Magnus Erikson (formerly Max Eisenhardt)
Conquer the world and help mutants become the dominant species
Varies, sometimes redeemed
|“||My brothers and sisters...we must prepare. We must prepare to take what evolution has promised us. For the age of humanity ends now.||„|
Magnus Erikson (formerly known as Max Eisenhardt), known better as Magneto, is a major antagonist in the X-Men franchise. He is the arch-enemy of the X-Men.
Magneto is an immensely powerful mutant, a subspecies of human born with superhuman abilities, who has the ability to generate and control magnetic fields. Regarding mutants as superior to humanity, Magneto seeks to help mutants reign supreme over mankind and replace them as the dominant species. Though he was once close friends with Professor Xavier, leader of the X-Men, their conflicting philosophies resulted in them turning into enemies.
Despite his usual role as an enemy to the X-Men, Magneto has sometimes been portrayed as an anti-hero or ally to the X-Men.
Born to a middle-class German-Jewish family in the late 1920s, Max Eisenhardt and his family were subjected to harsh discrimination at a young age during the Nazi rise to power. Max's family was executed during the Holocaust, leaving Max as the sole survivor, possibly due to his mutant powers manifesting. Taken to Auschwitz, Max was forced to become a Sonderkommando in order to survive. While at Auschwitz, Max reunited with his childhood crush Magda, and the two escaped the prison camp together.
Moving to Vinnytsia, Max adopted the name "Magnus", and bore a child named Anya with Magda. However, when his mutant powers were discovered by the populace, a mob gathered and burned down Magnus' home, killing Anya. Enraged, Magnus killed the mob and destroyed a section of the city, horrifying Magda, who left him and later gave birth to mutant twins, Pietro and Wanda.
Taking the name "Erik", Magnus moved to Israel, where he met and befriended fellow mutant Charles Xavier, with the two unaware that the other was a mutant. When they were forced to reveal their hidden mutant powers to each other, the two parted ways, realizing that their views were incompatible. Joining a Western intelligence agency, Magnus used his powers to track Nazi war criminals and turn them over to Israel for trial. However, agents from the Western agency murdered his girlfriend, Isabelle. In a rage, Magnus murdered his cohorts and finally took on the name "Magneto". Seeing humankind as inferior, Magneto schemed to ultimately subjugate mankind and help mutants reign supreme as the dominant lifeform.
Magneto has become a major enemy to the X-Men, a mutant superhero team formed by Charles Xavier. Magneto has also been a recurring leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which includes his twin children, Wanda and Pietro.
During the AXIS storyline, Magneto discovers a concentration camp for mutants on the island of Genosha, run by the Red Skull. Magneto infiltrated the concentration camp and attempted to defeat Red Skull, but was overpowered by the Skull's S-Men and captured. Magneto was subjected to mental torture by the Red Skull during his captivity before being freed by members of the Avengers Unity Division. Enraged at the Red Skull's inhumane treatment of the mutants in the camp, Magneto killed the Red Skull and the S-Men. However, his victory was cut short when the Red Skull reappeared as a giant called the Red Onslaught.
When the Avengers and the X-Men proved insufficient for dealing with the Red Onslaught, Magneto assembled a team of supervillains to combat the threat. In order to defeat the Skull, Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch perform a spell to invert the axis of his mind, but this has the side-effect of affecting everyone on the island, turning heroes into villains, and vice versa. During the event, Magneto discovered that he was not the Scarlet Witch's biological father.
After the spell is reversed, Magneto is affected by it and returns to his original personality, before subsequently surrendering to S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
Ultimate MarvelIn the Ultimate Marvel comics, Magneto, re-named Erik Lensherr, is reimagined as a much darker, more cynical character than his mainstream counterpart. In contrast to the mainstream Magneto, who seeks to rule over humanity, this version of Magneto aims for the total genocide of humankind. He regards humans with utter contempt, likening them to insects, and is noted to even consume their flesh, as he literally considers them animals. He holds command over a much larger Brotherhood and is a tyrannical fascist willing to kill hundreds to further his goals. He was also responsible for crippling Charles Xavier.
Magneto's genocidal plans led to him stealing Thor's hammer and combining it with his magnetic abilities to cause worldwide destruction, resulting in millions of casualties. During this event, he murdered several superheroes, including Charles Xavier and Wolverine. Eventually, Magneto learned from Jean Grey that mutants were created by scientific experiments, and not by God's will. Horrified of the truth, Magneto pleads for mercy, but is killed by Cyclops. Despite his death, the destruction caused by Magneto would continue to affect mutantkind, as anti-mutant sentiments increased expedentially as a result of his actions.
Magneto holds the firm belief of mutant supremacy, wishing to dominate humankind and acting as the face of mutant separatism. This mindset stands in stark contrast to that of his former friend/arch-enemy, Charles Xavier, who wishes for humans and mutants to co-exist. Magneto is ruthless and harsh, despising humankind and wishing to exact vengeance upon them. He is also prone to punishing and abusing his subjects if they displease him.
Despite this, Magneto is not totally heartless. His hatred for humanity stems from his years of oppression during the Holocaust, which has left him psychologically scarred as an adult. Due to his harsh past, Magneto wishes to ensure that mutantkind will not suffer the same discrimination he and his family endured in the past. Magneto is also very intelligent and charismatic, able to act as a leader for entire groups and organizations. His knack for leadership has allowed him to rally multitudes to his cause.
Powers and abilities
Magneto possesses a tremendous amount of power, and has been stated to be one of the most powerful mutants who ever lived. Magneto has absolute control over all forms of magnetism, allowing him to achieve a multitude of effects. He has the power to manipulate the entire planet's electromagnetic field, and can devastate the entire world with the usage of his abilities. Magneto has also trained extensively to resist telepathic attacks.
- Magneto is the most popular X-Men villain, and is widely considered one of the most iconic comic book villains of all time.
- In 2011, Magneto was ranked 1st on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains list.
- Stan Lee, one of Magneto's creators, initially planned for Magneto to be Xavier's brother; however, the idea was scrapped.