X-Men ’97 Could Settle A Marvel Power Debate That’s Raged For 60 Years

Magneto and Professor X looking angry in X-Men '97

One of Marvel Comics’ longest-running feuds has finally been set up for the dramatic finale of X-Men ’97. Continuing the story of X-Men: The Animated Series from the 1990s, Marvel Studios Animation’s X-Men ’97 caught up with the animated X-Men team roughly a year after Professor X’s departure from Earth in 1997. Set outside the MCU, X-Men ’97’s three-part finale began on May 1, 2024, with X-Men ’97 episode 8, “Tolerance is Extinction – Part 1”, which saw human-Sentinel hybrid Bastion enact Operation: Zero Tolerance, activating Prime Sentinels across the globe, and creating huge problems for the separated X-Men team.

X-Men ’97 has already seen the X-Men team go up against many varied villains adapted from the pages of Marvel Comics. This includes Henry Gyrich, the Sentinel robots, the Friends of Humanity, the X-Cutioner, Mister Sinister, Madelyne Pryor’s Goblin Queen, Mojo, the Adversary and Bolivar Trask, among others. However, Bastion was revealed to have been manipulating events behind the scenes throughout X-Men ’97 season 1, setting him up as the primary antagonist of the series’ dramatic finale. However, after X-Men ’97 episode 8, it seems an even bigger battle may have been teased for X-Men ’97’s highly-anticipated final two episodes.

X-Men ’97 Episode 8 Makes A Professor X Vs. Magneto Fight Inevitable

Magneto as Bastion's captive in X-Men '97 episode 8

X-Men ’97 episode 8 marked Professor X’s return to Earth following his time among the Shi’ar Empire, but may have also marked Magneto’s transformation back into a bona fide villain. Magneto assumed control of the X-Men in the series’ premiere, as per Charles Xavier’s last will and testament, and the Master of Magnetism did a solid job of leading the X-Men, putting his own philosophical beliefs on the back-burner. However, after Bastion’s assault on the world’s mutants with his Prime Sentinels, it seems Magneto has finally had enough, as he emitted a global electromagnetic pulse that wiped out Bastion’s soldiers.

This action sparks fears that Magneto may have officially started his own war against humanity, making a battle between Magneto and Professor X all but inevitable in X-Men ’97’s upcoming final two episodes. With Professor X having been off-world for quite some time, however, and Magneto now the leader of the X-Men team, it’s unclear which side the mutant heroes will choose. With Magneto perhaps not wanting to battle his new team, it seems as though Professor X will need to physically stop Magneto from engaging humanity in a war, finally bringing the pair’s decades-long feud into the animated series.

Who Will Win: Professor X Or Magneto?

X-Men ’97 episode 8 may have perfectly set the stage for Professor X and Magneto to battle it out, but it’s less clear who would come out on top after this fight. Professor X and Magneto are two of the world’s most powerful mutants, with Xavier’s telepathic abilities outmatching practically anybody else’s, and Magneto’s grasp of his own powers being able to cause a significant amount of damage. This has already been seen, as Magneto’s electromagnetic pulse in X-Men ’97 episode 8 wouldn’t have just shut down Bastion’s Prime Sentinels, but would have also disrupted every electrical device on Earth.

Magneto perhaps has the upper hand, however, particularly if he chooses to sport his iconic helmet once again, as this accessory blocks Professor X from entering Magneto’s mind. Magneto is a more brutal and aggressive fighter, willing to go to extreme lengths to advance his cause, and while he has been relatively subdued throughout X-Men ’97, his declaration of “enough” in episode 8 suggests he won’t be holding back anymore. If the X-Men team choose to side with their new leader, rather than Xavier, who abandoned them in X-Men: The Animated Series, it seems likely Magneto will take the victory.

Why Professor X Vs. Magneto Would Be The Perfect X-Men ’97 Season 1 Ending

Magneto smiling at the X-Men in X-Men '97 episode 1

Bastion may have been teased as X-Men ’97’s primary villain, but with none of the world’s electrical systems functioning after Magneto’s electromagnetic pulse in X-Men ’97 episode 8, it seems new antagonists will replace him. Episode 8 teased the return of the Silver Samurai, Omega Red, Doctor Doom, Baron Zemo and Mister Sinister, but the foundations have been laid for an epic battle between old friends Professor X and Magneto. This would perhaps be the perfect way to end X-Men ’97 season 1, especially since one popular theory suggests this could set up a more powerful foe for future seasons.

Marvel Studios Animation appears to have been taking inspiration from Marvel Comics’ Fatal Attractions storyline for X-Men ’97’s recent events. This 1993 event saw the Master of Magnetism send an EMP across the globe before Magneto tore the adamantium from Wolverine’s skeleton. This brutal attack prompted Professor X to wipe Magneto’s mind, leaving him comatose, but allowing the villain Onslaught to be forged from the dark corners of both Professor X and Magneto’s psyches. Onslaught would be a fantastic villain for X-Men ’97 season 2, so the upcoming battle between Professor X and Magneto could set up this shocking villain.

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