X-Men ’97 Season 2: New Team Appears, Challenging Battle Begins

X-Men '97: Season 2's Scripts Are Nearly Finished

The Season 1 finale of X-Men ’97, “Tolerance is Extinction – Part 3,” concluded with a shocking cliffhanger. While Professor X, Magneto, Nightcrawler, Rogue, and Beast are flung back in time to 3000 BC, where they’ll be facing off against Apocalypse, Cyclops and Jean Grey are sent to the year 3060, the home of their future daughter, Mother Askani. The fates of Wolverine, Storm, and Morph remain unknown.

Forge and Bishop are building a new X-Men team in Season 2 of X-Men ’97, with members possibly including Kitty Pryde, Magik, and Emma Frost. With only Bishop remaining from the classic team, it’s up to him to unite and lead this eclectic group of new recruits. Forge and Bishop’s new team will be filled with fan-favorite characters from the comics, only some of whom have appeared in X-Men: The Animated Series or X-Men ’97 before, and it couldn’t be more different from the team fans have become accustomed to.

The X-Men Are Gone at the End of X-Men ’97 Season 1, but Earth Still Has Heroes

Forge looks at his poster of mutants in X-Men '97 Season 1

Forge and Bishop are bringing together a new team of X-Men to replace the lost one, with his candidates including Iceman, Havok, Colossus, Shadowcat, Emma Frost, Magik, Exodus, and Dust.

Every member of the new team is a powerful and important member of the X-Men in the comics.

While none of the characters on Forge’s wall receive anything more than cameos in Season 1 of X-Men ’97, in the comics, all of them are prominent X-Men with their own long-running stories. Many of their stories are even entangled with each other’s, and with several of the major characters already featured in the series. The focus of X-Men ’97 Season 2 will no doubt remain on its familiar cast, but any plots dedicated to this team will have an abundance of inspiration to draw upon.

Alongside Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, and Angel, Iceman, AKA Bobby Drake, is one of the five original members of the X-Men. Known for being one of the most powerful X-Men and one of Marvel’s biggest LGBTQ+ characters, he is an Omega-level Mutant with mastery over temperature manipulation, and he often brings jokes and levity to the stories he appears in. Colossus, AKA Pitor Rasputin, is another famous X-Man, known for his appearances in the Deadpool movies and the classic X-Men arcade game, with the power to transform his body into steel. He is a gentle giant who longs to escape the constant need for violence. Shadowcat, better known as Kitty Pryde, has the ability to phase through solid matter and, despite her absence up till now in X-Men: The Animated Series and X-Men ’97, has been one of the most focal X-Men in the comics since her introduction in 1980, and was even the protagonist of “Pryde of the X-Men,” the failed pilot episode created before X-Men: The Animated Series. She is one of the most well-known Jewish superheroes, and over the decades, fans have seen her grow from being the 13-year-old kid sidekick to the X-Men to one of the team’s greatest leaders.

Havok, AKA Alex Summers, is the younger brother of Cyclops and possesses similar powers to the X-Men’s leader, being able to shoot plasma blasts from his hands. He’s best known for his temperamental personality, his romances with Polaris and Goblin Queen, and his appearance in X-Men: First Class. Also closely tied to Cyclops is Emma Frost AKA The White Queen, Scott’s longtime love interest. Emma’s telepathic powers are on par with Professor X’s, and, as seen in X-Men ’97, her secondary mutation grants her the ability to transform into a living diamond. Her journey from a selfish and sadistic villain and a member of the Hellfire Club to a hero fiercely protective of children and a leader of the X-Men is a magnificent one. Whereas Emma began her career as a villain but has spent most of her existence as a hero, Exodus, AKA Bennet du Paris, has only recently made the change from villain to hero fairly recently. An Omega-level telekinetic, and telepath, he is a former Crusader from the 12th Century who traded his former zealotry away in favor of the ideals of mutant supremacy.

Dust, AKA Sooraya Qadir, is a younger member of the X-Men with the power to transform into a sand form and to manipulate sand particles on an individual level, to the point she can imbue her consciousness into billions of them at once, even spread across a great distance. Sooraya is a Sunni Muslim who isn’t afraid to fight when necessary while still possessing one of the strongest moral centers of any X-Man. Illyana Rasputina AKA Magik’s mutation allows her to open “stepping discs”, which can transport herself or anyone else wherever she’d like and, independent of her mutation, she is among the most powerful sorcerers in the Marvel universe. Known for her appearances in The New Mutants and Marvel’s Midnight Suns and for being the best friend of Kitty Pryde and younger sister of Colossus, Magik is a complex character with a story steeped in pain and trauma and, over the past decade, she has been the X-Men comics’ breakout star.

Many of the X-Men on Forge’s Wall Have Appeared in the Series Before

Havok and Cyclops fight together in X-Men '97

Iceman, Colossus, and Havok all made their first appearances in X-Men: The Animated Series.
Emma Frost and Magik debuted in X-Men: The Animated Series, but not as heroes.
Shadowcat, Exodus, and Dust are new additions to the cast of X-Men ’97.

Multiple members of Bishop and Forge’s new team have already been established as heroes in X-Men: The Animated Series. These include Iceman, Colossus, and Havok. Iceman appears in the episodes “Days of Future Past, Part One,” “Cold Comfort,” “Proteus, Part One,” “Sanctuary, Part One” and “Xavier Remembers.” Bobby is presented as an immature and resentful man who yearns for a life of normalcy and who holds a chip on his shoulder over the way he was treated during his time on the X-Men by Professor X and Cyclops. Colossus appears in the episodes “The Unstoppable Juggernaut” and “Red Dawn.” Born and raised in the Soviet Union, Colossus seeks to protect his home as well as his powerless little sister, Illyana. Havok appears in the episodes “Cold Comfort” and “Orphan’s End.” Along with being Cyclops’s bitter brother, Alex is a member of X-Factor, a team led by Forge, and the boyfriend of Polaris.

While Emma Frost and Magik were introduced in X-Men: The Animated Series, they were far from being depicted as heroes. The White Queen is first introduced during The Dark Phoenix Saga and appears in the episodes “The Starjammers,” Dazzled,” “The Inner Circle,” “The Dark Phoenix,” “The End of Time,” “Promise of Apocalypse,” “The Lazarus Chamber” and “End and Beginning.” With her redemption arc from the comics still in its infancy during the time X-Men: The Animated Series aired, Emma in the series is simply a wealthy, power-hungry narcissist who seeks to use the power of the Phoenix for world domination. In X-Men ’97, Emma returns as a member of the Genosha Council, before the country is destroyed, and she is left as one of the few survivors. Magik appears in X-Men: The Animated Series as simply Illyana Rasputin, Colossus’ little sister, who is not presented as a mutant or a sorceress. Curiously, despite this, Morph in X-Men ’97 transforms not only into Magik but her demon form, Darkchylde, raising many questions as to Illyana’s current status in this universe.

Exodus and Dust each receive a cameo in X-Men ’97, but, despite being one of the most important and popular X-Men in comics, Shadowcat doesn’t make her debut in the series until her photo appears on Forge’s wall. Exodus and Dust’s absences up until now are easily explained, as Bennet was created after X-Men: The Animated Series had already started airing, and Sooraya wasn’t created until after X-Men: The Animated Series had concluded its run. Kitty Pryde, meanwhile, was excluded from X-Men: The Animated Series because of a desire not to draw a connection between the series and the failed “Pryde of the X-Men” pilot.

Forge’s New Team Will Be Completely Different From the Team X-Men ’97 Fans Know

Emma Frost Uses a psychic attack in X-Men: The Animated Series

Featuring several villains and Mutants with hostile personalities, the new X-Men team will have a much different dynamic than the traditional team’s family-like one.
As the one remaining member of the X-Men in the present day, Bishop is set to lead the new X-Men team.

As especially emphasized in X-Men ’97, the team of X-Men fans have known since 1992 are like one big family. They may have frequent fights and arguments, but none of them have anyone else, and they love each other deeply. Based on their comic counterparts and what’s been seen of them in this universe so far, this new team of X-Men will be far more vitriolic. Among Forge’s recruits are several villains. Emma Frost has not yet begun to display any of her comic counterpart’s heroic values, and Exodus is most definitely filled with righteous fury over the genocide of Genosha. While they may ally with the others for the sake of survival, their initial goals will still revolve around mutant domination of the world. Magik may also prove to be a villainous force in this team as, based on the teases from Morph shape-shifting into her, it’s difficult to tell how corrupted Illyana will be by her demon side when fans are re-introduced to her.

Iceman and Havok may be superheroes with close ties to the X-Men, but they have heavy chips on their shoulders. Not only do both hold grudges against Cyclops and the X-Men as a whole, but Polaris left Iceman to be with Havok, instilling bad blood between the two. Shadowcat and Colossus are equally heroic and are known for being a romantic couple, but their relationship is far from a healthy one and, depending on Magik’s current status, their critical ties to her could also spell chaos for the team, with Magik at times hating her older brother. Despite being the youngest member of the team, Dust will likely be left to play peacemaker among her teammates.

Introduced in X-Men: The Animated Series but elevated to new heights in X-Men ’97, Bishop is the only member of the main X-Men team still in the present. A trained and battle-hardened soldier from the future, leading the new team of X-Men is Bishop’s responsibility. Bishop failed to find his friends on his own, so now he has no choice but to trust that Forge can bring together the people he needs to save them. Forge is just as invested in rescuing the X-Men, if not more so, as he’s in love with Storm. Not only will Bishop have to manage the infighting of his team as they attempt to track down the X-Men, but he’ll also have to overcome all those in the present day who continue to attempt to eliminate mutantkind.

Whereas X-Men: The Animated Series only had nine main characters, the X-Men in the comics are a massive organization with over 100 members. Forge and Bishop’s new team in X-Men ’97 will be the first step toward showing audiences how expansive the X-Men’s roster truly is and how awesome Mutant superheroes can be, even without Wolverine or Storm. While the rest of the X-Men have adventures in the past and future, only this new team can stop the rise of Graydon Creed and the continued spread of anti-Mutant hatred.

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