X-Men ‘97’s Finale Sets Up a Wildly Ambitious Season 2

Our heroes are dangling off so many cliffs right now.

Marvel Studios

After 10 incredible episodes, X-Men ‘97 Season 1 has come to an end. The animated series left fans with plenty to chew on, and set the stage for an ambitious Season 2 centered around one infamous villain: Apocalypse. X-Men ‘97 will take an unorthodox approach to the character, splitting the conflict across past, present, and future.

The X-Men line-up will look very different in Season 2 thanks to a bit of yet-to-be-explained temporal meddling, and X-Men ‘97 will have plenty of questions to answer. Let’s break down the biggest cliffhangers of the Season 1 finale, and how they could influence Season 2.

Spoilers for Season 1 ahead.

An all-new, all-different X-Men team

Forge may lead a new X-Men (or X-Force) team in Season 2.

Marvel Studios

The events of X-Men ‘97’s Season 1 finale have left the team without a definitive leader. Cyclops is stuck in the future, while Professor X and Magneto are stuck in the past. Storm, who’s served as a competent leader in the comics, may be stuck in limbo with Wolverine and Morph. Forge, Cable, Jubilee, and Sunspot seem to be the only active X-Men left in the present.

In Episode 10’s epilogue, we learn that Forge has been working to track down other potential team members. Cable, Jubilee, and Sunspot are apparently all AWOL. And apart from a handful of mutants like Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost, Colossus, Iceman, and Havok, Forge seems to be the only X-Man still hanging out in the X-Mansion.

Bishop soon pops up to recruit Forge for a rescue mission, and together this pair will likely spend Season 2 searching through time for their displaced friends. However, they’ll probably need to assemble a new team too. With Cable stranded in the present, we could see him join Forge and Bishop to create a new X-Force. The X-Force is a band of outlaws specializing in off-the-books missions, and with anti-mutant sentiment likely on the rise in Season 2, their skills could come in handy. This could be the new line-up... at least until the X-Men return.

All eyes on Apocalypse

Apocalypse will appear across three timelines in X-Men ‘97.

Marvel Studios

X-Men ‘97’s season finale sets up three connected storylines (and timelines) for Season 2. Team members are stuck in the past, present, and future, but each timeline has a common denominator in Apocalypse. Jean and Scott have arrived in a future where the villain conquered the planet and turned it into a wasteland. That’s where their son Nathan is growing up, so they’ll have a hand in training him to become the warrior we know as Cable.

The X-Men stuck in 3000 BC encounter Apocalypse before he becomes Apocalypse. Back then, he was known as En Sabah Nur and The First One, in reference to his status as the original mutant. Though Apocalypse was a recurring villain in the original X-Men cartoon, the series never dug into his ancient Egyptian origins. X-Men ‘97 seems to be embracing that blindspot, and somehow bringing the X-Men along for the ride.

Will our team try to steer Apocalypse to the path of good? Notably, some of the noblest members of the X-Men have been brought to this timeline, from the altruistic Nightcrawler to the philosophical Beast and the famously philanthropic Charles Xavier. It’ll be interesting to see whether this faction clashes with Magneto and Rogue, who was on her own scorched earth mission in Season 1. Whatever they witness could inform the coming battle with present-day Apocalypse, who’s already beginning to assemble a new team of servants known as his Horsemen.

More relationship drama

Will Morph and Wolverine’s unrequited relationship take center stage in X-Men ‘97 Season 2?

Marvel Studios

X-Men ‘97 wisely chose to lean heavily into the X-Men’s interpersonal drama. There’s always been tension between Wolverine, Jean, and Cyclops, but with the introduction of Morph and his canonical crush on Wolverine, ‘97 turned this love triangle into more of a love square.

Jean and Scott are centuries removed from the rest of the cast, which eliminates some tension for Season 2. That said, Storm, Wolverine, and Morph have likely ended up in the same place. Wherever they are in time and space remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to see whether the added pressure puts a strain on some unrequited feelings.

Storm and Wolverine also have something of a history, but it’s only been briefly addressed. ‘97 could change that, but they may have far more pressing concerns. It may seem trivial to focus on interpersonal relationships, but they’re one of the subtler ways to up the stakes at every turn. Given all this romantic tension, we can expect X-Men ‘97 to be dramatic in every sense of the word.

X-Men ‘97 Season 1 is streaming on Disney+.

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