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What The X-Men '97 Season 1 Post-Credits Tease & Why Marvel Fans Are Freaking Out

The "X-Men '97" finale has arrived on Disney+, along with a major tease regarding what viewers can expect in Season 2 as the episode ends with a glimpse of the villainous Apocalypse's arrival.

"Tolerance Is Extinction" Part 3's explosive ending sees the U.S. government activate the Magneto Protocols and fire a missile at Asteroid M right as the mutant team's battle with Bastion reaches a breaking point. Charles Xavier and Magneto work together to redirect the asteroid back into space and avoid Earth, but when it explodes, it seemingly kills the X-Men. However, rather than dying, as the public believes, they were scattered across time. Cyclops and Jean Grey find themselves in the far future, where they encounter Mother Askani, while the remaining heroes involved in the battle wake up in Ancient Egypt in 3,000 B.C. Here, the team meets En Sabah Nur, the mutant who eventually becomes Apocalypse.

In a post-credit scene set in the show's present day of 1997, Apocalypse is seen in the ruins of Genosha. He reaches into the dust and destruction and pulls out a playing card, a major hint at what's in store for Gambit, who appears to have died in Episode 5 of the inaugural season.

Longtime comic book readers are likely aware of what Apocalypse's arrival means: the villain's Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are being set up as major players for "X-Men '97" Season 2, and X-Men fans know how exciting that is.

Apocalypse is a major threat to the X-Men

Apocalypse is one of the most terrifying mutant villains in Marvel history. Created by Louise Simonson and Jackson Guice and debuting in 1986's "X-Factor" #5, En Sabah Nur was born thousands of years ago, making him one of the first mutants on Earth. A war-mongering immortal force, Apocalypse appears throughout different points in time, his quest for control and to rule the world extending across centuries.

When he surfaces in the 20th century, he clashes with the X-Men and, eventually, the Avengers in an effort to gain more power. In the "Dawn of X" storyline, Apocalypse joins the X-Men on Krakoa and is reunited with his wife Genesis as his past is explored like never before. The villain is currently fighting alongside the embattled mutant paradise as the "Fall of X" continues.

Apocalypse's first appearance in "X-Men: The Animated Series" saw him fail in his attempts to create the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse — a group of mind-controlled, genetically altered mutants who serve him and carry out his machinations to rule everything. After failing to take out the mutant psychics standing in his way, Apocalypse is banished to the Astral Plane, but is last seen taking over the body of Fabian Cortez. The villain has been roaming free in Genosha, but he seems to have figured out a way to return to his physical form, or has somehow morphed Cortez's body into a new version of his own appearance. Either way, "X-Men '97" is setting up the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse — and the eventual rebirth of the recently murdered Gambit, which X-fans have been clamoring for since his tragic death.

Gambit and the Four Horsemen are coming soon

In "X-Factor" #15, Apocalypse assembles the first iteration (at least seen on the page) of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (created by Louise Simonson and Walt Simonson). The team features War, Pestilence, Famine, and Death, who is actually the original X-Man Angel debuting his more violent Archangel persona. In addition to their mutant powers, every Horseman is given additional enhancements courtesy of the master they serve. There have been several versions of the Four Horsemen since the original squad's debut, with many familiar faces from the X-Men roster finding themselves mind-controlled and forced to join Apocalypse's side.

It appears "X-Men '97" is transforming Gambit into Death, a role he once held in the comics. This would seem to explain how he'll be brought back to life after being killed halfway through Season 1. While it remains to be seen what other mutants might join Remy LeBeau, Gambit's teammates in the comics include Magneto's daughter Polaris as Pestilence, Sunfire as Famine, and Gazer as War.

Considering how much "X-Men '97" has remixed the source material, it'll be interesting to see if the show's Horsemen resemble any version from the comics, much less Gambit's era as a Horseman. Regardless, the evil group's rise is likely the way Gambit returns, and it will take everything Rogue and the X-Men have to turn him back into his old self. After all, Apocalypse's control is never easy to break.