Comics / Comic Reviews / Marvel Comics

Magneto #1 Review

By Andy Frisk
March 5, 2014 - 21:20

Magneto's power levels are still seriously below what they were before the whole X-Men vs. Avengers/Phoenix Five debacle. Therefore, Magneto is obviously not the superpowered threat he once was, and has decided to take on threats to mutantkind that are more fitting his current state. Mirroring the types of vengeance missions that the Erik Lehnsherr of X-Men First Class (2011) (portrayed excellently by Michael Fassbender) undertook before briefly teaming with Charles Xavier (portrayed excellently as well by James McAvoy), the Marvel Comics' version of Erik Lehnsherr is currently seeking out those who have aided the powers that make war on mutants. One of his targets is revealed to be a bit more than just a regular, non-superpowered, human though. He's a character who proves to be a bit more of a challenge for this weaker Magneto...

With X-Men Days of Future Past (2014) quickly approaching, it makes sense to start an ongoing series starring the character who was arguably the most compelling X-Men First Class (2011) character. While Magneto is classified as ongoing, what constitutes "ongoing" these days at Marvel Comics is a series that lasts approximately 20-40 issues only. This ensures that Magneto will be in print at least until X-Men Days of Future Past (2014) is on Blu-Ray/DVD combo, but not necessarily much longer. Based upon the merits of Cullen Bunn and  Gabriel Hernandez Walta's first issue of this "ongoing" series, that would be a shame. Magneto #1 is one of the best plotted and well paced first issues from Marvel Comics in a while (next to Waid's Daredevil, Indestructible Hulk, and Soule's She-Hulk's first issues). We haven't seen many compelling portrayals of Magneto since the mid Claremont Uncanny X-Men years either. Based on what we see here in the first issue of Magneto, we might be finally getting a Magneto character who's worth the first serious read since he briefly took over the stewardship of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters during the aforementioned Claremont years. Bunn has a knack for writing horror and brought his horror aesthetic to his time as a Wolverine scribe, but here he rightly focuses on the sci-fi/politics of genetic genocide that drives the best X-Men stories. I was kind of worried we'd see Magneto vs. slashers and gore slathered mad scientists, and was happy to see none of the above.

Walta does an excellent job bringing Bunn's realism driven story to a realistic visual life. Everything from Magneto's Mr. Coffee-like instant coffee maker in his hotel room to his assault on the jailhouse housing Magneto's latest target are rendered with gritty realism. Walta skimps no details as well, which is great. Everything from Magneto's stubble to the details of the five dollar bill that Magneto hands to the hotel maid are sufficiently detailed enough to reflect Bunn's focus on the mundane aspects of Magneto's new every day life.

We haven't really been treated to a comic book version of Magneto that bared any serious resemblance to the newer silver screen incarnation of the character, but thanks to Bunn and Walta, the semi-street level Magneto is here, and I say the Marvel U is better for it.


Rating: 9 /10

Last Updated: August 31, 2023 - 08:12

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