X-Men ’97 is already preparing a killer tragedy for Wolverine

Christopher Baggett
Wolverine in his brown costume form X-Men '97

The stage is being set for X-Men ’97 Season 2. While all eyes are on the potential return of Gambit as the Horseman of Death, another X-Man could potentially fill that role, too: Wolverine.

Gambit’s story in the comics briefly saw him become the Horseman of Death, a servant of the Apocalypse. But years before that story, Wolverine found himself in a similar role.

With the end of X-Men ’97’s first season, the fan-favorite Wolverine is in dire straits. He’s had the adamantium ripped from his body and seems to be near death.

With Wolverine in peril and Apocalypse being one of many looming threats, one infamous comic arc could be coming to the animated show’s second season.

How Wolverine got his Adamantium back in X-Men comics

The arc where Wolverine lost his adamantium, Fatal Attractions, set up years of Wolverine stories that expanded his character arc.

Without the adamantium, he learned his claws were part of his mutation and not implants from Weapon X. He also had to contend with a fading healing factor as he struggled to heal, which then went into overdrive as the adamantium no longer hindered it.

While the stories did a lot to explore a more vulnerable Wolverine, it seemed inevitable he would get the adamantium back. Fans wanted it, and it was teased for years, but something always seemed to stop the change.

Wolverine as Death from Wolverine #146
Brainwashed by Apocalypse, Wolverine had his adamantium restored and became the Horseman of Death.

In a 1999 arc, Wolverine is captured by Apocalypse and forced to fight Sabretooth. Winning the fight, Wolverine is converted into the Horseman of Death. As part of the change, Wolverine is brainwashed, and Apocalypse restores his adamantium.

The event is obviously incredibly traumatic for Wolverine, as he’s brainwashed yet again and has to fight the X-Men at Apocalypse’s behest. Fortunately, his closest friends, including Jubilee and Psylocke, are able to free him from Apocalypse’s control.

Will Wolverine return as Death in X-Men ’97 Season 2?

While the X-Men ’97 finale teases Apocalypse and hints towards Gambit as the Horseman of Death, it’s hard to deny that Wolverine is a potential candidate.

Wolverine spends the entirety of X-Men ’97’s finale on the bench, grievously injured after Magneto ripped the adamantium out of him. Even when the world is ending in the episode’s final moments, he’s unable to help.

Wolverine and Morph in the X-Men '97 finaleWolverine uncharacteristically spends the entire X-Men ’97 season finale injured and unable to help.

It seems like an easy enough twist to have Wolverine become a Horseman of Apocalypse, Death or otherwise. X-Men ’97 has already taken existing stories and twisted them slightly, from Bastion’s origin to the massacre of Genosha.

Considering Apocalypse traditionally has four Horsemen — Death, Famine, Pestilence, and War — it seems plausible enough that both Gambit and Wolverine could wind up in Apocalypse’s thrall.

Whatever the twist winds up being, fans likely won’t have to wait long to find out. X-Men ’97 Season 2 is already greenlit and in production.

While you’re waiting, you can get your fill of the X-Men by reading about the comic books that inspired X-Men ’97 Season 1 and the 10 best X-Men comics.

About The Author

Christopher Baggett started writing about comics on the Internet when he was 14 years old. Since then, he's written professionally for a host of sites, including ComicsBeat, Comic Book Resources, and The HomeWorld. He's most knowledgable about the legacy heroes of the '80s and '90s that he grew up with and believes Wally West is the best Flash - and he'll fight anyone over it. For tips, news, press and more, contact Christopher at christopher.baggett@dexerto.com