Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost in 'X-Men '97'

Meet Sebastian Shaw, the Number One Suspect in ‘X-Men ’97’s Latest Development

X-Men ’97 has its most devastating episode yet, reminding us that, when Marvel Studios wants to, they can indulge in peak superhero storytelling, masterful emotional weight and all.

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This time, ’97‘s sights were set on Genosha, which has evolved from a deserted mutant labor camp into a proper island nation where mutants of all abilities, colors, and creeds can live free from oppression, at least until a Wild Sentinel (or whoever’s controlling it, if anyone) decides that this is simply unacceptable.

The resulting battle will be stuck in our minds for a hot minute, but it would be wise to turn our attention to the Genoshan council, considering the nation’s governing body boasts Sebastian Shaw among its ranks. And for those of us already familiar with Shaw’s whole deal, well, our eyebrows remain raised.

Who is Sebastian Shaw?

While ’97 introduces Shaw as a member of Genosha’s council, X-Men fans know that he’s much more famous for being bad news.

Shaw is the billionaire leader of the Inner Circle within the New York branch of the Hellfire Club, a group of mutants who wish to take over the world. Shaw’s mutant ability allows him to absorb energy and convert it into physical strength, which makes him a formidable opponent.

Shaw and his posse have clashed with the X-Men in the past, attempting to brainwash Jean Grey into joining their ranks during the original animated series. That bad blood was never truly reconciled. You have to wonder if Shaw and the wider Inner Circle members (such as fellow Genoshan council member Emma Frost), had anything to do with the Wild Sentinel’s attack. Shaw has, after all, funded the Sentinel project before.

That said, laying waste to Genosha is a curious step if world domination is the end goal. We’ll have to keep a sharp eye on Shaw and company as the series progresses, regardless of how many more tears we’ll have to fight back in to see the screen.

(featured image: Disney+)


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Charlotte Simmons
Charlotte is a freelance writer at The Mary Sue and We Got This Covered. She's been writing professionally since 2018 (a year before she completed her English and Journalism degrees at St. Thomas University), and is likely to exert herself if given the chance to write about film or video games.