Did Marvel Just Sneakily Introduce a Pivotal Deadpool 3 Villain?

After X-Men ‘97’s devastating new episode, nothing will be the same.

Jean Grey (voiced by Jennifer Hale), Gambit (voiced by AJ LoCascio), Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase), ...
Marvel Studios

X-Men ‘97 is not pulling any punches.

Marvel’s newest animated show is quickly becoming one of the franchise’s best shows, period. It may even be one of the best TV shows of the year in general. That has a lot to do with the mature themes each episode explores. Sure, X-Men ‘97 might have been greenlit with nostalgia in mind, but the series isn’t at all interested in resting on the laurels of its predecessor, or in giving X-Men fans the comfort food they might have expected from the revival.

97’s latest episode, “Remember It,” goes further than any that came before. It introduces a devastating reckoning, not only to the X-Men themselves, but perhaps to all mutantkind. And it might be the most relevant to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe at large. Until now, X-Men ‘97 was fairly self-contained... and all the better for it. But the events of “Remember It” may have set the stage for a major villain’s arrival, one that could also appear in the upcoming Deadpool & Wolverine and play a pivotal role in the MCU.

Major spoilers ahead for X-Men ‘97 Episode 5.

“Remember It” takes X-Men ‘97 to its darkest story yet.

Marvel Studios

“Remember It” follows a handful of X-Men members paying a visit to Genosha, the island nation that millions of mutants call home. Genosha is about to be recognized by the United Nations, and Magneto is set to take on the role of chancellor. His appointment plays against the love triangle festering between himself, Rogue, and Gambit, supplying the episode with some Omega-level angst. But X-Men ‘97 doesn’t stop there. Instead, “Remember It” end with a blindsiding genocide.

The time-traveling mutant Cable briefly cameos to deliver a warning to his mother, Madelyne Pryor — but he’s too late to stop what’s coming to Genosha. (It seems like he’s always too late, no matter what he does, but more on that later.) The island is suddenly attacked by a kaiju-sized Sentinel, which lays waste to the city and takes many of our favorite X-Men off the board... maybe for good.

With someone like Cable in the equation, the events of this attack could be reversed. But there’s a slightly more pressing question that needs to be answered first: Who’s controlling these Sentinels, and why?

Cassandra Nova has only appeared in comic-book form... until now.

Marvel Comics

The X-Men have no shortage of enemies, but there’s really only one that would attack Genosha unprovoked. The nation was destroyed in a similar fashion in the comics, and that attack was orchestrated by Cassandra Nova. A lesser-known — but no less dangerous — villain, Cassandra is technically the twin sister of Charles Xavier, his mirror image in every way. They share the same powers and a similar appearance, but Cassandra harbors a deep hatred for mutantkind. She’s antagonized and attacked the X-Men at every opportunity. In New X-Men #115, Cassandra sends a “Wild Sentinel” to Genosha to wipe the nation off the map, just to spite Xavier.

With Charles Xavier essentially exiled from Earth, there’s no better time to introduce his evil twin. Cassandra Nova could very well appear in an upcoming episode of X-Men ‘97, which would mark her first appearance outside of the comics. And if recent theories are correct, it won’t be the last. Cassandra Nova is also rumored to appear in Deadpool & Wolverine, reportedly played by The Crown star Emma Corrin.

Cassandra could pose a major threat to the multiverse. She’d be the perfect enemy for the X-Men to eventually face off against — especially in the MCU, which tends to favor villains that are mirror images of their heroes. Marvel hasn’t outright confirmed which Marvel character Corrin is playing, but it’s hard to ignore the hints we’ve gotten so far. With X-Men ‘97 setting the stage for Cassandra in animation, it’s not much of a stretch to anticipate her making the jump to live-action.

X-Men ‘97 is now streaming on Disney+.

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