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Marvel Legends X-Men 97 Wave 1 turned out to be a terrific surprise in the latter half of 2023, bringing us what many fans consider to be definitive versions of several iconic mutants. And next year, Hasbro is keeping the party going with another animation-inspired lineup, as the X-Men 97 Legends Wave 2 going up for order in 2024 brings us another half-dozen figures, including Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Jean Grey and the never-before-done ML X-Cutioner and Goblin Queen Madelyne Pryor!
I was an overall big fan of the inaugural Marvel Legends X-Men 97 series, as I thought it gave us very good takes on every character in the lineup—just with a dearth of accessories in most cases.
Luckily, Hasbro has upped not just the quantity and quality of extras in this second wave, but also the breadth of characters! For the very first time, we’ll be getting Marvel Legends Madelyne Pryor and X-Cutioner figures as part of this lineup!
X-Cutioner is legitimately not a character I ever considered asking for a modern 6” figure of, even though there was a whole 90s X-Men crossover story titled after him.
The X-Cutioner has a very very 90s look and feel to him that make him a masterful choice as a villain in the upcoming X-Men 97 cartoon, despite the character’s appearances being few and far between in the comics over the past decade or so.
I think the X-Men 97 X-Cutioner figure and overall design are really great. The figure is a 100% new tool and looks awesome. The arm cannon feels appropriate for the era, and I love his oversized rifle. This is a character that’s never exactly set the world ablaze popularity-wise, but I hope he gains some level of notoriety thanks to the impending Disney+ show.
Given her significant role in the current era of X-Men comics, I was mortified when the modern Madelyne Pryor figure was lost to fans forever when the Ghost Rider Haslab failed last year. Thankfully, Hasbro has seen fit to include a very different Goblin Queen as part of this X-Men 97 Legends lineup, so Jean’s clone can finally join our shelves in 6” form.
This is definitely an animated-style action figure of Madelyne, but I’m thrilled to get her nonetheless. She gets 5 accessories including alternate hands (fists), effects pieces that appear to match Chasm’s, and a whole other little pack-in figurine.
Goblin Queen didn’t appear in the original X-Men Animated Series, but unless her story has changed dramatically, that’s baby Cable (Nathan Summers) that she comes packed with. The baby is easily the most unique and interesting accessory in the first two waves of ML X-Men 97!
The remainder of the set brings us updated versions of four top-tier X-Men characters that I think fans are going to be all over. The most high-profile of the four is probably the first 6” Nightcrawler Legends figure since the 2019 Wendigo series. While it may look like a minor repaint at a glance, there’s actually a lot new here.
Nightcrawler now has double-pinless arms and legs, sculpted gloves and boots, plus shading around his eyes on the heads. The shading would bother me on many characters, but it just feels “right” to me for Kurt Wagner.
The fuzzy blue elf lost his sword from the previous release, but still has alternate hands and an extra head. This will be Popular given that demand was never fully met for the Wendigo Series version.
Also getting a big update is Marvel Legends Jean Grey, who Hasbro has kindly given us long-haired and short-haired heads off as part of this release.
With a 100% new pin-less body, articulated ponytail, and alternate telekinesis hands, this is very easily the best Jim Lee styled Jean Grey we’ve ever seen from Hasbro or Toybiz. This is a really sweet Jean Grey action figure.
Perhaps the biggest upgrade of all, though, goes to the X-Men 97 Cyclops Legends figure. Besides having a noticeably deeper blue for his costume, his various straps are all now permanently affixed so that they don’t incessantly slide down his limbs and drive me into a rage.
Cyclops comes with 5 hands, an optic blast effects piece, and an interchangeable angry head that all add tons of dynamic posing potential.
Like Wolverine in the first wave, this seems like it will set the bar for a definitive Jim Lee Cyclops figure for years to come.
Finally, we’ve got a figure whose success will really depend on the release of the new animated series, in my opinion. While Wave 1 brought us a very iconic-styled Magneto, Wave 2 brings us Magnus in his new black and purple costume from X-Men 97. This costume is reminiscent of the 80s comic book costume from when Magneto was affiliated with the Hellfire Club, so it’s not an entirely unprecedented look.
While the prior Magneto only had one head (with helmet permanently attached), this one has two heads—both unhelmeted and showing off Erik’s flowing white hair.
This is a well-done and impressively articulated six inch figure, but I’m skeptical of if the mass audience will be rabid for a $25 toy of this particular iteration of Magneto.
The X-Men 97 Marvel Legends Wave 2 figures are expected to go up for pre-order in early 2024, with an anticipated arrival date not too long after.
What do you think of this wave, Marvel collectors? Anything instantly destined for your shelf? What X-Men characters do you hope to see added in future series if the line continues?