X-Men 97 interview
X-Men ’97 (Credit: Disney+)

X-Men ’97 is flawless execution. At the time of this publication, we are one episodes away from a finale that seemingly has revitalized the cartoon industry. As I previously wrote of the Marvel series, “Emerging from the ashes like a literal phoenix, the series has garnered praise from critics and fans alike. We have been treated to a display of craftsmanship and care for its source material that’s extremely evident in its execution.”

We thought it best to ask people intimately aware of the show’s creative decisions. I was lucky enough to get some time to speak to one of the many talented artists that led to this endeavor, Marv Britt, who has been storyboarding for some of the premiere shows out currently, Blood of Zeus, Pantheon, and Invincible. Enjoy our X-Men ‘97 interview with Britt.

Can you give a brief overview of how the conversation for working on X-Men
came about?

Well it was in development for quite a while before I came aboard. I ran
into Jake Castorena in a coffee shop in 2020 and connected artistically. He hit
me up about a year later and asked if I’d like to work on a cool project, which
wound up being X-Men ’97. It was an amazing opportunity where the stars
seemed to align, and I’m happy they did.

What challenges did you initially face when trying to decide how to be true to
the original animation while still keeping things fresh?

It’s credit to the storyboard team, as people with experience in animation,
wanted the art to be dope. So we focused on wanting to ensure there were
good hookups, good art direction, and overall we wanted to aim for something a
bit beyond the ’90s, taking modern-day sensibilities and visual storytelling but
making it X-Men. Thankfully, the execs and the powers that be let us cook.

Was there any boards you did that didn’t see the light of day that you’d love
to revisit that you can speak about?

There was a comedy beat where Jubilee’s birthday, she ends up getting trapped
in what would eventually become the episode “Motendo.” At the end of the
episode, Magneto walks in and sees Jubilee and Roberto making out and Jubilee panics and pushes him off in a lighthearted way. There was a more overreaching story to tell, and I respect that it was ultimately not kept in for final.

What expectations do you think the show is potentially setting up and where
do you see the future of this particular type of American animation headed?

It’s creating a very hopeful reception, and I’m optimistic that studios will
see it as an opportunity to capitalize on what the fans want. It’s my hope that
this shows 2D animation is alive and well, and I am hoping this wave continues.

What are you most excited about heading into the final episodes of the
season, and can you speak on any future plans to extend?

Without spoiling anything I can say that there will be some big global
moments that will really get fans excited. Not giving too much away, but a few
more cameos to go.

Q: What’s a show that you were personally influenced by when working on ’97?

Shit, all of Toonami (laughs). Justice League Unlimited, and so many more
’90s shows with great cinematography. Gargoyles was another really inspirational

X-Men ’97 is now available to stream on Disney+.

Julian Cooper

Hails from Sunny Los Angeles. Enjoyer of all things animated and only held back by a crippling caffeine addiction.