, the term is arguably yet another nod to the MCU seen in X-Men ’97, helping to build anticipation for the mutant imminent debut in the interconnected on-screen universe.

7. How Very Kipling Of You

The White Man’s Burden

Charles Xavier and Gladiator Discuss Kipling

Getting a chance to speak with Xavier one-on-one, Gladiator explains that the Shi’ar Empire’s mission and core principle is to “bind various cultures into one for the sake of galactic peace and harmony”. As such, Xavier claims Gladiator’s comments are very much like those of the English novelist and poet Rudyard Kipling, a man “possessed of many burdens, none real“. As confirmed by X-Men ’97 writer and director Beau DeMayo, Xavier is specifically referring to Kipling’s 1899 poem “The White Man’s Burden” which urged the United States to take up the “burden” of imperialism with the Philippines as the British had done in India.

6. Storm’s Claustrophobia

Ororo Faces Multiple Demons

Storm Trapped In Coffin in X-Men '97

While Storm is battling the demon known as the Adversary, the sinisterly supernatural creature places her in a series of nightmares. This includes a coffin that Ororo struggles to break free from as she tries not to panic and hyperventilate. This is due to Storm’s claustrophobia which was established in the original X-Men series as a key fear for one of the X-Men’s most powerful members. As such, it quickly becomes apparent that the Adversary knows exactly which vulnerabilities to strike as it attempts to corrupt Ororo in X-Men ’97 episode 6.

5. Forge’s Shamanic Abilities

(With Some MCU Flair)

Forge's Shamanic Powers In X-Men '97

Having unleashed the Adversary when he was still fighting in Vietnam, X-Men ’97 confirms that Forge’s powers are not just scientific as a gifted inventor. He also has his shamanic abilities passed down from his Native American ancestors. Using them in an attempt to bind the demon, it’s worth noting that Forge’s magic looks not unlike that of Doctor Strange and his fellow sorcerers of Kamar-Taj in the MCU with its fiery orange color and symbols covered in ancient runes.

4. Omega Level Storm Music

She’s Back!

Storm's Powers Return in X-Men '97

Crawling through an incredibly tight space inside a mountain, the Adversary believes that it has won. However, Storm refuses to believe in her own self-doubt and the lies she’s told herself. Breaking through, the same music from X-Men ’97’s premiere begins to play when Storm displays her full power against Trask’s Sentinels as an omega-level mutant. As such, Storm’s powers are epically restored, experiencing a new birth as a mutant and X-Man with the Adversary’s defeat.

3. Storm’s Black Costume

Settling The Jim Lee Debate In Style

Storm New Headdress In X-Men '97

Marking Ororo’s renewed powers and a new beginning, Storm has gained her iconic black costume and headdress from the original comics. Leaving the white behind, a new Storm has emerged in X-Men ’97 as she relishes having her powers back. Likewise, the black costume helps confirm the long-held fan debate about artist Jim Lee’s Storm design and whether her costume during the period was meant to be white, silver, or black.

2. Evolutionary War

A Marvel Comics Crossover Event

Genosha on the News in X-Men '97

When Forge turns on the news, both he and Storm are shocked to learn about the recent Fall of Genosha. Referred to by news anchor Trish Tilby as “the first salvo in an Evolutionary War”, this is likely a reference to the Marvel Comics crossover event of the same name, one where the X-Men and multiple other heroes faced the High Evolutionary. As such, this may be pointing to the High Evolutionary’s involvement in the Genosha attack, seeing as how he was featured in the original X-Men series. The High Evolutionary was also recently featured in the MCU with 2023’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.

1. War of the Worlds Now Playing

Mirrors The Fall of Genosha

Bolivar Trask and War of the Worlds Sign

X-Men ’97 ends with Bolivar Trask asking to be killed for what happened in Genosha. Given the involvement of the Wild Sentinel, he confirms that his DNA was used to access the Sentinel technology, including Master Mold which likely had a hand in the creation of the massive Wild Sentinel which laid waste the Genosha and murdered countless mutants. As such, it’s revealed that Trask is seemingly working for Mister Sinister, who himself may be working for someone who’s yet to reveal themselves in X-Men ’97.

At any rate, a movie theater is seen behind Trask which is screening War of the Worlds. The classic H.G. Wells science fiction story, War of the Worlds has been adapted many times for the screen. Likewise, there are some key similarities between the alien attacks in War of the Worlds with their large tripod-walking killing machines and the massive Sentinel attacks on Genosha. Furthermore, one could argue that it very is a “War of the Worlds” in its own right, a war between humans and mutants as X-Men ’97 continues.

X-Men ’97 releases new episodes Wednesdays on Disney+.

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