X-Men ’97 Finale Features Quite the Vanishing Act, Ominous Mid-Credits Tease for Season 2 — Grade It!

The following contains spoilers from the Season 1 finale of Disney+’s X-Men ’97.

Disney+’s X-Men ’97 capped its first season with a finale that delivered some of the animated series’ best, most emotional action yet. And that mid-credits tease…? Holy moly, that mid-credits tease!

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“Tolerance Is Extinction: Part 3” kicks off with a flashback to one of the Marvel Universe’s most important conversations: the early Professor X/Magneto exchange in which they reveal their powers to each other and promise to do right by mutantkind. It’s an emotional moment, one that will shape everything we’re about to see….

Back in the present, the concurrent fights against Magneto (on Asteroid M) and Bastion and his Sentinels (on Earth) are not going well. Magneto has rendered Wolverine an invertebrate, Professor X is chairless and thus immobile, and in fighting Bastion, everyone except Cable is incapacitated. Bastion and Mr. Sinister’s only mistake? Counting Jean out of the fight.

On Asteroid M, Xavier manages to seize Magneto’s mind and quell his old friend’s rage, knocking both of them out. Rogue, Jubilee, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and the others stabilize Xavier, Magneto, and Wolvie. The fight isn’t over yet, though.

Back on Earth, the Prime Sentinels prepare to execute Cable, but Jean — all Phoenixed up and ready to party — rises from the water and accomplishes three things in quick succession. She collars Bastion, severs the technopath’s hold on the Prime Sentinels, and reduces Mr. Sinister to his shriveled, pre-augmented self.

A furious Bastion uses Cable’s false arm to sprout wings and launch himself toward Asteroid M. His plan? Hurl it into Earth for maximum destruction. As Bastions shoots off into the sky, the X-Men remark that he has become “the future incarnate.”

X-Men '97 Finale Recap
X-Men '97 Finale Recap

Jean warns the Asteroid M crew telepathically, but Bastion arrives and makes short work of Rogue, Sunspot et al. Beast, Storm, Jean, Morph and the rest of the Earth crew arrive in a repurposed Sentinel to assist, but Bastion is too strong.

With the X-Men basically defeated, Cyclops tries to recruit Bastion, mentioning his desire to “do what we’ve been telling humanity to do” and embrace the future. However, a cluster of U.S. government-launched missiles interrupts their heart-to-heart and sends Asteroid M plummeting toward Earth. Anticipating the end, Jean and Cyclops contact a recovering Cable telepathically to say goodbye. Cable, sad but proud as he invokes the fables of his future, says, “Those legends really didn’t do my folks justice.” Jean severs the connection. Cyclops and the others then do their best to stave off Bastion, but their efforts prove futile.

Meanwhile, in Magneto’s mind, Xavier tries to reach his tormented friend, desperate for him to remember why they fight and what they are to each other. They’re trapped on a boat in the middle of a storm, raging seas throwing them around and threatening to envelop them (some nice symbolism for Magneto’s emotions). Neck-deep in Magneto-feels, Charles finally convinces his old friend to help by reminding him that they will always be family.

Freed from his pain, Magneto explodes from his rehabilitation pod (and his mind) and sends the Asteroid M back into space. Crisis averted!…? Eh, kinda. The asteroid suddenly vanishes, and nearly all the X-Men disappear with it. What is going on??

Six months later, the X-Men are still missing. Bishop visits Forge and informs him that their friends are scattered through time, and that a specific someone is behind their disappearance.

The finale leaves us with tons of new questions, but it does show us where (or when) some of our missing heroes have gone: Rogue, Nightcrawler, Beast, Magneto and Xavier are trapped in ancient Egypt, while in the far future Jean and Cyclops meet Mother Askani and an adolescent Nathan.

The Egypt group encounters a young En Sabah Nur, whom fans will know as the all-powerful supervillain Apocalypse. Then, in a mid-credits scene that ominously sets the stage for Season 2 (which was already written by exited showrunner Beau DeMayo), present-day Apocalypse arrives at the still-smoldering Genosha. And smiles….

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