7 best shows like 'X-Men '97' to stream while you wait for season 2

An image from X-Men '97
(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

It may be a blast from the past, but “X-Men ‘97” is a modern-day hit on Disney Plus. The series premiere shattered viewership records, surpassing even Marvel's “What-If?” to become the most-watched first season of a Disney Plus original animated series ever. 

Where to stream 'X-Men '97'

"X-Men '97" season 1 is streaming on Disney Plus

Drawing praise from both critics and fans alike, “X-Men ‘97” stays true to the essence of its predecessor while introducing fresh narratives that resonate with today's audience. With its blend of action and heartfelt storytelling, the series has captivated both seasoned X-Men enthusiasts and newcomers alike. TG's Malcolm McMillan thinks it's the best Marvel TV show in years.

Though the first season has already wrapped up, even more mutant adventures are on the horizon as second and third seasons are already in development. While it will likely be at least a year before we see more of the "X-Men '97" crew, if you are looking for more thoughtful superhero TV shows to stream in the meantime, here are some worth checking out: 

‘X-Men The Animated Series’ (1992)

If you love “X-Men ‘97” but missed the first “X-Men: The Animated” series when it first aired from 1992-1996, there’s no better time to jump into the original series. Spanning five seasons, the original 72-episode series brilliantly depicts iconic story arcs like “The Dark Phoenix Saga” and “Days of Future Past.” 

While the show does feature comedic moments and characterizations, it was one of the first animated comic adaptations that wasn't afraid to explore darker themes as well. This series is widely credited with boosting the popularity and visibility of the X-Men franchise in the early ‘90s and set the stage for the series of beloved films that would kick off later in the decade. 

Watch on Disney Plus 

‘Teen Titans’ (2003) 

Looking for a retro trip back in time from a different superhero universe? The original 2003 “Teen Titans'' animated series follows some of the DC Universe’s most recognizable young superheroes, Robin, Cyborg, Raven, Starfire and Beast Boy, as they tackle not only Iconic villains like Slade Wilson and Trigon but also the perils of teen life. 

Like "X-Men '97," "Teen Titans" boldly confronts real-world issues such as racism and systemic injustice, weaving these societal concerns into the fabric of its narrative. Through poignant storytelling and nuanced character development, the series shines a light on the complexities of the human experience, transcending the boundaries of traditional superhero storytelling.

While the original series may have been somewhat overshadowed by the comedy-focused spin-off “Teen Titans Go!” its original incarnation has remained a fan favorite due to its mature storytelling, distinct animation style and complex character arcs.

Watch on Max 

‘The Umbrella Academy’ 

Another show based on a well-known comic series, “The Umbrella Academy” is a live-action series about the dysfunctional Hargreeves family. Headed by the mysterious Sir Reginald, this show follows seven super-powered adopted siblings as they navigate a labyrinth of complex relationships amidst the backdrop of an ever-looming apocalypse. 

Throw in time travel, alternate realities, and the concept of destiny, and you've got a show that leans hard into the weirder elements of superhero stories, with plenty of mind-bending science fiction and supernatural elements to keep viewers watching. 

With its penchant for the bizarre and the unexpected, the show offers a refreshing twist on conventional superhero narratives that is sure to appeal to fans of "X-Men '97." 

Watch on Netflix


The first Marvel series exclusive to Disney Plus, “WandaVision” set a high bar for Marvel TV content that many believe has yet to be exceeded. The series follows Scarlet Witch Wanda Maximoff as she deals with the aftermath of “Avengers: Endgame,” picking up the pieces of her shattered life in the wake of the Avengers' climactic battle with Thanos.  

Instead of following a simple linear story, "WandaVision" has a unique format where early episodes are each presented like a sitcom from a different era, taking cues from everything from “I Love Lucy” to “Full House.” Clever viewers will quickly understand that they'll have to look carefully at what they see on the screen to uncover clues about what is behind the sitcom laugh tracks as they try to solve the mystery of what is really happening to Wanda Maximoff. 

Because of its unique format (and ties to the larger MCU) “WandaVision” only lasted for one season. However, “X-Men ‘97” fans who haven’t checked it out yet will undoubtedly appreciate its twisty storyline and connections to the larger “X-Men” universe. 

Watch on Disney Plus

‘My Hero Academia’

Though “X-Men ‘97” follows a small group of superpowered individuals, blockbuster anime series “My Hero Academia” imagines the inverse: A world where almost everyone is born with diverse superpowers called "Quirks." Despite the ubiquity of special abilities among the population, in this world, only a few talented young adults are permitted to train at specialty hero schools to become licensed career superheroes. 

The series follows protagonist Izuku Midoriya, whose goal is to become the number one superhero. His overpowered quirk gives him incredible strength, speed, and agility, gaining him instant fame and attention at the prestigious UA High Hero School. 

However, Midoriya has a secret: he wasn’t born with his power, as he was one of the few children in this society to be born “quirkless.” And his powers didn’t just appear out of nowhere, they were given to him after a fateful encounter with the current number one global superhero, All-Might, who has gifted him with the legendary power of “One for All”. 

As Midoriya embarks on his quest to master his newfound abilities, "My Hero Academia" unfolds as a riveting tale of heroism, friendship, and self-discovery. With each exhilarating battle and heartfelt moment, the series explores the intricacies of heroism in a world where even the most unlikely of individuals can rise to greatness.

Watch on Hulu


While "X-Men '97" tackles some heavy themes, the action in the series is very accessible to audiences of all ages. However, if you're looking for a subversive animated superhero series aimed specifically at adult audiences, "Invincible" might be just up your alley. 

This series follows Mark Grayson, son of the world's most powerful superhero, Omni-Man. On his 17th birthday, Mark inherits his own powers and starts his journey as the hero known as Invincible. While the series starts off with Mark grappling with his newfound powers as well as the pressures of being a teenager, the series takes a very dark turn as an unthinkable truth is revealed. 

The series is extremely violent and doesn't shy away from showing the brutal reality of a world where super-powered individuals exist. However, if you don't mind the blood and gore, "Invincible" is a compelling watch with complex themes and a twisty story that will keep viewers pressing the "next episode" button on their remotes. 

Watch on Prime Video


The show that unofficially kicked off the modern era of MCU on TV, "Daredevil" remains one of the most lauded live-action superhero shows of all time, and for good reason. 

The series opens right in the middle of the action with lawyer-by-day Matt Murdock fighting crime on the streets of Hell's Kitchen by night. His alter-ego as Daredevil isn't fully formed yet, but as word of his vigilante justice spreads, his reputation as "the devil of Hell's Kitchen" grows, and catches the ear of Wilson Fisk, AKA the Kingpin, who hatches his own plan to deal with the masked hero. 

The series features complex, well-rounded characters who grapple with the line between justice and vengeance, and how and when violence is necessary to achieve an acceptable end. 

In addition to its complex story, viewers have lauded "Daredevil" for having some of the most brutal and realistic fight scenes in a superhero show. The series makes excellent use of long, unbroken takes, drawing viewers right into the heart of the action. 

Though the series originally ended in 2018 after the Marvel partnership with Netflix ended, Matt Murdock's story will continue in upcoming series "Daredevil: Born Again" which is coming to Disney Plus in 2025. 

Watch on Disney Plus

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Amanda Kondolojy

Amanda Kondolojy is an entertainment journalist based in Florida with over 15 years of experience covering film, TV, theme parks and more. When not in front of a screen you can find her reading something at the beach (usually by Neil Gaiman, Grady Hendrix or Brandon Sanderson) or dancing around the kitchen to her favorite showtunes.