X-Men ’97: Legendary Superhero Movie Returns Stronger Than Ever – Detailed Review

Cartoons, they play such a pivotal role in our childhoods, from “Transformers” to “GI Joe,” it’s a medium that is still going strong centuries after the first cartoon aired.Now we have a new addition to the huge pantheon of cartoons, thanks to Disney+.

Now the X-Men are one of the greatest superhero teams, not only among the Marvel pantheon, but among all of comic books. Literary proof that only a fool would underestimate the intelligence of their audience. Using mutants or people born with superhuman abilities as an allegory for marginalized groups, the series gave birth to numerous beloved superheroes such as Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm and Nightcrawler, as well as perhaps comics greatest villain in Magneto. It also spawned one of the greatest superhero cartoons ever in the form of “X-Men: The Animated Series” a cartoon with great writing and an even greater theme song. Running from 1992 to 1997, the cartoon is still fondly remembered by many including yours truly. Many of us still hear the growling voice of the animated series Wolverine or the seductive southern drawl of Rogue when we pick up an X-Men comic. So imagine our collective joy when it was announced that a sequel series by the name of “X-Men 97” would be airing, and what a series it is.

“X-Men 97” takes place in the same continuity of the original animated series, the same year said series ended in fact hence the name of the series. To the world at large, Professor Charles Xavier is dead, seemingly murdered by crazed mutant hater Henry Peter Gryrich. Though rather than having the effect he intended, his actions have drummed up sympathy for mutants as well as rallied the X-Men and others to his memory. An example includes former foe Magneto. Though unbeknownst to our favorite merry band of mutants, a greater threat looms in the shadows, a threat not just to mutant kind but to all of humanity in the form of the mysterious group known as OZT, led by the enigmatic Bastion and including long time villain Mr Sinister amongst their ranks, if they are to survive it will take everything the X-Men have.

REVIEW: X-Men '97 Premiere a Blast for Old and New Fans Alike

The series stars a returning Cal Dodd as Wolverine/ Logan, Lenore Zann returning as the voice of Rogue, Adrian Hough making his return as the voice of Nightcrawler/ Kurt Wagner, George Buza returning once more as the voice of Beast/ Hank McCoy and Alison Sealy-Smith returns as the voice of Storm/Ororo Munroe. New to the party are Jennifer Hale, known for voicing the likes of Female Commander Shepard in the “Mass Effect” series and Avatar Kyoshi in “Avatar: The Last Airbender” takes over the voice of Jean Grey, a role she has already voiced in other works namely “Wolverine and the X-Men” as well as Madelyne Pryor/ The Goblin Queen. Ray Chase known for providing voice work in the likes of English Dubs for “Dragon Ball Super” and “One-Punch Man” lends his voice to the part of Cyclops/ Scott Summers taking over for the late great Norm Spencer. A.J. LoCascio, known for providing his voice to works such as “The Loud House” and “Star Wars Forces of Destiny” takes over for the part of Gambit/ Remy LeBeau. Ross Marquand known for playing Aaron in “The Walking Dead” and The Immortal in “Invincible” takes over in providing  the voice of Professor X/ Charles Xavier. Matthew Waterson lends his voice to the role of Magneto/ Erik Lehnsherr taking over for David Hemblen who passed away before the making of the show. J.P. Karliak known for voicing the likes of Joker in “Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League”  plays the part of Morph taking over for Ron Rubin. Holly Chou also takes over voicing Jubilee.

Now as for my thoughts on this show…It was good, great actually. The writing was on point as was to be expected. The music was phenomenal. They kept the same music and type of intro from the original show. Though there were a few things that bugged me. The change in voice cast mostly. I mean some of it made sense as some of the voice actors passed away and there might have been one or two people who didn’t want to come back. But take Gambit for instance, his original voice actor Chris Potter is still in the show just voicing Cable this time, and Grey’s original voice actress Catherine Disher is also back though this time voicing Valerie Cooper. Now I’m not complaining though it did make the starring section of this article tricky to write. The animation is also a bit different. It’s not like the original, looking to me at least almost Adobe Flash like though not, it’s good, better the fifth season of the original series but at times seems to lack some of the original flavor the original had.

X-Men '97' Review — Marvel Returns to the '90s in X-traordinary New Series

I can’t write this article without addressing the shapeshifting elephant in the room, the thing that has seemed to become like a Rorschach test for comic fans at the moment. Yes, they made Morph non-binary, even though they had no real sign of being so in the original series which of course upset some fans of the original series, some of whom seem to get upset whenever you breathe anything progressive near what they grew up with.. And I don’t get what the problem is. The X-Men have always been about representation. I mean discrimination against mutants could be read as a stand-in for discrimination against minorities, gays, trans people, etc. The X-Men have always been politically and progressive thinking, it’s what they were made to be. If you don’t like it, oh well, don’t watch it.

Though for anyone not bothered by this, I highly recommend this show, seven and a half torches out of 10.

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