X-Men ‘97’s Season 1 Finale Sets Up A Trippy Summers Family Reunion

Who is Mother Askani? Where are Scott and Jean? We have the answers.

Cyclops (voiced by Ray Chase) and Jean Grey (voiced by Jennifer Hale) in X-Men '97
Marvel Studios

X-Men lore can get complicated in a hurry, and it doesn’t get more complex than the Summers family tree. X-Men ‘97 hasn’t shied away from the inherent weirdness of Scott Summers and Jean Grey’s history, having introduced Jean’s clone, Madelyne Pryor, while also tracing the origins of Scott and Jean’s son, Nathan, who later grows up to be Cable. The time-traveling mercenary even gets to bond with his estranged parents, and while the Season 1 finale separates this unorthodox family once more, it also offers a trippy consolation prize for Scott and Jean.

It’s safe to say X-Men ‘97’s three-part finale didn’t go where anyone expected. The animated series is unlike any X-Men adaptation we’ve ever seen, swerving into deep and unexpected cuts of comic history. That’s especially the case for Scott and Jean: at every turn, it seemed like our star-crossed power couple would do what they do best and sacrifice themselves for the greater good. But the final chapter of “Tolerance Is Extinction” went another way, teasing a potential happy ending — and an unorthodox family reunion — for the Summers.

Spoilers ahead for X-Men ‘97.

X-Men ‘97 embraces the Summers family’s complicated history.

Marvel Studios

“Tolerance Is Extinction - Part 3” ends with a surprising time travel twist. After saving the world from Bastion, the X-Men are suddenly pulled through time by an unknown entity. One portion of the team ends up far in the past, face-to-face with the villain Apocalypse before he tried to take over the world. A few may be stuck in limbo. Scott and Jean, meanwhile, are transported to the year 3960, where their son Nathan is coming of age.

Scott and Jean first meet Nathan’s guardian, who introduces herself as Mother Askani, the leader of her clan. Ironically, she’s also a member of the Summers family; seasoned X-Men fans recognize her as Rachel Summers, Scott and Jean’s daughter from another universe. This version of Rachel hails from Earth-811, where “Days of Future Past” takes place. She winds up in the main Marvel Universe after an encounter with the Phoenix Force, and later ends up stranded in the future after sacrificing herself to save a teammate.

Mother Askani is one of two manifestations of Rachel Summers, the daughter of Cyclops and Phoenix.

Marvel Studios

Rachel finds the world a wasteland a century after Apocalypse conquered it. She soon forms Clan Askani and becomes its sacred leader, and at some point — at least in the X-Men ‘97 continuity — the time-traversing mutant Bishop brings Nathan to her. Under her guidance, he’ll grow up to become Askani’son, a messiah figure destined to go back in time and defeat Apocalypse.

But Scott and Jean also have a part to play in his upbringing. In the comics, the Summers actually get the chance to raise Nathan. That story is chronicled in the 1994 mini-series The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix, which offered fans a rare glimpse of what Scott and Jean would be like as parents. It’s safe to assume X-Men ‘97 will borrow from that comic for Season 2, and give fans the Summers family reunion they never knew they needed.

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

Related Tags