X-Men 97: Episode 2 Review

Mutant Liberation Begins

Humans put Magneto’s new intentions to the test in the second episode of the Disney+ Original Series, X-Men 97. Magneto has taken over as leader of the X-Men, but humans put him on trial for his previous crimes.

 This leads to a tense situation where humans who have started rejecting all mutants attack in an effort to kill Magneto, mutants and the humans who are willing to give him a trial rather than just execute him. The episode demonstrates the best of some people, the worst of others and leads to one mutant leaving the team for good while others welcome a new member to their family.

The Trial of Magneto

If there is one mutant who deserves to be tried, and most likely punished for his crimes against humanity, it’s Magneto. However, this episode, much like the comics and films, goes a long way in explaining his motivations for his actions. He is a Holocaust survivor who was forced into a concentration camp. After surviving, other survivors who were not mutants joined with some of their oppressors to try to oppress mutants. He is the one super villain whose motivations are completely understandable, but his actions make him nearly unforgivable.

This creates the interesting dichotomy of the episode. The humans who want to kill all mutants are most likely justified in their hatred of Magneto for his actions against mankind. However, they are too afraid of mutants as a whole replacing them, they can’t accept a future with mutants in it. It’s a blatant allegory for white replacement theory that has been circulated by fringe politicians for years. These humans turn on their fellow humans for having the gall to put Magneto on trial.

In a great piece of irony, the villainous humans lead to Magneto’s acquittal. Their attack leads to Magneto and the other X-Men jumping in to protect the humans of the United Nations. Magneto’s actions to save the humans who put him on trial leads to his acquittal, plus the mutant nation he formed is given a chance to join the UN. That’s the very opposite of what the Friends of Humanity (the villainous humans) wanted. It’s a wonderful piece of writing that transcends the believed childlike nature of animated television. Well done!

Storm’s Goodbye

During the fight, the Friends of Humanity unveiled a weapon designed to remove a mutant’s powers. This goes beyond the collars they use that will only temporarily remove the powers. The new weapon appears to have permanent effects. During the battle, Storm is hit with a blast from the weapon. The Mistress of the Elements can no longer control the weather leading to Magneto releasing his anger while still finding a way to stop short of killing anyone.

Storm accepts her loss of powers but leaves the team as she feels she can no longer help the X-Men. This becomes key as Cyclops showed he would rely on Storm for counsel while he was leading the team in Professor X’s absence before Magneto took over. It’ll be interesting to see where the show goes with this storyline. While removing Storm certainly creates conflict, it also creates an excellent path for storytelling. Still, I have a feeling, somehow, Storm will get her powers back before the end of the season.

Scott, Two Jeans and a Child

The series started with Scott and Jean expecting a child. Jean went into labor during the fight forcing Scott to leave to be with her. Scott now blames himself for the Storm situation as he believes he could’ve stopped what happened had he been there. He couldn’t have, but he’s ridden with guilt. Meanwhile, Jean gives birth to Nathan, and the pair get ready to leave the X-Men.

Everything is turned on its head though, when another Jean shows up on the front door of the school and falls into Morph’s arms. Who is this second Jean? What does this mean for Scott, Jean and Nathan? Plus, which stories will they use for inspiration for this storyline? Given the original cartoon and two different movies attempted the Phoenix storyline, I doubt they will tyr it again. I can’t wait to see where this is going.

 Check out all episodes of X-Men 97 streaming on Disney Plus.

Article Written By: Jeremy Brown for Stelmach Brown Media 2024

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