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A Star Trek Icon Was In The X-Men '97 Finale But You Likely Missed It

Contains spoilers  for "X-Men '97" Season 1, Episode 10 — "Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 3"

When an X-Men show kicks off its season finale with a hopelessly injured Wolverine (Cal Dodd), the viewer knows the stakes are high. "Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 3" goes on to feature things like Jean Grey's (Jennifer Hale) Phoenix force, Professor X (Ross Marquand) flexing his powers, the team getting scattered across time, and major Marvel characters like Captain America (Josh Keaton), Daredevil, and Iron Man popping by for air punch-worthy cameos. However, even amidst all this action, it's probably safe to say that few people were ready for a cameo from "Star Trek: The Next Generation" icon Gates McFadden.

It's easy to miss by all but the most perceptive listeners, but the actor behind Dr. Beverly Crusher voices Mother Askani, whom Jean and Cyclops (Ray Chase) meet in the far future. It remains to be seen whether McFadden's appearance is a one-off or if her character continues to be a part of "X-Men '97" moving forward.

Mother Askani is an important character with close connections to Cyclops and Jean

As you'd expect, the arrival of Mother Askani in such a critical moment isn't a fluke. The character is part of the untold truth of Cyclops — particularly his uncanny knack for having what must be the most convoluted family tree in the entire Marvel universe. Much like Cable (Chris Potter), Mother Askani is actually Cyclops and Jean's child from an alternate universe. This adds an extra layer on the decision to have a Star Trek alum voice the character. After all, the mirror universe in Star Trek is a particularly famous example of alternate-universe antics. 

Askani entering the "X-Men '97" universe and Cyclops and Jean being stranded in the far future seems to suggest that "X-Men '97" Season 2 will at least partially adapt the 1994 miniseries "The Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix" by Scott Lobdell and Gene Ha. The story sees the superhero couple spend time in the future while raising their son. Season 1 has kept a fairly brisk pace, jogging through classic storylines, so it's unlikely that the pair will stay in such a comparatively happy bubble for too long. Even so, there's little denying that Scott and Jean have earned a moment of respite before they inevitably have to join the rest of the X-Men and deal with the season finale's other major character debut — En Sabah Nur (Adetokumboh M'Cormack), who's better known as Apocalypse.

Did you enjoy Marvel's acclaimed animated show? Check out the best Marvel cartoons to watch after "X-Men '97."