‘X-Men ’97’ Casts ‘Star Trek’ Star Gates McFadden As Mother Askani

Gates McFadden as Mother Askani on X-Men 97 season finale episode 10

The season finale of X-Men ’97 was packed with surprises and twists… From the final battle between the team and Bastion (Theo James), to the push and pull between Xavier (Ross Marquand) and Magneto (Matthew Waterson). But one of the biggest surprises was left for the end of the episode when it was revealed that Star Trek star Gates McFadden is playing none other than Mother Askani.

But who is Mother Askani from the Marvel Comics? What do you need to know about Clan Askani? And what does this have to do with Season 2 of the Disney+ series? We’ll break all that down, and throw in a little more info about McFadden because why not?

Who Is Mother Askani From Marvel Comics?

Mother Askani Marvel Comics

The character of Mother Askani is wildly complicated, as is all things X-Men. But the simple version is she was introduced in Cable #6 in 1993 by Fabian Nicieza and Dwayne Turner. In normal human reading order, Mother Askani was the leader of Clan Askani. They are a future society dedicated to destroying Apocalypse, the villain who ruled their future world.

The Clan Askani, through Mother Askani, believed in the prophecy of Dayspring, or the Askani’son. They came to believe that the warrior who would help them overthrow Apocalypse was none other than a baby: Nathan Summers. Just as he was infected with a Techno-Organic Virus — in the comics, by Apocalypse, on TV by Mister Sinister — they took him to the far future to help him manage the virus with his native telekinetic abilities.

Years later, Mother Askani transferred the consciousnesses of Jean Grey and Scott Summers into future bodies. There, they were called Red and Slim, respectively, and helped raise Nathan… Who didn’t know they were his parents.

This is the highly simplified version, but I’ll throw one more complicated wrench in there… Mother Askani is an older version of Rachel Summers. And Rachel is the daughter of Jean and Scott as well — albeit from an alternate post-apocalyptic future. So in classic X-Men fashion, Mother Askani is secretly Nathan, aka Cable’s, sister from another timeline, who raises him, along with his parents who are in different bodies, also secretly. Yeah!

Given we already got a glimpse of Rachel Summers during a vision of Bastion’s not-quite utopia in Episode 9 of X-Men ’97, “Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 2,” chances are we’re going to get some version of this in Season 2. And if you look closely at the shadowy face of Mother Askani on TV, you can see faded versions of the marks given to Rachel Summers when she was a “Hound,” aka a mutant forced to hunt other mutants. So welcome to X-Men ’97, Rachel Summers! Hope you survive the experience!

Who Is Gates McFadden, The Voice Of Mother Askani On X-Men ’97?

Gates McFadden

You definitely know Gates McFadden best as Dr. Beverly Crusher, the role she originated on Star Trek: The Next Generation. She also portrayed Crusher in various theatrical movies, Star Trek: Picard, and even animated on Star Trek: Prodigy and Short Treks.

One of her neatest credits is that she was a choreographer and puppet movement coordinator for years for the Jim Henson Company. In this position she worked on Labyrinth, The Muppets Take Manhattan and more.

She’s also appeared on screen in The Hunt for Red October and several episodes of Mad About You. Most recently she played the voice of Queen Marlena on several episodes of Netflix’s Masters of the Universe: Revelation.

You can follow her on Instagram, where she currently has 53.1k followers and posts cute photos with other Star Trek stars.

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