Magneto floating in front of Asteroid M in X-Men '97 Season 1

X-Men ’97: What Is Magneto’s Asteroid M?

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 9, “Tolerance Is Extinction – Part 2.”

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Asteroid M plays a major role in X-Men ’97 Season 1’s latest episode, “Tolerance Is Extinction – Part 2,” however, the floating rock’s backstory isn’t really touched on. So what exactly is Asteroid M in the X-Men ’97 canon?

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X-Men ’97 Season 1’s Asteroid M, Explained

Asteroid M is (as its name suggests) Magneto’s orbital space station, which he constructed on a hunk of rock. It first appeared in X-Men ’97 continuity in Season 4 of the show’s precursor, X-Men: The Animated Series. Here, it serves as a haven for mutants who share Magneto’s belief that mutantkind and humanity can never peacefully co-exist on Earth. This includes the Acolytes: a group of powerful mutants who help Magneto keep Asteroid M up and running – literally, in the case of the power-boosting Fabian Cortez. Cortez ultimately betrays Magneto, however, and uses Asteroid M’s missile defense system to attack Earth.

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Fortunately for humanity, Magneto survives Cortez’s attempt on his life and deflects the missiles. Unfortunately for everyone still on Asteroid M, the Master of Magnetism pulls the plug on his space rock retreat too. The combined efforts of Magneto and the X-Men ensure that nobody dies, although the former almost succeeds at stranding Cortez on Asteroid M as it falls from the sky. The space station itself winds up in better shape than X-Men: The Animated Series would suggest, as well. Either that or the Asteroid M Magneto hauls into Earth’s atmosphere in X-Men ’97 is a new creation!

Is Asteroid M in Marvel’s X-Men Comics?

Yep – in fact, in the X-Men comics, there are several Asteroid Ms! The first version of Magneto’s lair appeared way back in 1964’s X-Men #5. Rather than a mutant sanctuary, this Asteroid M was a hideout for Magneto and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants chums. It didn’t last long, though. Indeed, it’s already at the bottom of the sea off the West Coast when X-Men #5 wraps up! The second Asteroid M wouldn’t debut for another 14 years, in X-Men #113. It was also a supervillain hangout and lasted until 1984’s New Mutants #21 before being smashed to bits.

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Asteroid M 3.0 subsequently arrived in 1991’s X-Men (Vol. 2) #1. This version – along with its 90s quasi-successor, Avalon – has the most in common with the Asteroid M in the X-Men ’97 canon. Both housed different iterations of the Acolytes and provided off-world sanctuary to mutants (although Avalon was the only true space-based, mutant-only society). Several of the comics’ Asteroid M-centric events depicted in the cartoons also happened on either Asteroid M #3 or Avalon. Finally, Asteroid M #4 and #5 debuted in 2003’s New X-Men #146 and 2018’s X-Men: Blue #34, respectively.

X-Men ’97 is now streaming on Disney+, with Season 1’s final episode set to drop on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.


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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.