Welcome, X-Fans, to the latest edition of X-Men Monday at AiPT! Now, some of you may be wondering–how in the world did Magneto get his own installment of X-Men Monday before Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and the other “A-List” X-Men? Intimidation, simple as that. I mean, have you seen… any X-Men movie?
So, I calmly explained to the master of magnetism that Emma Frost took control of my mind to get her own X-Men Monday, then Jean Grey asked for her own edition thinking it’d sell some extra Dark Phoenix tickets (sorry, Jeannie), but he didn’t care. He just wanted his fans’ questions answered. Hopefully Magneto’s happy with the results. I’m probably just overreacting… everything will turn out just fine with Magneto…
Crap. Uh… I guess if Magneto’s not happy, I can just blame it all on X-Men Senior Editor Jordan D. White, right? Speaking of Jordan, let’s get to some X-Fan questions!
AiPT!: Since Magneto’s such a complicated character, let’s start things off on a simpler note. What’s your favorite Magneto story of all time and why?
Jordan: I actually read an issue about Magneto just a few months ago that I really liked. It was X-Men #85 and it’s right at the start of the recent Magneto War TPB. The issue was written by Joe Kelly and drawn by Alan Davis and… I think it captured Magneto really well.
[Spoiler warning for those who haven’t read it!]
In the issue, Magneto decides to give humanity one more chance before enacting his most extreme plot yet, so he picks someone at random and goes undercover as human and basically goes up to this guy he chose like, “Hey, fellow human–how about those dirty Muties, huh?” Thing is, it doesn’t work. The guy doesn’t hate mutants, they don’t bother him, he doesn’t bother them, everybody’s happy. And this is not what Magneto wanted–he keeps pushing and pushing at it, until eventually he reveals himself as a mutant and it threatening this guy’s life, and yeah, at that point, the guy turns on mutants… and Magneto says he was right all along, so he’s totally justified in every awful thing he is about to do. Honestly… I think that is pretty much a perfect encapsulation of his character–he’s a smart person you want to believe is capable of doing the right thing, but whose reason has been twisted by his experiences towards the vengeful. The art is gorgeous, the writing is great, and I recommend the issue highly.
AiPT!: Magneto and Charles Xavier’s relationship has been discussed to death. Robert Secundus (@RobertSecundus) wanted to know what, in your opinion, is Magneto’s most interesting relationship with a character other than Xavier?
Jordan: I would say his relationship with his “children” and in that I include both Polaris who is definitely his daughter as well as Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver since they spent so many years believing on both sides that he was their father. They’re… they’re all so fraught. For every moment of connection between them, there are others where he denies their lineage, or abandons them in favor of his own goals. He’s a complicated guy. I think “righteous” is probably a good word for him, which is itself a complicated term depending on whose morals you share in regards to that righteousness.
AiPT!: Speaking of relationships, 12D3 (@12D3OBot) was curious–what’s your opinion on Magneto and Rogue’s relationship that seemed to really bloom during X-Men Legacy?
Jordan: Look, I know I shouldn’t be hung up on the fact that he is a zillion years older than her… but I am, so it seemed weird to me. Why am I OK with Angel and Buffy being together, or Wolverine and anyone and not Magneto and Rogue? I cannot know for sure, but I think the tremendous Ian McKellen being such a compelling Magneto before that has something to do with it, even if Anna Paquin never really seemed that much like Rogue to me. At any rate, I was not on board that ship as a reader of that series.
AiPT!: Obviously, AXIS reinvented Magneto’s relationship with Wanda and Pietro. Grey_life12 (@304grey_fan) asked, how you’d describe their current relationship?
Jordan: I don’t really feel like it’s been explored well enough to answer that at this point. I do think it’s something that should be explored in some depth, and I hope either the X-Books or Avengers books can find the space to address it more in the future.
AiPT!: And while on the topic of children, Magneto and Polaris have been rebuilding their father/daughter relationship over the last few years, especially in X-Men Blue. wes empurrado pela máfia X (@nvtegrey) wanted to know how you view this relationship. Should Lorna trust him or does she know better?
Jordan: It’s funny you put it that way–should she trust him? I am not sure how much good has come from X-Men trusting him in the past. That said… we’ve been saying House of X and Powers of X is going to change everything. Might that also change?
AiPT!: Curt Clark (@Ingonyama70) was curious, do you prefer Magneto as the megalomaniac Silver Age villain, the atoning Claremontian anti-hero, or somewhere in between?
Jordan: Again, I think the phrasing of the question is interesting. You call the Claremontian version both “atoning” and an “anti-hero” which seems to me to be contradictory. If he were atoning, he would just be a hero, but as an anti-hero he does not need to atone–he can do bad things that the readers can follow along with him on. Like the Punisher.
Anyway, my answer to your question is somewhere in between–I view him as a tragic character. He is sympathetic, he does want the right things a lot of the time… and then he always goes too far. I know you’re saying his relationship with Charles is talked to death, but what’s great about it is that he SHOULD be such a great ally not just for Charles but for the X-Men and for all Mutantkind, but he always falls. It is tragic, but when he crosses that line, he becomes an enemy, and I think that is compelling–that idea of having to fight the one you want so badly to be on your side.
AiPT!: Zack Jenkins (@XavierFiles) asked if you’ve got any opinions on Xorneto.
Jordan: I think New X-Men is great. Annnnnd, now I have fully lost all the Magneto fans. Sorry, guys, it’s a great book.
AiPT!: In the Marvel Universe, which T-shirts do you think sell better: “Magneto was right” or “Cyclops was right”?
Jordan: Finally, an easy one! Magneto, hands down. Not because he’s more right–no, this is a strange case where I would have to actually choose Cyclops as the more right of the two. No, just because I think it’s more marketable because Magneto being right is a clearer branding–Magneto is a bad guy (to the people in the Marvel Universe–I think in-world, the general public does not know any of his nuance) and this is a shirt saying a bad guy is right to be edgy. With Cyclops, it’s not clear cut. When was Cyclops right? When he was a good guy? When he was a “terrorist”? What is the person wearing the T-Shirt trying to say? In our world, we know it’s a reference to the Schism era, but in-world, that’s not a thing a person would know. So yeah–Magneto wins by a mile.
The REAL question is… who is pocketing the money for these shirts? No way did Magneto cut a licensing deal.
AiPT!: MagnetoRocks (@MagnetoRocks) said the master of magnetism has been a part of basically every X-Men adaptation in other formats and has usually been very well received: from the cartoons to Ian McKellen to Michael Fassbender. What is it about the character that you think has allowed him to translate so well to other media?
Jordan: Everything about him is pretty much great. Going back to that Silver Age portrayal, his powers are so cool and generally speaking easy to understand. His helmet is super cool-looking. And he had a regality and presence that was palpable. Add to that his back story and the tragic friendship with his greatest enemy, and basically every part of that is gold.
Side note, but last year, for my birthday, I marathoned all six main X-Men movies, and Magneto was the character I think was hardest to choose whose portrayal was better. Fassbender definitely is amazing, and he really nails the sympathetic part of the character–you want so badly to side with him, you want him to turn things around. He’s terrific. But McKellen is awesome in a completely different way–he is all confidence and power. He is not conflicted in the slightest, he knows what he believes and he will do anything to achieve it. ALSO, he’s super sassy, which I had definitely forgotten. They are both pretty great actors.
AiPT!: Matt Murdock’s personal roomba (@MattMurcoxx) said Magneto as a character is strongly tied to and shaped by the Holocaust, which is a historical event that happened at a point in time. Though we all know comic time doesn’t work the same as ours, one can still see that time has progressed significantly since then. And with that progression of times, of course the character ages. With other character whose age can’t be traced to a specific point in time it’d be easier to adjust and even retcon their backstory to fit the continuity. Is it harder to do with Magneto? Since the Holocaust is such an important part of the character, @MattMurcoxxx can’t ever see it being retconned, but it’s still curios to see a Holocaust survivor in the modern world be a “middle-aged” man and not elderly.
Jordan: As always, I cannot speak for “Marvel Comics” as an entity, but for my own part, I cannot see that changing any time soon. There are certain points of history in the Marvel Universe that really remain fixed, and many of the big interactions with World War II seem to be well rooted in place. Like you said, Magneto being a victim of probably the worst thing to happen in recorded human history is so interwoven in his back story that I think it’s pretty inseparable. It’s more a part of him than, say, Reed Richards’ time in WWII. More even than Vietnam is with the Punisher’s history, which at one point I thought was pretty inseparable. I don’t think Magneto will ever not be a holocaust survivor during my time editing the books. That said, if all goes well, we’ll still be publishing X-Men comic books 50 years from now, 100 years from now. Cyclops will probably be turning 30 at that point, but Magneto will be confirmed as over 150 years old, so… something will have to give. Either they will have to take that part out of his history or change his story so he has a Logan-like magnetic healing factor. I think that will be a decision for a future X-Editor–but feel free to give me a buzz to discuss it, padawan, and I will give you my 2 cents.
AiPT!: Magneto has appeared in most of the promotional images/covers for Jonathan Hickman’s upcoming run. Is it safe for Magneto fans to assume that the master of magnetism will be front and center for whatever’s coming? TLDR: What can you tease about Magneto in HOX and POX?
Jordan: I forbade Jonathan from using Magneto in any capacity, but he tricked me by telling me it was a new character called “Mag-neato.” I didn’t realize what he had done until Pepe had already finished drawing issue 1 and it was too late to take him out. So yeah, he is in there, much to my embarrassment.
AiPT!: Wow! I hope all the other comic sites pick up that scoop. OK, final question: What song best embodies Magneto… that isn’t Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Magneto and Titanium Man?”
Jordan: I struggled with this one for a while, until I decided to get weird. Here’s a Yoko Ono track:
AiPT!: Thanks for getting weird with us, Jordan–and the same goes for all the Magneto fans who submitted questions this week! You know what? Why not stay weird for another edition of X-Men Monday and celebrate some of X-Fandom’s true favorite characters. That’s right, I’m talking Adam-X, Darwin, Marrow, Sage, Omega Sentinel, Goldballs, Tempus… I could go on and on. Hey, did I mention Maggott?
Fan-favorite characters, X-Fans, on the next X-Men Monday. Start posting your questions below or wait for the official prompt on AiPT!’s Twitter tomorrow morning (Tuesday, June 25).
Well, that’s it. That was X-Men Monday – Magneto. Magneto, mighty master of magnetism… how did we do?