New York Comic Con 2023 is around the corner, and that means it’s time for another convention tradition – exclusive Funko Pops! If you have ever attended a convention, then you know how popular the Funko booth is, and how fast their convention exclusives sell out. Funko recently unveiled their NYCC exclusives and….uh…I think they accidentally spoiled something.
Funko unveiled a Pop figurine of Madelyne Pryor, labeled Goblin Queen. Pryor is holding a baby, which is presumably her son Nathan Summers (if you’re not familiar, he grows up to be Cable). The Pop’s packaging has a logo for the upcoming Marvel Studios animated series X-Men ’97. The Disney+ program will be a continuation of the popular 1992 X-Men animated series.
If you’re not familiar with Madelyne Pryor, she’s the ex-wife of Scott Summers aka Cyclops. Pryor initially believed she was an ordinary woman, but later learned she was a clone of Jean Grey created by Mister Sinister. She rebranded herself as Goblin Queen after becoming ruler of the demonic realm known as Limbo. She is currently leading her own X-Men team in the title Dark X-Men.
Not much is known about the plot of the X-Men ’97 series, so this Goblin Queen Pop could be a bona fide spoiler. In fact, Madelyne’s costume and the presence of baby Nathan indicate that the show might be adapting the Inferno storyline. For those who don’t know, Inferno was an X-Men crossover where Madelyne went crazy and led a demon invasion of Earth.
The inclusion of Madelyne Pryor would resolve a thread introduced in the original animated series. A brief vision of Madelyne Pryor could be seen in the episode 'Time Fugitives' when Jean Gray probes Cable’s mind. Although the red-haired woman appeared to be Jean herself, producer Larry Houston told The Power of X-Men podcast that she was meant to be Madelyne. The animated series ended before Cable’s background could be revealed. Perhaps we’re finally revisiting that thread.
Marvel Studios is typically strict about spoilers, so how did this get out? This is pure speculation, but my theory is the shifting release schedule had something to do with it. X-Men ’97 was originally scheduled to be released in late 2023, but Marvel Studios is now eyeing early 2024. It’s possible that plans for the Goblin Queen Funko Pop were made to tie-in with the original release schedule.
The release of a superhero movie and television show has a lot of moving parts, and sometimes delays cause merchandise to be released months before the actual film. A similar situation happened when the Black Widow film was delayed, and merchandise hit the shelves a year before the film’s release.
If there is a lesson to be learned here, it’s that Marvel convention announcements can happen anywhere. Sometimes they come via press release, other times it’s during a packed panel. In this case, Marvel’s New York Comic Con announcement might have come in the form of a Funko Pop. Wild.