X-Men ’97: Who Is Behind The Attack On Genosha? Ranking The Suspects

Magneto dies X-Men 97

We’re mere hours away from a new episode of X-Men ’97, and fans — ourselves included — are still reeling from the attack on Genosha in Episode 5, “Remember It.” Chances are, tomorrow’s (April 17) episode won’t provide answers as the focus shifts back to Storm and Forge on “Lifedeath – Part 2.” Which means speculation will continue to run rampant about who sent the Wild Sentinel Master Mold to obliterate the mutant nation.

Don’t worry, we’ve rounded up a few of the likely suspects behind the attack. While we don’t have any spoilers from future episodes of the Disney+ series, we have, you know, read a lot of comics. And watched X-Men ’97, so even with the wild swings the show is taking, have a fair idea of what might be coming down the road in the final five episodes of Season 1. Here are four possibilities for who might be behind the murder of Magneto and Gambit — and a whole lot of other folks.

Bolivar Trask and/or Henry Gyrich

Bolivar Trask

This seems to be the most obvious choice, as both Bolivar Trask and Henry Gyrich are usually the guys behind the Sentinels in both X-Men ’97 and X-Men: The Animated Series. When last we left them in the latter show, Trask was missing after the X-Men defeated his Master Mold. Meanwhile, Gyrich was still in prison. One — or both — could easily have either built the Wild Sentinel or found it in Ecuador, a la the New X-Men comics this particular model comes from.

These two dudes make sense plot-wise as they were introduced towards the beginning of the season. But given X-Men ’97‘s predilection for wild twists and turns, having a straight line here without any surprises almost seems antithetical to how the show has operated so far.

Mr. Sinister

Mr. Sinister X-Men 97

Does Mr. Sinister make sense as someone who would murder an island full of mutants? Maybe. He’s been present in every opening credits for the series, taunting Morph, clearly positioning him as the Big Bad of X-Men ’97. So if Episode 5 kicks the plot into high gear, it’s possible he might be behind the attack.

But… Why? To kill Madelyne Pryor, his rogue clone? To lure back Nathan Summers, aka Cable? The reason behind the plan, if this is Sinister, isn’t entirely clear.

That said, Sinister was behind one of the worst attacks on mutants from the comics: the Mutant Massacre, which found him behind a plot to send the Marauders, a team of evil mutants, into the sewers to slaughter all the Morlocks. It’s doubtful that storyline will play out on screen as most if not all of the Morlocks were killed in Episode 5. But still, the precedent for Sinister killing mutants is there. Maybe he just wants a lot of loose genetic material all over the place to play with? I dunknow.

Cassandra Nova

Cassandra Nova

The simplest way of explaining Cassandra Nova is: she is Professor Xavier’s evil sister. In New X-Men, she released the Wild Sentinels that destroyed Genosha and murdered 16 million mutants. With Xavier off-screen and supposedly dead (he’s not), it would be interesting to bring in what is essentially an evil Xavier to rock the X-Men’s world even further. And with Cassandra Nova headed to the big screen — Emma Corrin is portraying her in Deadpool & Wolverine — there might be a nice bit of tee-up synergy going on there to help prep the audience.


Bastion Marvel

Our final suspect is the one I would actually bet good money is behind the attack — possibly in collusion with either Trask or Gyrich: Bastion. Sebastion Gilberti is a mysterious character created by Scott Lobdell and Pasqual Ferry, first introduced in 1996’s X-Men #52. And while he presents himself as a man, he has a cybernetic body powered by nanites that can create Sentinels called Prime Sentinels. He hates mutants with a passion and does everything in his power to destroy them.

So sure, he could show up on the basis of that alone — and Bastion, of note, has never appeared in animation, only in video games. He also regularly worked with Trask, among other mutant haters.

But there are a few bigger pieces of evidence that Bastion is the one behind the Genosha attack. The first is that he was introduced in the comics in 1996, but was the main villain in an X-Men crossover titled Operation: Zero Tolerance. The last three episodes of X-Men ’97 Season 1 are titled “Tolerance is Extinction.” And you know when Operation: Zero Tolerance was released by Marvel Comics? 1997.

There’s another piece of evidence, though… We’ve already seen Bastion in an earlier episode. In “Motendo / Lifedeath – Part 1,” as Forge and Storm walk in his workshop and we pan past a wall of pictures of Forge, we see a couple of pictures. We see him with the X-Factor team, him standing and looking in the distance on a beach. Both fun pics. But the one we’re concerned with is in the lower right, which shows Forge in a military outfit, arms around a man in a lab coat, and another man in a strange costume. You can’t see the man’s face because the picture is cut off by the beach pic — but that’s clearly Bastion’s outfit from the comics.

Forge x-men 97 picture wall with x-factor and Bastion

And in Operation: Zero Tolerance, Bastion directs Forge, leading an X-Factor team, along with Val Cooper — another character we’ve seen a lot of this season — to help take down mutants. While as usual with this show I don’t expect we’ll see a 1:1 storyline play out, with Forge’s revelation that he created the mutant power suppression collars, there’s clearly more to find out there. And that more could definitely be Bastion.

We’ll find out soon if he is the one behind the horrific attack. But unfortunately, not soon enough to help the X-Men, who are about to enter an even bigger world of pain.

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*

Listen to MarvelVision:

Want more deep dives into Marvel Studios’ TV shows and movies? Plus, semi-regular news updates on everything going on at Marvel? Then check out our podcast.


2 thoughts on “X-Men ’97: Who Is Behind The Attack On Genosha? Ranking The Suspects

Leave a Reply