X-Men 97 Season 1 Review – The adaptation every comic fan needs to see

Season 1



Episode Guide

Episode 1 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 2 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 3 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 4 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 5 -| Review Score – 5/5
Episode 6 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 7 -| Review Score – 4./5
Episode 8 -| Review Score – 4.5/5
Episode 9 -| Review Score – 4/5
Episode 10 -| Review Score – 5/5


Saying the X-Men haven’t been the luckiest superheroes when it comes to adaptations would be an understatement. With some exceptions over the years, most of their hit adaptations have been cartoons, like X-Men: The Animated Series. So it isn’t shocking to see its sequel, X-Men ‘97, being the greatest work with the group outside of comics. It might even be one of the finest audio-visual Marvel projects, and it’s all thanks to Beau DeMayo’s clever writing.

The series’ showrunner knows it would be impossible to faithfully adapt whole arcs into a single episode. Because of that, he picks specific moments and references to unite with the pieces he already has. He manages to create stories like “Inferno,” but also turns them into something new. This aspect is what makes X-Men ‘97 perfect for new and long-time fans.

Beau’s writing also shines through all the speeches the characters give. Not only heroes like Cyclops or Magneto but villains like Bolivar Trask too. These are some of the best moments of the entire show. They encompass the person’s point of view, the situation being discussed, and the political subtext (very common in X-Men comics).

These speeches are the core of everything. They also serve as a way for us to understand what a character thinks of the universe and the people around them. Right at the start, for example, Magneto talks at the UN, and you can comprehend his desire to change, how hard that is for him, and his opinion on Xavier’s dream.

The distinction between Magneto’s and Xavier’s beliefs is a great part of the show. Their discourses are very similar, yet different enough to cause them to fight and bring a huge amount of drama that affects all characters. That problem isn’t solved by a big battle but by presenting the common denominator in their ideas and why they must work together.

All the types of discourse we see throughout the episodes are not only thematically important but powerful concepts that can break and mend people and their relationships. Magneto, Xavier, Storm, and more benefit from that.

Still, we can’t forget X-Men is a big soap opera. It has love triangles, personal conflicts, and enough melodrama to fill their entire mansion (and maybe a bit more). As it’s set in a superhero world, the franchise can expand that with resurrections, evil clones, apocalypses, and whatnot.

But that’s exactly what makes X-Men ‘97 even better. The soap opera style lets us get closer to the characters and relate to their struggles more. Without it, the show would still be incredible, but this type of storytelling makes it easier to enjoy.

However, its function isn’t only to make the show funnier and more relatable. Beau knows that style can serve as a tool, allowing the viewers to easily absorb the franchise’s discourse. More than that, it can even make us forget about it for a while, only for it to strike us stronger than before.

The biggest example is episode 5, the season’s turning point. Its function is to impact us and show how cruel the villains can be, and it does that masterfully. It’s not a surprise fans consider it the best episode of the series.

Discourse, independent of the type, can give us strength, make us afraid, and even force us to turn a blind eye. X-Men ‘97 understands that and uses its soap opera style to hold everything together, creating an action-packed and emotional story about some of our favorite comic book characters. 

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  • Verdict - 10/10

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