Way back in the 1990s, I used to set my video recorder every Saturday morning during “Live & Kicking” while I did my Saturday job so that I wouldn’t miss the excellent animated series like “Spider-Man” and the “X-Men”.   

And now, thirty years later, Disney is once again pulling on my nostalgia strings with a revival called “X-Men ’97”, which picks up exactly where the last one finished, where Professor X is presumed dead, leading to Magneto taking over as the leader of the X-Men, which is explained in the first two episodes.

The first two episodes of this show don’t feel like a traditional opening to a new show. The characters are established, and we just jump straight back into the action. There’s a brief explanation of what happened in the final episodes to set the new show up, but there is little doubt that this is a continuation, not a reboot.

If you haven’t watched the original series, I’d probably recommend doing so instead of jumping straight into this. However, if you’ve maybe not watched the show since you were younger, I think you can hop straight into the new show without any worries.

The third episode moves into a different story involving the introduction of the Goblin Queen and the origins of Nathan, aka Cable.  This is a hard-hitting episode, which doesn’t pull any punches and charges at full speed.   There’s also a subplot involving Storm and her powers, which looks set to be an overarching story of this new series, which should be interesting to see play out.

This classic animated series introduced me to characters like Wolverine, Cyclops and Magneto.  Plus, I spent too many 10p coins in my local arcade on the video game, so the advertising campaign that Disney has been using has worked perfectly on me, but it does seem slightly weird for a new animated series, since you’d think Marvel would be targeting a new generation but hopefully this new show will get plenty of younger kids to check out the original series on Disney+ too.

The series is straight out of the 1990s, with its art style and overall feel. However, occasionally, there is the odd hint at something a little more modern, but that’s only to be expected, as it’s been over thirty years!

“X-Men ’97” might not hit the same spot for everyone. Recapturing the feel of the 90s nowadays isn’t going to be easy, as tastes and attitudes have changed. But based on these first few episodes, I think the show stays true to its core, and I really enjoyed it.

Getting most of the original cast back together helps, though there are some changes, which is to be expected, and the intro is very close to the original; it’s still slightly different, but most important of all, it has the classic theme, which sends me right back to the 90s.   And that is a constant feeling for me; it hits those nostalgia notes, but it doesn’t feel forced; it just feels like I stumbled across some old episodes I might have missed the first time around!

Overall:   As a massive fan of the show the first time around, “X-Men ’97” should please classic fans and also introduce a new generation to these characters. It’s got that feel of the original and offers a fantastic opportunity to explore new stories with these characters that just isn’t possible with a live-action version due to the physical costs involved. And to me, this version of the X-Men is still the bar, the movies have had their moments, but nothing compares to the classic series and I’m really hopeful that this new revival can reach that same height.  Based on the first three episodes, I’m not worried and can’t wait to see the rest of the series.

Rating: 4 Out Of 5

The first two episodes of “X-Men ’97” are available to stream now on Disney+, with a new episode being released every Wednesday.  The original animated series is also available to stream on Disney+.

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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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