The MCU’s Future Needs To Be Modeled On X-Men ’97

mcu future x-men 97

Marvel Studios has hit plenty of bumps with the Marvel Cinematic Universe ever since COVID. From delayed productions, to low box office returns and poorly reviewed titles, the once undefeated Marvel Cinematic Universe has proven Marvel Studios needs to rethink its future going forward. Luckily, there’s one project Marvel Studios can look to for inspiration going forward. A series that might just be the best thing Marvel has delivered in years: X-Men ’97.

Along with finally bringing the Fantastic Four into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel is preparing to introduce the X-Men. Although the X-Men reboot is still years off, with the studio only recently having hired a writer to pen the project, there’s no denying the importance the X-Men will have on the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. Which is why X-Men ’97 should be used as inspiration for the reboot. The series, which is a sequel to the beloved X-Men cartoon from the ’90s, showcased the X-Men working with other heroes as needed, proving the franchise doesn’t need to rely on the Avengers entirely as older stars exit and newer stars debut.

The MCU Needs to be More than the Avengers

Avengers Assemble promo image

Phase One and Phase Two spent a lot of time focusing on the core six Avengers within the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Hulk. Three of the Avengers have since exited the franchise, with Tony Stark dying, Captain America returning to live out a life with Peggy Carter, and Black Widow dying in Avengers: Endgame. More heroes, like Scarlet Witch, Vision, Black Panther, Falcon, Doctor Strange, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, would go on to either join the team or help aide the heroes in the Avengers films. But even those heroes are beginning to make their way out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a new character taking on the Falcon mantle, the Guardians splitting up, Vision moving to the small screen, and Scarlet Witch’s future being iffy for the timebeing. While the Avengers have helped to launch the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sooner or later, the franchise needs to look beyond Earth’s Mightiest Heroes.

With the introduction of the X-Men on the way, the famed superhero team has the ability to become a pivotal part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. X-Men ’97 is the perfect example of how Marvel Studios can use the superhero team along with members of the Avengers to move the franchise forward. The critically-acclaimed series had the X-Men work alongside the Avengers, along with other heroes, to help as needed. They weren’t brought in unnecessarily just for the sake of appearing, their cameos felt right for the story. Using this method to help phase out the older Avengers cast, while also allowing the newer cast members to appear, would be a smart move for not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also Marvel’s overall storytelling.

Why the X-Men are Important to Marvel’s Future

x-men 97 episode 10 cameo peter parker mary jane flash thompson

Although there are some of the Avengers sticking around for now, including Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is beginning to focus on passing the mantle, so to speak. From Kate Bishop (Hawkeye) to Skaar’s introduction in She-Hulk, Marvel Studios seems to be setting up a new iteration of heroes for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Yet, while the future looks bright for Marvel’s youngest stars, all eyes are on Marvel’s live-action take on the X-Men, especially following the success of X-Men ’97. There’s so much potential for the X-Men as a franchise, if Marvel were smart, they’d focus on trying to replicate everything the animated series did right. From taking risks with killing off characters, to focusing on storytelling above all else, X-Men ’97 is the blueprint of what Marvel Studios should be doing with the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward. It’s as if the writers and showrunners took all the complaints critics and fans have voiced throughout the years and righted them within a single season.

The X-Men are one of Marvel Comics’ biggest groups of heroes. There’s a reason the X-Men have retained popularity throughout the years. The stories, while featuring super-powered individuals, have always done an excellent job of reflecting on our society. This is something X-Men ’97 handled well; how society treated the X-Men for being different. Focusing on the X-Men and their vast stories and expansive line-up would be the smartest move for Marvel Studios. As exciting as the Avengers are, Marvel Studios first found success with the Marvel Cinematic Universe by taking risks. None of the Avengers – or even the Guardians of the Galaxy – were household names prior to the films. Switching the focus from the Avengers to the X-Men, with occasional appearances from the Avengers and other heroes when needed, would be a smart move for the franchise’s future. One that could help to correct some of the issues the studio has endured in recent years, including box office woes, storytelling issues, and quality problems.

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