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Will the success of X-Men 97 see a resurgence in Action Cartoon Series? (OP-ED)

There was a time when action-adventure cartoons dominated pop culture. For many fans of animation, the 90s and early to mid-2000s were some of the greatest years for action cartoons. Series like Teen Titans, Danny Phantom, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and especially Avatar: The Last Airbender brought new life into animation.

These shows were able to craft memorable storylines with lovable characters and balance serious themes digestible for anyone, young and old to enjoy. Despite their popularity, action cartoons like those listed above have fallen out of favor for a variety of reasons, from the rise of anime in the West to the previous generation aging out.

A whole new and younger generation had arrived, and companies simply changed their tune, switching to cartoons with more of a comedy focus. Action cartoons just weren’t as profitable anymore.

However, cartoons like X-Men ‘97 are changing things. A direct sequel to the original 1997 X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men ‘97 exceeded everyone’s expectations, managing to capture that nostalgic feeling of the original series and creating new stories to fit the current day.

According to Disney, X-Men ‘97’s season premier generated around 4 million views worldwide, becoming the second most-watched animated series season premiere on the service, just behind Marvel’s What If series.

“Everything about it — from its opening credits and energetic theme music to its cheesy quips and character-specific idiosyncrasies — denotes a love for the material rivaling that of the most ardent X-philes, and for good reason. The people behind this belated continuation adore the comics and their various translations and incarnations.” wrote Hayden Mears from TVLine.

The success of X-Men ‘97 has proven that the love for action cartoons hasn’t fully died out. There is a market out there for these types of stories. We’ve seen it in previous action-oriented shows like Arcane, a League of Legends-inspired animated show on Netflix.

These shows continue to stick to the hearts and minds of audiences across the world and studios would be blind to not tap into this market. If only these studio executives could see it. Thankfully, with X-Men ‘97 greenlit for a second season, there is hope for more stories like this in the future.


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