Morphing Time

X-Men '97 May Have Revealed the Most Powerful Mutant — And It's Not Who You Think

Which mutant secretly owns everybody else?

Professor X in 'X-Men '97.'

Some might say the mutants within the X-Men have disproportionate powers. Sure, a guy who fires optic blasts is cool and all, but how does a little pew-pew compare with someone who controls the weather? In other words, Storm, Jean Grey, Magneto, and Professor X all seem extremely overpowered relative to other mutants like Cyclops, Jubilee, or Gabmit.

And yet, among all the mutants in X-Men ‘97, one might stand apart in their sneaky abilities. In the penultimate episode of X-Men ‘97 Season 1, “Tolerance is Extinction Part 2,” an Avengers-sized cameo seems to establish that one member of the X-Men might be more powerful than all the others combined. Spoilers ahead.

As the X-Men stage a two-pronged attack on both Magneto and Bastion’s Sentinels, Morph transforms themselves into none other than... The Incredible Hulk! And as Morph/Hulk handily takes out some of the Sentinels, they say “Morph smash!”

Morph Smash!


Okay, so how does this work? How can Morph become as powerful as the Hulk? Well, it’s not that Morph only has shapeshifting abilities, they also have something called “power mimicry.” This means that Morph can take on the powers of the person they’re turning into, which is why Morph had Juggernaut’s super-strength abilities early in the season, and why they are Hulking out in this action-packed episode.

But, the thing we’re not talking about when we talk about Morph’s powers is the simple fact that although Morph can acquire the power of other mutants and superheroes through shapeshifting, they appear not to acquire the baggage of said powers.

Case-in-point, Morph does not have to lose their mind to anger to shapeshift into the Hulk, the same way Bruce Banner does. And, later in the same episode, Morph poses as Mr. Sinister in an attempt to fool Bastion, but that doesn’t mean Morph suddenly becomes an evil psychopath. You can quickly see why all of this could point to Morph could be the most powerful mutant of them all. It’s not just that they can take on most other mutant powers, but apparently, Morph doesn’t have to deal with as many side-effects of said powers.

If Morph shapeshifted into Wolverine, they wouldn't suddenly have a thing for smoking cigars...right?


This isn't to say Morph is without trauma. As Rogue reminds us all in this episode, Morph was murdered instantly after joining the X-Men team back in the classic show. On top of that, Morph was mind-controlled by Mister Sinister in Season 2 of the original series, meaning that the version of Morph we’re seeing in X-Men ‘97 is someone who has gone through a lot of horrible events and is pretty resilient despite all of that.

Finally, what makes Morph’s superpowers so interesting is that despite how much power they can literally wield, and all the trauma, Morph isn’t a dark character. Ultimately, among all of the various X-Men in the series, Morph is one of the most consistently upbeat, and their transformation into the Hulk in this episode is a great example of that buoyancy. Considering how bad things get for the X-Men in this episode, Morph’s sunny disposition might be the thing the team needs the most. Unless of course they can somehow morph into Magneto and undo all that damage.

X-Men ‘97 streams on Disney+. The Season 1 finale airs on May 15.

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