Rogue looking at screens with the OZT logo in X-Men '97 Season 1, Episode 7, "Bright Eyes"

X-Men ’97: What Is the OZT?

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 7, “Bright Eyes.”

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X-Men: ’97‘s latest episode, “Bright Eyes,” teases a new threat to the Disney+ show’s titular superhero team: the OZT. So what is the OZT, and what do we know about it from Marvel’s X-Men comics canon?

Related: X-Men ’97: Who Is Theo James’ Character, Bastion?

X-Men ’97 Season 1’s OZT, Explained

OZT stands for “Operation: Zero Tolerance.” And what is Operation: Zero Tolerance, exactly? It’s a covert US government-backed program (although not so covert that it doesn’t have a snazzy logo for computer monitor wallpapers and the like). The OZT’s mission is to crack down on mutants, which its members – including X-Men ’97 Season 1 big bad, Bastion – view as a threat to humanity’s very existence. To that end, the OZT has developed newer, far more advanced Sentinels, known as “Prime Sentinels.” These Prime Sentinels are part human, yet no less formidable for that. Indeed, the Bolivar Trask Prime Sentinel trashes the X-Men in Episode 7, “Bright Eyes,” until Cable intervenes.

Related: X-Men ’97: Is Magneto Dead?

If that’s not enough, the OZT (through Bastion) is also in league with Mister Sinister. The deranged geneticist is helping the OZT build the Prime Sentinels. He also orchestrated the Sentinel attack on Genosha on the OZT’s behalf in Episode 5, “Remember It,” killing thousands of mutants. It’s unclear at this stage what the OZT’s next move will be, however, it will seemingly involve Magneto. “Bright Eyes” reveals that the Master of Magnetism survived his apparent death during the Genosha massacre and is now Bastion’s prisoner. Presumably, we’ll find out exactly what Bastion and the OZT have planned in X-Men ’97 Season 1’s aptly named final story arc, “Tolerance Is Extinction.”

What We Know About the OZT From Marvel’s X-Men Comics

The OZT in Marvel’s X-Men comics is much the same as in X-Men ’97. It’s likewise headed up Bastion and develops Prime Sentinels as its primary field operatives. And, most important of all, the OZT’s hardline stance against the mutant community is the same in both the comics and the show. That said, there are several key differences between the OZT’s comic book and cartoon incarnations.

Related: X-Men ’97: Who Launched the Sentinel Attack on Genosha?

Notably, Bastion and Sinister don’t form an alliance in the comics, and the latter doesn’t consult on the Prime Sentinels’ construction. Similarly, the comics’ version of the OZT isn’t behind the Sentinel attack on Genosha, which doesn’t even happen in the “Operation: Zero Tolerance” storyline. Oh, and while the OZT does capture several high-profile mutants in the comics, Magneto isn’t among them.

X-Men ’97 is now streaming on Disney+, with new episodes dropping Wednesdays.


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Leon Miller
Leon is a freelance contributor at The Escapist, covering movies, TV, video games, and comics. Active in the industry since 2016, Leon's previous by-lines include articles for Polygon, Popverse, Screen Rant, CBR, Dexerto, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more.