Review: Magneto #1


Turning a super-villain into an anti-hero isn’t easy. Making him or her the star of their own magazine is even more difficult. We have seen it all before with Doctor Doom, Lex Luthor, Morbius, Red Skull and, in his own way, the Sub-Mariner.

Magneto, as the driver said in Wizard of Oz, is “a horse of a different color.”

Since his introduction in the pages of X-Men way back, Mags has been one to champion a cause, that of his own people. Oh, he has “mellowed” his view on some occasions, long enough for Professor X to allow him to take over his New Mutant charges and to run his X-Men, but Magneto has always been straight-forward about his cause: the supremacy of mutants, pure and simple.

Writer Cullen Bunn seems like he wants to bring this new series to an end in one issue, tackling Magneto’s glory days and super-powered forays as those of high achievement, and for those who read those stories good memories abound. Bunn smothers Mags’ present – dwelling in a cheap motel, traveling around in something that makes Scooby’s Mystery Mobile look new wave, acting a lone gun rather than commanding an army – almost to the point that he wants us to read those cherished tales rather than present-day fare.

And then, BOOM!, here comes the Magneto we all love. It was all a sham to put us into some memory-induced bit of “we know where this is going.” This is why I like Bunn as a writer: after 40 years of reading comics, he can still surprise even your humble reviewer.

The art of Gabriel Hernandez Walta is not earth-shattering, indeed it is humble in its simplicity. But such suits the story Bunn is crafting for this man-on-a-mission Magneto. And you should see Maggie’s new costume as designed by Walta (I think): Cool.

This was not the book I expected after the last few months of Uncanny X-Men, but it is the magazine I will be picking up for the foreseeable future.