As soon as I saw Jonathan Hickman’s name on Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto, I knew it was going to be a good title.
Magneto is a powerful character who writers need to handle with care. In this story, he is tasked by Emma Frost to find her an island. We don’t know what purpose this island will serve, but one can assume this will be answered in a future Marauders title. The question is: Why Magneto?
Standing on the edge of the islands coast, Magneto waits. He camps. And then he waits some more. Oftentimes a reader or writer will assume that Magneto is the type of character who will tear right into a situation, guns blazing. If he is angered by a mutant (or anybody in a marginalized class) being denied their basic civil rights, hell yeah Magneto will tear apart some anti-mutant rioters. But Magneto is also a leader, and a character with a powerful voice behind him. He is the one who tells us to stand up and fight back, but he bides his time until the right moment. He is strategic. He is patient.
Magneto’s patience pays off when he has an unexpected reunion with Namor, who of course delivers all of his sass and doesn’t seem excited to even entertain Magneto’s presence. What’s great about this scene is that Magneto says that he is there on the behalf of Emma Frost, and Namor quickly agrees to complete this request – for Emma.
I have said time and time again that Emma Frost is the one who is running the show. Cyclops, Magneto and Namor are all powerful leaders who have the utmost respect for Emma. They will set aside their differences if she simply requests it of them, and this is no exception. In fact, there is a fantastic scene in which Magneto and Emma Frost bond over a classy dinner and some wine. It’s top class.
The rest of the story involves some ridiculous underwater shenanigans involving sea witches straight out of The Little Mermaid and the Kraken. Why not? What interests me is Magneto acquiring the island from Namor. He quickly takes nearby boat that had been drifting at sea and tears it apart to reveal pieces of dismembered Sentinels, and transforms it all into a beautiful building for mutants, the beheaded Sentinel’s face facing the ocean. It is a power statement.
“Why Magneto?” is answered in the final moments of the comic. After displaying such an intense force of mutant power, he gently takes a seed of Krakoa and plants it into the grass of the island with care, which grows a gate. Extending his hand out, he gracefully pulls Emma Frost through.
Magneto gets the job done, especially to help mutants while making a powerful statement with actions.
Jonathan Hickman continues to blow me away with his work on the X-Men. Ramon Perez and David Curiel animate every page of this book beautifully, and they capture the very essence of Magneto. This is the X-Men we deserve.