One way or another, the Phoenix will return in X-Men '97, and that could lead to the oft-overlooked Rachel Summers getting her just due.

When it comes to telling X-Men stories on the big and small screens, there's no escaping the Phoenix. Often considered Chris Claremont's X-Men opus, it remains one of the most beloved story arcs in the team's history. The problem is we've seen it many times, usually with less-than-stellar results. In spite of the live-action misses, it was X-Men: The Animated Series that best adapted the tale, and there's no doubt X-Men '97 will touch on the premise.

The Phoenix was referenced in the first episodes of X-Men '97, helping remind viewers of Jean Grey's time bound to the all-powerful entity. Since X-Men: TAS has already given us such a fantastic adaptation, there's no use in reinventing the wheel. Instead of putting the moniker back on Jean, the force could follow the comics and go to Jean and Cyclops' daughter from another timeline, Rachel Summers. That would put a collecting priority on these key issues.


Hailing from the ever-popular Days of Future Past timeline, readers first saw Rachel in UXM #141, though her parents wouldn't be revealed until later. While Rachel's possible addition to X-Men '97 could help raise values, the issue is most collectible for its famous and oft-imitated cover art as well as the start of DOFP. Speaking of X-Men '97, we are bound to see the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, who debuted here with Mystique, Avalanche, Pyro, Blob, and Destiny making up the team.


Between comics, cartoons, and movies, Jean Grey has died so many times that it's become a joke. However, her first death still resonates with X-Men fans, and writer Chris Claremont intended it to be permanent. After she was written out of the picture, the Phoenix Force discovered Rachel via the astral plane. It ripped her from the DOFP timeline and threw her into the main Earth-616 universe. The Phoenix then bonded with Rachel, making her the second Dark Phoenix.

If you recall from X-Men: The Animated Series' version of DOFP, instead of Shadowcat's consciousness being sent to the 1980s, it was Bishop who time traveled to the 1990s. With the alternate timeline already established, it is likely X-Men '97 will revisit the bleak X-Men future. If that happens, we can expect to see Rachel make an appearance and possibly inherit the Phoenix title, which would make this a much more popular key to own.


This has been a nice key since the rumors of Captain Britain possibly joining the MCU first began to swirl. After all, whether it's Brian or Betsy Braddock in the costume, the character is closely affiliated with Britain's own superteam, Excalibur. It just so happens that Rachel was part of the initial lineup, joining Captain Britain Brian Braddock, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Lockheed, and Meggan.


Yes, Cable was part of the original X-Men: TAS, but X-Men '97 is the first time baby Nathan's story has been told. With the first Summers kids being introduced into the fold, it is a prime opportunity to add Rachel into the mix. Due to the show's popularity, it will give her keys a boost, and possibly have a Cable/Phoenix II meeting.