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The X-Men '97 Finale's Big Rumored Twist Didn't Happen - But It Still Could

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

One of the biggest "X-Men '97" theories was that Valerie Cooper's real identity is secretly the shapeshifting mutant Mystique. That didn't come to fruition in the Season 1 finale, but that doesn't necessarily mean it won't come true in Season 2.

Cooper (voiced by Catherine Disher) is one of the new faces in "X-Men '97." Based on the character of the same name who debuts in "Uncanny X-Men" #176 (created by Chris Claremont and John Romita Jr.), she works with the United Nations to bring Magneto to justice and have him stand trial for his crimes against humanity. However, the more Cooper sees Magneto operate alongside the X-Men, the more she rebels against her directives, as she frees the Master of Magnetism after he's captured by the real "X-Men '97" villain, Bastion, and Mister Sinister to help aide mutants from their attacks.

When the 1st season comes to an end, Cooper is alive and well as the X-Men are sent across space and time after Asteroid M's explosion. But, while some have speculated Cooper could be Mystique in disguise, secretly pulling the United Nation's strings and leading the charge against mutants while taking on a new form, Cooper remains human as the finale comes to a close. There's still potential Mystique and Cooper could be one and the same, but no reveal means viewers will have to wait until at least Season 2 to see if this theory pans out.

Where is Mystique?

Despite showing up in the revamped "X-Men '97" intro, Mystique doesn't actually appear in Season 1 — at least, not in plain sight. In "X-Men: The Animated Series," Mystique (Jennifer Dale) is a key member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, sparring with her children, Rogue and Nightcrawler. She is last seen sacrificing herself in a fiery gun blast after Nightcrawler forgives her for abandoning him as a child. However, Mystique fakes her own death and hasn't been heard from since.

With Mystique's redemptive ending in "X-Men: The Animated Series," it's not outside the realm of possibility she returns as a positive force in Rogue and Nightcrawler's life at some point in "X-Men '97," assuming they allow it. And while she may (or may not) be Valerie Cooper in disguise (it could be a reveal multiple seasons in the making), it's still possible the shapeshifter is hiding out as someone else. So, even without Mystique being obviously present on the small screen, their powers mean they can appear at any time, including when viewers least expect it.

To read more about the Season 1 finale, check out what the "X-Men '97" post-credits tease means.