X-Men 97’s Huge Character Return Explained (& How He Can [SPOILER])

Warning: This article contains spoilers for X-Men '97 episodes 5 and 6.
  • Professor X returns in X-Men '97, now able to walk thanks to a Shi'ar exoskeleton.
  • Episode 6 focuses on Xavier's story with the Shi'ar in space, separate from the main X-Men group.
  • Xavier is now at odds with the Shi'ar Empire, drawing him back into the forefront of X-Men '97.
Professor X has made his return to Marvel's X-Men roster in X-Men '97, and is shown as being able to walk again within it. X-Men '97 episode 6 took place in the wake of an exceptionally heart-wrenching episode that saw a mutant massacre on Genosha, with Magneto and Gambit being among the most prominent fatalities. Though their revival is still possible thanks to comic book rules, this cliffhanger was left untouched as episode 6 instead focuses on two characters that have detached from the main group.
Half of the episode took place in space as it depicted the war between two alien factions: the Shi'ar and the Kree. The latter were led by Ronan, a character defeated by the Guardians in the MCU and last seen threatening Earth in Captain Marvel - though he is even less fearsome in X-Men '97 as Deathbird and the Imperial Guard effortlessly best him. It is during these scenes that Charles Xavier reappears as the consort of Empress Lilandra after leaving the X-Men in 1997.
Related X-Men '97 Episode 6 Ending Explained X-Men ’97 episode 6 followed on from episode 5’s cliffhanger, continuing the story of two key mutants that culminated in an exciting ending. Professor Xavier's Return In X-Men '97 Explained Charles Xavier was last seen in the final episode of X-Men: The Animated Series, where an attack by Henry Gyrich placed him in a life-threatening coma. His vulnerable state was the catalyst to bring Magneto on-side, where the X-Men and their leader-to-be contacted Lilandra in the hopes that she could help prevent his death. This led to Lilandra taking Xavier to the Shi'ar home world, where she stressed he must remain to survive under Shi'ar care. His departure, therefore, was tantamount to his death, as the X-Men bid their final farewells to their beloved leader.
The dire plight of his X-Men on Earth is exactly the kind of event that would draw him back into the forefront of X-Men '97.
Xavier's appearance in this episode suggests that a substantial portion of time has passed, and the show not only reveals that Xavier has recovered from his injuries, but also shows the wheelchair user walking upright. Given that he did not die in X-Men: The Animated Series, Xavier's reappearance was expected. The dire plight of his X-Men on Earth is exactly the kind of event that would draw him back into the forefront of X-Men '97. Unfortunately for Xavier, this now places him at odds with the less tolerant wing of the Shi'ar Empire, who would rather see him relinquish all ties to Earth and the mutants.
How Professor X Can Walk Now In X-Men '97 Close While his reappearance may not have been surprising, the fact that Professor X is now walking certainly is. When Lilandra took Xavier off-world, she asserted that only Shi'ar care could stave off death, suggesting their medical care could have resulted in this development. Yet as a later scene depicted, rather than undoing Xavier's paralysis, Professor X is walking upright thanks to a Shi'ar exoskeleton. The outfit is a testament to the Shi'ar technology that Lilandra championed at the end of X-Men: The Animated Series.
Though it isn't explicitly stated in the show, the Shi'ar exoskeleton of the comics is powered by Xavier's own psychic abilities. The comic-accurate show is likely to use the same mechanics.
Xavier is also able to walk without his exoskeleton later in the episode when he begins "schooling" Shi'ar officials. This is par for the course with Xavier as the scene takes place on the Astral Plane, which only houses mutable astral forms, thanks to Xavier's powerful telepathy. Given Charles is currently at loggerheads with the alien Empire now that he feels compelled to return to Earth, it remains to be seen whether he will be allowed to continue wearing the exoskeleton in X-Men '97 when on the material plane.
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Cast Jennifer Hale , Chris Potter , Alison Sealy-Smith , Lenore Zann , Cal Dodd , Catherine Disher , Adrian Hough , Ray Chase , Chris Britton , George Buza Release Date March 20, 2024 Seasons 1


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