5 Reasons Why X-Men ’97 Deserves Its 100% Rotten Tomatoes Rating

With the final episode of X-Men ’97 airing today, one of the best animation experiences I have ever had has ended. When I say I will miss looking forward to every Wednesday for a new episode, I’m not exaggerating. This series brought to us everything new-age animation shows have been missing, allowing it to score chart-breaking numbers on Rotten Tomatoes. X-Men ’97 has 100% Rotten Tomatoes ratings by top critics, 98% from all critics, and 94% from the average audience. Now the question is what makes X-Men’97 so good for it to score such extravagant numbers? Allow me to bring forth the answers to this question in this article.

1. Connection to the Audience

Connection To The Audience
Image Courtesy: IMDb

One of the defining factors of X-Men’97 was how this series has built a deep connection with the audience it caters to. Whether people who grew up watching the OG X-Men: The Animated Series or people watching X-Men in action for the very first time with this show, everyone has been able to connect to X-Men’97 equally. However, this connection has nothing to do with the quality of the show or any other such factor but the very concept of X-Men.

If you look closely at the characters of X-Men, each member of the team brings forth a set of strengths but also a set of flaws that sometimes overshadow their strengths. What X-Men’97 has been able to do beautifully is bring this human aspect of these heroes to light better than any other show has ever had.

A person who has gone through a major loss might relate to Rogue, someone who covers their pain with arrogance and anger might relate to Wolverine and someone who went through a worldview-changing trauma might relate to the rage Magneto is filled with. This show does not forget that these practically invincible beings are humans too and does not shy away from showing it.

2. A Perfectly Put-out Storyline

A Perfectly Put-Out Storyline
Image Courtesy: YouTube/Marvel Entertainment

Whether be it a show, a book, or a movie, the one thing that decides if it will make people fall in love with it is the story it brings to the audience. X-Men’97 is a show that successfully painted a picture that everyone, adult or not, can adore and live with no difference whatsoever. Every episode of X-Men’97 ends with a cliffhanger, even the finale episode of Episode 10 ended with the introduction of Apocalypse into the series. This form of anticipating storytelling in each episode leads the audience to be even involved in the events they are witnessing.

The overall story of this show carries itself out so naturally and gracefully that even if you try to spot a plothole in the entirety of this 10-episode season of X-Men’97, it will be like asking me to stop covering entertainment, entirely pointless. On top of that, even though the comic accuracy of X-Men ’97 is through the charts, it still feels like you are watching something new even if you have read the comic book it has taken inspiration from. That is Something not a lot of people can pull off.

What you will find in most animated shows that come out of Marvel is the lack of a binding element that could keep the audience entangled in the story. Even after the episode comes to an end, the audience is left longing for more and looking forward to the next episode. If I talk about my experience while watching X-Men’97, I am not lying when I say that I lost track of time and was like “Wait how did this end so quickly?” Then I’d look at the time and thirty minutes had passed already.

3. Letting X-Men Be X-Men

Letting X-Men Be X-Men
Image Courtesy: YouTube/Marvel Entertainment

One of the biggest complaints I have always had with Marvel is them turning everything they make into a toned-down version of what we see in comic books. Everything that came out of Marvel in Phase 5 was so Disney-fied that it felt like I was watching movies made for kids. However, this changed with the release of X-Men’97.

I Boy Scouts salute Disney for not taking away the grittiness and rawness, the very essence of X-Men, and letting it shine its most remarkable element. X-Men’97 brings forth a lot of mature themes that are uncommon to be seen in a Marvel animated show. This show does not shy away from showing extreme violence, blood, and gore almost as intense as we have seen in the comics.

Now it seems that with shows like this Marvel and Disney have finally understood that the audience they used to cater to are now grown-ups and hence are moving forward to creating content that resonates with them. Deadpool and Wolverine is going to be the first R-rated project to come out of MCU and watching shows like X-Men’97 makes me think that Marvel is finally going to make a massive comeback.

4. Comic Accurate Character Arcs

X-Men'97 Comic Accurate Character Arcs
Image Courtesy: IMDb

Among all the elements that led to X-Men’97 scoring a 100% Rotten Tomatoes rating, one that I admire the most is the bang-on comic accuracy. When I started watching this show, I thought that Marvel being Marvel, would shy away from the dark and gritty comic storylines and would alter them in one way or another. However, I was proven wrong. As soon as we got introduced to Madelyne Pryor, I thought to myself “There’s no way they will show her actual character arc” but guess what, they did!

This took me by massive surprise and reinforced the respect I had for Marvel in me. If you are reading this, you must have watched the show and if you have not, let me tell you that this does not end here. In further episodes, we get to see the death of Gambit and the purge of Genosha in the most unexpected way you can imagine. When I say that Marvel did not hold back, I mean it, I really do.

Now, I am not gonna reveal many other things that follow (yes, there’s more), since there may be some of you folks who have not watched this series yet and are still contemplating if you should or not. Trust me when I say it, if you are one of those people who have lost faith in Marvel, X-Men’97 will change everything for you.

5. The Element of Nostalgia

X-Men'97- Element of Nostalgia
Image Courtesy: IMDb

If you have made it this far in the article, I’m glad I could keep you hooked and now, I’m going to conclude this piece with an ode to the nostalgic element of X-Men’97. As I mentioned previously in my X-Men’97 premiere review, sticking with the 90’s style animation was a huge bet that paid off quite well for Marvel.

A huge chunk of the audience X-Men’97 taps into are people who have watched the OG X-Men: The Animated Series. Watching the continuation of that very plot in the same animation style gave us a hit of nostalgia which played an important part in the success of this show. Other than that, bringing in some of the original voice actors like Cathal J. Todd as Wolverine, Lenore Zann as Rogue, George Buza as Beast, Alison Sealy-Smith as Storm, etc. was indeed a cherry on top.

Overall, X-Men’97’s 100% rotten tomatoes rating is because it’s not just a show, it is an experience for the newer generations they can watch with their parents for parent-child bonding. On the other hand, for the older generation, it is a sweet trip down memory lane to a time, when they used to sit down with their parents with a nice cold Kool-Aid watching their favorite X-Men save the world.

comment Comments 0
Leave a Reply