June 20, 2010

Marvel Snapshot: Character Spotlight: Magneto

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Written by: Billy
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Hey everybody, thanks for stopping in for another week of Marvel Snapshot! This week’s great character spotlight will be on the one-time X-Men nemesis, but now teammate, Magneto! Let’s first get some background, then switch to some more recent activity.

Long ago, Magneto was the big baddie that the X-Men would fight to  a stand still, or in some cases they would lose a battle to because of his enormous power and indomitable will. Over the years, it seemed as though Magneto wasn’t getting stronger or more interesting, but kept falling into the same routine. My personal favorite Magneto story up until a couple of years ago was always “Fatal Attractions.” That is the story when Magneto and his Acolytes lived on Cable’s former base Graymalkin and threatened to destroy every human being on the planet if they wouldn’t be left alone to do what they pleased. This story stretched across all the X-books, but certainly the best one was X-Men #25. In this issue, we saw Professor X and his team infiltrate Magneto’s base and try to take it down. During a fierce battle with Magneto and his Acolytes, Professor Xavier made the decision to cross a line of morality to stop Magneto none thought he was capable of at the time. After witnessing Magneto rip the adamantium from Wolverine’s bones through his pores, Professor X mind wiped Magneto and turned him into a vegetable.

Before that, Magneto had been in many X-Men story lines, and also ones outside of the X-universe like “Acts of Vengeance” and  “Secret Wars.” Believe it or not, Magneto was once even the leader of the X-Men for a time. Professor Xavier had been nearly killed in a battle and asked Magneto to run the school for him. So if you look at the character as a whole, he’s been up and down a lot and had some really crazy stories written about him as well (turned into a baby, cloned, etc.). I definitely think Magneto is my favorite X-villain for the complexity of his character, but also for his background.

As I said earlier, my favorite story was the same for a long time, but in 2008, that changed. That year, Greg Pak wrote a mini-series called “Magneto: Testament.” This was an origin story for Magneto and was a fantastic re-telling of his childhood. Yes there were some slight retcons, but overall it was a great mini-series that really gave one an understanding about not only Magneto, but also some of the atrocities during the Holocaust. For those of you who haven’t read it, I won’t spoil it, but it shows Magneto (now called Max Eisenhart) witnessing his parents’ murder, and his struggles to stay alive and also deal with the fact that his friends and family are being tortured and killed in front of him on a daily basis. Again, a truly great read that serves as a good comic book story and an education for those who don’t really know what went on in that time period. Kudos to Marvel and Greg Pak for that one.

Now even more recently, we’ve seen Magneto who had aligned himself with the High Evolutionary (X-Men #500) to get his powers back. After another defeat at the hands of the X-Men, we saw something that nobody knew was coming. Magneto coming to the X-Men and bowing down before Scott Summers, and begging them to let him become part of their new world, Utopia. Most of the inhabitants are very skeptical, but they accept Magneto as part of the team. Magneto helps out when there is an attack on the island by Predator X’s, but exhausts himself rather quickly. He next set out to bring back an X-Man thought lost forever – Kitty Pryde. We last saw Kitty zooming through space on a giant bullet, but after much meditation, Magneto managed to bring her back to Earth. This act comes with a price, though. Magneto completely drained himself to the point that he went into a coma. He actually just woke up from said coma, though, as Nightcrawler brought Hope to Utopia.

I for one think it’s cool that Magneto is on the side of the “good guys,” but everyone knows it won’t last forever. Eventually, Marvel will cook up some angle and say it was a scheme all along and have Magneto turn on the X-Men. I mean hey, it’s what he does, isn’t it? I also must give credit where credit is due for the performance of Magneto in the X-Men films by Sir Ian McKellen! Please check below for my recommended reading list and some cool pics!

Recommended Reading
X-Men: God loves, Man kills -Gn
X-Men Visionaries: Jim Lee -Tpb
X-Men vs. The Avengers -Tpb
X-Men: Fatal Attractions -Tpb
Age of Apocalypse -Tpb vol. 1-3
Magneto: Rex -Tpb
Magneto: Dark Seduction -Tpb
Magneto: Rogue Nation -Tpb
House of  M -Tpb
Magneto: Testament -Tpb

Billy Dunleavy



  1. Jeff Jackson

    I realize that Magneto is one of my favorite characters. Even though it was retconned not to be him, I thought the Xorn ruse was so awesome. One of the best Magneto moments ever. I really wish they hadn’t screwed that up!

    Testament was incredible. I wish Marvel did more stories like that one.

  2. Eli




  3. billy

    @Jeff- I totally agree that Xorn storyline was grossly mishandled.
    @Eli- I really like Apocalypse and Kang but Magneto definitely makes a better villain to be used more often. He doesn’t get stale.

  4. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Papa Llama, Comicthon, Poison Girl, Comic Attack, Comic Attack and others. Comic Attack said: Everyone welcome the Master of Magnetism, #MAGNETO! #comics […]

  5. after all that House of M mess and being accepted and fighting on the X-Men’s side, i think it would be lame to have it all of it become “a scheme” and go back to the other side of the fence. the only way i see Mags going the other way, is Scott Summers ‘disappoints’ him in not being able to hold the mutant race together. then, he can present himself as the next leader. in a way, it’ll be more of a philosophical battle, because another physical one is kind of ‘been there, done that’.

  6. Billy

    @Grifter- Agreed. If it happens between Scott and Magneto, it will be magneto’s ego that will set things in motion. Maybe he’ll convince Emma to betray Scott…

  7. […] a few of the characters from the upcoming X-Men: First Class movie. I’ve already gone through Magneto, Professor Xavier, and some others. Next up is Emma Frost! She was created by one of the best […]

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