X-Men '97 wrapped its first season with a bang, but could the Age of Apocalypse be taking shape for season two?

As the season came to an end, all signs appear to be pointing toward the X-Men's most famous alternate timeline, Days of Future Past. In fact, it's the X-Men: The Animated Series' DOFP adaptation that introduced Bishop in the original series. As the final episode closed, Bishop met Forge, setting the stage for the X-Men: TAS' version of Days of Future Past. While we will surely see elements of that event, there could be something even bigger on the horizon: Age of Apocalypse.

During the 1990s, the X-Men were at the peak of their popularity. Titles and epic crossover events abounded, but none had quite the overarching appeal of AOA. Between the awesome story, the amazing character redesigns, and the X-Men's new origin stories, fans instantly fell in love with the event. Even after the tale came to an end, comic readers clamored for more, which resulted in a few AOA originals being introduced into the Marvel-616.

The story's premise was based around Charles Xavier being accidentally killed by his son, Legion, leaving the professor's dream of mutant-human peace in Magneto's hands. Without Charles' leadership, Apocalypse was able to conquer the Earth. As he set out to exterminate mankind, a new-look X-Men led by Magneto led the final assault against the most powerful version of En Sabah Nur they'd ever faced.

With X-Men '97 penning a love letter to the X-Men, it would be fitting for the show to adapt such an iconic '90s event for the small screen. In that event, here are a few issues you'll want to pick up.

X-MEN #41

For those wanting to collect the Age of Apocalypse, you need to start with "Legion Quest."

If X-Men '97 introduces us to Legion, then it will be a good barometer that Age of Apocalypse is falling into place. The son of Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller, "Legion Quest" saw David Haller travel through time with the intent to murder Magneto before he became the supervillain we know and love. However, David inadvertently killed Professor X instead, thus altering the timeline and laying the foundation for the Age of Apocalypse.

In the event that we see AOA in animated form, no doubt the cover art for X-Men #41 will be enough to get buyers hunting down the issue on eBay.


With Charles Xavier dead before he can establish the X-Men, the 1995 timeline stops in its tracks. All the X-Men titles then switched to AOA titles, beginning with X-Men Chronicles, and so AOA kicked off in X-Men Chronicles #2. While there are no major first appearances here, you'll want this issue for completionist reasons.


The AOA event moved into full gear with X-Men Alpha #1. Here we get the first looks at the stylish AOA versions of classic X-Men characters, particularly Wolverine, Magneto, Sabretooth, Storm, Nightcrawler, Rogue, and Quicksilver. You also get the first appearances of villains Dark Beast, Holocaust, and Abyss. There's also the added bonus of Morph from the AOA timeline, which is a similar design to how the character is presented in X-Men '97.

X-MAN #1

Once the dust settled and the AOA crossover came to an end, the X-Men timeline returned to normal. Fans so loved AOA that Marvel began incorporating characters from that timeline into the Earth-616 continuity, beginning with X-Man.

Created by Mister Sinister from the DNA of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, he is Cable's AOA variant, but better. Without the technovirus that suppressed Cable's telekinetic abilities, this Nate Grey is more powerful than his 616 counterpart. He was eventually added to the main Marvel canon, where he confronted Cable. Given the ties between Cable and Sinister in X-Men '97, it would make sense for the show to add X-Man to the roster as Cable's antithesis.


Now that En Sabah Nur has been introduced into the X-Men '97 pantheon, the chess board could begin to take shape. There's plenty of other stories to tell when it comes to Apocalpyse, for sure, but considering all the time travel and alternate timelines involved in the show already, AOA would seem like the logical next step. Certainly, another Days of Future Past adaptation wouldn't be a problem, but it's something we saw in the original series. AOA would be totally new and a major crowd pleaser.