Written By Desi LaSalle
I am one of the many comic book geeks that loves everything about mutants. I love the X-Men, but as in other comic book series outside the mutant sphere, mutant heroes have a need for great mutant villains. Sitting atop the throne of mutant villains there is no other character as sophisticated as Magneto, the mutant master of magnetism created by the great Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in 1963. The many layers to this character is what makes Magneto so appealing. He is former best friend of Charles Xavier, the founder of the X-Men and Headmaster of Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters. Magneto is leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, a band of omega class mutants who believe that mutants are the next step in evolution and should rule over all.
Magneto also has behind him a very dramatic and tragic origin story, that is very realistic, in which his Jewish parents are killed during the Nazi’s invasion of Poland. In turn he was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Magneto’s appeal is that by many comic book readers he is not viewed as a pure “bad guy”, but rather as a man that happens to be a very powerful mutant that really believes that people are bigoted and racist against the mutant race. Due to this he takes it upon himself to teach homo-sapiens a lesson. He wants to lead the mutant race to this new world and protect them.
Magneto as a character is charismatic, imperfect, yet wise with flashes of nobility, with a long and turbulent friendship with Charles Xavier. As a reader you are put off balance because you can relate and even agree to many of his views, the subject matter of prejudice and hatred resonate even more today making Magneto an even cooler villain. In the pages of Uncanny X-men, great artists like John Byrne and Jim Lee have visually taken Magneto to new heights (the art is fantastic!). Chris Claremont has also developed the character beautifully during the years; Uncanny X-men #112, # 113, #150,#199, #200 and X-men #1, #2 #3 for example. On the big screen in the various X-Men movies, the character known as Magneto has been performed flawlessly by Michael Fassenber; X-men: First Class, Days of Future Past and X-men Apocalypse, shedding light on the character for a whole new generation to discover. Now the latest generation of comic book devotees are curious and want to find out as much information about this iconic villain as possible, buying back issues, searching for him on the internet and enjoying the amazing artwork executed over the years.
The concept of an imperfect leader of mutants, with a specific view of conquest by any means, not being a pure bad guy, are traits that have always has been appealing about Magneto. Through the years we have seen Magneto as a Villain, leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, evolve into a hero, a member of the X-men and even in turn becoming Headmaster of Xavier’s School of Gifted Youngsters. Following all this, Magneto has gone back to fill the boots of conquering villain and even became a double agent for the Cause of Mutantkind, proving that there is nothing that he will not do to achieve his vision for all mutants. A classic villain that has been around since 1963 and is still considered cool in 2016 is something special, let’s see what is next for Magneto, I have a good feeling that it is gonna be one hell of a ride.