X-Men ’97 Makes The MCU Look Irrelevant

By Christopher Isaac | Published

x-men 97 reviews

It is no secret that the MCU is struggling lately. Part of that is due to their own poor decisions. For instance, they banked on a movie like The Marvels where audience interest just wasn’t there. But they have also been dealt some curveballs, like needing to fire Jonathan Majors after he was convicted for domestic abuse. It cost the MCU its next major villain in Kang the Conqueror.

So with so much turmoil surrounding Marvel lately, it is a breath of fresh air to see a Marvel property like X-Men ’97 that still manages to capture the magic we all know.

Critics Raving For X-Men ’97

x-men 97

X-Men ’97 officially had its big debut on March 20, and critics are already raving that the series is everything they wanted it to be. If you are like me, you went in with tempered expectations. Sure, the idea sounded exciting, but there have been so many botched show revivals or sequels that I knew not to get my hopes up. But if anything, X-Men ’97 is even better than X-Men: The Animated Series.

Marvel Moving So Slowly

x-men 97 reviews

Seeing that kind of instantaneous delivery of what I wanted from X-Men ’97 just makes the MCU itself all the more frustrating right now.

Does anyone seriously want the MCU to continue moving at its current glacial pace of connecting all of its stories? Everything the MCU is doing right now just feels like further set-up for the next big thing rather than being the big thing.

This is leading to more and more movies where it is hard not to get impatient that the big events we all want are not happening because instead, we have to have more solo films focusing on minor characters like Ant-Man.

X-Men ’97 Comes Fast Out Of The Gate

x-men 97

X-Men ’97 could have been handled that same way, coming out of the gate slow and riding easy on nostalgia to keeps fans engaged.

But the creators played it right by assuming the audience was diligent enough to already know what happened before. They were ready for some big new developments.

The MCU seems to have developed the assumption that audiences will continue to watch and be patient no matter what. This assumption is resulting in more boring movies where everything feels too safe to try anything major.

Attention Grabbing

X-Men ’97 grabs your attention right away by picking up from the ending of The Animated Series where Professor X died. From there, we quickly move on to a major shakeup with Magneto forming an alliance with the X-Men.

The show does not waste time by assuming nostalgia is going to keep viewers watching past the first episode. It immediately establishes big stakes and interesting plotlines to get you invested. It is the kind of thing I have been missing from most Marvel movies lately.

Shouldn’t Feel Like Homework

Another point in favor of ­X-Men ’97 is that, even with it having a previous series of storylines behind it, it is not bogged down by references that a new audience won’t understand.

Watching something like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness feels like a homework assignment to watch all the previous movies and shows you need to get what is happening.

X-Men ’97 absolutely includes call backs to the previous series, but the creators also get that not everyone has watched a show from almost 30 years ago. They make it enjoyable for returnees, but accessible for newcomers, which I appreciate.

MCU Can Learn Something

I’m not writing all of this to say that the MCU should call it quits. But maybe the huge sprawling multiverse movie franchise can learn a few things from a simple cartoon like X-Men ’97. Because people are certainly responding far more positively to this show than a lot of the MCU’s recent offerings.

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