X-Men ‘97 Needs To Finally Give Fans This Horrifying Marvel Future

By Zack Zagranis | Updated

One of the reasons fans loved X-Men: The Animated Series as much as they did was the cartoon’s willingness to adapt storylines directly from the comic books. Stories like Days of Future Past and The Phoenix Saga were faithfully recreated for the small screen. If X-Men ’97 continues this tradition, then there’s no story arc we want to see more than the Age of Apocalypse.

The Age Of Apocalypse

Age of Apocalypse was a 1995 crossover event that ran through all of Marvel’s X-Men books. More accurately, the event actually caused those books to be mutated, reset, and switched around in a way that was shocking to pre-internet nerd culture. One month, fans were reading Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, X-Factor, Excalibur, X-Force, Generation X, Wolverine, and Cable. The next month, without warning, the titles were changed to Astonishing X-Men, Amazing X-Men, Factor X, X-Calibre, Gambit and the Xternals, Generation Next, Weapon-X, and X-Man.

Grim Darkness Of The Alternate Future

The premise behind the Age of Apocalypse was Charles Xavier’s son David—of Legion fame—going back in time to kill Magneto and accidentally killing his dad instead. The murder of Professor X changes Legion’s timeline, resulting in a dystopian future Earth controlled by the evil mutant Apocalypse. This new timeline also spawned drastically different versions of beloved mutants, such as Wolverine and Cyclops, who in the AOA timeline sport permanent injuries, each inflicted by the other. One-eyed Cyclops now truly lives up to his name, while Wolverine now only sports three claws, thanks to Scott blasting off one of his hands.

Magneto And His Wife

Other changes are even more drastic, such as Magneto leading the X-Men with his wife Rogue and Sabertooth having a little mini-me version of himself named Wild Child chained to him at all times. The only character to retain their pre-Age of Apocalypse memories was Bishop, who took it upon himself to try to convince Magneto to help restore the original timeline. For everyone else, the new dystopian Marvel universe was the only one they’d ever known.

A Full Circle Moment

The crossover is fondly remembered as a fan-favorite event and one that would be right at home in X-Men ’97. In fact, its inclusion in the new series would be rather poetic for a couple of reasons. For starters, the X-Men cartoon actually inspired the Age of Apocalypse storyline in the first place.

X-Men ’92 Already Killed Professor X

In the two-parter that kicked off Season 4 of the Fox Kids series, Professor X is killed, causing an apocalyptic future that Bishop has to travel back in time to prevent. The main antagonists of the story arc are the advanced Sentinel Nimrod and future criminal Fitzroy rather than the mutant Apocalypse, but one can see how it inspired the comic storyline.


Meanwhile, the Age of Apocalypse storyline marked the first appearance of the X-Men: The Animated Series character Morph in the X-Men comics. Morph, like Harley Quinn before them, is one of the few comic book characters to appear in animation before making the leap to the four-colored page. Seeing as how AOA is already connected to the original X-Men cartoon in several ways, it only seems right that Disney adapts the story for its upcoming sequel series.

Hope For The Future

x-men 97

Marvel has been tight-lipped so far about X-Men ’97‘s potential plotlines, only revealing that the show will pick up exactly where the original ended. For all we know, ’97 Season 1 might already feature an Age of Apocalypse storyline. If not, though, it would certainly be a great option for a potential second season.