Fired ‘X-Men ’97’ Creator Beau DeMayo Broke His Silence To Explain Episode 5’s Brutal Ending And Real-World Parallels

X-Men ’97 episode 5 delivered one of the most devastating moments in the revival series’ run, and in an even more shocking move, former X-Men ’97 creator Beau DeMayo has broke his silence to talk about the absolutely brutal episode. Neither Marvel nor DeMayo has revealed why he was unexpectedly removed from the animated series less than a week before its premiere. The two parties have remained silent, which makes DeMayo releasing a statement about the episode all the more surprising.

WARNING: Spoilers for X-Men ’97 Episode 5 below.

While visiting the mutant paradise of Genosha, the brewing Rogue, Gambit, and Magneto love triangle reaches a head only to become a tragically moot point. Just as Rogue is about to profess her love for Gambit and reject Magneto’s offer to serve alongside him as the Queen of Genosha, a massive multi-headed Sentinel kaiju attacks the island. It’s an attack like nothing before seen on the show as countless lives are lost from the sheer destruction. Even Magneto, an Omega level mutant, struggles to stop the onslaught, and that’s where things take a turn.

Not only does Magneto perish taking a final stand to defend the Morlocks, but so does Gambit in a last minute kamikaze blitz to bring down the kaiju. According to DeMayo, these heart-breaking deaths were the “centerpiece” of his pitch to Marvel for the revival series. He also wanted the brutal attack to invoke real-life events like 9/11, the Pulse night club shooting, and others.

Via Entertainment Weekly:

“Yes, it looked like Gambit’s story was going a specific direction. The crop top was chosen to make you love him. Him pulling off his shirt was intentional. There’s a reason he told Rogue any fool would suffer her hand in a dance, even if it ended up not being him suffering. 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. I partied at Pulse. It was my club. I have so many great memories of its awesome white lounge. It was, like Genosha, a safe space for me and everyone like me to dance and laugh and be free. I thought about this a lot when crafting this season and this episode, and how the gay community in Orlando rose to heal from that event.”

DeMayo also wanted the episode to capture the feeling of going from a kid watching the original X-Men: The Animated Series in the ’90s to becoming an adult in an increasingly fraught world.

“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,” DeMayo wrote. “Life’s happened to them. 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.”

You can see DeMayo’s full remarks on Twitter below:

(Via Entertainment Weekly, Beau DeMayo on Twitter)