Magneto Will Lead The X-Men In The ’97 Series

Have you X-Men fans ever wondered what would the team be like if Magneto were to lead them? That sounds hard to believe, but something like that has happened before. And guess what? It’s about to happen on the small-screen. By golly, this is a great time to be a Marvel fan. For all you ’90s kids out there who grew up watching the old X-Men cartoon, first of all, you were born at the right time in cartoon history. That has got to be the best Marvel cartoon ever put on the small-screen. Sure, an argument can be made that the ’90s Spider-Man cartoon rivals it, but if you ask me, the X-Men cartoon reigns supreme. And honestly, what’s not to love about it?

The ’90s X-Men cartoon did everything right. And yes, that includes the team’s most prominent and most popular foe, the mast of magnetism himself, Magneto. The movies did a fine job developing the character the right way, given that that version had Ian McKellen playing him. However, the ’90s cartoon version of the character almost perfectly reflects the Magneto we know from the comics. In the beginning, he was a villain and the ultimate foe for the X-Men. What made his enmity so intense with the team was his past friendship with Professor Charles Xavier. Although the two mutant leaders had far different ideals, they still shared a strong mutual respect for each other.

That is something that was evidently prominent in the X-Men movies if you’ve only seen those. What wasn’t touched on enough was how they could set aside their differences in order to fight the real enemy. We saw the best example of that in X-Men 2: X-Men United, hence the title. Although both men and their followers were still at odds, they were forced to band to together in order to fight a human extremist. What that movie did right, the whole X-Men cartoon did throughout the entire series. Whenever the X-Men had to contend with a threat that was too great for them to handle, Magneto would often be there to help. And those threats were both human and mutant alike.

The ’90s X-Men cartoon covered just about every X-Men villain and it did well developing Magneto as both a powerful adversary and a useful ally to the team. And if you remember the phenomenal finale to the series, you’ll remember that their on-and-off adversary was at the mansion with the team when they gave their final goodbyes to Professor Xavier. Now as amazing as that finale was, it still ended on a bit of a cliffhanger. What is the fate of Charles Xavier after his lover Lilandra took him off Earth? All of us X-Men fans have been wondering that for a while now and after two decades since that finale, we’ll finally be getting some answers.

News of the upcoming sequel series, X-Men ’97, will be coming next year. But this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, some very intriguing news about the series dropped. For starters, all the original members of the team from the old cartoon will be returning. And this time around, they’ll have a new team leader. No, it won’t be Wolverine. He’s already had his own series where he was the new leader of the X-Men. For this new series, their most popular enemy will be their new leader.

Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? Based on a curious image released at the con, Magneto will be wearing a purple suit with a large “M” on it and his hair will be much longer. Maybe he should’ve just stuck with his old look, but maybe this is his way of transitioning from villain to new hero. Either way, we should all be very curious to see how this will unfold. The Magneto from the comics was a villain for a while, but he would slowly become more of an anti-hero overtime. Eventually, the X-Men granted him a risky chance of redemption and allowed him to serve on their team.

For a while, their former adversary became a valuable member of the team. And after the Avengers vs. X-Men event, he would subsequently follow the rogue Cyclops in a more radical X-Men team. You know, a team that reflected his old Brotherhood of Mutants. You could never expect Magneto to become a complete hero who has reached full redemption. All the fans loved him as the biggest X-Men villain and they appreciated him as an anti-hero. This is something the ’97 series can capitalize on.

What exactly can we expect from an X-Men team led by Magneto? I can imagine most of the team won’t be too thrilled about it. The more coolheaded members of the team, such as Beast and Storm, would be the ones to be more willing to give him a chance. As for other members, such as Wolverine and Cyclops, would be much more skeptical, with the former being more aggressive about it. Cyclops served as the field team leader, so he and Magneto will definitely butt heads. Eventually, however, I’m confident the former mutant terrorist will find a way to earn the respect of his old enemies.

The most interesting arc for his leadership of the team would be coming across his former Brotherhood. Before he went to Xavier’s School, Magneto was about to lead his army of radical mutants to whatever cities he could attack. Since he actually abandoned them, his former followers are probably looking for revenge. His most difficult action as leader would be fighting against his former Brotherhood who were willing to do anything for him. And with him no longer leader of the Brotherhood, it makes you wonder who will take his place.

In the worst case, Magneto’s redemption arc will fail. Let’s hope that’s not what happens, because he can be even more compelling as an anti-hero. What are your thoughts, X-Men fans? The ’97 cartoon will premiere on Disney+ next fall. Can’t wait to hear that classic theme music once again.

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