Is ‘X-Men ’97’ About To Introduce Onslaught?

Onslaught Marvel Comics

X-Men ’97 just introduced what seems to be the big villain of Season 1 of the Disney+ series: Bastion, the head of Operation Zero Tolerance (OZT), voiced by Theo James. But is a second villain waiting in the wings? Specifically Onslaught, one of the most controversial X-Men villains in comic history?

Don’t worry, we’re not going to get too in the weeds here, because the history of Onslaught is as complicated as any X-Men baddie — and maybe more so. But let’s still discuss who Onslaught is, and why we might end the first season with either a hint of Onslaught or the full reveal.

Who Is Onslaught In Marvel Comics?

Marvel Onslaught

I hope you’re ready for this one: Onslaught is the psychic baby of Professor Xavier and Magneto. He’s basically a ball of energy in armor generated by all the hatred they can muster. That’s the short version.

The slightly longer version is that Onslaught was created by Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid, and Andy Kubert, and first introduced in X-Men #53 in 1996. However, his canonical genesis goes back to 1993’s Fatal Attractions crossover, where Magneto ripped out Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton, and a furious Xavier shut down Magneto’s mind as revenge. As we later found out, Magneto’s bad thoughts survived, sneaking into Xavier’s brain where they started to emphasize Xavier’s own bad thoughts.

Those two bad brains had a bad baby, which possessed Xavier’s body and called itself Onslaught. The character sometimes aided the X-Men (because he was part Xavier) and sometimes fought them (because he was part Magneto). Eventually, Onslaught craved more power, and after consuming Xavier went on to ingest Mr. Fantastic and Sue Storm’s super-powerful son Franklin Richards, as well as Nate Grey, an alternate universe version of Cable who wasn’t infected with the techno-organic virus and seems to be allergic to wearing shirts.

Eventually, the united heroes of the Marvel Universe banded together to destroy Onslaught and only succeeded when The Avengers and Fantastic Four stepped inside him (really) and seemingly died.

What Is Onslaught’s Connection To Operation Zero Tolerance?

The Onslaught Saga in the comics led directly to the Operation: Zero Tolerance crossover. With The Avengers and Fantastic Four dead, and the X-Men somehow still alive — they couldn’t step inside Onslaught because mutants something something whatever who cares — the public hated and feared mutants harder than they ever had before.

This allowed Bastion to seize power and push forward with his agenda of bringing the Prime Sentinel plan public and attempting to wipe out all mutants. He also had Xavier in custody after the whole Onslaught thing as well, so that certainly helped.

There was a little bit of crossover earlier on where Onslaught snuck around one of Bastion’s first OZT meetings with the government, but the main thing I’d emphasize here is that Onslaught led directly to Bastion’s ascendance. One doesn’t happen without the other. In the comics, at least.

Why Might Onslaught Show Up On X-Men ’97?

You may have noticed that Onslaught is not on X-Men ’97 and did not lead into this whole Bastion situation the X-Men find themselves in, heading into the three-part finale. However, this series so far is doing a ton of remixing of storylines from the ’90s that otherwise weren’t covered by X-Men: The Animated Series. Not that this is anything new, but with Xavier returning to Earth and Magneto captured by Bastion, it looks like the two might once again be on opposite sides of the conflict.

Is it possible that we could get a riff on the storyline where Xavier has to shut down Magneto’s mind because of whatever Bastion is currently grooming the Master of Magnetism for? And that could lead directly to Onslaught, just like in the comics? Basically, just switching the order of the two storylines?

I’m going to go with an unqualified: sure, why not? This series has already thrown an an insane number of storylines in the blender; from the attack on Genosha from New X-Men, to speedrunning the entire Inferno crossover in half an episode. At this point, anything could happen. Even Onslaught.

X-Men ’97 Season 1 Premiere Dates And Episode Guide:

X-Men ’97 doesn’t have a one-a-day schedule like What If…? Season 2, or all-at-once like Echo. Instead, the series is getting a more traditional release schedule of two on premiere day, then one a week thereafter.

The release time is also typical. Versus what has now become a run-of-the-mill primetime “early” release for big movies and TV shows, new episodes of X-Men ’97 will be released on Wednesdays at 3 am ET / Midnight PT.

Here’s the full list of episodes in Marvel’s X-Men ’97 Season 1, and when they premiere:

  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 1 – “To Me, My X-Men”
  • Wednesday, March 20, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 2 – “Mutant Liberation Begins”
  • Wednesday, March 27, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 3 – “Fire Made Flesh”
  • Wednesday, April 3, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 4 – “Motendo / Lifedeath – Part 1”
  • Wednesday, April 10, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 5 – “Remember It”
  • Wednesday, April 17, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 6 – “Lifedeath – Part 2″
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 7 – “Bright Eyes”
  • Wednesday, May 1, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 8 – “Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 1”
  • Wednesday, May 8, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 9 – “Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 2”
  • Wednesday, May 15, 2024: X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 10 – “Tolerance Is Extinction, Part 3” *Season Finale*

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3 thoughts on “Is ‘X-Men ’97’ About To Introduce Onslaught?

  1. Man… Onslaught/Fatal Attractions are pretty much a thing with the ending of Episode 8…!!!!!!

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