Did You Catch The What If…? Crossover In X-Men ’97?

Watcher What If X-Men 97 Marvel animated crossover

The original X-Men: The Animated Series came from a simpler time when bringing in characters from throughout the Marvel Universe for a cameo was a simpler thing. So it’s not a huge surprise — but a pleasant one — that this week’s episode of X-Men ’97 featured a surprise appearance by The Watcher. It’s not exactly a What If…?/X-Men ’97 crossover episode, but it’s close enough.

Spoilers for the episode past this point. In the new half-hour, titled “Remember It,” Rogue (Lenore Zann), Gambit (AJ LoCascio), and Magneto (Matthew Waterson) head to the island nation of Genosha to oversee the mutant paradise’s official induction into the United Nations. The first half of the episode is a glorious celebration of mutant culture, with a fair amount of politics and romantic turmoil thrown in for good measure.

It’s about halfway through the episode, right at the beginning of a ball where Magneto and Rogue will seemingly accept Genosha’s offer to be their ruling couple, where The Watcher shows up. His silhouette is shadowed in the sky as some fireworks explode. And in case you missed him, here’s the shot:

The Watcher in X-Men 97

You might want to turn your contrast up for that one, but that is definitely Uatu, The Watcher, as voiced by Jeffrey Wright on What If…? Versus how the character is used in the animated series as a guide through the multiverse, this is a more true-to-the-comics function of The Watcher: he shows up at events in the Marvel Universe of great importance, merely to observe. To, you know: watch.

The twist here is that the initial implication is The Watcher is showing up to see the positive: mutants finally getting accepted into society. In fact, the Watcher is there to witness what happens next, as a Master Mold attacks Genosha, seemingly killing hundreds, if not thousands of mutants, including Gambit and Magneto.

To be clear, Uatu doesn’t say anything or do anything; it’s just a little Easter egg thrown in there to indicate to comic book fans and savvy viewers that something important is about to go down. But with What If…? Season 3 presumably coming sometime later this year, will we see a reciprocal animated crossover? Will the X-Men show up in What If…? Season 3 to pay back the favor? 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, new 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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