X-Men ’97 Is Paying Tribute to Another ’90s Icon This Week

X-Men ’97 Is Paying Tribute to Another ’90s Icon This Week

X-Men ‘97 has so far been a nostalgia feast for fans of the much-loved X-Men: The Animated Seriescapturing its 1990s vibes while carrying the stories of its characters into their next chapters (sometimes at dizzying speeds). This week brings episode four, “Motendo / Lifedeath – Part 1,” and Marvel just dropped a clip that teases a different sort of ‘90s throwback.

It sees Jubilee and Roberto blip into a version of Konami’s X-Men arcade game, which was released in 1992. That’s the same year The Animated Series debuted, but the game was based on an entirely different medium: 1989 cartoon pilot X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men. As the title suggests, it centered around Kitty Pryde, and though it was never actually made into a series, the game (and its source material) are remembered fondly by fans—which makes this shout-out over three decades later a lot of fun.

Adding to the “this show was made by fans, for fans” factor is the fact that Kitty Pryde wasn’t in X-Men: The Animated Series at all; she was famously replaced by Jubilee in that show as a nod to its teen audience. And, neither Sunspot nor Jubilee were in the X-Men arcade game, despite its on-screen name in X-Men ‘97 being X-Men: The Rise of Jubilee. So there are plenty of in-jokes stuffed into this X-Men arcade game/X-Men: The Animated Series/X-Men ‘97 continuum.

So, why are X-Men ‘97‘s characters leaping onto dystopian streets within video games? The episode title offers some hints. “Motendo” heralds the arrival of Mojo, the inter-dimensional villain obsessed with violent, sensational TV shows, and his natural segue to violent, sensational video games (witnessed by extremely hyped-up crowds) is signaled by that portmanteau of Nintendo and Mojo.

As for what the rest of the title, “Lifedeath – Part 1” might refer to, that’s also quite intriguing; check out what io9’s James Whitbrook wrote regarding its comics origins and the role Storm might play in its story.

Image: Marvel Entertainment YouTube