X-Men ’97’s Time Bend: Will Our Favorite Characters Be Saved?

X-Men ’97 continues to deliver shocks, but one big clue emerging via social media just made many time travel theories a lot more likely.

Split image of Gambit in pain and Magneto speaking in X-Men '97

Warning! This article contains spoilers for X-men ’97!

A cryptic post on social media just made Marvel theories surrounding time travel in X-Men ’97 much more tenable. X-Men ’97 has been a welcome reprieve for MCU fans seeking out top-quality Marvel programming despite the series ostensibly occurring outside the wider MCU narrative. Part of its distance from typical MCU lore means that all bets are off when it comes to figuring out the rules of time travel that have become central to the MCU’s Multiverse Saga. That was, at least, until one of its main characters referenced a multiversal concept recently introduced in the MCU via What If…?.

Recent developments in X-Men ’97 have seen the beloved Gambit and multiple other prominent mutants meet their end thanks to a rampaging monster Sentinel in Episode 5. With Gambit being such a popular figure within the X-Men, fans have been scrambling for possible routes in which his death can be undone with the most convincing surrounding Cable’s time-traveling abilities. Cable’s recent mention of “absolute points in time” in Episode 8 seemed to put those theories to bed. That is until the series’ writer, Beau DeMayo, just stirred the time-travel pot once more.

X-Men ’97’s Creator Teases A Time Loop With Cryptic Social Media Post

Cable being sent back in time in X-Men '97 episode 5

In a post via Twitter/X, Beau DeMayo cryptically assigned viewers “homework” before X-Men ’97‘s grand finale, which comprised the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “Cause and Effect.” The episode in question features the crew of the USS Enterprise becoming embroiled in a time loop for 17 days. It even features the destruction of the Enterprise before the crew’s shrewd thinking allows them to avert being perpetually trapped in the tragic sequence and move away from the spatial anomaly causing it.

The implications here are stark. Unless Beau DeMayo is using the episode to hint at a Kelsey Grammer cameo (as he debuts as Captain Morgan Bateson in “Cause and Effect“), it looks as if a time loop or something similar will feature in X-Men ’97 Episode 10. The clue is confusing, given that DeMayo himself recently seemed to thwart all suggestions that time-travel shenanigans would help retcon the current state of affairs, unambiguously stating in another social media post, “No time travel to get us outta this one, folks.”

Could There Be Hope For Gambit After All?

Gamibit Died After Sacrificing Himself On Genosha In “Remember It”

Gambit appears as a giant Skeleton to Charles Xavier in X-Men '97

The apparent permanence of Gambit’s death was especially shocking given how beloved the character is and how little attention he has received in live-action, furthering the neglect of the character. Yet DeMayo’s cryptic comment seems to suggest that there is hope yet, as it is difficult to reconcile the idea that a time loop will play a role in the final episode of X-Men ’97 Season 1 without bringing back Gambit. For that matter, mutants like Sebastian Shaw, Callisto, and the Morlocks also feel like significant losses that require a classic comic book retcon.

Yet DeMayo’s insistence that time travel would not retcon this situation can’t be ignored as much as Cable’s insistence that the assault on Genosha was an absolute point in time. Doing so now might cheapen the moment and make future deaths seems less impactful. Instead, the time loop DeMayo seems to refer to may bring the X-Men back to a point past Genosha, leaving Gambit’s resurrection to become a larger plot point in X-Men ’97‘s future.

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