Jaw-Dropping Surprise: Unexpected MCU Cameo Found in X-Men ’97

X-Men ’97’s dramatic episode 5, “Remember It,” featured a surprising cameo appearance from one of the MCU’s most powerful characters.

Rogue and Magneto in X-Men '97's episode 5

Warning: This article contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 episode 5, “Remember It.”

One of the most powerful characters in the MCU just made a shocking cameo appearance in Marvel Studios Animation’s X-Men ’97X-Men ’97 premiered on March 20, 2024, picking up roughly a year after the end of X-Men: The Animated Series, which previously ran for five seasons between 1992 and 1997. While the series has already introduced Sunspot, seen Storm become depowered, pitted the X-Men against Mister Sinister and Madelyne Pryor, and marked Jubilee’s 18th birthday, X-Men ’97 episode 5, “Remember It”, brought one of Marvel Comics’ most destructive and emotional storylines into the popular X-Men: The Animated Series revival.

X-Men ’97’s episode 5 took inspiration from Marvel Comics’ E is for Extinction storyline, which first released in 2001 and began Grant Morisson’s X-Men run by establishing a new status quo for the X-Men and mutantkind as a whole. “Remember It” saw Magneto, Rogue and Gambit journey to Genosha to bring the mutant nation officially into the United Nations, but the mutant inhabitants of Genosha found themselves attacked by upgraded Sentinels, leading to utter catastrophe. While X-Men ’97 episode 5 explored this tragic storyline, it may have established a clear connection to the mainline MCU, thanks to one shocking cameo.

Why The Watcher Appears In X-Men ’97 Episode 5

The Watcher making a cameo in X-Men '97 episode 5

Before the Sentinels attacked the citizens of Genosha in X-Men ’97 episode 5, the dramatic and explosive events of the episode may have been foreshadowed by the appearance of the Watcher. This cosmic entity appears in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment shortly before Magneto and Rogue’s beautiful dance sequence and Cable’s appearance before his biological mother, Madelyne Pryor. In Marvel Comics and in the MCU’s main continuity, the Watcher has been known to oversee world-changing and timeline-splitting events, so it makes sense that he’d appear in the skies above Genosha in the moments before the Sentinel’s devastating attack on the mutant nation.

The Watcher’s Appearance Confirms X-Men ’97 Is Part Of The MCU’s Multiverse

The Watcher speaking to us in What If...?

X-Men ’97’s Watcher displayed a different design to the iteration seen in the MCU’s animated What If…? and I am Groot shows, but as the Watcher is able to peer across the multiverse, it’s possible this could be the same version. Jeffrey Wright has voiced the Watcher in the MCU since 2021’s What If…? season 1, though the character didn’t speak any words in X-Men ’97’s episode 5. Nevertheless, the appearance of the Watcher in X-Men ’97 proves that there are clear connections between the animated series and the MCU proper, which creates the opportunity for some exciting future storylines.

Back in February 2024, X-Men ’97 creator Beau DeMayo stated the series is not canon to the MCU (via X). However, the Watcher’s appearance in X-Men ’97 episode 5 hints at more concrete connections being established, which could bring this version of the X-Men into the mainline MCU, perhaps in a multiversal crossover project such as Deadpool & Wolverine or Avengers: Secret Wars. The fact that the Watcher appeared in the lead-up to sheer catastrophe in X-Men ’97 episode 5 teases the series’ existence in the MCU’s multiverse, and could hint at even more cameos popping up in future episodes.

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