Celebrating 60 years of X-Men in comics, Marvel hosted an event on March 16 bringing together various X-creators from the six decades of the team's history. One section of the X-Men: 60 Uncanny Years Live Virtual Event focused on the X-Men in animation, which of course includes the team's future in the upcoming X-Men '97 animated series coming to Disney+.
The series, first announced just over a year ago, will be the MCU's next animated venture, following What If...? and I Am Groot. A reboot of the classic X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men '97 will see a return of the fan-favorite characters as they cope with a world without Professor X.
A Sinister Foe for the X-Men in Reboot
X-Men '97 writer Beau DeMayo confirmed at the X-Men: 60 Uncanny Years Live Virtual Event that Mister Sinister would be the primary antagonist in the upcoming animated series.
The master of cloning, Mister Sinister (Nathaniel Essex) will once again be played by Christopher Britton, who voiced the character in the original X-Men: The Animated Series.
DeMayo teased Mister Sinister's "pretty foolproof plan to destroy the X-Men once and for all," adding that the villain is one of his "very favorite character[s]:"
"A very, very, very, very favorite character of mine and many others, Mr. Sinister, will rear his ugly head from the past with a pretty foolproof plan to destroy the X-Men once and for all."
However, Mister Sinister will not be the only familiar X-Men foe to appear in the series, though the other will seemingly not be taking on a villainous role. As previously confirmed, Magneto will actually be leading the X-Men this season, filling the void left by Professor X after his departure from Earth.
Using the Villains to Tell a Heartwarming Story
This shifting of the classic X-Men enemy, Magneto, into a hero is not new to comics fans — the character was grouped in with the heroes in the original Secret Wars, for instance. But, more than that, it is a testament to the overall theme of "the power of empathy" explained by DeMayo at the event.
Magneto is a character that represents aggressive justice for mutants and is often put in conversation with Professor X and his dream of equality for mutants. Empathy plays an important role in that central conversation with the X-Men as characters.
Perhaps, this theme of empathy will extend to Mister Sinister as well as Magneto, given that empathy is not a selective concept. While Mister Sinister's plan may be "pretty foolproof," it is certainly possible that the notoriously evil character would not have factored in the empathetic nature of the X-Men into his scheme.
X-Men '97 will release on Disney+ this fall.