Marvel Legends X-Men ’97 figures spoiled two huge plot points

Christopher Baggett
X-Men '97 key art

New figures based on Marvel’s X-Men ’97 animated series managed to spoil two huge plot twists before the show even released.

X-Men ’97 has finally been released after a series of delays. Those delays didn’t stop the marketing machine, though, as the characters showed up in all sorts of merchandise.

The long-gestating series already produced one well-received line of Marvel Legends figures. The first wave featured brand new versions of Wolverine, Magneto, Storm, and more, marking the first time the animated X-Men had made Hasbro’s storied 6″ line of action figures.

It’s the second wave of Marvel Legends that caused problems, though, as the new wave includes some unique figures that spoiled two major plot elements for the series.

Warning, potential spoilers for X-Men ’97 to follow.

X-Men ’97’s Goblin Queen figure teases a major Jean Grey reveal

Madelyne Pryor is a surprising addition to X-Men ’97 in general. She was originally intended by writer Chris Claremont to be a fairly normal woman and the love of Cyclops‘ life. The intent was for Cyclops to marry Madelyne and retire from the X-Men, with Cyclops only returning for special occasions.

Unfortunately, Cyclops and Maddy’s relationship wasn’t meant to be. It falls apart when Jean is resurrected and a tormented Scott cannot choose between his new family and his former lover. A massive retcon later establishes Maddy as a clone created by Mister Sinister, who producers have said since the beginning would be a massive threat in X-Men ’97.

Marvel Legends X-Men '97 Goblin Queen
Hasbro’s new Madelyne Pryor figure hints at an X-Men ’97 storyline about Cable’s origin.

Since learning she was created to torment Cyclops, Madelyne has become a nightmare for the Marvel Universe. A demonic influence altered her life forever, turning her into the Goblin Queen, something her figure clearly hints at, given that she’s wearing an updated version of that costume. Today, she’s the ruler of Limbo alongside her current lover, Cyclops’ brother Havok.

The X-Men ’97 premiere episodes feature a very pregnant Jean, and the second episode ends with her giving birth to her son, Nathan (who grows up to be the time-traveling soldier Cable). The final moments of the episode, though, reveal a second Jean at the door of the X-Mansion.

The episode’s cliffhanger leaves viewers wondering who the real Jean is and who the Goblin Queen is. However, given that Maddy is traditionally Nathan’s mother in the comics and the Goblin Queen figure is packed with a toy of baby Nathan, it seems all but certain that the first Jean we saw is the actual clone.

The X-Cutioner makes his way to the animated X-Men

X-Cutioner is a surprisingly deep cut. Seeing a figure of him in this wave is a surprise, considering the comic take on X-Cutioner hasn’t gotten his own figure yet.

Marvel Legends X-Men '97 X-Cutioner figure
The X-Cutioner was something of a Punisher, but for mutants

X-Cutioner doesn’t really have any affiliations. He sees himself as a one-man jury for mutants who escaped legal punishment for their crimes. However, the X-Men ’97 version is revealed to be a member of the Friends of Humanity, who have taken to repurposing Sentinel technology in their war on mutants.

X-Cutioner has been featured in several stories throughout the years but has never really been a major player. Arguably, his name is more recognizable than the character because of another ’90s story, X-Cutioner’s Song.

No, X-Men ’97 won’t adapt X-Cutioner’s Song

Despite his appearance, X-Men ’97 won’t be adapting the story X-Cutioner’s Song. In fact, as confusing as this sounds, X-Cutioner doesn’t appear in the X-Cutioner’s Song storyline, making his debut several issues after the event ended.

X-Men #294 cover art
X-Cutioner’s Song featured told more of Cable and Stryfe’s backstory but didn’t actually star the X-Cutioner

X-Cutioner’s Song is heavily centered on Cable and his clone, Stryfe. While this may seem like it would make sense—especially considering the presence of Madelyne Pryor, Nathan’s mother in the comics—the crux of the story is actually about an assassination attempt on Xavier, who is out of the picture when X-Men ’97 begins.

Instead, this new version of X-Cutioner has been used to create a recognizable villain for the show’s premiere. He does serve an important purpose for the story, though, replacing Henry Peter Gyrich as the person who shot Storm with a mutant depowering weapon. Considering two later episodes of X-Men ’97 appear to adapt the story Lifedeath, it’s likely we haven’t seen the last of X-Cutioner.

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