The Forgotten Cyclops And Phoenix Story That Predicts X-Men ’97 Season Two

By Chris Snellgrove | Published

For longtime comics fans, one of the transcendent joys of X-Men ‘97 has been witnessing how the series takes classic stories from the comics and remixes them in new and exciting ways. Given that Cyclops and Jean Grey end up in the far future and encounter Cable as a young boy in the finale, it looks like Season 2 will be adapting one of the better (if generally forgotten) comics from the ‘90s.

Specifically, it looks like the show will be giving us its version of the 1994 miniseries The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix.

One Threat Defeated While Another Rises

X-Men 97 finale

For this to make sense, we need to recap some of that splendid X-Men ‘97 finale. After defeating Bastion and his Prime Sentinels, our heroes had a new problem to deal with: Asteroid M was about to hit the planet and make humanity just as extinct as the dinosaurs. At the last minute, Magneto prevented the extinction of humanity, and the only thing more surprising than the villain’s sudden act of heroism was that the asteroid seemingly blinked out of existence.

Apocalypse Through The Ages

x-men 97

On Earth, Forge and most of the planet believe that the X-Men have perished. However, we find out that they are now scattered in time, and that’s where the connection to The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix comes in. While the rest of our X-Men ‘97 protagonists are sent to Ancient Egypt (where they encounter a very different-looking Apocalypse), Cyclops and Jean Grey are sent to the year 3960, where they encounter Clan Askani and, most incredibly, Scott’s son Nathan as a young man.

Back in 1994, what made The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix so interesting was that it told a very similar story in an effort to fill out the back story for Cable, who at the time was a new and mysterious character.

Adapting A 90s Limited Series

In this miniseries, the recently-married Cyclops and Jean Grey have their minds transported into future bodies by Rachael Summers, their alternate universe daughter (believe it or not, the comic stories are infinitely more complicated than the average X-Men ‘97 ep). In these new bodies, the two are able to raise young Nathan even as they help Clan Askani fight Apocalypse.

Differences Between Show And Comic Already

X-Men 97 finale Batman The Animated Series

Of course, there are already some minor differences between The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix comic and what we see in X-Men ‘97, chief among them that Cyclops and Jean Grey are in their actual bodies and that we don’t know who or what sent them to the future. That means we are unlikely to see the characters spend 12 years raising the young man who would become Cable, like in the comic.

However, we’re certainly going to see echoes of the comic, with these two developing a better relationship with young Nathan and learning more about how dangerous Apocalypse can be.

Gambit Might Be Back

You don’t need to have read The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix to guess that last part: X-Men ‘97’s first season ended with most of the team encountering Apocalypse in the past, two of them traveling to an Apocalypse-dominated future, and present-day Apocalypse wandering Genosha and all but verifying that he will resurrect Gambit as his Horseman of Death.

The villain will be a threat to humanity and mutants alike in the past, present, and future. At the same time, taking storytelling cues from the comic will help Cyclops develop a relationship with his son, something he has regretted being unable to do in the show.

X-Men 97 Is The Series Fans Have Wanted For Decades

If nothing else, reading The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix can help X-Men ‘97 fans scratch the itch by getting more great storytelling as we collectively wait for the second season of this hit show. Reading the miniseries may offer even more clues about the series’ future, especially if the show decides to introduce Stryfe as a villain.

That’s the beauty of the show: no matter how many back issues you’ve read, you never know exactly what will happen next.

Given how the MCU has been crashing down like Asteroid M with nobody to stop its descent, X-Men ‘97 fans can agree on one thing. It’s great to finally have onscreen superhero adventures that make us proud to say, “make mine Marvel” once more.

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