X-Men ’97 Shouldn’t Be Part Of The MCU Multiverse, But We All Know It Will

By Christopher Isaac | Published

So X-Men ’97 is here at last, and, for me at least, it is living up to the high expectations for it. If you are going to make a continuation of a show from nearly 30 years ago, it better be something special. So far, it has clearly been made with care, attention to detail, and a plan for the long term.

However, one of the best aspects nobody has really mentioned is that it is also a Marvel property that can be enjoyed without prior knowledge of the MCU. Unfortunately, Marvel probably won’t be able to resist integrating X-Men ’97 into the MCU soon enough.

No Homework Required

I have nothing personal against the MCU, but isn’t everyone just exhausted at this point with how interconnected everything in Marvel has to be? So many movies, in general, are trying and failing to create a connected universe. You can never just watch the property that interests you anymore; instead, you have to watch two other movies and a TV show with characters you might not care about as much just to be filled in on what’s happening.

Even if it’s subconscious, I think part of why so many people are flocking to X-Men ’97 is that it stands separate from all the homework you have to do to enjoy the ever-growing MCU.

Only Requirement Is More X-Men

x-men 97

To be fair, you do have to watch the 76 episodes of X-Men: The Animated Series first to fully understand everything that is happening. But it is not like you are being asked to go back and watch some random Marvel movie like the Wesley Snipes Blade movies as well.

It makes sense that if you are interested in X-Men, all you have to watch is more X-Men. I just worry that soon enough, Marvel won’t be able to resist throwing in some crossover storylines in X-Men ’97 that are MCU-dependent, like a story arc featuring an animated version of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.

Avengers Changed Everything

My hope is that Marvel will see the popularity that X-Men ’97 is building and take the lesson that fans want more stories that are not part of the complex timeline of the MCU. It used to be where most comic book adaptations were standalone. 2012’s The Avengers obviously changed that, but it felt like a big deal because that was such a new, rare thing at the time.

Now, crossovers are just an expected part of every show and movie Marvel does, and it’s overwhelming.

Superhero Fatigue

I think it’s a fair assumption that a major reason Marvel built so strong to the crossover movies was the belief that multiple heroes in the same movie would bring in more money from appealing to multiple fanbases. And that definitely worked for a while. But as flatlining box office returns for Marvel have been showing, that gimmick has been played out at this point.

X-Men ’97 is a testament that people want stories they can easily pick up and enjoy right from the get-go, and maybe the MCU would benefit from doing more of that.

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