X-Men ‘97 EP’s Season 2 Tease Is Making Me Feel Even Better About My Apocalypse Theory

 Young Apocalypse on X-Men '97.
Young Apocalypse on X-Men '97.

Major spoilers for the X-Men ‘97’s Season 1 finale, “Tolerance is Extinction - Part 3,” lie ahead.

It’s been a few weeks since the critically acclaimed X-Men ‘97 wrapped up its first season on Disney+, and fans like myself are still buzzing over the masterfully crafted 10 episodes. And the finale closed the proceedings out on an intriguing note by having most of the titular team scattered across different points in time. It also set up the show’s next big bad, Apocalypse, and I subsequently devised a theory regarding his involvement in Season 2. Now, I’m feeling even better about that assumption following a tease shared by one of the show’s producers.

What Was My Theory Regarding Apocalypse’s Role In Season 2?

My theory had to do with the post-credits scene that appeared at the end of “Tolerance is Extinction - Part 3.” It shows (a mostly hidden) Apocalypse observing the wreckage from the Genosha tragedy, which was well handled by the creative team. While making his way through the debris, he picks up a charred playing card belonging to the late Gambit. At the same time, he mutters, “So much pain, my children. So much… death.”

Apocalypse holding card on X-Men '97
Apocalypse holding card on X-Men '97

I took this as a hint that the villain – who’s one of the world’s first mutants – might resurrect Gambit. And with that, he would turn him into his Horsemen of Death, which is a role the cajun X-Man held for a time in the comics. From what I’ve seen on social media, I’m not the only one who was of that mindset of seeing the episode, and I was eager for some answers.

How Did X-Men ‘97’s EP Respond To The Gambit Assumption?

Supervising producer Jake Castorena and some of his colleagues discussed the finale and upcoming second season during an interview with EW. He revealed to the outlet that the idea to have Apocalypse enter the fray came from the show’s creator, Beau DeMayo. (DeMayo parted ways with the show shortly before the premiere in what was a major behind-the-scenes shakeup.) When talking about that ominous post-credits scene and the notion of Gambit returning as one of the Four Horsemen, Castorena played coy. The exec mused, “Oh, did something happen with Gambit in the comics? Oh, that's cool.” Nevertheless, he also said that “nothing is happening by accident” and that “everything is meticulously planned.” And director Chase Conley added:

What's fun is the animated series has always done its own adaptations, so you don't know what you're going to get. But our writers definitely put it there to make people think. Every single word in the series is very intentional and combed over four times.

More on X-Men '97

Cyclops and Jean Grey in X-Men '97
Cyclops and Jean Grey in X-Men '97

All 10 Episodes For Season 1 Of X-Men '97, Ranked

Now that’s not a total confirmation that we’ll see Gambit return as an emissary of Apocalypse during Season 2. Yet, given how purposeful the creative team apparently is when it comes to dialogue, I’m feeling more confident that En Sabah Nur’s “death” sentiment wasn’t just a slip of the tongue. The prospect of the deceased hero, whose actual name is Remy LeBeau, facing off with his former teammates (including longtime lover Rogue) is nerve-wracking. Though it would certainly make for compelling TV, and I’m hopeful that it comes to pass.

Of course, we’ll have to wait for those new episodes and, as of right now, it’s unclear as to when they’ll drop amid the slate of upcoming Marvel shows. Regardless of what happens though, it seems like fans are going to want to strap in. Because it’s looking like Apocalypse is going to be a focal point of this next story arc.

You can stream the entire first season of X-Men ‘97 now using a Disney+ subscription. Also, those still looking for something else to watch amid this hiatus can check out the 2024 TV schedule and find something that suits them.