‘X-Men ’97’ Faithfully Adapts A Joke Peter David Made One Time

Wolverine X-Men 97 sekelton ripped out

X-Men ’97 has been a heady stew of multiple comic book storylines, as well as following its own muse. But in Episode 9, “Tolerance Is Extinction – Part 1” — and spoilers past this point — the show faithfully adapted one of the most iconic moments from the ’90s crossover Fatal Attractions, where Magneto rips out Wolverine’s Adamantium skeleton. Only that idea actually started as a joke from writer Peter David.

There’s a lot of info we can break down here, and most of it isn’t necessary to understand this moment… Including the plot of Fatal Attractions. But let’s do a quick summary anyway.

X-Men Fatal Attractions Crossover Pit The Team Against Magneto

In 1993, Marvel Comics celebrated the 30th anniversary of the X-Men with a crossover running through all their mutant titles. Titled Fatal Attractions, it was written by Fabian Nicieza and Scott Lobdell. The issues were drawn by a murderer’s row of artists: Andy Kubert, Adam Kubert, Greg Capullo, Joe Quesada, Ken Lashley, and John Romita, Jr.

The plot is extremely convoluted as most X-Men plots are and/or ’90s X-Men stories generally tend to be. But the short version is that Magneto returned as the prime bad guy for the X-Men, and swore this time he was going to wipe out all humans. You can see how they’re pulling on this for X-Men ’97 as pretty much the same thing is going on… Though the TV Magneto seems a little more conflicted about the whole thing.

There’s a lot more there, but bluntly put the crossover is remembered for two things: 1) The hologram cards on the covers, which were literally the coolest things I had ever seen in my life; and 2) Magneto ripping out Wolverine’s Adamantium skeleton.

The latter happened in X-Men #25, written by Nicieza with art by Andy Kubert. Magneto is driven to the edge, so rips all the metal out of Wolverine, leaving him near death. As retaliation, Professor Xavier shuts down Magneto’s mind. He’s left comatose on Avalon, his floating base that is subbed for Asteroid M on X-Men ’97. Also as a potential spoiler, the TV storyline subs Rogue in for Colossus from the comics — and at the end of Fatal Attractions, Colossus is left taking care of the unresponsive Magneto, so perhaps expect the same thing on TV, but with Rogue.

Anyway, take a look at how it appears in X-Men #25, versus in X-Men ’97:

Wolverine adamantium skeleton ripped outt x-men 25 versus x-men 97

What’s Next After Fatal Attractions?

While there’s more that happens after X-Men #25, the big takeaway is that Wolverine almost dies — but of course survives, and it’s revealed that his claws weren’t metal, they were bone claws. For about five years after that, Wolverine was subsequently more breakable because he didn’t have his Adamantium-laced skeleton… Eventually, he did get it back.

The other big repercussion of this storyline is that when Professor Xavier shuts down Magneto’s mind, the bad thoughts from Magneto sneak their way into Xavier and form a mind-baby called Onslaught. I know that sounds insane but it’s true. Onslaught is an uber-powerful being with the powers of both Magneto and Xavier, and he eventually absorbs a few other mutants — specifically Franklin Richards and Nate Gray, aka X-Man, in order to gain reality-warping powers as well.

The Onslaught Saga led directly to the Operation: Zero Tolerance crossover, which X-Men ’97 is currently adapting… And I would not at all be surprised if the show didn’t flip the order and have Xavier shut down Magneto in the X-Men ’97 season finale, kicking off Onslaught as the next villain.

How Peter David’s Joke Led To Wolverine Getting His Skeleton Ripped Out

Lots of set-up here, but this is just a fun, ridiculous bit of X-Men — and comic book — history. Way back in the early ’90s, when the X-Men writers were getting together for a retreat, they were brainstorming ideas for X-Cutioner’s Song, the 1992 event that predated Fatal Attractions. While the rest of the X-Men titles were front-loaded in the event, David’s X-Factor essentially had nothing to do.

At the time, the idea was to bring back Magneto as a villain and have a big fight between him and Wolverine, something that eventually got pushed to Fatal Attractions. But perhaps out of boredom, or otherwise, David, jokingly by his own admission, suggested that if he was Magneto he would just rip out Wolverine’s skeleton.

The rest of the X-Men writers thought that was a great idea; David insisted he was joking, and if you did that you would leave Wolverine as a blobby pile of flesh on the floor. However, they held on to the idea, and later came up with ripping just the metal out of his skeleton, not the entire skeleton out of Wolverine’s body.

You can read more about this over at Brian Cronin’s great Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed column on the matter, where both David and Nicieza weigh in. But that’s the gist! Peter David made a joke, it was done for real in the comic books, and now it’s on TV! That’s history, baby!

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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One thought on “‘X-Men ’97’ Faithfully Adapts A Joke Peter David Made One Time

  1. Greeeeat. Lame pointless bone claw Wolverine is coming. Yeah I lived through that once. I’ll pass on a second time. Was fun while it lasted X-Men 97.

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