MAGNETO: Page 5 of 13

Last Updated: 
28th September 2007

Magneto rebuilt Asteroid M and established bases around the globe. From these, he continued his plans for mutant conquest and personal revenge, and he also looked out for other mutants that might join his cause. One of them was a young South African boy named Japheth. Magnus found the twelve-year-old boy and his younger brother alone in the African desert, near death. Japheth was in perpetual pain and had left his family home to die alone, unaware that his little brother had stowed away in the car. Magneto understood the source of Japheth’s pain and laid his hands upon the boy’s swollen belly. He used his magnetic powers to help Japheth’s body release the two slug-like creatures that were his mutant digestive system. The boy’s pain was immediately eased and Magnus explained to the boy that they were both mutants. While Japheth recovered from his ordeal, Magneto spoke to him of mutantkind, the oppression they suffered and their destined domination over humanity. Magneto then returned the boys to their home, where they discovered that there had been a racial riot during their absence. Japheth’s older brother had been killed and his father had followed those responsible to exact revenge. Japheth begged Magneto to rescue his father and Magnus lashed out with his powers, killing every member of the militia. Shocked by this slaughter, Japheth denounced Magneto’s methods - as he knew that Magneto could have simply stopped the men rather than kill them. Magneto parted ways with young Japheth, excusing him for his youthful optimism and urging him to seek him out when he came to realize that humans and mutants could never co-exist peacefully. [X-Men (2nd series) #76]
[ Note: The exact timeframe of Magneto’s encounter with the young Maggott is difficult to place given the limited information presented in the issue. It is placed here due to the stated amount of time that had lapsed between this encounter and Maggott’s induction as an X-Man, and this being a period during which Magneto was active, fully empowered and seeking out new recruits.]

Magneto’s body was not the only thing revitalized by Eric the Red. His mind and memory were sharper as well. This brought forth a rush of memories that Magneto had long ago buried in his single-minded pursuit of mutant domination. Chief among these renewed memories was his time in Auschwitz, his marriage to Magda and the loss of his daughter. For weeks, his dreams were filled with long-forgotten moments and painful experiences made raw and fresh once more by his restoration. While in Paris, Magnus woke from such a dream to the smell of smoke. A fire had broken out nearby and he could hear the screams of a mother who was trapped inside with her child. At first, he dismissed her impending death as none of his concern. She was merely human after all and Magneto cared nothing for humans. But her plight mirrored that of his long-lost daughter and Magnus was compelled to save them as he could not save Anya. He told the grateful family that they could repay him by telling the world that they had been saved by Magneto, the mutant super-villain. [Classic X-Men #12]

Next, Magnus sought to forge an alliance with Doctor Doom, who revealed to Magnus that he already controlled the world through the use of neuro-gases that enabled him to control anyone he chose, including Magneto himself. However, Doom had grown bored with this form of domination and he released Magneto from his control, challenging him to wrest control of the world from him if he could. Magneto sought the aid of the Avengers. After a brief battle, he explained the situation to the assembled heroes, but Doom had monitored this and exerted control over the Avengers to verify Magneto’s story. Magneto was forced to flee but he took the former X-Man called the Beast with him. By controlling the blood-flow in the Beast’s brain, Magneto was able to bind the former X-Man to his own will and together they recruited help from the Beast’s former teammates in the Champions. Unfortunately, they too were subjected to Doom’s will, so they odd pair of mutants saw no other way but to face Doom themselves. During the battle, the Latverian ruler was forced to take off his armor’s face plate, and he inhaled his own gas. This created a paradox, as Doom couldn’t command himself, and the gas was rendered inert. Magneto left, with nobody remembering, not even the Beast, that he had saved the planet. [Super-Villain Team-Up #14, Champions #16]

Despite him having joined forces with the Beast, Magneto continued his feud with the X-Men. Capturing the bewildered mutants, he transported them to his Antarctic base, where he easily defeated them, one-by-one. Even the newly-christened Phoenix was overwhelmed by his enhanced power and years of experience. Rather than kill his enemies, Magneto imprisoned them in specially designed devices that reduced their physical abilities to those possessed by six-month old infants while leaving their minds full aware of their predicament. He saw this as a fitting revenge, for taking advantage of him after he had been reduced to infancy himself. Convinced that they posed no further threat, he left them there to be attended by his robotic servant, Nanny. [X-Men (1st series) #111-112]
Magneto began to raid installations around the world for equipment and supplies. He used them in tandem with his enhanced powers to subtly alter Earth’s magnetic fields to create a psychic static that would limit telepathic activity across the globe, apparently also affecting his own limited power to project his astral self. When Magneto was alerted to a malfunction in his Antarctic base, he learned that he had underestimated the X-Men once again. Not only had they managed to break free but, having had the time to plan their attack and utilizing teamwork, they kept their arch-enemy off balance. Magneto was nearly defeated when his base began to collapse from damage caused during their battle. Molten lava began to seep in, giving Magneto the opportunity to escape as everyone was trying to get out alive. Despite his survival, this “final” battle against the X-Men left Magneto gravely wounded, further delaying his plans for world domination. [X-Men (1st series) #113]

After recuperating aboard Asteroid M for long weeks, Magneto returned to Earth and raised an ancient city from the ocean floor in the Bermuda Triangle to serve as a new base of operations. Mere days later, two wayward sailors sought refuge there. They were boat Captain Aleytis “Lee” Forrester and Scott Summers. Even though Magneto recognized Scott as the X-Man Cyclops, he greeted the pair and offered them shelter, as they posed him no threat - after all, everyone else’s mutant powers but Magneto’s own were nullified by devices on his island base. Curiously asking about the new woman in Cyclops’ life, Magneto learned of Phoenix’s recent death and expressed a genuine grief at her passing.

Carrying out his plan, Magneto sent an ultimatum to the world’s leaders, demanding that they cede political power to him and disarm all nuclear weapons within a week’s time. Immediately following his ultimatum, the Soviet government launched a nuclear strike against Magneto’s island base, but Magnus easily rendered the bombs inert and retaliated by sinking the submarine, Leningrad, that had launched the attack before raising a volcano in the heart of the city of Varykino. He slowed its development enough for the citizens to escape as a means of demonstrating that their lives were truly in his hands. In response to Magneto’s decree, the X-Men infiltrated the island unnoticed and also were rendered powerless. Even after disabling the nullifying device, the X-Men were in way over their heads fighting the Master of Magnetism. Still, all the while, the team’s newest addition, Kitty Pryde, found and destroyed Magneto’s entire computer database. Sensing the disruption, Magneto left the battle and, enraged at the loss of irreplaceable data and the ultimate disruption of his current plan, Magneto struck Kitty with a nearly lethal electrical charge. When he realized that she was little more than a child, Magneto was shocked. For the first time, he saw that he had become so obsessed in his efforts to ensure mutantkind’s future that he was willing to sacrifice the very mutants that he sought to unite and protect. He fled the island, forced to reflect on his chosen methodologies in a way he never had before. This would prove to be a crucial turning point in Magnus’ life. [Uncanny X-Men #148-150]

This episode forced Magneto to reassess his life and chosen path and he began a new quest to learn the fate of his long-lost wife, Magda. His journey led him to Mount Wundagore in far-off Transia. As he neared his destination, he was caught in a snowstorm and sought shelter at a small cottage belonging to the evolved cow-woman, Bova. She welcomed the stranger, happy to have the company. Magnus’ arrival reminded her of a similar night many years past, and she told him a story of a young pregnant woman named Magda, who had been on the run from something so terrible that she left her babies in Bova’s care after giving birth to them. Even though she recalled Magda’s final plea to her, “Keep the children from their father!” Bova realized too late that the stranger in front of her was Magda’s husband. Magneto demanded the children’s names from Bova and, when she refused to answer, he pressed the truth out of her by controlling her blood-flow. Thus, he learned that Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, two members of his initial Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, were actually his own children. The revelation was a surprise to Magnus but it also made perfect sense, as explaining the twins uncanny resemblance to Magda and Magnus.

Wanting to make peace with his children, Magneto traveled to the Inhumans’ home at the Blue Area of the Moon and the Inhumans’ home, where Pietro and his wife Crystal were living. They were just celebrating the birth of their daughter, Luna, together with Wanda and her husband, the Vision. Not wanting for any of the Inhumans to disturb their reunion, Magnus arrived quietly and magnetically sealed off Pietro’s tower home, allowing no one to leave or enter. However, the twins and their spouses mistook this as an attack. When Magneto revealed himself, the twins fought him, but their brief skirmish was interrupted by Luna’s crying. Magneto made it clear he had no desire to fight and told them that he’d rather die than bring a moment’s unhappiness to his grand- daughter. The news that Magneto as their father was a shock to the twins, just like his explanation that he had recently started to re-evaluate his life and recognized the errors of his ways. In fact, Magnus had already mellowed in his unquestioning hatred of humanity upon learning that his son had fathered a human child and that he was now tied by blood to the human race. Magneto asked for the twins’ acceptance, but they could not so easily accept Magneto’s espoused reformation in light of the years of abuse they suffered as members of his Brotherhood. Quicksilver snatched his daughter from Magnus, telling him that though related by blood he had no claim on little Luna or them. [Vision and the Scarlet Witch (1st series) #4, Avengers (1st series) #234]

Magneto soon allied himself with his greatest enemies, the X-Men, in order to track down those responsible for the murders of mutant children all over the United States. The culprits were the Purifiers, religious fanatics who sought to exterminate mutantkind in God’s name. Together, Magneto and the X-Men tracked the Purifiers to their leader, the Reverend William Stryker. However, Stryker had kidnapped Xavier and a handful of his students and planned to use Xavier to telepathically murder every mutant on the planet. Magneto fought side-by-side with the X-Men to dismantle Stryker’s plan and helped expose the true aims of Stryker’s crusade publicly. He remained with the X-Men long enough to discuss the future of mutantkind. On this occasion more than any other, the long-time foes were able to see that their goals were in tandem but the means they were willing to use to reach those goals still divided them. Magneto left the X-Men, encouraging them in their optimistic methods and assuring him that, should they fail to secure mutantkind using their methods, it would be his turn. [Marvel Graphic Novel #5]

When the mysterious entity called the Beyonder kidnapped dozens of superhumans to engage in a “secret war” on a planet of his design, he divided them into equal forces of heroes and villains, promising each group their hearts’ desires if they would kill the other one. Apparently, the Beyonder sensed the recent change in Magneto’s views, as he placed Magneto side-by-side with Earth’s heroes including the Avengers, Fantastic Four and X-Men. He was willing to serve among them however all but the X-Men saw him as one of the bad guys. Magnus chose to leave the group rather than be judged by those he saw as inferior and he established his own base of operations apart from them on Battleworld. During a brief battle with Earth’s champions, he kidnapped the Wasp in the hopes that he could convince her of his sincere desire to aid the heroes. Magneto attempted to woo the Wasp and there was a mutual attraction expressed by both. When the X-Men arrived at the base seeking an alliance, Magneto proposed that they take an aggressive approach and destroy Dr. Doom and the other villains and claim the prize the Beyonder offered… even if it meant killing the other heroes should they oppose them. Horrified, the Wasp fled, but the X-Men chose to ally themselves with Magneto.

Xavier and Magneto worked together as a third party in the conflict, aiding Captain America’s forces in numerous subtle and often unappreciated ways. When Galactus arrived to devour Battleworld, Magneto and the X-Men stood against him buying Cap’s group valuable time to devise a plan. In the aftermath, Captain America asked the X-Men and Magneto specifically to fight with him. Xavier used their time together trying to convince Magneto that they could achieve much more if they continued to work together. When Dr. Doom tried to lure Magneto to the villains’ side, Magneto nearly accepted but his loyalty to Xavier won out. He remained with the heroes until the war was won and they devised a means of returning home. [Secret Wars #1-12] Back on Earth, he chose to part ways with the X-Men and other heroes but his service among them during this crisis had, at the very least, won him a small measure of respect and perhaps understanding from his unexpected allies.