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X-Men '97: a '90s style FAQ on how Professor X died, who voices Cyclops, how Storm got her powers back, why Morph is alive, and more

We take on the 10 most Googled questions about Marvel Studios' hit new animated series on Disney+

X-Men '97
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

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The launch of X-Men ’97 on Disney+ has been a big deal, with a lot of people who grew up with the 1990s X-Men: The Animated Series remembering just how much they loved the Children of the Atom — even if they haven’t really been paying attention to the characters for the past couple of decades. To that end, there have been a lot of people rushing to their favorite search engine to ask a lot of questions about the new series… so we thought we’d make life easier on everyone and answer the 10 most commonly Googled questions about X-Men ’97.

Again: these are actually the most Googled questions about the show, even though in more than one case, they’re questions based on false pretenses… but this is what the people want to know. We like to think we’re offering a public service by putting all of the answers in one place. And without further ago, let’s get started.

How did Professor X die in X-Men '97?

X-Men '97
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

Okay, this one is a trick question, as anyone who’s watched either X-Men: The Animated Series or X-Men ’97 already knows. Charles Xavier is not actually dead, although he’s no longer on Earth; he actually left the planet with Lilandra and the Shi’Ar at the end of X-Men: The Animated Series back in 1997, because it was the only way that he could survive an attack from an energy disruptor. The outside world believes that he’s dead, however, with only the X-Men (and Magneto) knowing the truth. Well, and the viewers, obviously.

Is X-Men '97 new?

X-Men ’97 might look like it’s straight from the late 1990s in many ways, but nope; it’s a brand new animated series from Marvel Studios.

Who voices Cyclops in X-Men '97?

X-Men '97
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

Cyclops is voiced by Ray Chase in X-Men ’97; for anyone with a passing interest in animation and anime, it’s very possible that you’d recognize his voice — he’s voiced characters in everything from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, One-Punch Man, Dragon Ball Super, Neon Genesis Evangelion (the re-dubbed version on Netflix, specifically), and Jujutsu Kaisen to The Boss Baby Christmas Bonus.

What’s that? You’re not into animation, but he still sounds familiar? Maybe that’s because you recognize his dulcet tones from video games like Grand Theft Auto 4, Half-Life: Alyx, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, or Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, where he played… the Winter Soldier. What, you thought I was going to say Cyclops? Psh. No-one lets Cyclops show up in video games.

When does X-Men '97 take place?

Putting aside the notion that all time is an illusion, especially when it comes to animation, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that X-Men ’97 takes place somewhere in the late 1990s — after all, it picks up soon after the end of X-Men: The Animated Series, which was set in the then-present day. Maybe the ’97 in the title is a hint, all things considered.

Who is Bishop in X-Men?

X-Men '97
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

While Lucas Bishop showed in the original X-Men: The Animated Series, he was never an official member of the team in that show — instead, he was a time traveler from the year 2055 who came back to the present day to change his history and undo the dystopian reality he lived in… only to unfortunately fail in his mission. (This all happened at the end of the first season of the Animated Series, in the ‘Days of Future Past’ two-parter.) He’d reappear a couple more times before the end of the Animated Series in similarly time-travel scenarios, but his joining the X-Men as a fully-fledged member is something that happened in the gap between The Animated Series and X-Men ’97.

His animated backstory isn’t entirely different from his comic book history, for the most part, but the comic book Bishop has a far more complicated existence — at one point, he and Cable were essentially involved in a morally ambiguous time travel war that saw the two criss-cross through time in an attempt to outdo each other and rewrite the timeline. It was a whole thing.

How is Morph alive in X-Men '97?

X-Men '97
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

The question “how is Morph alive?” is one that brings to mind its own question — namely, “when did people asking this question stop watching the Animated Series?” While Morph was seemingly killed in the show’s second-ever episode — the second half of ‘Night of the Sentinels’ — he’s already back to life and back in action by the start of the show’s second season, albeit brainwashed by Mister Sinister into turning on the team. (How did he survive? I refer my friends to Mister Sinister’s involvement, as well as the fact that it’s actually pretty hard to kill a shapeshifter if you think about it.) He’s temporarily rejoin the X-Men in the fourth season of the Animated Series — episode 6, ‘Courage,’ if you’re looking for it — and go on to play a pretty important role in the final arc of the series. By the time of X-Men ’97, he’s clearly rejoined the team on a more permanent basis.

Who were the original X-Men?

X-Men '97
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

As in comic book continuity, the original X-Men in X-Men ’97 canon were Cyclops, Jean Grey, Iceman, Beast, and Angel, five mutants who made up Professor Charles Xavier’s original class of students. What the question might refer to, however, is what the first line-up of the team was on The Animated Series… which would be Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine, Rogue, Beast, Gambit, and Morph. Jubilee would join the team at the end of the Animated Series’ first story, ‘Night of the Sentinels,’ replacing the assumed-dead-but-not-really Morph.

How old is Magneto in X-Men '97?

X-Men '97
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

Don’t you know it’s rude to ask someone how old they are…? While the exact age of any of the characters in either The Animated Series of X-Men ’97 is a somewhat vague issue — not helped by the fact that superhero ages are somewhat unclear at the best of times — we know that Erik Lehnsherr (as Magneto was once called) was a child during WWII, when his family were killed by the Nazis. That would imply that he’s somewhere in his very late 50s or, more likely, early 60s by the time that X-Men ’97 takes place.

Why is Morph alive in X-Men '97?

Friends, we covered this already above. I guess a bunch of people really didn’t make it to the show’s second season, huh?

Does Storm get her powers back in X-Men '97?

X-Men '97
Image credit: Marvel Studios/Disney+

She only just lost them in the show’s second episode! (‘Mutant Liberation Begins.’) It’s worth pointing out that this storyline is inspired by a similar comic book arc that saw Storm lose her powers in 1984’s Uncanny X-Men #185, only to regain them three years later as part of the ‘Fall of the Mutants’ storyline. That didn’t mean that she was standing around doing nothing for all that time, however; in fact, while powerless, she managed to take over as X-Men leader, defeating Cyclops in combat for the position. Don’t count out Ororo Monroe unless you’re prepared to be surprised.


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Graeme McMillan avatar

Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.
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