X-Men ’97 Confirms Our Worst Marvel Multiverse Fears

By Douglas Helm | Published

X-Men ‘97 is everything fans wanted out of a revival of the beloved original X-Men: The Animated Series. It also reminded everyone of a simpler time when a Saturday morning cartoon didn’t require you to watch over 30 movies and a bunch of other TV shows as homework.

But Marvel couldn’t resist nodding to the MCU in a recent episode of the series, as The Watcher from the animated What If..? series was briefly seen in the latest episode.

The Watcher Seen In X-Men ’97

Now, if this ends up just being a slight nod to the MCU and nothing else, there’s really no harm no foul here. After all, the entire point of What If…? is to allow for stories in alternate timelines of the MCU that don’t have to adhere to a strict continuity.

It’s certainly plausible that the X-Men ‘97 Watcher cameo was simply a “hey, don’t forget Marvel made this happen.”

Can’t X-Men ’97 Stand Alone?

x-men '97

Of course, the MCU also seems to have an implacable need to connect everything to everything, so it’s hard to imagine that X-Men ‘97 is going to be allowed to exist solely as its own thing.

The MCU is great and everything, though it would be nice if fans could just have something in Marvel that doesn’t have to be part of the MCU.

But the fact is X-Men ‘97 is immensely popular, and Marvel is unlikely to ignore that.

Crossover Episodes Inevitable

x-men '97

We at GIANT FREAKIN ROBOT already predicted that something like this would happen, but the question remains how far the MCU is going to take this connection.

Again, this could be a one-and-done Easter Egg, but the fact that The Watcher’s What If…? series often jumps across the multiverse, it seems like an X-Men ‘97 and What If…? crossover episode is inevitable.

This is a cool idea in theory, but it would have to be done right if it was going to make fans of both the MCU and the X-Men animated series happy.

Ok If Just A One-Off

A What If…? and X-Men ‘97 crossover episode could be cool if nothing happened in the episode that affected the ongoing storyline and characters of X-Men ‘97.

In other words, it would have to be an episode that was just for fun, rather than something that advanced any sort of plot forward. Truth be told, there are definitely plenty of people who would like to see the animated X-Men characters interacting with MCU mainstays like Dr. Strange, Captain Carter, and Thor

Interconnectivity Is A Blessing And A Curse

x-men 97 reviews

Overall, the interconnectivity of the MCU continues to be a blessing and a curse. While it can create really cool character interactions and team-up events, people are starting to wear a little thin with having to know everything about the MCU to understand everything that’s happening.

It would definitely be nice if the success of X-Men ‘97 encouraged Marvel to take more chances on non-MCU projects, rather than decide that these experiments need to be wrapped into the MCU machine.

Take A Cue From DC

x-men '97

Marvel could definitely take a cue from the plan for the upcoming DCU, which is to allow films like Joker 2 and The Batman to be made under the DC Elseworlds label. This gives creators more freedom to take risks and tell unique stories without having to stick to the house style and continuity. In any case, you can stream X-Men ‘97 on Disney+ and it’s well worth your time, MCU connection or not.

robert downey jr

Subscribe For

Marvel News

Expect a confirmation email if you Subscribe.