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X-Men Characters We Want To See More Of In X-Men '97

"X-Men: The Animated Series" was an astonishing show that exposed a new generation to Marvel's mutant heroes, revolutionized storytelling in Saturday morning cartoons, and gave birth to the live-action "X-Men" films. With its constantly building plots and continuing story arcs, viewers of all ages — not just kids — were pulled into the plight of these superheroes and wanted to see them thrive. After five seasons of fighting and dominating on Fox Kids, a new show titled "X-Men '97" will act as a continuation of the hit series and create more adventures for some of Marvel's most fascinating characters on Disney+.

The original cartoon tackled adult issues like loss and was full of darker themes and complicated answers, giving viewers more of what they wanted from the comics while trusting them to follow along with the episode recaps. In an attempt to ensure that this new incarnation lives up to its predecessor, the showrunners from the '90s series have been brought on as consultants, and many of the voice actors from the show will return to lend their talents in new and classic roles. With the wealth of storylines and characters the series was able to touch on, not everyone had much time in the spotlight, and there is still so much left untapped. Let's take a look at some of the mutants we want to see bolster the roster and get a bigger part this time around.

Emma Frost

The White Queen, also known as Emma Frost, is a villain in "X-Men: The Animated Series." She is seen manipulating Jean Grey and helping the fiendish Hellfire Club unleash the Dark Phoenix — a power that they could not control. Her backstory isn't explored much past this event, and there is a lot from the character's solo series that could be used. In addition, her other appearances in the show come in the role of one of Apocalypse's kidnapping victims, making her a perfect candidate for a character that little needs more attention. The writers could keep her as a villain and bring in a rival mutant school with the Hellions or follow the pages of the comics and make her a reluctant good guy.

As a hero, Emma would fill in some blank spots for the team if the final episode is still going to be canon. With Professor X gone, she would provide the role of a new headmistress type figure and a strong telepath for the team of young mutants. Her diamond form would also allow her to jump into the action when needed. This could lead into a potential Generation X storyline and a power struggle or love triangle between her, Cyclops, and Jean. Frost will also be handy to have around for her business prowess, seeing as running a school can be expensive, and the X-Men may need someone who can be cunning and ruthless when the time calls for it.


The episode "Slave Island" gave fans a quick glimpse of the mutant known as Thunderbird, a lesser-known Native American who was short-lived in the comics and died in a moment of arrogance. His role was originally intended to be a bit bigger in the cartoon — it would have been him that died in the opening story arc instead of Morph. But smartly, the decision was made not to go in that direction, as his death likely wouldn't have meant as much to the audience. That doesn't mean it can't still happen in the new series, as the death of Thunderbird brings in his cooler, younger brother, Warpath.

James Proudstar is an Apache warrior, a fierce fighter, and a bit rough around the edges. Not only does he possess superhuman physical attributes, senses, regeneration, and agility, but the musclebound mutant is also a skilled tracker. Indeed, he comes equipped with twin vibranium knives, which he uses to shred opponents indiscriminately. He's kind of like a Wolverine-lite, complete with unresolved issues and an attitude. Initially, he saw the X-Men as the enemy, blaming them for his brother's death, but it wasn't long before he became one of the heroes' most dangerous weapons as a key member of X-Force. Warpath isn't just a nomination for representation, but a solid selection for a character who yearns to fight, is still dealing with loss, and has many demons that can be explored and toyed with in future stories.


Sam Guthrie is a good country boy with a kind heart who comes from a family of mutants and coal miners. Known as Cannonball, he possesses a thick Kentucky accent and a unique power of flight that allows him an extreme manner of propulsion — his body literally blasts off, and he is protected by a force field while in motion. Sam's origins were covered in the episode "Hidden Agendas," when the government is after him, and Rogue attempts to recruit him to the Xavier Institute. The show also spotlighted how his family and their small town react to him being a mutant, so there isn't much more of an introduction needed.

Cannonball didn't do anything past this one episode in the original cartoon, but he's had quite a few adventures in the comics. Not only has he proven to be a reliable member of the team, but Sam has also shown himself to be a capable leader, making him a strong asset in the field. He's studied the X-Men's files extensively and learned to control his powers more, turning this refinement into a stronger combat prowess. One of his greatest moments was defeating the unstoppable Gladiator of the Shi'ar Empire in "Uncanny X-Men" #341. The cartoon may also want to take some cues from the recent "New Mutants" film on updating Guthrie's personality and interaction. Nevertheless, this is a character that could be handled several different ways and become a long-running member of any core group of mutants.


The man from 2055 with the "M" tattoo on his face is usually not a welcomed sight. His presence means that time has been messed with, and something bad is about to happen, most likely putting all of mutantkind in danger. Lucas Bishop isn't a great team player either, often positioned against the X-Men just as much as he fights alongside them, believing his methods to be the only way to get anything done to ensure a better future. However, it's hard to argue against his dedication and what Bishop's experiences and powers bring to a good story, so there's no question that fans want to see him again.

The bad luck puppy that time has kicked too much is always returning to the future, thinking he's achieved his goal, only to find out there is a new problem (and that's when he isn't stuck in the Axis of Time). This means that there is always more to do with the character, such as bringing in Forge and his sister Shard for some extra assistance. If the time travel gimmick feels played out, Bishop has also acted as a sort of police officer for his species to take care of problems that threaten them, giving him a potentially different means of interacting with the team. Since Bishop has been associated with some of the best episodes of the original "X-Men" cartoon, the bar is set a bit high for his return, but time is on his side.

The Brood

Not the most well-known X-Men antagonists by any stretch, it's still always nice to see an extraterrestrial insect-like species that just wants to inject their eggs into everyone and conquer the universe. The Brood is heartless and extremely dangerous, with only one real motivation, and once they've chosen their breeding ground, it's almost impossible to get rid of the infestation. The alien menace only appears properly in the "Mojovision" episode as a fun cameo for diehard fans, but they looked cool enough to appear in the Japanese version of the show's intro and did influence another tale in the following season.

"Love in Vain" featured an adventure with similar aliens that were referred to as The Colony, but it isn't hard to tell that they were originally supposed to be — and are completely based on — The Brood. The episode even contained nods to the comic debut of the creatures, space whale and all, while focusing on Rogue's backstory with Cody, who could be one of the craziest secondary character returns we see in this new incarnation. Whatever form they appear as in the new series, these aliens could wreak a lot more havoc, offer a break from fighting the usual foes, and send our heroes into space. The showrunners could even go the route of having the menacing Brood team up with Deathbird to take down the Shi'ar Empire (like in the comics) and possibly give us Lilandra and Professor Xavier again.

Multiple Man

James "Jamie" Madrox is a mutant with a distinct power, and it's all in the name. By punching his fist into the palm of his hand or stomping his foot to the ground, he makes an exact copy of himself. Well, not quite exact — sometimes they have a different aspect of his personality or their own agenda, but that quality is evidence enough to realize he can be an amazing character. Indeed, Multiple Man has an interesting past — Jamie's powers manifested just after his birth, and he's always been hesitant to join the X-Men, instead choosing to play by his own rules (and he barely even follows those). He did eventually wind up in X-Factor, though, which is how he made it into the original show in an episode called "Cold Comfort."

There could easily be more stories with this group, giving Madrox a reason to pester the X-Men again and restart the friendly rivalry, but he has a lot to do on his own as well. For example, he is prone to losing dupes (clones) of himself and having to hunt them down, reabsorbing their knowledge and skills in the process and creating some fun side effects. In the comics, he also turned X-Factor into private detectives, which could be intriguing for something like a murder mystery in the mansion or another tale with twists and turns. In addition, having him running the team now could mean we see returning characters such as Wolfsbane and Strong Guy or new additions like Shatterstar, Longshot, and Layla Miller.


The urge to put other Marvel characters into "X-Men" as cameos was strong, but this one paid off. Notably, the X-Men eventually appeared in two episodes of the "Spider-Man" cartoon on the same network, creating one of the most astonishing crossovers of that time. Sure, it was done to help boost show ratings, but this two-part event that began with "The Mutant Agenda" ranks highly among fans.

Spider-Man was dealing with a bit of a mutation problem himself and sought out Professor Charles Xavier, but the mutant residents and the mansion itself saw him as a threat. To make matters worse, the Kingpin, Hobgoblin, and a vile scientist named Herbert Landon were also involved. The disappearance of Beast also led to some problems, and Spider-Man had to tussle with Wolverine. This was all done extremely well and felt like a story that benefitted both shows, so why not do it again and maybe even bring back Christopher Daniel Barnes to voice the character? This time, the X-Men and Ol' Web-Head are already familiar with each other, so we can skip the introductory fights and get right into some serious action. Maybe the two can team up against a superior foe, or Peter Parker can come to the heroes for help once again with a problem that fits their expertise. It isn't a guaranteed success, but there's something magical about these characters together, and another crossover could even spark some interest in Spider-Man getting his own '90s continuation.


This new show could use some more Morlock representation, as long as it's nothing like their Christmas episode. This band of sewer-dwelling mutants is often seen as too deformed or ugly to live with the general public, so even amongst other mutants, they are outcasts. Marrow, also known as Sarah, wasn't represented in the show because she was still a new character at that time, but she deserves her own storyline. Amongst the Morlocks, she is seen as one of the more radical members, often choosing violence as an answer and having attacked several humans that wronged her kind.

Callisto, the Morlock leader, forced Marrow to spend time with the X-Men to help her atone for some of the pain she caused with the hope that Sarah would find a better path, but her stubbornness always gets in the way. Having her in the group offers the show another rebellious character who isn't afraid to kill and has an incredible amount of emotional turmoil. Some of this is due to her powers, as Marrow has several protruding bones that constantly grow out of her. Although they can be used as weapons or armor, there is a bit of a gross-out factor as well. "X-Men: Evolution" introduced a character known as Spyke, essentially a male version of Marrow, denying her a chance to shine, and her place in the comics has dwindled. Now is the time for redemption with a fresh role in the new show.


Robert "Bobby" Drake is cold as ice, but his heart burns with passion. At least, that's what we see the most of from him in the original series. In the episode "Cold Comfort," we see the story of Iceman's past with the X-Men and his attempt to find the love of his life, Lorna Dane, better known as Polaris. This is a good episode that sees the titular mutant team knuckle up against X-Factor, while Iceman risks it all for love, only to find out that she hasn't been kidnapped — she simply moved on without him. Bobby refuses to rejoin the team at the end of the adventure, but he is still seen helping out in the background and makes a few flashback appearances in other episodes. Ultimately, he's still active, but is that enough for one of the X-Men's original founding members?

Iceman is a powerful mutant whose powers are always enjoyable to see in the on-screen action, and his impulsive attitude and disdain for following orders often land him in trouble. Combine this with other unresolved issues from his past with the team, and Bobby may be perfectly set for a new story arc or joining the team on a more permanent basis to shake things up. Assuming Lorna and Havok are still an item, Iceman could also be used as another love interest for one of the other heroes, or even Mystique (like in the comics).


There was no way for Laura Kinney, better known as X-23, to appear in the original "X-Men" cartoon because she wasn't created until the follow-up series, "X-Men: Evolution." Now it almost feels like a guarantee that the female version of Wolverine will claw her way into the new show and rectify that. Her appearance could be a huge surprise for Logan and give him a reason to face off against his Department H tormentors once again while diving into other members and atrocities of the Weapons Plus program (or Hydra, if we stick to the "Evolution" plot). That will be after they fight each other first, of course.

This doesn't need to be a retelling, though, as the character changed a lot from her animated debut, and the showrunners should feel like they can change the former assassin to best fit their storylines. However, they will have to answer the question of whether or not Laura is a clone of Wolverine or his biological daughter in their world, and that always gets a bit messy. Other than dealing with the worst mutant dad awards, X-23 could also be used to show some serious character growth or a redemption arc, possibly leading up to her taking the name and mantle of Wolverine, as she did in the comics. Having her in this new incarnation isn't necessarily a requirement, but it is a surefire way to spark fan interest.

Mister Sinister

Arguably one of the best villains from the original series, the show captured Mister Sinister in his prime and explored the former Nathaniel Essex's origins exceptionally with the episode titled "Descent," even exposing him as the reason for the Jack The Ripper stories. This evil geneticist has plans for the mutant species, mainly experimenting on them (and himself) to force evolution and gain power. Working in the shadows, Sinister has manipulated the X-Men using their fallen ally, Morph, to try and break them apart and even kidnapped Cyclops and Jean Grey on their honeymoon. Once the X-Men figured out who had been pulling their strings and causing all of these problems, their fight with him was a sight to behold. Still, Sinister's regenerative powers ensure he is not so easily disposed of.

Assuming Essex can get over this obsession with the Summers family, he could potentially cause more chaos for the mutant heroes. With the help of his experiments and the Nasty Boys to enforce his will, Sinister is still just as dangerous as he once was. But perhaps he should be given a new motivation. After all, if the writers didn't want to use Essex as the main villain again, it'd be easy to put him with another antagonist, like Apocalypse, who gave Sinister some of his powers in the comics. Either way, it would seem almost wrong not to indulge again in such a vile character.