X-Men 97 early reviews: ‘Fresh and X-traordinary revival' hailed a must-watch | Web Series - Hindustan Times

X-Men 97 early reviews: Iconic show's ‘Fresh and X-traordinary revival' boasts improved animation; hailed a must-watch

Mar 14, 2024 10:02 PM IST

Despite the animated series' showrunner being fired ahead of the Disney+ premiere, X-Men 97 garners positive reactions.

A week before the Disney+ premiere, X-Men 97 has already reeled in a mixed bag of happy and sad news. The Marvel Animation series is set to revive the popular X-Men: The Animated Series from the ‘90s, by continuing its storyline arc in the modern day. However, the man behind its visual design, Beau DeMayo, the showrunner and executive producer, was fired before the March 20 premiere hit its desired OTT platform. Before exiting the Marvel space, DeMayo finished working on Seasons 1 and 2. He was also excluded from the exclusive Hollywood premiere of the series on March 13. The reason for the studio parting ways with the creative is still shrouded under mystery. As of now, his association with the upcoming series and its potential future seasons has been blurred.

X-Men '97 is scheduled to have a two-episode premiere on March 20, 2024, The first season reportedly has a total 10-episode run.
X-Men '97 is scheduled to have a two-episode premiere on March 20, 2024, The first season reportedly has a total 10-episode run.

The ‘90s Fox Kids cartoon ended with the presumed death of Professor Charles Xavier, while other X-Men associated with him, like Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Jean Grey, Beast, Jubilee and others, continue battling their way through a world that sees them as abominations. The Disney+ series is set to pick up the action where it was first left off. Although DeMayo’s exclusion has cast a light of uncertainty on the future of the series, the first season will nevertheless be released next week. Critics and industry people who were privileged to sit through the exclusive screenings have shared their word on the fantastic experience, showering the forthcoming premiere with endless praises and whatnot.

Early X-Men 97 Reviews

Critics with early access to the first three episodes of the upcoming Marvel Animation title have already hailed X-Men 97 as a must-watch. Marking a continuation of the iconic X-Men: The Animated Series from the '90s, the new iteration has turned out to be a blend of all the best things from the decades-old story and modern-day vitality. Gathering word on what the TV show has done well to bring the fan-favourite back to life, here are some plus points critics have emphasised.

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Long-Form Storytelling

Labelling the new edition a “dream come true,” critics couldn't stop raving about the episodes running past their standard runtime. The expanded time frame reportedly allows characters' emotional conflicts to take centre stage instead of rushing past everything monumental. One of the online praises even identified this effort as almost a premiere of “director's cut episodes.”

Due to the extensive time window, the episodes' pacing seems to have been done well, leaving enough room for better and more patient storytelling. So far, what's emerged as a win-win situation for the fans despite the initial “X-Men Woke” controversy is already starting to feel like a “proper continuation” from where the older series left off its action.

Overall, the new Disney '97 series has retained the original sense of epicness with long-form storytelling. Unlike present-day short-running seasons, the first three episodes of the X-Men revival are supposedly looking to set up “huge season-long arcs, if not longer.”

Building on the drama quotient, the series has it all: love triangles, comedy, serious commentary and explosive action development. One of the many positive reviews also highlighted that X-Men 97 will leave fans with no option but to root for Cyclops. On the other hand, Magneto retains his sensational sense of being. The first three episodes are expected to make jaw-dropping revelations and leave you with head-scratching cliffhangers that make a deep dive into the X-Men lore.

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Improved Animation

Some experts' insights spoke about how the series has gained a mature edge, with dialogues also becoming more suggestive than before. The series goes on to prove that despite being superheroes, the X-Men characters have a vulnerable side, exposing them to physical and emotional pain. In addition to delivering the nostalgic quotient, the series has seemingly gone beyond and used characters' powers creatively, which will equally charm old and new fans alike.

Old show fans will be able to trace the evolution of the characters and action scenes. Some critics even took a step further to assure anxious fans awaiting the series premiere that there should be no room for worries because the new addition revisits the OG characters just as you remembered them, but only better.

Opening Credits

Valid nostalgia kicked in for all those watching the exclusive series screening in a theatre full of fans. Another X-Men 97 review on X (formerly Twitter) read: “Hearing the X-Men theme bump with a theatre full of fans screaming gave me chills.” The brand-new intro has ostensibly faithfully recreated the beauty of the original series' work. Yet some new character beats and other introductions have paved the way for myriads of jaw-dropping easter eggs.

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