Right-wing snowflakes and baffled bigots rage at Disney for making X-Men character non-binary

Photo shows a screenshot of the original 1990s X Men cartoon showing Morph, with a superimposed tweet saying "when did the X Men get woke? 1663, kids, it was 1963."

Outrage has erupted amongst the usual suspects after Marvel’s new X-Men ’97 trailer revealed a non-binary character – Morph. Bigots are raging, etc. etc.

Set to hit screens on March 20 exclusively on Disney+, X-Men ’97 promises to pick up the narrative thread left hanging by the original cartoon, with the mutant team grappling with the apparent demise of Charles “played by Patrick Stewart in the films” Xavier, as people who are less familiar with the cartoon version like to call him.

The trailer opens with a vigil for Xavier, then the X-Men are met with a shock as iconic villain Magneto appears, complete with flowing white hair, bearing a last will and testament… saying that Xavier left everything to him.

However, that twist isn’t the thing that has got the internet talking. Instead, the focus has been on a relatively minor character who, you guessed it, has been revealed to be something other than cis and heterosexual.

In a new issue of Empire Magazine focusing on X-Men ’97, brief character profiles are given for several of the returning characters from the original X-Men: The Animated Series.

Speaking to Empire Magazine, showrunner Beau DeMayo revealed that X-Men ’97 will feature a “lighter take on the character Morph, who is non-binary and has an interesting buddy relationship with Wolverine.”

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The revelation was a record-scratch, freeze-frame moment for some fans, as Morph had never been identified as non-binary in the original show or any of the comic books. He’s a shapeshifting mutant, whose real name is Kevin Sydney, and his character has transformed into both male and female characters in the past.

It’s worth noting that Kevin Sydney was actually introduced to Marvel Comics by Roy Thomas and Werner Roth way back in 1967. His first hero name was Changeling, but that identity did not last long.

The magazine also teased that Morph’s past with Mister Sinister will “come into play” in X-Men ’97. Morph died in the inaugural episode of X-Men: The Animated Series only to resurface as a villain, aligned with Mister Sinister. He later teamed back up with the X-Men, but struggled due to his past trauma. Same, bestie.

In sadly familiar scenes, the revelation prompted an outpouring of criticism from right-wing news outlets, conservative commentators, angry comic book fans and a lot of Twitter/X users, with some going so far as to declare the upcoming show “ruined” by the addition of a non-binary character.

One person tweeted: “Morph is a He. Nice try Disney. We reject your X-men ’97 political nonsense.”

However, even more people pointed out that actually, the X-Men franchise has a long history of being “woke”, as the critics put it – with a history of serving as a metaphor for the Civil Rights Movement as well as gender identity and queerness. The ‘outsider/other’ status of the X-Men mutants has always been very closely aligned with the LGBTQ+ community, and critics were called out for “never having read the comics”.

Another user perfectly summed up the row, tweeting: “So the news that Morph, the shape shifting mutant based on Changeling from the comics, who was in the old 90s X-Men cartoon, is going to be non-binary when they come back has a lot of ‘fans’ screaming ‘when did the X-Men get woke?’

“1963, kids. It was 1963.”

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