X-Men 97: Episode 3 Review

Fire Made Flesh

The second Jean Gray gets medical help from Beast where it’s revealed that she is, in fact, the real Jean Gray. Meanwhile, the one who has been helping the team has been a clone.

Mr. Sinister reveals his dastardly plan to turn the Jean Gray clone into the Goblin Queen and turn the school into a personal hellscape for every member of the X-Men. Meanwhile, Sinister takes Nathan Summers to try to continue his own evolution. It ends with the clone’s love for her son helping her break free but she and Cyclops have to send Nathan to the future with Bishop for him to have any chance at life.

Sinister foe

Mr. Sinister is one of the most iconic villains from the comics. Since he hasn’t appeared in any of the X-Men films to date, this makes him an excellent foe to bring in for this series. There’s no preconceived notion on this character from fans of the films. Of course, comics fans will have their preconceived notions, but it’s a little easier to make a comics’ accurate depiction in an animated series, so there’s likely to be less backlash.

His use of a Jean Gray clone does wonders for this series. He certifies himself as a true villain who will likely be making a return appearance. Yes, the team must fight frustrated humans, but that’s rarely a fair fight. And, with Magneto fighting alongside the X-Men, a new villain needed to be presented. While there are some excellent choices, I like the inclusion of Mr. Sinister. I can’t wait to see if he appears in more episodes. I hope he does.

Jean Gray vs. Madelyne Pryor

Meanwhile, X-Men 97 fans got quite a different introduction to Madelyne Pryor. She appears to be Jean until the real Jean shows up on her door. She also seems to truly believe she is Jean until Sinister awakens the dark part of her psyche. It’s up to Jean Gray to reach her subconscious and let her see how she needs to save her son from Sinister’s scheme.

In the comics, Madelyne is usually an antagonist, especially for Cyclops. Here, outside of her presentation as the Goblin Queen, she works as an ally. She and Scott fight side-by-side to try to rescue her son. She is the one who comes up with the idea to send Nathan to the future with Bishop and instill some of her consciousness in him, so he doesn’t forget them. She looks like a real hero.

Meanwhile, Scott looks like a whiny baby with his “don’t any of you know what it feels like to be abandoned” schtick. He’s at a school where everyone there was abandoned for being different. Everyone in that room knows that feeling, Scott.

Jean offers to let Madelyne stay, but she wants to venture out on her own. This is also when she reveals her new name as Madelyne Pryor. My bet is she returns, and probably won’t be as friendly the next time we see her.

Also, every time you see Madelyne as Jean, she’s wearing her hair down, while Jean wears her hair in a ponytail. Since this is a continuation of the 90s series, I should see if there are any changes like this in the original series. I’d be interested to know if they were making an effort to tell this story before it got canceled originally.


The episode stinger features Storm in a bar where she’s approached by someone who clearly knows of her mutant abilities. He reveals himself to be Forge, an old friend of Charles Xavier. Of course, comics fans will recognize him from X-Force. I’m interested to see how they tell this story as Forge has hinted; he will help Storm regain her powers. My guess is she will be very wary of any mutant who is also an ex-government agent.


After one episode, I wasn’t ready to call this the best series on Disney Plus, despite others saying that. After three episodes, I’m not there yet, but I will say it’s the best animated series and the best Marvel series on Disney Plus. I can’t wait to see what happens going forward, especially after the revelations of the worst fears of each of the X-Men. I hope those are explored further. I would hate for them to be a one-off.

Article Written By: Jeremy Brown for Stelmach Brown Media 2024

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