Is X-Men '97 MCU Canon? It Turns Out It Very Well Could Be

Is X-Men '97 MCU Canon? It Turns Out It Very Well Could Be
Image credit: Disney+

While Tony Stark was on his way to becoming a billionaire, the X-Men were busy saving the United States and the entire Universe.


  • X-Men '97 could become part of the MCU canon.
  • This was considered several times by Kevin Feige himself.
  • However, the production team was given creative freedom.

When Disney finally acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019, fans were either totally excited or, conversely, anxious about how the Mouse would handle the Marvel characters. Of course, this was the peak of the MCU with the release of Avengers: Endgame, and so Marvel Studios had its own concerns about the future trajectory of their properties. But since the deal included the acquisition of characters incredibly important to the franchise, from X-Men and the Fantastic Four to Deadpool and Galactus, it was only a matter of time.

Disney took its time, and now, five years later, things are starting to take off: a new Deadpool movie is coming soon, featuring Wolverine working with the title character, a new Fantastic Four is in development, and right now, X-Men '97 is making a lot of noise as a sequel to the X-Men animated series that ran on Fox Kids from 1992 to 1997.

Given the circumstances, it's not surprising that we're in for high-octane crossovers, so Marvel Studios has the important task of fitting them into the MCU setting. Specifically, there is the question of how canonical X-Men '97 is. Apparently, the issue has been on Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige's mind for quite some time, judging by the words of the animated series' directors.

Is X-Men '97 Part of the MCU Canon?

The Multiverse Saga has given us the idea that Marvel's worlds are diverse and distinct, and don't always echo or influence the 'main' movie universe in any way. A good indicator of this is What If...? which, despite being an extension of the MCU, has no impact on the events of the movies whatsoever.

For its part, the original X-Men: The Animated Series also had its own lore-friendly framework, as along with another animated series, Spider-Man, which ran from 1994 to 1998. The action takes place on a unique iteration of Earth, Earth-92131. Still, with the multiverse allowing for all sorts of flights of fancy, the question for Feige and his team was whether to make the animated X-Men canonical X-Men in general.

'That has always been something we know was on Kevin Feige's mind, do we make this part of the MCU? Do we not make this part of the MCU?' Emi Yonemura, the director of X-Men '97, told Inverse. However, Feige agreed that the show would be a standalone.

'It's actually gone back and forth quite a few times, and I think we did land in a smart place because [X-Men: The Animated Series] was its own thing, and I think that to continue it we needed to be our own thing.'

Why Creators and Audiences Benefit from Separate Universes

While it would certainly have made for some interesting storylines and crossovers, neither the fans, the series, nor the MCU itself would have benefited.

First, the MCU audience would have to revisit both cartoons (and possibly Spider-Man as well) to understand the entire canon, otherwise the plots of future projects would be too confusing. Second, both the writers of X-Men '97 and the writers of the other Marvel projects would have been too constrained, as they would have had to take into account all the events that had happened and proceed from them, rather than providing an original and fresh take on the stories.

'If you try to connect things like that, it may or may not, I dare not say hinder storytelling, but let them do their stories,' X-Men supervising director, Jake Castorena shared. 'Let us do our stories and let the rest of the world eat it up, man.'

Source: Inverse.