X-Men 97 Reveals Who Attacked Genosha, And It’s Not Who You Think

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In episode 6 of “X-Men ’97” we learn that it wasn’t Cassandra Nova, but actually Mister Sinister who planned the attack. This is a bit disappointing considering Sinister doesn’t have a very strong anti-mutant sentiment and this ultimately takes away from the thematic resonance of the Genosha attack. Making it worse is a scene where Bolivar Trask appears to be mortified over what his Sentinels did — despite this being the very thing he designed them to do, at a much smaller scale than he planned for over and over.

And yet, it makes some sense to have Mister Sinister be the man responsible for the Genosha genocide. After all, it helps connect both “X-Men” series. That’s because we’ve seen Mister Sinister fight the X-Men since season 2 of the original animated series, where he took away Professor X and Magneto’s powers in the Savage Land. The original series’ final season also included a plot with Mister Sinister, showing his origin story. It revealed the friendship-turned-rivalry between Sinister and an ancestor of Charles Xavier, and how Mister Sinister (then known as Nathaniel Essex) became obsessed with the theory of evolution. Though he is not a mutant, Mister Sinister does seek to reshape the world using mutants — as seen with his attempts at experimenting with Nathan, son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor.

What makes this even more interesting is that a news broadcast in the new episode describes the Genoshan genocide as part of an “Evolutionary War.” This is the same name of a comics crossover that involved the High Evolutionary and Mister Sinister to jumpstart human evolution across Earth. Given that the High Evolutionary already appeared in “X-Men: The Animated Series” it is possible we’ll see an adaptation of this story.

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