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Magneto

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Evil-doer

Magneto2

Full Name
Max Eisenhardt
Alias
Magneto, Erik M. Lehnsherr, Magnus, The Master of Magnetism, Erik the Red, White King, White Pilgrim, Michael Xavier
Origin
X-Men #1
Occupation
Mutant leader, teacher, mutant guider, and self-appointed protector of the mutant race, (on and off) terrorist, would-be conquerer, (former) ruler of Genosha, Nazi hunter
Powers / Skills
Complete control of the entire electromagnetic spectrum, genius-level intellect, skilled strategist and tactician, mastery of several scientific disciplines including physics, robotics and genetic engineering/manipulation, polyglot
Hobby
Plotting new ways for mutants to rise above the humans
Goals
Help mutants at any cost
Type of Villain
Supervillain / Anti-Villain / Mastermind, Anti-hero, redeemed hero, tragic villain


Friends, our moment in history has arrived. We all have felt the sting of human hatred, seen the disgust smolder in their eyes, we have grubbled and hidden like beaten animals anxious for a crumb from a master. We have lived too long in darkness and fear. No more! Nature has made us superior. We are the living future of this mighty planet. This world is our world now!
~ Magneto, addressing the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.

Magneto is a powerful mutant and villain from the Marvel series X-Men and is the archenemy of the X-Men. Despite once being close friends with Professor Xavier, the two became enemies when Xavier championed the co-existence of mutant and human kind working together. To Magento, a Holocaust survivor who had seen and felt first-hand the worst ways human beings could treat those they deemed different, such a system was impossible and he instead championed a violent pro-mutant stance, one which saw humans as the enemy in a genetic war and promoted the idea that mutants should become the dominant species on Earth.

In addition to his traditional role as the adversary of the X-Men, Magneto has fought against several other heroes and villains in the Marvel universe, and also fought with both the X-Men and other heroes on numerous occasions, even becoming the leader of the X-Men for an extended period of time, all to achieve his goal of protecting mutantkind. 

He is the father of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, both of whom were originally part of his terrorist organization known as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (later referred to simply as the Brotherhood, as Magneto became a more morally "grey" character).

Though, Magneto is a villain against the X-men group, he has since in the comics joined them a lot of times, even becoming a hero himself, though he is not a supervillain due to his morals - he is an Anti-Hero because he protects mutants from humans at any cost.

Origin

Magneto

Magneto as he appeared in the live-action X-Men films, as portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen

A Holocaust survivor, Magneto was a young Jewish boy by the name Max Eisenhardt growing up in Nazi Germany where he and his family were constantly subjected to bullying and harsh treatment. Max had to learn to scavenge, steal, and evade the Gestapo to provide food for his family. Eventually, the family were rounded up and executed by gunfire; Max was the sole survivor, possibly due to his mutant powers manifesting, and was buried alive with the corpses of his family, however he dug his way out only to be recaptured and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp, where in order to survive he was forced to become a Sonderkommando - one of the Jews who were tasked with operating the gas chambers. It has been hinted on occasion that he may also have been sexually abused by Nazi guards and officers. He survived there until the Allied Forces liberated the camp and escaped with Magda, a fellow prisoner whom he had fallen in love with. They married and had a daughter, Anya, and tried to start a new life in the Soviet city of Vinnitsa; however, tragedy struck again. During an argument with an employer who was trying to cheat him out of his pay, Max's powers accidentally manifested and threatened the man. Upon returning to the inn in which he and his family were living, he found the place on fire, with Anya still inside. Before he could rescue her, his employer arrived with the police to have him arrested, and he was restrained and beaten despite his pleas, forced to watch helplessly as his daughter was burned to death and fell from the building. In that terrible moment, his powers manifested again in an explosion of force which destroyed a large area of the city and killed all those present at the scene apart from he and Magda, who fled in shock and terror at the "monster" her husband had become. Unawares to both of them at the time, Magda was pregnant with the twins who later became Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, whom Magneto would finally meet as teenagers. After burying Anya, Max spent some time searching for Magda whilst evading the authorities, but eventually abandoned the search.

Under the forged identity "Erik Magnus Lehnsherr", Max eventually made his way to Haifa, Israel, where he found work as a medical orderly in a psychiatric hospital for other Holocaust survivors, and struck up a friendship with a young American doctor, Charles Xavier, himself a powerful mutant telepath. The two men shared theories on the emergence of mutant humans; Xavier believed that mutants and normal humans could come to co-exist peacefully, but Magnus had seen and experienced too much of the horrors humans could inflict on each other over the smallest of differences, and argued that mutants would have to seize the reigns of power in order to avoid being wiped out. They eventually parted ways after a confrontation with the terrorist group HYDRA - led, incidentally, by the Nazi war-criminal Baron Wolfgang von Strucker.

Magnus then began working with a covert American agency to capture fugitive Nazi war criminals using the codename "Magneto" for the first time and started a relationship with a physician named Isabelle; on an assignment he happened upon and captured Hans Richter, a former Nazi officer who was secretly working with the US against the Soviets in the Cold War, and his handlers murdered Isabelle to put him in his place; now firmly convinced humanity would go to any lengths to exploit, and finally, exterminate mutants, Magneto exacted his revenge on his handlers and vowed to lead mutantkind to dominate humanity. He spent years amassing resources and followers, and finally made his public debut in his now-iconic armor, helmet and cape by thwarting a US military missile launch and taking over the Cape Citadel military base - however he was opposed by the five original X-Men, the students of his former friend Chrales Xavier, who managed to defeat him and drive him off despite his far greater power and experience, thus beginning a long-standing enmity.

Powers and Abilities

Magneto, often referred to as the "Master Of Magnetism" has control over the entire electromagnetic spectrum - this manifests most famously as control over any magnetic metal, allowing him to shape it to his will.. however his control is so great that he can also generate force-fields, electrical-energy, amplify his strength to superhuman levels and also manipulate some other forms of energy. In many appearances Magneto wears a helmet specially designed to block out telepathic assaults and even without the helmet has shown some resistance to psychic attacks, of course he is no match for Xavier's psychic powers.

He is also extremely knowledgeable and has shown some degree of resistance to age (though so do many characters in the series).

Goals and Ambitions

"We support equal rights for all beings - but you seek rights above those of humanity, you are willing to threaten anyone that disagrees with you - that makes you no better than a terrorist" ~ Sue Storm (Invisible Woman)


Magneto wants to protect the mutant race from what he views as the inherent evil of mankind. As a survivor of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust before he even came of age, and as an adult, witnessing a rising hatred of mutants, he fears that mutants may suffer the same fate as the oppressed races of the holocaust. 

He came to hate mankind for its failure to accept those who are different and became increasingly dogmatic in his views, unable to accept differences in opinion and often seeing mutants that displayed human-friendly views as either foolish or misguided - in a tragic irony Magneto would start to mirror the qualities of those who had oppressed his people and only much later in his life did Magneto finally acknowledge this, having been blinded by his hatred for a large portion of his career.

Deeply cynical and often merciless he also holds the belief that mutants are superior to humans and should be treated as such - he also destroys any views as being a danger to his kind, including other mutants if necessary - however he is not quite as monstrous as some X-Men villains, such as Apocalypse, and doesn't wish to specifically enslave the world, rather shape it into his own vision of right and wrong. To achieve his ultimate goal of protecting mutantkind, Magneto has on various occasions allied with heroes such as the X-Men.

After most of the mutant population was depowered in the comics due to Scarlet Witch altering reality, after failing numerous attempts to reverse this, Magneto joined the X-Men to protect what is left of mutantkind despite the fact he cannot be fully trusted due to his past actions, this puts Magneto in a hero spot rather than his traditional villain role in the comics.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Magneto is a protagonist in Marvel Zombies, as he blamed himself for dooming the Earth due to making a deal with an unknown zombie (rumored to be future Giant-Man) to bring the zombie plague over to lower the number of humans, but not aware of the consequences. He eventually meets his tragic end at their hands, cursing them in his final moments, shouting to his enemies "I hope you choke on me!".
  • Magneto was ranked #1 on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains list.
  • Magneto has often been compared with Malcolm X; conversely, Professor Charles Xavier has been compared with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Magneto crossed the Moral Event Horizon when he ripped the adamantium off of Wolverine's skeleton, the image of which can be seen here: http://marswillsendnomore.files.wordpress.com/2012/07/x-men-25-010.jpg


 
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