The greatest new Marvel TV show probably isn’t going to be live-action. Instead, the most exciting Marvel news is an impending reboot of the very best of our ’90s childhoods. If you grew up humming that famous X-Men theme song from the classic cartoon — which aired from 1992 to 1997 — there’s some very good news; a sequel TV series called X-Men ’97 is coming in 2023. But, with one very, very big twist. Although X-Men ’97 will be animated in the distinctive style that made the original ’90s series famous, Professor X will no longer be the leader of the X-Men.
Instead, Magneto — yes, Magneto — will be the heroic leader of the mutants in X-Men ’97.
The news broke at San Diego Comic-Con on July 22, 2022, during a panel focused on upcoming animated Marvel shows including What If? Season 2, as well as the new Spidey animated series Spider-Man: Freshman Year. Although we’ll have to wait over a year to see it, the new X-Men will look very much like the old X-Men (complete with those yellow outfits) but, instead of Professor X as the leader, you’ve got Magneto.
In comic book lore, the idea that Magneto is good and on the same side as the heroic Mutants isn’t unheard of. In most origin stories of the X-Men, Magneto and Professor X were friends. This is why Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy played Erik Lensherr and Charles Xavier as such close buddies in X-Men: First Class. It’s also why Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen extend a sense of brotherhood to their versions of the characters, too.
That said, the idea of an older Magneto, with flowing gray hair, as the leader of the X-Men is rarer. It’s a brilliant switcharoo for a series mostly focused on ’90s nostalgia. In fact, simply bringing back Professor X in that famous yellow chair would have been the easy way to go. Instead, showing us silver-haired Magneto, working for the good guys is way cooler. It’s like imagining a Star Wars cartoon reboot where Darth Vader is good, but he’s still a badass. Plus, the fact that this is an older Magneto is so refreshing. So often the “good” versions of comic-book badasses are presented as young and impressionable. What will the grizzled, Magneto be like? Will he be world-weary, or upbeat and positive?
One thing is for sure, if ’90s kids weren’t already pumped for an X-Men comeback, the news of Magneto’s heroism will draw old-school fans back to the X-Men, just like…well…imagine what Magneto can do with little bits of metal.
When does X-Men ’97 Disney+ hit?
X-Men ’97 hits Disney+ sometime in Fall 2023. You can watch all of the original X-Men series on Disney+ right now. Here’s our complete viewing order guide.