MAGNETO: Page 7 of 13

Last Updated: 
28th September 2007

During a picnic with the X-Men, Magneto learned from the news that a large piece of his former orbital fortress - Asteroid M - had landed in Kampuchea. He snuck away from the X-Men with the Blackbird to take care of it. This, however, led to a confrontation between he, the Avengers and the Soviet Super-Soldiers, as both groups intended to capture him, on behalf of the UN and Soviet Russia respectively. The X-Men had followed Magneto and, while the three teams played a game of cat and mouse, Magnus blew up the remains of Asteroid M, but not before he managed to recover technology he had wanted from it, alongside his old helmet. He worked the psychic micro-circuitry into his helmet, modifying it so that it would enable him to wipe all prejudice, particularly against mutants, from the psyche of the human race.

When the Avengers and the Super-Soldiers tracked the X-Men down to Singapore, Magneto once more slipped away in the confusion, and was found by the local mutant underground who considered him their messiah of sorts. They were attacked by soldiers and Magneto saved them, wondering whether to use the equipment or not. He called the X-Men and Captain America to himself, outlining his plans with the helmet. Magneto turned to Captain America to decide. Being unresolved, he wanted the opinion of a man of honor, but the Avenger urged him to destroy the helmet. Believing him to be prejudiced, Magneto used the helmet on Captain America, only to find that he didn’t change his view. It was his honest opinion that the freedom of mind was not to be violated, no matter what the cause.

Shamed, Magneto surrendered to the World Court. Again Gabrielle Haller defended him, but things were going poorly. Magneto feared the verdict was already decided, believing mutantkind would rise up across the planet if he were condemned, adding to the deaths of many innocents. With things spinning out of control, Magneto recovered the helmet and used it on the Chief Justice before the verdict was spoken. When Magneto was accorded all the rights of a warring state, meaning his freedom, he was somewhat surprised that none of the other judges intervened. It left him wondering whether this was the verdict that the Chief Judge had in mind all along. Outside the court, Magneto confronted a crowd of protesters, only now realizing that this outcome of the trial might also lead to a race war just the same. [X-Men vs. the Avengers #1-4]

With the X-Men busy otherwise, Magneto returned to his role as headmaster of Xavier’s School. Given the dangers around them, from the Marauders to the impending Mutant Registration Act, Magneto became stricter about his charges. He feared that someone might recognize them for mutants if they carelessly used their powers in public, and he didn’t want them to go
on any adventures, resulting in the kids sneaking out behind his back several times. [New Mutants (1st series) #55-60]

On a mission to help their friend, Bird-Brain, tragedy struck as their teammate, Cypher, was murdered by the Ani-Mator. The New Mutants returned to the school, and Magneto was furious to find one of his students dead. In his anger, he forbade the New Mutants to take any action when they learned from television that the X-Men were fighting for their lives in Dallas. Magneto argued that the X-Men, as adults, weren’t his responsibility, unlike the New Mutants, and the teenagers helplessly

observed as the senior team seemingly perished in battle against the Adversary. This led to the beginning of a rift between Magneto and the students, especially the disappointed Magik, as her brother was among the fallen X-Men. Still, some of the New Mutants understood that Magnus’ decision was influenced by his emotions, as he was grieving for the deceased Cypher as much as they were. [New Mutants (1st series) #61, 64]

Further, the X-Men’s apparent death endangered the balance within the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. Magneto was no longer was the representative of a powerful hero team, but merely in charge of a bunch of trainees who repeatedly disobeyed his orders. As Magnus spent more and more time with the Hellfire Club, to strengthen his position in his power-struggle with Sebastian Shaw, the rift between him and the New Mutants widened, as they thought he no longer cared for them and was returning to his villainous ways. [New Mutants (1st series) #69-71]

When Illyana Rasputin lost control over Limbo, accidentally releasing its demons on New York, Sebastian Shaw blamed Magneto for the incident, as he apparently did not have full control over his student. Even worse, as Illyana reduced herself to early childhood to end the Inferno, the most promising of the New Mutants was lost to the Club. Xavier’s school had been destroyed during the incident and,when the Lords Cardinal of the Hellfire Club and the New Mutants met at the ruins, it led to a confrontation. The kids told Magneto they’d had enough of him and his shady dealings and were officially quitting. Shaw took this as an opportunity to accuse Magneto of weakness and attacked him, demanding he be removed as White King. The two Kings battled each other and, during the fight, Magneto announced that he had tried Xavier’s path, but the Marauders’ attack made him realize that dominance was the only way. He saw that the X-Men were weak and full of Xavier’s ideals and therefore decided to raise the next generation his way. Magneto managed to beat Shaw and, knowing that only one of them could remain as King, the matter was put to a vote. Revealing that Shaw had financed the mutant-destroying Sentinels, among other things, Magnus convinced the two Queens that Shaw was the unfit one. With Shaw gone, Magneto renamed himself the “Grey King,” filling both his own and Shaw’s place. With the New Mutants still dead-set against him, he let them go, convinced that they’d eventually see the light, in which case they’d be welcomed back. [New Mutants (1st series) #73-75]

Shortly thereafter, Moira MacTaggert tried to rattle Magneto back to his senses, reminding him of the promise he had made to Charles Xavier before he left Earth, but it was no use. Magnus was convinced that, for the benefit of mutantkind, he needed to revert back to his former self, although he hinted to Moira that partially he was playing the part of the villain to draw attention away from Muir Isle and other innocent mutants. [Uncanny X-Men #253] By then, Magneto had already been contacted Loki, who had banded together some of the most dangerous super-villains. They began to organize their attacks on the heroes, exchanging notes about them and switching targets to keep the heroes off-guard. Magneto was assigned to fighting Spider-man, Iron man and the West Coast Avengers. His interest, however, lay less in the other villains’ plans, but particularly in his daughter, the Scarlet Witch whom he had heard had gone through troubling times with the dismantling of her husband, the Vision, and the tragic loss of her children. [Acts of Vengeance crossover]

He found and abducted Wanda in a near-catatonic state. In her father’s care, Wanda quickly recovered, displaying greater power than ever and an odd anti-human stance. Joined by Quicksilver, after fighting the Avengers, the three returned to Magneto’s recently rebuilt Asteroid M. Magneto apparently planned to restart the Brotherhood, when Quicksilver revealed himself as a spy. With the help of Lockjaw, he teleported them back to Earth where the West Coast Avengers were awaiting them. In the ensuing battle, Magneto fled, apparently dying in an explosion. [Avengers West Coast #55-57, 60]

At some point, Magneto broke his ties with the Hellfire Club. The reasons have yet to be revealed, though it might have to do with an untold battle with the Shadow King. Magneto withdrew to his base in the Savage Land, where he came across a badly decomposed Rogue and a possessed Carol Danvers fighting each other to the death. (The Siege Perilous had split off the Danvers personality and given her a body, which the Shadow King soon corrupted.) Realizing the two women shared one lifeforce between them, he knew he could only save one of them. Using the devices of his base in the Savage Land, Magneto restored Rogue to full health, killing the other woman in the process. [Uncanny X-Men #269]

Having nowhere else to go, Rogue remained with Magneto for a while to recuperate. Since her absorption powers were temporarily scrambled by the power transfer, they could touch each other, and the two of them grew closer, clearly attracted despite themselves. Soon, the pair found themselves caught in a war over the Savage Land, and the joined Ka-Zar and a U.N squad led by Nick Fury to fight Zaladane, who - wielding Polaris’ magnetic powers - was threatening the world with earthquakes. With Rogue along, Magneto was torn between his own path of violence to reach his means as opposed to Xavier’s path, as Rogue tried to appealed to his more heroic side.

Among the UN troops was a Colonel Semyanov, whose son had died on the submarine Leningrad which Magneto has sunk in self defense during a previous bid for world domination. Semyanov betrayed the others by seeking revenge and shooting Magneto at a critical juncture, allowing Zaladane’s troops to capture them. Using Brainchild’s machinery, they tried to transfer Magneto’s energies to Zaladane as well. However, when Rogue and Ka-Zar attacked, Magneto broke free. Regaining his power, he killed Semyanov and a helpless Zaladane, making it clear that he had turned his back on Xavier’s way for good. He feared that a kinder gentler Magneto would not be able to save mutantkind. Rogue was turned away by Magneto's bloodthirstiness and she ended their romance before it even began. [Uncanny X-Men #274-275]

Magneto retreated to Asteroid M, sick of the many battles on Earth. However, his solitude was interrupted by the arrival of Fabian Cortez and the so-called Acolytes, who plead with him to return to a more active role. So convinced, Magneto retrieved the nuclear missiles from the sunken Soviet nuclear submarine Leningrad to use as weapons of deterrence, his own version of nuclear balance of power. Even though the Acolytes decided to launch an attack on Genosha without his permission, Magneto stood by his followers and declared to the X-Men and the rest of Earth that Asteroid M was a sovereign world and safe haven for mutants. Together with his Acolytes, Magneto was more than a match for the one squad of X-Men and took them prisoner, when they opposed his Acolytes on Genosha.

Wolverine had managed to inflict a claw wound on Magneto and, back aboard Asteroid M, Fabian Cortez offered to heal Magneto. While doing so, he noticed something odd about Magneto’s genome, as though his gene structure had been manipulated. Magneto realized that this could only have occurred during the time when he was an infant in the care of Moira MacTaggert. He abducted Xavier and Moira and made her admit that this had truly happened. As a result, he was furious, as he now had to question any decision he ever made after becoming an adult again - having no way of knowing whether he would have reached the same decisions if not for his DNA being tampered with. He decided to get revenge in kind by forcing Moira to repeat the behavior-modification procedure with the captive X-Men so that they would join his side. However, as soon as they engaged the remaining X-Men in battle, they snapped out of it. Moira then explained that her process was a failure - effective only so long as the subject wouldn’t use their power. As such, her changes to Magneto were undone and he had never been brainwashed at all.

Distracted by his conflict with the X-Men, Magneto realized too late that Fabian Cortez betrayed him. He had not healed his wounds, but amplified his powers to merely make him feel better. Believing that Magneto's death would inspire mutantkind to follow him as Magnus’s “last disciple,” Cortez arranged the destruction of Asteroid M. Quickly leaving the base, the X-Men offered Magneto and the remaining Acolytes to accompany them - but they refuse and stayed on Asteroid M until it exploded. [X-Men (2nd series) #1-3]