X-Men ‘97 (2024 Disney+) 

By: Rachel Brodeur

The ‘90s are back. From the first notes of the classic theme song, X-Men ‘97 transports its audience to a time of Saturday morning cartoons and syndicated television. Viewers are met with a hit of nostalgia in the classic art style of comic book artist Jim Lee, and sounds of many of the same voice actors from X-Men: The Animated Series that aired from 1992-1997. There are subtle updates to the series, in slight character redesigns, some recasting of voice, and a musical score created by The Newton Brothers, but all the changes keep the essence and magic of its predecessor. 

X-Men ‘97’s real strength is that it is actually well-written. The directors Chase Conley (Axe Cop, Black Dynamite), Emi Yonemura and Jake Castorena (storyboard artists for Batman: The Killing Joke), showcase each character’s mutant ability with an awareness of their internal struggles and external relationships. The series is not a remake of the old cartoon. While the storylines do pull from content from the X-Men comic books of the 1980s, this is the first time they are being animated. The writing is clever and suspenseful. While released on a week to week basis, the series takes advantage of the streaming structure. Episodes are not subject to syndication where audiences may see them out of order, which better allows for the threads of ongoing storylines to work alongside episodic conflicts. 


The show starts directly following the loss of the X-Men’s leader Charles Xavier. People who have never seen the original cartoon will join this team as it embarks on a new era without their mentor. Viewers will see how every mutant ability is a blessing and a curse. Jean Gray is powerful, yet helpless to protect her family, Cyclops is the leader, but still can’t seem to manage Wolverine, Rogue loves, but cannot be touched. Superpowers are used creatively and characters play off of each other in battles in the way a superhero ensemble should.

While the initial hook of the series might be in reminiscing about a golden era of comic books and a time where cartoons were part of shared childhood culture, X-Men ‘97 is a fresh take on Stan Lee’s classic characters. It is a great time to revisit a love of the X-Men, or to become a fan for the first time.

Rachel’s Rating: 10/10  X-Men ‘97, available streaming on Disney+, is a refreshing return to classic superhero storytelling. It tells original stories with an awareness of character depth and history. The series is a delight that transcends nostalgia and sets the standard for the reimagining of rebooted content.