X-Men '97: What Is The Adversary?

Here's what you need to know about Storm's latest foe.

We're halfway through the first season of X-Men '97, and the Disney+ series is definitely surprising fans with each new episode. On top of continuing the narrative of X-Men: The Animated Series, the show has folded in some unexpected elements from Marvel's comics, many of which are directly lifted from existing story arcs. That has included an adaptation of the iconic "LifeDeath" storyline — and the introduction of a horrifying new villain.

The recent "LifeDeath, Part 1" episode began to illustrate the romance between Ororo Munroe / Storm (Alison Sealy-Smith) and Forge (Gil Birmingham), which becomes complicated when they uncover each other's traumatic past. As the duo begin to grapple with their traumas, and Forge's role in creating the technology that depowered Storm earlier in the season, they continue to see an owl nearby Forge's house. By the end of the episode, the owl reveals itself to be The Adversary, a demonic bird-like entity forcing Storm to have macabre visions. So, who is The Adversary, and what is the character's Marvel Comics history?

What Is Marvel's Adversary?

Created by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr. in 1984's Uncanny X-Men #188, The Adversary is initially a demonic entity summoned by Forge on the battlefield of the Vietnam War. Intent on destroying the universe, The Adversary was able to be summoned back on Earth from that point onward, including in a fight between the X-Men and the Dire Wraiths from Rom.

As far as the "LifeDeath" storyline is concerned, The Adversary appears in that arc to manipulate both Storm and Forge, while also utilizing a false version of Naze. Eventually, both Storm and Forge are sent by The Adversary into a demonic dimension, where he offers to make them his human underlings when he remakes the Earth. This ordeal ultimately pushes Forge to restore Storm's powers, so it will be interesting to see if the same ordeal happens in the second half of the "LifeDeath" arc on X-Men '97.

What Is X-Men '97 About?

Marvel Animation's X-Men '97 revisits the iconic era of the 1990s as The X-Men, a band of mutants who use their uncanny gifts to protect a world that hates and fears them, are challenged like never before, forced to face a dangerous and unexpected new future.

The voice cast of X-Men '97 includes Ray Chase as Cyclops, Jennifer Hale as Jean Grey, Alison Sealy-Smith as Storm, Cal Dodd as Wolverine, JP Karliak as Morph, Lenore Zann as Rogue, George Buza as Beast, AJ LoCascio as Gambit, Holly Chou as Jubilee, Isaac Robinson-Smith as Bishop, Matthew Waterson as Magneto, and Adrian Hough as Nightcrawler. Beau DeMayo served as head writer; episodes are directed by Jake Castorena, Chase Conley and Emi Yonemura, and the series is executive produced by Brad Winderbaum, Kevin Feige, Louis D'Esposito, Victoria Alonso and DeMayo.

New episodes of X-Men '97 debut on Wednesdays exclusively on Disney+. If you haven't signed up for Disney+ yet, you can try it out here.

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