An 80s Kid’s Nostalgic Journey from X-Men ’92 to X-Men ’97 (2024)

Chris Severs (@MrktSmart)
Jun 20, 2024By Chris Severs (@MrktSmart)

As a ‘70s kid I had it all figured out by age 10 and hit the 80s running.  I landed a decent paper route that paid for a wicked chrome Kuey BMX bike, did well in school and sports, amassed boxes of hockey & baseball cards, bottle caps and yes, a STACK of Atari 2600 games.

Some of my pals had Intellivisons, and one (Justin) the new ColecoVision. Damn, those graphics…those colours…those sounds!  MTV & music videos were surging; in Canada, GOOD ROCKIN’ TONIGHT’S Stu Jeffries was a hero, setting the Friday night stage reviewing the top music videos…basement get-togethers were the bomb!  Think back with me –you can actually FEEL that whole experience, right?!?

Good Rockin' Tonight, with Stu Jeffries
Good Rockin' Tonight, with Stu Jeffries


Saturday mornings were BEYOND AWESOME, and theme songs of animated series became our anthems.  Fruit Loops fueled-and-raring-to-go, Bugs Bunny & Friends gave way to He-Man, Transformers and G.I. Joe.  STAR WARS?  HELLYEAH.  Soundtrack records, a Boba Fett animated show about his armour?  YES.   Even Disney’s attempt to grab some Star Wars magic with The Black Hole had us transfixed into the early 80’s.

BMXing to our local video game arcades were sanctuaries away from the stressors of school life, with $1.50 Dairy Queen Blizzards the snack of choice to cool off after a few hours of gaming magic.

xmen arcade

Then, I came across my First X-Men Comic.

Now, I was a Daredevil fan through & through and pretty much only bought his comics. Heck, it wasn’t easy finding $1.25 to buy raw comics.  A couple of pals though, had been reading X-Men and when I was intro’d to some of Chris Claremont’s work, well…the Dairy Queen treats were DONE!


In a SNIKT, it was the '90s. Saturday morning cartoons gave way to Horror flicks, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air & Beverly Hills 90210.  And BAYWATCH.  Then, a show popped up with must-watch status, ready to blast me back to where mutants battled for their rights amongst humanity that they fought so hard to help.


Launched October 31st, 1992, I was 21 - way too old to be into a kid’s cartoon, right?  Yeah, it was animated, but it revved a nostalgic engine deep inside I couldn’t miss.  With a Halloween party pending that night, it was the perfect elixir to get that wonderous day going.  I loved it.  Heck, even a few buddies called ( text or Snaps back then) to say they were “surprisingly” on board.  We were hooked.


“Fast forward” the VCR 32 years ahead, and another full NOSTALGIA RESPARK has hit me.  My favourite mutants, back in action with a record-breaking revival, X-Men '97. This time though, it’s my wife & kids seeing dad act like a complete giddy mess, waiting for each new episode, rewatching the priors (LOVE they cap releases to 1X/week like the OG), even emptying the bins of comics in the basement to dig out X-Men titles I bought back in the 80’s to see how they’ve kept up!

xmen comics

Incredibly, I managed to hold onto these books for over 30 years - and they still look, feel & smell GREAT! All this time later, and that nostalgia connection is just immediate...


KNOWING I’M NOT ALONE, let's explore the impact of the original series and the excitement surrounding its revival.

Week after week, we tuned in to witness epic battles between the X-Men and formidable foes, like Apocalypse, The Juggernaut, those frickin’ Sentinels and Magneto. We cheered Wolverine's razor-sharp claws and empathized with Rogue's struggle to control her powers…or, did we really just imagine how hard it would be as her partner?  Who could forget the heart-wrenching saga of Jean Grey's transformation into the Phoenix?  Who also picked sides on the “love triangle, or BOUGHT THE 3-PACK?


The series worked as it wasn't afraid to tackle complex themes like prejudice and acceptance, making it resonate with audiences of all ages.  It delved into issues such as divorce, religion, the AIDS hysteria, loneliness and even The Holocaust.  Societal opinion towards mutants was the running theme – mutants are different, outcasts, threats to larger society in general and need to be shunned, ignored, segregated.  The writing was superb and hit hard, for a cartoon & all.

As years passed, the X-Men excitement faded a bit, but their legacy lived on. Fans & comic enthusiasts never forgot the impact of that series though, while multiple theatrical releases did their bit to keep the big screen momentum alive:

- X-Men (2000),
- X2 (2003)
- X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)
- X-Men: First Class (2011)
- The Wolverine (2013)
- X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
- Deadpool I, II, III (2016, 2018, 2024) and now, X-Men ’97 (2024).

So, when news broke of the OG X-Men animated series revival, the Web exploded with excitement and look-back moments.  X-Men '97 is like a shiny new gift to fans and celebration of everything we adored about the original series, carrying on from the September 1997 finale.  SO, LET’S GO!!

Twitter/X timelines flooded with GIFs of Wolverine's iconic catchphrases, while Instagram feeds were ablaze with fan art of our favorite mutants. YouTube influencers were losing their minds, and comic books shops jumped into high gear, ordering whatever books were coming out.  The buzz has been palpable, and fans old and new eagerly awaited the return of their beloved heroes.


Yet, it wasn't just the past & present X-Men fans who were excited. The X-Men ’97 revival was evident in the numbers. Within days of release, it was a trending topic on Twitter, garnering millions of impressions worldwide. The pilot episode alone racked up over 10 million views on streaming platforms, shattering records, and proving that the mutants were as popular as ever.

Check additional stats at'97 - as of writing, it’s the 10th most popular streamed show online and the 2nd most popular show on DISNEY+.  Wikipedia pageviews surged to ~ 130,000 on March 21st alone, reaching an online engagement score of 90% (calculation of online audience activity, higher numbers better).  This show is literally an Omega Level Event for Marvel/Disney.


The storylines dive deeper into the characters' rich histories, explore untold tales and new issues, weaving into the fabric of the X-Men universe.  One might argue…there isn’t much to argue!  While some of Marvel & Disney’s recent releases had their shares of controversy, if there’s anything to criticize here, it’s we just want MORE. Honestly, how did you feel at the end of Episode 5, "Remember It?" Did you sit in stunned silence, just listening to that post-show soundtrack?


The show has tapped into the nostalgia of the original, while offering something fresh and exciting for a new generation of viewers. The animation style, while notably improved, pays absolute homage to the classic '90s aesthetic, complete with bold colors and dynamic action sequences.

X-Men '97

It’s unwavering commitment to the spirit of the original series is key. X-Men '97 isn't just a reboot; it's a continuation of the story we fell in love with all those years ago. Many of the same voice actors return to reprise their roles, ensuring characters remain as true to form as possible. The artists, the story consultants…even the music is back in full swing (thanks The Newton Brothers!)

And get this - "Xbox & “X-Men ’97” have just released a special Xbox Series X wrapped in a limited-edition comic inspired by the all-new series, created by Marvel writer Rich Douek & artist Paco Diaz. The 2-page story with full page cover is exclusive to the Xbox Series X, featuring Cyclops leading the X-Men in a battle against Sentinels and Master Mold, with an Xbox Series X console making a special appearance in the Danger Room."

Xbox & X-Men ’97 have just released a special Xbox Series X


X-Men 97 #1 sold out in stores, forcing a 2nd printing.  Marvel further dropped the title, along with its (4) variant covers in limited digital format (1000 editions total) on the VeVe Comics app, which was so popular it CRASHED THE SITE.  Upon reboot shortly after, all issues sold out in minutes, with aftermarket sales still pumping in the realm of 700% – 1500% gains based on how rare these are.

black flat screen tv on white wooden tv rack

Of course, SOCIALS have been ON FIRE

xmen socials
xmen socials

If you’re into collecting “FIRSTS,” or maybe physical statues, also know Marvel has released most of the (Giant Size) X-Men team as 3D digital collectibles on the VeVe app, many fully animated, with audio & scarce edition counts.  If you’re a WOLVERINE fan, as I am, sales of his 50th anniversary comic runs are selling like hot claws in the app, with his FIRST blockchain digital statue dropped Sunday April 14th.


Moreover, the revised series is having a profound effect on collectibles related to X-Men in general – when VeVe dropped Giant-Size X-Men #1 in Feb 2023, the floor price of the common (original) cover immediately popped 560% in value, currently sitting in the 250% over list range, but with limited remaining inventory.  Some of the X-Men digital collectible characters, such as Cyclops (in exclusive-to-Veve, Marvel Licensed “Mighties” format) is sitting almost 275% above its all-time floor price with a nearly $100,000 market cap!

So, I couldn’t help notice a recent post on Twitter / X from @Wolverine13 who was just so happy to have added GSXM Edition #181 to his digital asset collection.  The reference to the highly popular Hulk #181 (Wolverine’s 1st full appearance) is clear, where Wolverine of course joins the X-Men team in GSXM#1.

These ‘key edition number’ assets do not sit long in the public marketplace – they’re gobbled up FAST by those who see the long-term potential of these very limited, numerical collections and end up forming the basis of some pretty beautiful collectibles, so shout-out Wolverine13…I’m very happy for you!!!


As I, and so many others now eagerly await new episodes of X-Men '97, one thing is clear: the mutants are back, and they're more powerful than ever. From the depths of nostalgia to the heights of social media frenzy, the journey of the X-Men animated series is a testament to the enduring power of quality storytelling and the timeless appeal of our favorite superheroes.

If you’re into spoiler alerts or Easter Eggs, check out New Rockstars (27 Min) full review comparing the OG series to what’s happening with the new release.  I have to admit…this was X-AWSOME.

So, grab your popcorn, crank up the theme song, and get ready to relive the magic of the X-Men once again. After all, it's not just a show; it's a legend in the making and in this writer’s opinion, THE SUPERHERO GENRE IS BACK WITH AN OMEGA LEVEL EXPERIENCE

Thanks for Reading!