Blast to the Past: Magneto Rips Out Wolverine’s Adamantium

In 1993 everything that would eventually be referred to “90’s comics” was in full swing. Ridiculous plots, clones, dudes with way too many muscles, clones, a LOT of chains, clones. Now, when most people refer to “90’s comics” they usually don’t do it fondly, but I was a kid and I was eating that stuff up. Not only was I rummaging through long boxes that belonged to various friends and family members, but everything that I was reading was being used for its respective animated series. The early 90’s cartoons of Batman, X-Men and Spider-Man were a huge portion of my childhood. More so than their comic book counter parts even. So being a kid, and not knowing any better, I was fascinated by everything comics in the early 90’s. The Scarlet Spider, Carnage, Spawn, Bane, Doomsday. As a kid, it was all awesome. Even if I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to read most of it.

Another trend that was happening around 1993 in comics, besides a lot of what would end up being dismissed as “too extreme” yet welcomed with open arms in Gears of War fifteen years later, was changing the status quo of several super heroes. While Marvel was having their characters go to new extremes by facing newer, more violent villains, dealing with clones, and secret wars in other universes, DC was straight up killing off/paralyzing theirs. Superman? Dead. Batman? Wheel chair bound. So before this turns into a DC vs Marvel debate know that both publishers were gleefully reveling in all of that gimmicky 90’s glory. No one was safe. Not even everyone’s favorite fur ball with a Napoleon complex – James “Logan” Howlett, aka Wolverine.

After a brief quote from Prometheus Bound Magneto goes on to show that Ian McKellen is the perfect choice to eventually play him by rattling off a speech of his own that could be taken straight from Macbeth. Magneto magnificently masterminds a vile and vicious version of villainy, and in Adjective-less X-men #25 does what readers had wondered why he hadn’t already done in pretty much every encounter between the two – he forcefully removes the adamantium from Wolverine’s body via his mutant ability to control metal. That’s right, he rips out Wolverine’s friggin’ skeleton. Sure, Logan has those crazy super regenerative healing powers, but having a virtually indestructible metal that’s been surgically bonded to your skeleton forcefully removed still has to hurt a whole hell of a lot. Now, in the same issue Magneto ends up finding a way around the defenses that the White House has put into place (because he is an evil genius and all) and causes the deaths of at least 100,000 people. So the argument could be made that what he did to Wolverine was relatively tame in comparison, but it’s kind of like a Joseph Stalin sort of thing.

 

This is also where sympathy towards Magneto pretty much ran out, from readers and Charles Xavier alike. Basically Professor X goes all Popeye on his ass, declares that he’s had enough and mind wipes him. Regardless of his hatred for the homo-sapiens, Magneto’s genocidal attack was a pretty big betrayal of his own ethos. If you’re going to draw parallels between mankind’s rampant fear and bigotry towards mutants and your own experiences as a Holocaust survivor, isn’t killing a massive amount of otherwise innocent people kind of…I dunno, wrong?

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