Disney+'s X-Men '97 Reboot Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

By Sam Hargrave Updated:
X-Men Wolverine, Professor X, Magneto, Disney Plus logo

Ahead of the two-episode series premiere on Wednesday, March 20, the first critic reactions to Disney+'s X-Men '97 have proven strong.

The mutant-centric series from Marvel Animation marks a reboot/revival of the iconic X-Men: The Animation Series which aired its five seasons from 1992 to 1997.

The original X-Men: The Animated Series is renowned by fans as one of the best and most nostalgic Marvel adaptations of all time, holding an impressive 92% audience score and 83% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

First Reviews for Disney+'s X-Men '97

Wolverine and Nightcrawler in X-Men 97

Under a week before X-Men '97's premiere, select critics were able to preview the first three episodes of the Disney+ reboot, and they had some great things to say.

Tessa Smith from Mama's Geeky was "overwhelmed... with emotion" and "brought... to tears" by the preview chapters, adding how the storylines and characters were "done perfectly:"

"To me, my X-Men! To have this series back has overwhelmed me with emotion. I've seen the first 3 episodes & each one brought me to tears. So many characters & storylines done PERFECTLY! I love having this team back. For those nervous, don't be... this show is incredible."

Fresh off a rewatch of X-Men: The Animated Series, The Reel Rejects' Greg Alba exclaimed how the series continues to be "how you remember" from the original:

"After rewatching the original 'xmen' animated series and now the first couple episodes of 'X-Men '97' - I can honestly say the series is fantastic! It's how you remember, preserving the characters & themes, yet evolved with a more cinematic touch and beautiful action scenes."

The Direct's own Russ Milheim noted how he "enjoyed the updated animation style" and fans of the classic series will be "very happy with it:"

"just saw the first three episodes of 'X-Men '97,' and I can confidently say that fans of the original 'X-Men Animated series' will be very happy with it. 

I also really enjoyed the updated animation style. 

It’ll be great to have the X-Men back in the spotlight!"

POC Culture called X-Men '97 "nostalgia handled perfectly" and curiously called it "surprisingly... sexy:"

"I got to see 3 episodes of 'X-MEN '97' & it is nostalgia handled perfectly!

The action & use of powers are awesome & creative, it’s pleasantly hilarious & surprisingly…sexy??? 

This is a show for both OG & new fans! The X Men are BACK!"

ComicBook's Jamie Jirak called the three episodes "absolutely epic" and added how it has plenty of the drama expected from the X-Men:

"The first three episodes of 'X-Men '97' are absolutely epic. It exceeds expectations in every way. The nostalgia is strong, but it's so much more. Beautiful animation, excellent storytelling, and above all - my favorite thing about the X-Men - THE DRAAAMAAAAA!"

Movie Web's Richard Fink had "trouble finding the words" to explain the greatness of X-Men '97, citing "gorgeous animation and wonderful character work:"

"'X-Men 97' is so good I honestly am having trouble finding the words. Gorgeous animation and wonderful character work. The character drama really highlights why they were once Marvel’s most popular title. This will certainly remind audiences why The X-Men rule."

X-Men '97 is a "blast from the past" according to Nerd Reactor's John Nguyen, who teased how there are "so many emotions" to be found:

"Watched the first three eps of 'X-Men 97' and just a blast from the past and a love letter to the 90s animated show. The mutants we love are back and there are so many emotions from laughter to excitement to sadness."

Aaron Perine from Comic Book praised "how much love" X-Men '97 showcases for the mythos, calling the show "astounding:"

"'X-Men 97' is absolutely ASTOUNDING. I'm floored by how much love this show has for the entire idea of the Xmen! Could not be happier!"

Why X-Men ‘97’s Strong Reviews Are Amazing but Tragic

Disney+'s X-Men reboot appears to be a slam-dunk by all accounts, with no major negativity to be found in the early critic reactions. It certainly appears Marvel has successfully rekindled the magic of the beloved and nostalgic original series.

There is notable praise to be found in these reviews for the emotion, character work, action scenes, and creativity, all of which are packaged within beautiful fresh animation that respects the original while updating it for modern standards.

X-Men '97 is only just beginning Season 1, but recording work is well underway for Season 2 with rumors pointing to a four-season plan for the series. So, fans can look forward to plenty more of the animated mutant greatness for years to come.

Having now heard the strong reactions to X-Men '97, the latest news surrounding the Marvel Animation series only became more disappointing. Via The Hollywood Reporter, revival creator Beau DeMayo has been fired ahead of the press tour and after completing writing duties for Season 2 of the show.

While the reasons behind his firing are currently unclear, one can only hope Marvel Animation will find a suitable replacement who can continue X-Men '97 down the path of great acclaim that DeMayo had started.

As the MCU continues to face backlash for its latest projects, the standalone hit of X-Men '97 may be just what the Marvel brand needs to get back on track. But who knows if the show will manage to capture the viewership of casual audiences and those unfamiliar with the original '90s animated series.

X-Men '97 will bring its first two episodes to Disney+ on Wednesday, March 20.

- In This Article: X-Men 97
Release Date
March 20, 2024
Cal Dodd
Catherine Disher
Chris Potter
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.