X-Men ‘97 Could Be Setting Up an Epic Marvel War for Season 2

It’s the X-Men vs. the world... and maybe the Avengers too.

Magneto (voiced by Matthew Waterson) in X-Men '97
Marvel Studios

It’s rare to find the X-Men without their backs against the wall, but X-Men ‘97 has pushed the mutant team — and all of mutant-kind — to an existential precipice. The animated series kicked off a three-part season finale with a real shocker of an episode, setting up a war between mutants (namely Magneto) and humans, and perhaps even a final showdown between Magneto and his longtime frenemy, Professor Charles Xavier.

However, after the past few weeks, X-Men ‘97 might also be teeing up a long-awaited conflict for its second season. With heroes and villains from the main Marvel Universe popping up in animated form, it’s clear this series has big plans... and big crossover potential. Episode 7, “Bright Eyes,” brought Captain America into the conflict between mutants and humans, and his brief clash with Rogue planted the seeds for a larger battle with the Avengers, one that Ross Marquand (who voices Professor X) believes is coming soon.

After Rogue’s clash with Captain America, the X-Men might have earned the ire of the Avengers.

Marvel Studios

Speaking to’s Phase Zero podcast, Marquand suggested that an Avengers vs. X-Men event has “a real chance” of happening. “You saw what happened in the last episode [with] Rogue and Captain America,” the actor said. Rogue notably took Cap’s vibranium shield and threw it into the side of a mountain, a choice that likely didn’t earn much sympathy towards mutants’ plight.

“He ain’t gonna find that shield,” Marquand said. “I’m sure it’s lodged in there, 50 feet deep ... He’s gonna be pissed at Rogue for a while.”

At the moment, winning Cap’s approval (and the approval of humanity at large) is probably the furthest thing from the X-Men’s mind. With a new threat in the villain Bastion, who orchestrated the attack on Genosha in Episode 5, the X-Men are fighting for their right to exist. Since then, Bastion had been quietly building an army of Prime Sentinels, human civilians infected with a techno-virus that turned them into unkillable cyborgs, and things escalated in Episode 8.

Bastion unleashes his Sentinel army in “Tolerance is Extinction — Part 1,” and nearly overpowers mutants worldwide. It’s Magneto who eventually puts an end to the violence with a global electromagnetic pulse, but he sends humanity back to the Dark Ages — and potentially kills millions — in the process.

X-Men ‘97 is building to a worldwide conflict against Magneto, but it could also set the stage for Avengers vs. X-Men.

Marvel Studios

Magneto did what he had to do to save mutant-kind, but his choice was also the ultimate declaration of war. When Professor X returns at the end of the episode and calls the X-Men to his side, it’s to defend the world against Magneto’s extremism. The presence of other heroes and villains — like Spider-Man, Silver Samurai, Doctor Doom, and Omega Red — hints at a much larger battle on the horizon. Some Avengers could also get involved in the conflict to come.

The X-Men’s problems won’t end when (or if) they neutralize Magneto. There will be a lot to answer for, and the Avengers will likely oppose the mutant team. That could lead to a massive battle between the groups in a future season of X-Men ‘97, setting up an adaptation of Avengers vs. X-Men.

As two of Marvel’s most prolific teams, the Avengers’ conflict with the X-Men is akin to the former’s own Civil War, but on an even bigger scale. In the comics, the two groups clash when the Phoenix Force returns to Earth and chooses a new mutant host. The 2012 event introduced some polarizing plot developments, including the death of Professor X, Storm and Black Panther’s shocking break-up, and Cyclops’ full-on villain era. It was an interesting concept, but its execution left a lot to be desired.

While the door is wide open for X-Men ‘97 to adapt the crossover, the series may have to take a few liberties with the contentious event. It may also be a while before we actually see X-Men ‘97 Season 2, but Marvel’s best animated show has the opportunity to pit its stars against other heroes we know and love.

X-Men ‘97 is streaming on Disney+.

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