If you are a fan of Marvel Comics, especially the X-Men series, then you are sure to know about one of Marvel's best villains, Magneto. However, how much do we really know about him? Yes, he controls metal, fights against the X-Men, and has a wicked temper problem, but we think there is more then what meets the eye. He often times does as much good as bad and is very passionate about fighting for the rights of his people, so passionate that he might destroy entire cities to prove his point. He has also stopped natural disasters and spared many of his enemies when he had the upper hand. This makes him a very complex character in the way that he struggles justifying his own morals if the end does not justify the means. He has more than once joined the X-Men and done a lot of good just to be embittered again at humanity, attacking them again. This is always amplified by the writer of the stories, as some see him as bad, some as good and some see him as a complex and conflicted character that only really wants the best for all mutants.
One thing is clear, there is a lot more to be learned about such an interesting character, so let's look into some of his more obscure facts that you probably did not know.
25 Magnets Are OP
As always with comics over the years, a character's powers can change based on the writer or reader feedback. Now, did you know Magneto used to be able to turn invisible? Maybe we have been using magnetic forces all wrong, but we have never seen a magnet turn something invisible.
We know, of course, his main power is to manipulate metal, but he can also alter the magnetic poles of Earth, shift tectonic plates and use the iron in his foe's blood to stop them in place. He can also create electromagnetic fields to block attacks, increase or decrease gravity, and even use the field to cause others to become mentally unstable. With all that said, it's a wonder that he ever loses a fight.
Artwork by Uncannykack
24 Non-Magnetic Bullets
There has been some debate about whether he can control metals that are non-magnetic, specifically lead, which most bullets are normally made of. Even Film Theory did an episode of their show on this, asking the same question. They decided that he would not be able to stop bullets, which is also shown in the comics when he is unable to save JFK.
So, would he have to affect the gun before it shot?
Is the impurity of the lead enough to alter? His force field can stop lasers, so why not normal bullets? Not to mention, in the comics it is noted that most groups that fight Magneto with firepower do so with polymer guns and non metallic ammo. So, the force field question is still valid, he is more dangerous then we think.
23 Always The Villain
Did you know that Magneto almost had his own prequel movie? We have seen bits and pieces of what it was meant to be in the X-Men: First Class movie, which showed a little bit of his tragic past. Sadly, a more in-depth look at his life may have given us a lot of insight into why he is the way he is. Magneto as a character is tragic and his hatred towards mankind is not fully explained, beyond that he feels his kind is threatened.
There are also some that say Magneto and Xavier will less of a focus in the movies to come as well. Marvel's movies are doing pretty well and it likely that they will take the franchise in a new direction, so we may never get a better look at his origin than in First Class.
22 The Call of Cthulhu
So first things first, if you do not know what Cthulhu is, after you are done reading go and buy The Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft. If you are familiar with the concept you might be surprised to learn that in issue of "Uncanny X-Men" Magneto builds a base on a mysterious island that feels alien in nature which is covered in statues of an octopus creature.
Sound familiar? Well, it is meant to be none other than the island of R'lyeh. R'lyeh is, of course, the submersible island that Cthulhu and many other elder Gods are in prisoned on. To awaken Cthulhu would be to cause the awakening of all the elder Gods driving the world into madness and destruction. It is a great Easter Egg hidden in the older comics and personally one of my favorites.
21 Logan's Greatest Fear
It is safe to say that Wolverine relies on his adamantium skeleton just as much as his healing factor. We already know that Magneto can more or less control Logan because of his skeleton being metallic, however, there was a time Magneto got so angry he removed all the adamantium from Logan's bones.
This sounds so painful, we do not even know where to begin.
Magneto was defeated shortly after and both of them took some time away from their teams, probably to reflect on their life choices. Logan went feral for a little while and Magneto disappeared to heal a broken spine. Thankfully, Logan did calm down and was able to get the adamantium put back, poor Logan's life is really one of suffering.
20 There From the Begining
By Magneto's aging look, you could assume he has been around for awhile, but did you know he has been there from the very beginning? In the very first X-Men comic, he was the first ever villain they ever fought. He was considered to be the greatest threat that Earth had ever faced and it took all the X-Men combined to take him down.
He would go on to become much more sympathetic and less of an evil mastermind.
These were the days that he was able to turn himself invisible because, you know, comic book reasons. Comic books have come a long way from every villain being a stereotypical madman and we are glad that we get to see how far Magneto has come.
19 Man Of Many Masks
When you think of the abilities that Magneto has, the farthest from your mind might be master of disguise, but there have been numerous times that he has gone undercover. Whether he is hired as headmaster of Professor X's school, pretending to be Xorn to infiltrate the X-Men, or even just dressing in casual clothing to blend in, he's been pretty tricky.You'd think with his long history with the X-Men that he would be easy to recognize.
He has gotten away with this to an alarming amount of success. It would seem that any time he goes into hiding he is really just hiding in plain sight and not in a hidden base somewhere. But, really? How did he take over as headmaster and no one realized it was him?
18 Why Is He So Young?
So have you had ever wondered why he looks so young in the comics? He is not a young man, but for someone who was born in the mid to late 1920's, he is looking pretty good. Well, according to the comics there was a point in time where he was transformed back into a baby then transformed back to a younger man then he started as.
It has always been hard to tell his age due to his permanent silver hair.
This is another plot to keep him relevant as time goes on. What is even stranger then the time-wrap, is how did did he remember everything? Shouldn't he have started life anew and lost his ideals? He must have been a really smart baby.
Artwork by Victor Hugo Queiroz.
17 Just... What?
Did you know what one of his powers is having a "magnetic personality"? Well peel your hand off your face because it is a thing, as he has the ability to be very likeable with the use of magnetics. To be fair, we know that he is able to affect people's minds due to the use of magnetic fields, so perhaps this is just part of that. No wonder he has such a huge following.
This is one of those powers that is no longer mentioned in the comics, but with everything he does, it is no wonder he was able to get Rouge to fall in love with him, gain an army of followers and even be likeable to escape time and time again.
16 Sweet Sweet Revenge
In the comics, a few German war criminals from World War II, including Red Skull, were taken care of due to Magneto's wish for revenge. At that point in time Magneto was pretty brutal to anyone that he did not like, but for these guys, he hit them full force. It just goes to show, do not mess with Magneto.
With all the brutality he was able to get away with, you might wonder why he seemingly spares so many of the X-Men when they fight, only flying off the handle a few times. Well isn't it obvious? He is actually a misguided good guy, who just so happens to like revenge and stealing his enemies gold stashes.
15 Arguably His Most Embarrassing Defeat
As a side note, Magneto was made into an animated cartoon before any of the X-Men themselves were. In the very first episode of the 1967 Fantastic Four show, he was the villain and guess who Mr. Fantastic defeated? Well, he used a gun made of wood of course. Let's be honest, Mr. Fantastic using a gun is pretty strange, but a wooden one that Magneto was unable to manipulate is kind of hilarious. We are not entirely sure how well a wooden gun would work, but you can assume it would not be as effective as it is in this case. Not to mention if there is no metal to hold the wood together, then it must be held together with some kind of magical glue or epoxy for it not to just explode.
14 A Frustrated Actor
There may not be many of you that know that, initially, Michael Fassbender did not care for the role of Magneto. He felt that his part in the role was not nearly his best acting and that the writing just had him "yelling and flailing his arms". Though this may be a little harsh, we felt that he had a pretty good performance. Most of us look back at any of our acting and will think it's not as good as others think, as it is very common for people to hate the sound of their own voice. Perhaps it is possible that seeing one's own acting will cause a similar reaction.
Regardless, Fassbender has agreed to continue the role, most likely not hating the role itself, but just his performance.
13 A Strange Worldview
We all know that Magento is pretty angry about his past and is bent on revenge, well in the modern age what else is there to be angry about? Well in the Marvel universem there is a lot of fear of mutants and they're often discriminated against. Even the government does not really know what to do with them.
This is precisely why Magneto ended up creating his own government out on an island called Genosha. After Magneto took over Genosha, he changed its policies from anti-mutant to a mutant paradise where he lived like a king. However, this was not enough and he decided shortly after that global domination would be preferable. Though rouge Sentinels got in the way, this led to the destruction of the island and most of its mutant population. This only added to the frustration in his goal to make the world more mutant friendly.
Artwork by Mike Mayhew.
12 Is It Two Or Three?
There is some controversy about just how many children Magneto has. It has been confirmed, then denied that he is at least the father of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Once again, depending on the "universe" that we are talking about and the writer, he could have as many as possibly five children, including one he may have had with Rouge.
It is that old magnetic personality at work.
Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch are members of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but once again depending on the version you are reading they were also allies with the X-Men. Others that are children of his depending on the universe are Polaris, Plague, Zaladane, Magnus and Charles and Anya Eisenhardt.
11 Balancing The Scales
To go a little deeper into Magneto's darker side makes it hard to justify any of his good actions at all. Seemingly, every time he saves a city, there has been a time where he destroyed one. Morally speaking, he never really has a leg to stand on.
This flip-flopping makes it hard to know what he is going to do next or who he may attack next. Sadly all the destruction really doesn't make him any better than Hydra. The biggest problem is that it's difficult for anyone on either side trust him even a little? For someone who seems so driven, he really can not seem to make up his mind, but when he goes evil, he nearly destroys Earth and when good saves it.
Brace yourself because X-Men was once converted into a manga. It was very stereotypically written, with situations like Kitty Pryde being the only girl at an all boys school, high school love, characters that are male but mistaken for being female, the extremely jealous "other guy" and even more. The typical Manga/Anime tropes are a little overdone and tend to dilute the storyline. After you read enough Manga you tend to know what to expect from school stories.
Magneto in this story is a physics teacher who often trails off of his lectures to ramble about mutants being superior to humans.
He himself falls into the trope of the very handsome older man who the one female student could recognize as being very attractive. If this version of Xavier's School seems a little weird, then you might realize that it has almost nothing to do with the main story of the universes.
9 The Healing Properties Of Magnets
If your father or mother works a physical job that makes their body ache, you may have seen them wearing magnetic or copper bracelets. These are meant to help soothe the pain in your body, even though scientific data says that these home remedies are not worth your time.
Magneto, however, has used his magnetic powers to heal himself multiple times, the most impressive of which was healing a broken spine. Now this is the comic book world and they do not follow the same rules as we do in real life, so perhaps magnetic bracelets work there as well.
8 An Interesting Enemy
Magneto is Marvel's oldest X-Men villain and he has fought just about every Marvel hero. He has fought Spiderling (Peter Parker's daughter), Captain America, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four and even George W. Bush. We know that old George W is not a hero, but it is still kind of funny that Magneto defeated him and humiliated him. If you are in his way, you better be prepared for a fight.
He is, as we know, very hot-headed and strong-willed. So if you got in his way you had better get out of the way quick or have powers enough to defend yourself. Though Magneto does not always win every fight he wins quite a few especially if the fight is one on one.
7 Almost A Sibling Rivalry
Originally, when Stan Lee was creating the backstory for Professor Xavier and Magneto, he wanted them to actually be brothers. With how they respect, yet attack each other's opinions and goals, you might think that they were siblings. Magneto and Prof X do not normally try to harm each other directly and, at times, have worked together as partners.
Wit that in mind, it is only fitting that they got Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart for the roles.
These two are very close friends and, as seen in the picture above, they are not above acting juvenile for fun, much the same as brothers would do. It is only a shame that the characters in the comics are not this close as well, fighting in the public eye and hanging out on the weekends.
Photo by Andy Gotts.
6 A Random Name Change
Magneto has gone by many names to cover up his jumping around the world, either to hide or to protect his family. His original name was, of course, Max Eisenhardt. In the movies, he is said to be born with the name Erik Magnus Lehnsherr which is a combination of a few different names that he changed to before 1950. Comic book movies always seem to change something small for seemingly no reason.
I could understand him introducing himself to Professor Xavier this way, but not being born with this name. Maybe it just sounded better than Max, as it sounded more foreign so that fans knew he was from Europe. But, this just is one of those strange things changed for no good reason.
5 Dark Origin
As you may know, Max Eisenhardt, AKA Magneto, was a German captured Jew during World War II. Being forced to watch the suffering of his family and other Jews was the key to unlocking his powers. If that was not enough, he even lost his wife and child due to an angry mob being afraid of his powers. To say that he is not a fan of humankind is putting it a little lightly.
These terrible moments in his life are what spurred him to adopt the idea that non-mutants are little more than a threat to his kind. With power comes a lust for more power and this worldview quickly changed to a feeling that mutants are superior to normal humans and one day his kind should rule the world free of the powerless humans. Armed with a cache of Nazi gold, he set his plans into action just after the fall of Hydra.
4 Do Not Mess With Him
If you have seen X2: X-Men United, you may remember the escape scene from the movie. You might remember the abuse from the security guard and his demise afterward. He may have seemed really docile while hanging out in prison or talking to Professor X, but when he had a moment to get revenge, he took it without a moment's notice. This is a small look into the mind of Magneto to show that he is really a calm and smart man, but his anger is really his most dangerous attribute.
Once you have crossed or offended Magneto, he will find a way to get back at you, even if he is smiling just moments before. He does not randomly attack those that show him respect, as perhaps he could have broken out the same way when he was playing chess with Charles, but he didn't.
3 His Greatest Weakness
As we just mentioned, Magneto is at his most dangerous when he is angry and when he is angry, he becomes arrogant. If you did him wrong, his plan of revenge will work, or so he thinks. So his greatest weakness is truly his arrogance, as there are many times where his plans do not go smoothly.
If his plans always went well, there would be no X-Men and he would rule the planet.
All villains must have some weakness or else they are not likeable, for instance, more people like Magneto then Apocalypse since at first glance Apocalypse is really powerful and seemingly undefeatable. Artwork by Megurobonin.
2 Secretly a Hero?
Apart from his time spent as a member of the X-Men team, there are many people that argue Magneto's worldview has a lot of good points to it. What if you had a somewhat unstable relationship with a group that could wipe you out at any time? Would you do all you can to gain their trust or wish to strike first before they could do you harm? It is really a matter of perspective.
Despite his dislike of non-mutants, there have even been many times where he has used his powers to save entire cities or people that he could have watched expire. We think that he is really a good guy that has let his anger and fear cloud his judgment to what the best option is. There have been many times that he has changed sides back to the X-Men and helped them out, even secretly running Professor X's school after Xavier was injured instead of sabotaging it.
Artwork by James Richardson.
1 The End Of Magneto?
There is some talk that the rivalry between Magneto and Professor X getting a little stale in the movies. This has been a major focus of many of the movies and comics so far and Marvel is considering veering away from this. To be fair, even though it is a large portion of the story as a whole, there is much more to be explored in the X-Men universe and maybe it is time for the younger cast to step into the light.
After Logan, we wonder what is next now that we have a glimpse into the possible future of the next generation of mutants. Though we love the characters that we have gotten to see many times, there is a story to be explored after them. Plus you just can not have a movie with Wolverine in it without Hugh Jackman.