“Episode 5 was the centerpiece of my pitch to Marvel”: Disney Screwed up With Beau DeMayo, His Brilliant Strategy Turned X-Men ’97 into Marvel’s Pièce de Résistance

X-Men '97's fifth episode presents a strong case in Beau DeMayo's favor after his recent firing from the show.

“Episode 5 was the centerpiece of my pitch to Marvel”: Disney Screwed up With Beau DeMayo, His Brilliant Strategy Turned X-Men ’97 into Marvel’s Pièce de Résistance

SUMMARY

  • The fifth episode of X-Men '97 was released on Wednesday.
  • Fans have been hailing it one of the greatest Marvel animation after watching the episode.
  • Marvel might've made a mistake by letting Beau DeMayo go.
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The fifth episode of X-Men ’97 dropped on Wednesday this week, and it elevated the expectations of Marvel fans all over the world. While we await the return of the mutantkind on the silver screen, the new X-Men animated show is winning hearts and bumping up ratings. Episode 5 is currently being hailed chef-d’œuvre of Marvel animation, and quite rightly so, as it currently sits with a 9.8 rating on IMDB.

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Magneto in a still from episode 5 of X-Men ’97
Magneto in a still from episode 5 of X-Men ’97

However, despite being renewed for a second season, X-Men ’97 will be missing a crucial element going forward. Beau DeMayo, the showrunner and head writer, was fired by Disney right before Season 1 of the show aired. While the exact reasons are kept under wraps, DeMayo’s firing might’ve been a huge mistake on the studio’s part, considering the heights the Marvel show has reached with every single episode.

Was kicking out DeMayo really the right choice on Marvel’s part? Let’s find out!

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Beau DeMayo Calls X-Men ’97 Episode 5 the ‘Centerpiece’ of His Pitch

The brilliance of X-Men ’97 truly shone brightly in Episode 5. X-Men storylines in comics have always been known to reflect real-life issues, such as minority and racial discrimination, as well as complex human relationships. The show’s creator, Beau DeMayo, who grew up watching the original X-Men cartoon, reminisced on how he related to the show, but his perceptions changed as he grew up, which was reflected in X-Men ’97. He wrote in an X post:

Gambit in his controversial pink crop top from X-Men '97
Gambit in his controversial pink crop top from X-Men ’97

“Lotta questions and so I’ll momentarily break silence to answer. Episode 5 was the centerpiece of my pitch to Marvel in November 2020. The idea being to have the X-Men mirror the journey that any of us who grew up on the original show have experienced since being kids in the 90s. The world was a seemingly safer place for us, where a character like Storm would comment on how skin-based racism was ‘quaint’ in One Man’s Worth [the season 4 opener for the original X-Men animated series]. For the most part, to our young minds, the world was a simple place of right and wrong, where questions about identity and social justice had relatively clear cut answers.”

He also touched on Gambit’s shocking demise:

“Yes, it looked like Gambit’s story was going a specific direction… But if events like 9/11, Tulsa, Charlottesville, or Pulse Nightclub teach us anything, it’s that too many stories are often cut far too short. Like many of us who grew up on the OG cartoon, the X-Men have now been hit hard by the realities of an adult and unsafe world. And they, like we did, will have to decide which parts of themselves they will cling to and which parts they’ll let go of in order to do what they’ve been telling humanity to do: face an uncertain future they never saw coming.”

As evident, DeMayo’s grasp of the concept of X-Men is very precise, which made him the perfect choice to helm the animation.

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Was Disney Right in Firing Beau DeMayo?

Beau DeMayo (via Beau DeMayo's Instagram)
Beau DeMayo (via Beau DeMayo’s Instagram)

Looking at the popularity of X-Men ’97, it can be safely assumed the animated series revived public interest in Marvel projects, especially after a series of MCU bombs. The X-Men craze will also help Deadpool & Wolverine, which will formally bring mutants into the MCU in the true sense. So the question arises: Did Marvel/Disney commit a blunder by letting go of the creator of the most beloved Marvel project of recent times?

The topic has caught fire on social media, with a lot of fans demanding Beau DeMayo’s return to the franchise:

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The X-Men fans are siding with DeMayo on this one, and they have a good reason for it. Very rarely do you see a series writer completely embody the essence of the source material, and modify it perfectly according to modern predicament. This was one of the main complaints about Netflix’s The Witcher, where the live adaptation differed drastically from the source.

If anything, the fifth episode of X-Men ’97 showed DeMayo has a firm understanding of the mutant world, which is even being compared to the Red Wedding of Game of Thrones; one of the highest-rated episodes in television history. The raw emotions reflected in the celebration followed by a gruesome tragedy, show he’s not playing it safe. DeMayo was playing it real. And fans love a story grounded in reality.

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Hopefully, Disney will heed popular advice, and give DeMayo another shot at continuing the mutant marvel he has created.

X-Men ’97 is available for streaming on Disney+.

Sayantan Choudhary

Written by Sayantan Choudhary

Articles Published: 68

Sayantan is an editor for FandomWire/Animated Times. He has previously worked with reputed websites like Wiki Of Thrones and Collider over the past 4 years, and is deeply passionate about TV shows, films, anime, gaming, and everything pop culture.