What Just Happened? Explaining the Closing Moments of “X-Men ’97” Season 1

Marvel’s X-Men ‘97 just wrapped up its first season in epic fashion on Disney+. Of course, as is so often the case with Marvel projects of any kind, it left a lot of fans with a whole lot of questions in its closing moments. So, I’m here to hopefully answer the question: what just happened?

X-Men ‘97 spoilers ahead!

There is a very interesting cliffhanger ending to this first season of X-Men ‘97, followed by a mid-credits scene. Let’s take a look at the ending first.

The ending is split into two different stories, as the X-Men have been thrown into either the past or the future. First, we see Rogue wake up in Egypt in 3000 BC. She sees men with weapons attacking people and leaps in to save them. Nightcrawler eventually joins the fight and we later see that Beast and Xavier are there as well and they watch as the men with weapons surround another man. Magneto arises to quickly put an end to the fight before asking the mystery man his name. The man replies “En Sabah Nur” and the X-Men turn to find an unexpectedly technologically advanced ancient Egypt as the episode comes to a close.

That name may sound familiar to those of you who suffered through one of the worst X-Men films, as “En Sabah Nur” is none other than Apocalypse. These X-Men have faced off against the villain in their time, though is appears they do not recognize his younger self. Despite his lone live-action appearance being a complete flop, Apocalypse is one of the more interesting and exciting X-Men villains so his inclusion is very welcome among comic fans.

Apocalypse with Archangel as one of his Four Horsemen

Apocalypse with Archangel as one of his Four Horsemen

The second part of the ending sees Cyclops and Jean thrown to 3960 AD, where they are surrounded by mysterious people in robes. A woman emerges as the leader of the mysterious people and refers to herself as Mother Askani. A boy emerges and Mother Askani refers to him as Nathan, reuniting Cyclops with his son.

In the comics, Mother Askani is an alternate version Rachel Summers, the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey. Rachel has been a member of the X-Men in the comics and, through a lot of time travel and alternate universes, has been a part of some major stories.

This version of Rachel exists in a dystopian future after Apocalypse had conquered the world. And remember, Cable was created to destroy Apocalypse. It seems the X-Men have found themselves on different sides of a war.

Hope Summers and Exodus

Hope Summers and Exodus

A mid-credits scene takes us back to present day Genosha, where someone wanders the ruins from the attack that killed Gambit and so many others. That man is clearly Apocalypse, who utters the words “so much death” as he picks up a queen of hearts from the rubble. Is Gambit going to return as one of the four horsemen of Apocalypse?! It’s possible we see the beloved X-Man make a return, though not in a way that will make his family too happy to see him. I don’t know if we can handle more heartbreak for Rogue.

The complete first season of X-Men ‘97 is now streaming on Disney+.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."