Biggest Easter Eggs in X-Men ’97 Episodes 1 & 2

Spoiler Warning: X-Men ’97 Episodes 1 & 2


  • X-Men ’97
    picks up where the original series left off, bringing viewers back to the 90s and the beloved team of mutants.
  • The series features numerous easter eggs and references to X-Men comics, including characters like Sunspot and the Morlocks.
  • Key plot points include Storm losing her powers, an unexpected relationship between Rogue and Magneto, and the mysterious identity of Jean Grey’s son.

X-Men ’97 has arrived at Disney+ and treated fans to a two-episode premiere. The two episodes picked up right where X-Men: The Animated Series ended and brought viewers back to the 90s and their favorite team of mutants as if no time had passed. X-Men: The Animated Series drew heavily from the long-running X-Men comics and adapted storylines like Days of Future Past, The Dark Phoenix Saga, and even Magneto’s first appearance in X-Men #1. X-Men ’97 looks to do the same, and as was the tradition of the original animated series and all modern superhero stories, it features plenty of references and easter eggs to the franchise’s history.

Here is a breakdown of some of the biggest revelations from X-Men ’97. This includes references to the comics, hints at future stories, behind-the-scenes details, and little references you might have missed. Here are the biggest easter eggs in X-Men ’97, episodes one and two.

X-Men '97

X-Men ’97

Release Date
March 20, 2024

Jennifer Hale , Chris Potter , Ray Chase , George Buza , Catherine Disher , JP Karliak


Marvel Studios


The series starts out with the Friends of Humanity, a militant hate group that looks to kidnap and destroy mutants. They kidnap a young man who identifies himself as Roberto da Costa, who comic fans will know as the mutant Sunspot. Sunspot is the son of wealthy Afro-Brazilian business executive Emmanuel da Costa and white American archaeologist Nina da Costa. This explains why he says he can pay his kidnappers a lot of money to free him, as he clearly comes from wealth.

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Fans don’t get to see his powers until towards the end of the first episode. He only transforms his arm, but it is clear the series is setting him up for a bigger role. He will likely be able to use his full power by the end of the season. The introduction of Sunspot is bittersweet as Adan Canto, who played the character in 2014’s X-Men: Days of Future Past, passed away on January 8, 2024.

Daily Bugle and Spider-Man

Spider-Man: The Animated Series alongside X-Men '97.
Fox Kids Network/Disney+

Shown in the trailer but worth mentioning here, following the X-Men’s first big save of the mutant Roberto DeCosta, a paper for the Daily Bugle flies past the camera. The Daily Bugle is the newspaper where Peter Parker sells photos of Spider-Man. The Daily Bugle headline features two references to Spider-Man. One is an article about whether Spider-Man is a mutant, and another is a story covering The Hellfire Gala with a byline that says it was written by Eddie Brock (Venom) and photos by Peter Parker. Spider-Man: The Animated Series crossed over with X-Men: The Animated Series many times, and there is speculation that Marvel might look to revive that series as well.

Hellfire Gala and Mutants

Daily Bugle X-Men 97
Marvel Animation

The Hellfire Gala in The Daily Bugle is a reference to the storyline from June 2021 that was published during the “Reign of X” relaunch, which saw the X-Men open up their mutant nation of Krokoa to the world. While the series is not adapting that specifically, here it is likely a reference to an event held by the Hellfire Club. It is already confirmed that the Hellfire Club will appear in X-Men ’97, as Emma Frost and Sebastian Shaw will appear later in the series.

The Hellfire Gala might be the mutant fashion show that is in the main headline. The idea of mutants having their own subculture, including fashion lines, celebrities, and even music, was an element that Grant Morrison really delved into during his tenure on New X-Men. The mutant fashion and likely parts of the Hellfire Gala include some exciting mutants from the comics. The cover includes:

  • Dust (Sooraya Qadir) – Created by writer Grant Morrison and artist Ethan Van Sciver and first appeared in New X-Men #133 in December 2002. She wears a traditional niqāb and can transform herself into sand, similar to the Spider-Man villain Sandman.
  • Maggott (Japheth) – Created by writer Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira and first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #345 in June 1997. As the name implies, his digestive system took the form of two maggots (named Eany and Meany) that could eat through practically any substance. After feeding, the maggots reentered his abdomen and passed nourishment to him, giving him incredible power.
  • Stacy X (Miranda Leevald) – Created by writer Joe Casey and artist Tom Raney and first appeared in Uncanny X-Men #399 in November 2001. Due to the pheromones she secretes, she can create sensations and physical reactions in anyone. She also possesses scaly, snake-like skin.
  • Banshee (Sean Cassidy) – Created by writer Roy Thomas and artist Werner Roth and first appeared in X-Men #28 in January 1967. Banshee is an Irish mutant who possesses a powerful sonic scream. Banshee appeared in the original X-Men: The Animated Series in his classic outfit, but on the cover, he is rocking a more stylish design similar to the outfits Marvel gave the X-Men for the Hellfire Gala event.
  • Loa (Alani Ryan) – Created by Michael Ryan and first appeared in The New Mutants vol. 2 #11 from June 2004. Born of mixed Native Hawaiian and Caucasian ancestry, she possesses a molecular distortion power that allows her to move through solid matter by disabling binding forces, which then causes the matter to crumble as she passes through it. Her mutation also leaves her with markings resembling tattoos on her body.
  • Nature Girl (Lin Li) – Created by Jason Latour and Mahmud Asrar and first appeared in Wolverine & the X-Men vol. 2 #1 in March 2014. Nature Girl is easily identifiable due to her antlers and possesses the ability to communicate with nature, both having the power to communicate with plants and animals.

Valerie Cooper and a Familiar Voice

X-Men The Animated Series The Phoenix Saga
Marvel Entertainment Group/Saban Entertainment

The X-Men have a new human ally, Valerie Cooper. Cooper was introduced in The Uncanny X-Men #176 in December 1983. She works for the Office of National Emergency as a liaison for mutant affairs, similar to her role in the series where she corresponds with the X-Men and leads the trail against Magneto at the United Nations. In X-Men ’97, she is voiced by Catherine Disher, who was the original voice of Jean Grey in X-Men: The Animated Series. Jennifer Hale has since stepped into the voice role for Jean Grey.

The Morlocks and Genosha

The Morlocks
Marvel Entertainment Group/Saban Entertainment

Early in the episode, Magneto saves The Morlocks, a group of mutants who live underground due to their physical mutations that make it impossible for them to pass in everyday human society. The characters were featured frequently in X-Men: The Animated Series, including their Christmas episode. Magneto rescues Calisto, Leech, Ape, and Tommy from the Friends of Humanity. He then uses the resources left to him by Charles Xavier to send the Morlocks to the mutant nation of Genosha.

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In X-Men: The Animated Series, Genosha was originally a trap made by many of the series’ human villains who hated mutants. They advertised the island as a mutant paradise, so they could capture mutants, outfit them with power-negating collars, and use them as slave labor to build Sentinels. Their plans were foiled by the X-Men and the Acolytes, but now it appears the mutants have reclaimed the nation, similar to Krakoa in the comics. Genosha is now recognized by the United Nations, even.

The X-Cutioner

Marvel Comics

In the first episode, the X-Men save Roberto da Costa from the hate group, The Friends of Humanity. The leader goes unidentified, but in the second episode, he is revealed to be Carl Denti, aka X-Cutioner. He first appeared in The Uncanny X-Men Annual #17 in June 1993 and was created by Scott Lobdell and Jason Pearson. Just like in the comics, he has a hatred for mutants and looks to be hunting them down, but here, he is more from a place of bigotry than personal revenge, as in the comics, he blamed them for the death of his father.

The X-Cutioner wields a cannon using Sentinel proportion technology, just like in the comics. The gun he uses that depowers mutants derives its power from the same technology that powers the mutant inhibitor’s colors but with the prominent ability to take away a mutant’s powers. This is similar to the cure storyline in Joss Whedon’s Astonishing X-Men comic, which later served as the inspiration for X-Men: The Last Stand. Storm taking the blast meant to depower Magento is similar to Mystique’s fate in that film.

Morph’s Many Mutant Forms

Morph has gotten a lot of attention in the past few months following the announcement that the character will be non-binary. Originally created for X-Men: The Animated Series, the character was killed in the second episode to show the stakes of the series, but was so popular that they were brought back, first as a villain for Mister Sinister and later as a hero for the X-Men. Morph is now back to being a full-time X-Men member and gets to showcase their powers in some fun, fan-service-filled ways.

In both episodes, Morph uses his shapeshifting abilities to turn into a variety of other mutants that appeared in X-Men: The Animated Series. In episode one, they take the form of Professor X and Jean Grey in conversation with the rest of the team. During the big action set piece, they first transform into Archangel to save Wolverine following the X-Jet’s explosion. They later turn into The Blob to allow Wolverine to destroy the Sentinel.

In the second episode, as the Friends of Humanity storm the United Nations, Morph is one of the few X-Men left standing following X-Cutioner’s attack. They first surprise X-Cutioner by attacking Lady Deathstrike before turning into Colossus and then Psylocke to engage in combat. It is clear the creators are having a lot of fun with Morph’s powers as they allow the writers and animators to include a bunch of their favorite characters without needing them to be there in person for action scenes.

The Trial of Magneto

Uncanny X-Men Magneto Cover
Marvel Comics

Episode two, “Mutant Liberation Begins”, is heavily focused on Magneto and his journey to redemption. The episode draws heavily from Uncanny X-Men #200 from December 1985, where Magneto goes on trial for his crimes. Like in the episode, Magneto willingly surrenders himself to stand trial at the World Court of the United Nations. In the comics, Magneto’s trial is interrupted by the Strucker Twins, but here it is the X-Cutioner and the Friends of Humanity.

That storyline also saw Magneto become the new headmaster of the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning, like how the show makes Magneto the new head of the X-Men after Professor Xavier left him everything in his will. The order here is changed around, as in the comics, Xavier leaves everything to Magneto after the trial, while in the show, it is before. Magneto’s costume in the series is the outfit he wore during this time in the comics, with the big M on his chest and no helmet.

Magneto and Rogue’s Relationship

Magneto and Rogue
Marvel Comics

Rogue voice actress Lenore Zann hinted that X-Men ’97 season one would be wild, and she sure was not kidding. Fans of the original series will remember that Rogue was the adopted daughter of Mystique, and the two worked together before Rogue changed allegiances and became a member of the X-Men following an incident where she drained the powers of Carol Danvers, the future Captain Marvel. Fans might be shocked, though, to see X-Men ’97 has introduced a new hidden element to Rogue’s past: a romantic relationship with Magneto.

In the comics, Magneto’s ability to control magnetism allows him to touch her without her absorbing her powers or hurting him (how exactly is never made clear). The two had a brief romance in the main Marvel Universe in the Savage Lands in Uncanny X-Men #274, but the series is likely drawing from The Age of Apocalypse storyline (a comic which was inspired by a storyline in X-Men: The Animated Series). Rogue and Magneto’s relationship is being kept a secret from the team, and Rogue will likely find herself pulled between Magneto and her primary love interest, Gambit.

Storm Depowered

Storm in X-Men '97
Marvel Animation

Episode two ends with the shocking revelation that Storm has lost her powers, due to the weapon that X-Cutioner shot at her. This is particularly heartbreaking as the previous episode established exactly how powerful Storm was, turning the sand of a desert into a glass and then into a powerful hurricane. She is an omega-level mutant and, next to Jean Grey, the most powerful member of the X-Men. This is based on the comics where Storm lost her powers in a similar way from an energy weapon fired by Henry Peter Gyrich, the man who shot Xavier and that Cyclops and Jean Grey interrogated in the first episode. Storm losing her powers in the comics sends her on a journey of self-discovery, one where she eventually begins a romantic relationship with the mutant Forge. Their relationship hits a major speed bump when she discovers Forge made the weapon that took her powers away.

It is unclear if the series will adapt this specific beat. Audiences saw X-Cutioner making the depowering gun, but there is a chance he got the schematics from Forge in some way. Forge is alive in the future timeline from which Bishop comes, so there is a chance his younger version will show up. With Storm leaving the X-Men and getting on a bus, her path remains unknown. In the 2000s, Marvel established that Storm was the childhood love of T’Challa, the future Black Panther, and the two eventually got married. Marvel Animation might bring that element into the world of X-Men ’97 and widen the scope of the animated universe.

Cyclops and Jean’s Son: Is It Cable?

Episode one of X-Men ’97 opens with the big reveal that Jean Grey is pregnant, and the series wastes no time as the second episode features Jean giving birth to a baby boy named Nathan Charles Summers. This implies that this is, in fact, Cable, the mutant time traveler who was a major part of X-Men: The Animated Series and is set to return in X-Men ’97. Yet there is one major factor worth considering: Cable is not the son of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, but instead, a Jean Grey clone named Madaline Pryor. She was created by the villain Mister Sinister to ensure the mixing of the Grey and Summers bloodlines to create a powerful mutant following Jean’s death in the comics during the Dark Phoenix Saga.

An alternate version of Cable does exist, however. In the Age of Apocalypse comic storyline, Scott Summers and the real Jean Grey have a child named Nate Grey, who, unlike Cable, is not infected with the techno-organic virus and grows up to be the mutant known as X-Man. Nate Grey is also a creation of Mr. Sinister, created in a test tube using Jean and Cyclops’ DNA, but the series could make it their biological child. The fact that there are two potential Nate Greys this kid could be might be part of the series moving forward: his destiny could be to either become Cable or X-Man.

Yet episode two’s final moment hints at it actually being Cable due to the realization that there are two Jean Greys. With two Jean Grey’s now in play, the mother of Nathan Summers could either be Jean Grey or, in fact, the clone Madaline Pryor. Is the Jean Grey that just showed up a clone? Or is the Jean that just gave birth really the clone, and if that is the case, how long has she been one? This leaves some exciting implications for future episodes.

X-Men ’97 is now streaming on Disney+.

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