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X-Men ’97 Roundtable





Team Beat weigh in with their thoughts on the first season of the animated revival of the beloved 90s cartoon


It felt like it had returned only yesterday but already Beau DeMayo‘s X-Men ’97 – a revival of the classic X-Men: The Animated Series that ran from 1992 to 1997 – has wrapped its first season, beating expectations and scoring many a glowing review from fans and newbies alike.


But what did Team Beat’s own Gold and Blue teams think of this wild ride that had us glued to our seats week to week? Read on, True Believers!







Has X-Men ‘97 met your expectations?


AW: I think X-Men ‘97 fell into a sweet spot in the middle of Marvel’s production. It’s far enough away from the center of power that the folks working on it hopefully didn’t worry as much about creative interference. But the property is just beloved enough that they must have wanted to do right by it. I don’t know if an X-Men film produced by Marvel could have been done nearly as well; Marvel’s standard for fight choreography absolutely does not measure up to what Studio Mir can pull off at their best.





What were your favorite moment(s) and highlights of X-Men ‘97?

AW: Episode 5 [Remember It] is the clear answer. That’s the most confident episode of the series by far, bringing together melodrama, politicking, infidelity and pure shock and awe tragedy at the end. I think the episode that first clicked for me, though, was the second one [Mutant Liberation Begins]. Throughout the Trials of Magneto you see the character from multiple angles–is he a villain, an antihero or something else? Then he gives his speech at the end, and you realize how much of himself he’s holding back for everybody’s sake. Tortured dad Magneto is a common enough version of the character in the comics, but much rarer to see on screen.

I want to take a moment to shout out Studio Mir’s contributions as well. I don’t know how much control they had over the series. The Avatar team famously gave them autonomy to improvise throughout the production of that show [Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s sequel series Legend of Korra], particularly in that last season. I haven’t seen many interviews with the actual animators that worked on X-Men ‘97. I do know, though, that the series probably only works because of Studio Mir’s contributions. Episode 5 doesn’t hit as hard as it does without the apocalypse being believable.




What are your expectations for season 2?


AW: It won’t live up to the first. It’s already a miracle that the first season was any good at all. If I’m proven wrong and the sequel ends up being even better than the first, though, I won’t be too upset.


Also, to the producers out there: let Studio Mir animate their own original property if they want! They’ve spent the past several years carrying projects while showrunners in the United States take all the credit in interviews. I bet folks at that studio have their own ideas too.