Revealing the Harsh Truth About the Deaths in X-Men ’97 Episode 5

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

X-Men ’97 episode 5 featured several tragic deaths due to the Sentinel attack on the island state of Genosha. After X-Men ’97 episode 4’s ending focused on Storm and Forge, X-Men ’97 episode 5 picked up with the other X-Men. Magneto, Rogue, and Gambit travel to Genosha to oversee the country’s induction into the United Nations, while the remaining members of the team handle a press tour of the X-Mansion. While the premise of the story is a hopeful one, X-Men ’97 episode 5’s ending breeds catastrophe and tragedy.

The attack on Genosha began suddenly in X-Men ’97 episode 5 after an interesting tease concerning who may have been behind the incident. The mutant Cable appeared to his mother, Madelyne Pryor, warning her of the impending attack by the Sentinels. This could hint that Apocalypse is behind the attack, given Cable’s opposition to the villain in Marvel Comics, teasing a major storyline for future episodes and even X-Men ’97 season 2’s story. Another possible perpetrator is Cassandra Nova, the evil twin of Professor X.

In Marvel Comics, Cassandra Nova unleashes an army of Sentinels against Genosha in a bid to exterminate all mutants, with his story potentially being referenced as an X-Men ’97 episode 5 Easter egg. Two other potential villains behind the assault are Henry Gyrich and Bolivar Trask, who birthed the Sentinel program in X-Men: The Animated Series. Finally, another possibility is that Apocalypse, Nova, Gyrich, and Trask are all working together toward the common goal of defeating the X-Men. Regardless of who sanctioned the Genosha attack, it left several X-Men ’97 characters dead, implying a tragic end to the season.

5. Gambit

The death of the lovable X-Men legend ended X-Men ’97 episode 5 on a tragic note.

Gambit uses his staff in X-Men 97

In the climactic moments of X-Men ’97 episode 5, Rogue flies into a rage against the giant Sentinel attacking Genosha. As a means of saving her life, Gambit subdues her by intercepting her with his motorcycle, before charging the Sentinel himself. Gambit manages to make his way toward the Sentinel, but not before it stabs him with a protruding metal arm. Despite this grievous wound, Gambit smiles and imbues the arm – and thus the Sentinel – with his kinetic energy.

The mutant successfully blows up the giant Sentinel, halting the attack on Genosha. However, Gambit’s lifeless body is found by Rogue in the aftermath, with the latter stating “I can’t feel you.” This heavily implies that Gambit died in X-Men ’97 episode 5’s ending. Another aspect that supports Gambit’s death is a Marvel Comics storyline in which he is killed before being raised as one of Apocalypse’s Four Horsemen. Cable’s inclusion teases Apocalypse’s sinister plans, which could mean Gambit returns. That said, by the end of X-Men ’97 episode 5, Remy LeBeau/Gambit is confirmed dead by Rogue.

4. Magneto

The new leader of the X-Men is no more.

Magneto defends Leech in X-Men 97

As alluded to, Rogue’s anger against the giant Sentinel is what led to Gambit’s eventual demise in X-Men ’97 episode 5. What makes this even more tragic for Rogue is that it was Magento’s seeming death that spurred her rage. Shortly before Gambit’s attack on the Sentinel, Magneto is shown defending the Morlocks. Magneto is shown as the primary target of the Sentinel due to his Omega-level powers, endangering the Morlocks. For a while, Magneto successfully repels the Sentinel’s blast before muttering the words “Do not be afraid” in German.

The Sentinel then breaks through Magneto’s barrier, causing a major explosion. The new leader of the X-Men is not seen again in the episode, with the Sentinel seemingly confirming his death by stating the Omega-level threat has been eliminated. This death will likely have major ramifications for X-Men ’97 season 1’s story, as Magneto can seemingly no longer lead the X-Men. This may push Cyclops back into a leadership role, or lead to a storyline in which Magneto is resurrected to continue Charles’ fight.

3. The Morlocks

A group of mutants under Magneto’s care did not make it out of X-Men ’97 episode 5.

x-men the animated series, Callisto with the morlocks and Rogue

As alluded to, Magneto’s sacrifice in X-Men ’97 episode 5 links to the Morlocks. The Morlocks have long been part of the animated X-Men universe, from their repeated appearances in X-Men: The Animated Series to their continuation in X-Men ’97. In X-Men ’97 episode 5, the Morlocks were shown living peacefully in Genosha, meaning they were also at the center of the Sentinel attack.

The Morlocks moved to Genosha after the events of X-Men: The Animated Series.

After Gambit saves the Morlocks, Magneto tries to shield them from the Sentinel’s attacks. However, Magneto’s failure to withstand the Sentinel which resulted in his own death means the same for the Morlocks. The explosion and ensuing chaos likely resulted in the death of the characters, marking another group of characters from X-Men: The Animated Series whose story met a tragic end.

2. Callisto

Another confirmed death befalls a character from X-Men: The Animated Series.

Callisto dying on a stretcher in X-Men '97

Aside from the deaths of Gambit, Magneto, and the Morlocks, the other obvious death befell Callisto. As the X-Men are shown regrouping from the first attack, Callisto is shown lying on a stretcher. While this implies that she is only injured, a close-up of her face is shown. This close-up lingers on Callisto’s eye, with her pupil constricting before the action returns to Magneto, Gambit, and Rogue.

In animated properties, the constriction or dilation of pupils is often used to symbolize when a character has died. It seems that this is also the case for Callisto, who is not seen alive after this shot in X-Men ’97. Callisto’s death is as tragic as any other of the mutant lives lost in the massacre of Genosha, though it may hit harder for those familiar with X-Men: The Animated Series. Callisto was a minor albeit sympathetic character in the original show, making her fate in X-Men ’97 that much harder to take.

1. Every Assumed Death In X-Men ’97 Episode 5

Madelyne Pryor and Sebastian Shaw in X-Men 97

With Gambit, Magneto, and Calisto, it was all but guaranteed that each character perished in X-Men ’97 episode 5’s ending. While the stories of Marvel Comics naturally have ways the former two could continue, it remains the case that both are dead as of the ending of the episode. The same can be said for Callisto, with the show making a distinct display of her passing. However, more characters seemingly died in X-Men ’97 episode 5 despite not being outright confirmed as such, from other major X-Men members to their allies and friends.


Nightcrawler dying behind Rogue's hands in X-Men '97

X-Men ’97 episode 5 saw the reintroduction of Nightcrawler to the show after his appearances in X-Men: The Animated Series. In the climactic battle of X-Men ’97 episode 5, Nightcrawler was shown to be invaluable in that his powers could save people from the Sentinels’ blasts. At one point, it seems as though Magneto and Rogue will be destroyed by a Sentinel before Nightcrawler appears, grabs the duo, and teleports them to a safe location.

However, upon their exit from Nightcrawler’s teleportation, the character is shown to be grievously wounded. Gambit says that he is alive, though he certainly looks worse for wear. It could be the case that X-Men ’97 season 1’s future episodes confirmed he died from his injuries. For this reason, it can be assumed that Nightcrawler succumbs to his wounds, at least until X-Men ’97 confirms his continued survival.


Banshee and Pixie in X-men 97

Just before Nightcrawler saves Magneto and Rogue, they are accompanied by Banshee. As the Sentinels lay waste to Genosha around them, Banshee is shown flying away from the battle with another mutant in tow. Banshee gets the attention of Rogue, telling her and Magneto to get to the gardens of the palace for safety. Unfortunately, Banshee’s attempts at saving Rogue are cut short.

It has to be assumed Banshee was killed by the Sentinel in X-Men ’97 episode 5.

As he is imploring Rogue and Magneto to escape, a Sentinel blasts Banshee out of the sky. Unlike Nightcrawler, Banshee is not seen again at all in X-Men ’97 episode 5. Interestingly, this could both be used as evidence that he was killed in the blast and also support his future return. As are the commonly-known rules of TV, unless a dead body is shown, there is always room for a revival in the story. Until this is confirmed, however, it has to be assumed Banshee was killed by the Sentinel in X-Men ’97 episode 5.

Another mutant, Marrow, was also killed in the same blast as Banshee was shown carrying them to safety.

Moira MacTaggert

Proteus and Moira MacTaggert in X-Men The Animated Series

In the same area where Callisto was shown dying – the same place Nightcrawler took Rogue and Magento to – a handful of other X-Men ’97 characters are present. However, these characters are not shown to be in the best of shape, including Moira MacTaggert. In this scene in X-Men ’97 episode 5, Moira is shown to be lying on a stretcher, seemingly unconscious. As with Banshee and Nightcrawler, Moira can be assumed to have died unless X-Men ’97‘s future episodes confirm otherwise.

Sebastian Shaw

X-Men villain Sebastian Shaw in Marvel Comics

Like Moira, Sebastian Shaw was also shown to be lying on a stretcher in X-Men ’97 episode 5. He, too, was depicted as unconscious, likely meaning he also suffered injuries from the initial Sentinel blast. That said, Sebastian Shaw’s mutant powers could enable him to survive. Shaw can take vast amounts of energy and convert it into physical strength, potentially explaining his survival. However, this was not shown to be the case in X-Men ’97, meaning he can be presumed dead until future appearances confirm or deny his survival.

Madelyne Pryor

Madelyne Pryor's Goblin Queen with Nathan Summers in X-Men '97

Another character in X-Men ’97 episode 5 who is shown unconscious after the initial blast is Madelyne Pryor. Madelyne was last seen just before the Sentinel attack speaking to Cable, her son from the future, who tried to warn her about the assault. After this, Madelyne is not shown again save for a shot of her lying on a stretcher beside Shaw and Moira. Her assumed death could spur Cable to become a major character in the future of X-Men ’97‘s story, should he attempt to change time and save his mother.

Cable tells Madelyne that “he is coming,” even further hinting at Apocalypse being the person responsible for Genosha’s attack.


Squid Boy and Moira in X-men 97

The final character who can be assumed to have perished in X-Men ’97 episode 5 is Squid-Boy. Alongside Madelyne, Sebastian Shaw, and Moira, Squid-Boy was shown lying unconscious on a stretcher. Like the others, this hints that he has also succumbed to his wounds and died in the attack by the Sentinels. Unlike characters like Madelyne, Sebastian, and Moira, Squid-Boy is less integral to the overall story of X-Men ’97 meaning his death is all the more likely.

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