Magneto’s Unexpected Turn Puts Thanos’ Shadow in the Spotlight

Though Thanos’ last MCU appearance was in the Infinity Saga, a detail in X-Men ’97 manages to mirror Thanos’ sentiment and keep his story alive.

Thanos with the X-Men from X-Men 97 behind him

Warning! This article contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 episode 5.

Although X-Men ‘97 isn’t officially part of the MCU, the show is continuing Thanos’ story even after his death. X-Men ‘97 episode 5 followed Magneto, Gambit, and Rogue in Genosha after the mutant nation was admitted into the United Nations. Though Genosha met a tragic fate in X-Men ’97 episode 5’s ending, what was seen before the Sentinel attack presented Genosha as a world with a rich history full with Marvel references.

X-Men ‘97 isn’t considered canon to the MCU, but as Marvel Studios’ first use of the mutant team ahead of the upcoming MCU X-Men reboot, it makes sense that there would be some parallels to the MCU. One of these references links back to the MCU’s Mad Titan, despite him being dead for 5 years. Thanos has not been shown or even mentioned in the series directly, but one detail seen in Genosha parallels the villain and echoes the sentiment he was spreading throughout the Infinity Saga.

X-Men ’97 Mirrors The MCU’s “Thanos Was Right” Slogan

Marvel Loves Complex Villain Motivations In The MCU Era

Thanos showing Titan's history in Avengers Infinity War

When Thanos motives were first introduced in the early MCU, the problem was obvious. There is no way in which the death of half the universe could be considered ethical. However, as Thanos’ threat started to loom larger, some Marvel fans started to see where Thanos was coming from. Although the way that Thanos planned to go about his plan was evil, there can be justification made for his desire to see the universe thrive. As warped as Thanos’ perspective and behavior had become, his actions arguably stemmed from a good idea.

The slogan “Thanos Was Right” started to make the rounds among MCU fans throughout the Infinity Saga, and X-Men ‘97 showed a direct parallel to it in episode 5. When Magneto, Gambit, and Rogue first arrive in Genosha, posters boasting the slogan “Magneto Is Right” can be seen hanging throughout the city. The MCU never showed anyone outright proclaiming that Thanos was right, but his legacy is indirectly being continued in X-Men ‘97 five years after his death.

Why X-Men ’97 Has “Magneto Is Right” Posters

The Brotherhood Of Mutants Leader Does Have A Point

Signs held up by Genoshans in support of the X-Men and mutant rights in X-Men '97, from left to right they read: "Mutants Matter!", "Magneto Is Right!", and "Welcome X-Men!"

When Magneto first returned in episode 1 of X-Men ‘97, the X-Men were cold towards him. Although the X-Men would want nothing more than the acceptance of mutants by society, Magneto’s cynical perspective had always put him at odds with the rest of the team with how he went about achieving such unity. In a sentiment explored in past Marvel projects like Captain America: Civil War, the X-Men toe a fine line between being public figures and wanting to do what’s right. However, for the mutants of Genosha who have no obligation to humans, Magneto undeniably fights for their rights.

After Magneto’s speech to the United Nations in episode 2, mutants look to him as a guiding figure. It makes sense that there’d be outspoken support within Genosha such as the “Magneto Is Right” posters, as it’s common during political unrest for citizens to want to make their voices heard. Despite undefendable past actions, Magneto is still respected in Genosha because of his fight for mutant rights. Perhaps catching wind that Magneto was going to be made leader of the nation, Genoshans wanted to express their support for the political movement.

Why Magneto’s MCU Mirroring Actually Improves Its Story

Magneto Is Even More Complicated In X-Men ’97

Magneto looks over Genosha through the window with the Genoshan council behind him, statues of him and Charles Xavier are in front of him

Though Thanos’ reasoning for his actions may have held some weight, the Mad Titan was ultimately irredeemable because of how evil his actions were. He had been portrayed as a villain from the start which solidified his status, whereas Magneto has always been portrayed as more of an anti-hero. Magneto has committed crimes of his own, but his reasoning is a bit more tangible than Thanos’ as he never planned to kill half of the universe outright. Considering Magneto’s background and the undeniable mistreatment of mutants, the support for Magneto shown by Genoshans in X-Men ‘97 feels more justifiable.

X-Men ‘97 has not directly referenced Thanos in any way, but episode 5 of the series still manages to mirror one of Thanos’ biggest stories. The “Magneto Is Right” posters seen in Genosha are reminiscent of the “Thanos Is Right” slogan thrown around by MCU fans during the Infinity Saga. Since Magneto’s actions are ultimately more tangible than Thanos’, the support for Magneto feels more justifiable. Whether an intentional parallel by Marvel or not, Thanos’ story continues in X-Men ‘97 years after his last MCU appearance.

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