Marvel Comics has just released a special variant cover for July's X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1 that gives us an electrifying new look at Marvel Studios' X-Men '97.
The Disney+ series will serve as a sequel to the iconic X-Men: The Animated Series, and while we still don't have a confirmed premiere date, the fact this is being revealed now leaves us optimistic the show will still drop in 2023.
Dan Veesenmeyer, a storyboard artist on the original series and the illustrator behind the packaging for Hasbro's recent Marvel Legends 90s Animated Series line, captures the excitement behind the X-Men's animated heyday in this stunning cover.
The piece spotlights the main cast of the show including Storm, Magneto, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Gambit, Rogue, Beast, Bishop, Jubilee, Wolverine, and Morph. Who is the character on the bottom right of the page? We believe that's Sunspot, another new addition to the X-Men's roster.
As for why Magento is there, the reformed villain will actually be joining the team!
A couple of months ago, Wolverine voice actor Cal Dodd confirmed he's already working on season 2 of X-Men '97, and one insider has claimed the plan is for the show to run for a total of 4! That's very exciting news and suggests the X-Men: The Animated Series follow-up will remain on our screens for the foreseeable future.
The X-Men will eventually be rebooted for live-action, of course, and X-Men '97 seems like a great way to familiarise many fans with the team before they join the MCU. After all, Fox's movies are quickly becoming a distant memory and, outside of a few exceptions, are best off forgotten.
As for this one-shot, it will propel the X-Men into the "Fall of X" era, and this variant cover celebrating the X-Men's return to the world of animation hits stands just in time for the X-Men's milestone 60th anniversary on July 27.