Who Is Nathan Summers In X-Men ’97?

X-Men 97 nathan summers scott jean grey

As usual for X-Men ’97, the end of episode 2 of the animated Marvel series, “Mutant Liberation Begins,” is absolutely wild. Spoilers past this point, but after an episode that includes the trial of Magneto, the depowering of Storm, and the birth of Jean Grey and Scott Summer’s baby Nathan Summers, there are still more twists to come in the form of a battered, exhausted woman showing up at the door of the mansion claiming to be Jean Grey.

So… What’s going on here? Who is Nathan Christopher Charles Summers from the comics? What does he have to do with Madelyne Pryor? And will Episode 3 be even more bonkers? We can definitively answer “yes” to the third question. But as for the first two, let’s get into what we know, based on the Marvel Comics source material.

And a word of caution here… While we’re providing info from the comics, that does not mean the Disney+ show will go in the same way. It touches on elements of comic book continuity but does not slavishly follow them. You’ll just have to watch the series to find out.

Who Is Nathan Christopher Charles Summers In Marvel Comics? It’s Cable, Baby!

Nathan Christopher Charles Summers X-Men 97

Right now on the show, Nathan Summers is a cute little baby wrapped in an adorably branded X-Men baby blanket. However, in the comics, he’s the character who grows up to become none other than the time-traveling warrior known as Cable.

The story here is insanely complicated even by X-Men standards, so here’s the short version of how it goes down in the books. Nathan Summers is the son of Scott Summers, aka Cyclops, and Madelyne Pryor, a red-headed woman who looks suspiciously like Jean Grey whom Scott married while Jean was busy being dead.

We’ll get more into Madelyne in a second. But Nathan was infected with something called the Techno-Organic Virus, which had no cure in the modern day. So he was sent to the future to be raised by a group called the Askani Clan. They taught him to use his own telekinetic powers to keep the virus at bay.

As a result, while Cable is a skilled warrior, a time traveler, and one of the coolest characters in X-Men history, he is limited in his mutant abilities because he has to spend a lot of time making sure he doesn’t die from his infection.

Nathan Summers Has Been Cable, Young Cable, X-Man, And Stryfe

There have been a number of other variants of Cable that have popped up over the years because, you know: time travel. Those include a younger version of Nathan who is more impetuous; a version who never got the Techno-Organic Virus called Nate Summers or X-Man; and an evil version of Cable who wears the sharpest armor you’ve ever seen outside of Shredder named Stryfe.

Mild spoiler perhaps, but we will see Cable on X-Men ’97, voiced by Chris Potter, who previously voiced Gambit on the original X-Men: The Animated Series. So chances are we may see some form of this storyline play out on the show.

Who Is Madelyne Pryor In Marvel Comics?

X-Men 97 Jean Grey Madelyne Pryor

Oh boy. You thought Cable was complicated? Wait until you hear about Madelyne Pryor. Madelyne was a clone of Jean Grey created by the villain Mr. Sinister to entrap Scott Summers and breed the ultimate warrior, aka Nathan Summers. Mr. Sinister’s goal was to use Nathan to destroy his arch-rival, fellow villain Apocalypse.

Weirdly, it was sort of successful in terms of Nathan being sent to the future, trained by the Askani Clan to kill Apocalypse, and then trying to kill Apocalypse. Hooray for Mr. Sinister?

Meanwhile, Madelyne Pryor found out she was a clone, and when Jean Grey came back to life and started hanging out with her husband, she went totally insane. Ultimately Madelyne Pryor was corrupted by Limbo, a Hell-esque dimension, and turned into the villainous Goblin Queen. Along with several demonic entities, she brought about hell on Earth in a comic event titled Inferno that – pun definitely intended – consumed the entire line of Marvel Comics.

In the modern era of comics, Madelyne Pryor is still around, and still the Goblin Queen. Only now she rules over a Limbo Embassy in the middle of New York City with Scott’s brother Havok, aka Alex Summers, by her side.

As for how this connects to the Jean who shows up at the door at the end of X-Men ’97 Episode 2? You’ll have to tune in next week to find out. Which is the real Jean? And which one is Madelyne Pryor? Stay tuned.

X-Men ’97 Season 1 Premiere Dates And Episode Guide:

X-Men ’97 doesn’t have a one-a-day schedule like What If…? Season 2, or all-at-once like Echo. Instead, the series is getting a more traditional release schedule of two on premiere day, then one a week thereafter.

The release time is also typical. Versus what has now become a run-of-the-mill primetime “early” release for big movies and TV shows, all episodes of X-Men ’97 will be released on Wednesdays at 3 am ET / Midnight PT.

Here’s the full list of episodes in Marvel’s X-Men ’97 Season 1, and when they premiere:

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 1 – “To Me, My X-Men”
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 2 – “Mutant Liberation Begins”
  • Wednesday, March 27, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 3 – “Fire Made Flesh”
  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 4 – “Motendo / Lifedeath – Part 1”
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 5 – “Remember It”
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 6 – “Lifedeath – Part 2″
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 7 – “Bright Eyes”
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 8 – “Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 1”
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 9 – “Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 2”
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 10 – “Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 3” *Season Finale*

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