X-Men 97: Episode 4 Review

Motendo/LifeDeath Part 1

The latest Disney Plus and Marvel Original Series brings back a staple of the original X-Men: The Animated Series as it features two different story arcs in episode 4 of X-Men 97.


Jubilee turns 18 and just wants to have fun playing video games, while the other members of the X-Men have different ideas. Some want to take her out to have adult fun while Magneto wants her to train to be prepared for anything. When it’s all said and done, a video game system transports Jubilee and Roberto into the game to take on the deadly Mojo.

This story arc takes up half the episode and really seems like filler before getting into the planned three-part story arc that follows. It gives Jubilee and Roberto something to do as they won’t be featured much over the first two-thirds of the next story arc. Plus, it hints at a relationship for the youngest member of the team and the only other mutant on the show that’s near her age. It’s light, breezy and mostly inconsequential, although the show finally reveals Roberto’s mutant powers as he begins his path to becoming Sunspot.

The best part of this episode was the appearance of Abscissa, an older version of Jubilee. She helps Jubilee and Roberto figure out how to escape. Abscissa is voiced by Alyson Court who voiced Jubilee in the original animated X-men series in the 90s. As this show is 30 years later but still set in the 90s, it would be impossible for Court to voice the teenage version of Jubilee. Still, bringing her in as Abscissa was great fan service while hinting at some deeper storytelling down the road.

Lifedeath Part 1

The second half of this episode expands on the teaser from episode three. Storm and Forge are working together to try to restore Storm’s powers. Forge can create and invent anything, and Storm wants to be the “Mistress of the Elements” again. While working together, the pair are also falling in love. However, that creates some issues given Forge’s history as a member of X-Force, a mutant team similar to X-Men who worked for the government. The US government has given Storm enough reason to mistrust them, and this makes it harder to trust Forge even if he has spent his time since leaving X-Force trying to atone for his time on the team.

When Storm tries to flee, she winds up back in Forge’s cabin. It is revealed the Owl, who is really the Adversary, has been feasting on Storm’s fears. It ends on a cliffhanger as Forge tries to protect Storm. The episode is more mature than the first half and sets the tone for a more violent storyline. Still, this episode just doesn’t hit as hard as the first three of this series.

Looking Ahead

Storm and Forge must find a way to fight off the Adversary and restore Storm’s powers. Jubilee and Roberto will have to find their way as part of the team of older mutants. Meanwhile, the series has been discussing the United Nations admitting the mutant nation of Genosha. That can only spell trouble for the nation. It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward.

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

Article Written By: Jeremy Brown for Stelmach Brown Media 2024

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