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Magneto
Magneto
Information
Real name: Erik Lensherr
AKA: Magnus, Master of Magnetism
Species: Human Mutant
Hair: White
Eyes: Blue
Relatives: Pietro Maximoff (son)
Wanda Maximoff (daughter)
Lorna Dane (daughter)
Base: Genosha, Asteroid M
Affiliations: Brotherhood of Mutants
Acolytes
Mutant Liberation Front
Rogue of: X-Men, Superman,
Justice League
Abilities: Magnetism manipulation

Magnetic flight
Genius-level intelligence
Skilled leader and strategist

"Do you think Homo sapiens is amused by your League's actions, Kal-El?! Do you think they even understand what you try to do for them?! It should be you who protects Genosha, Kal-El!! It should be your knowledge, your technology that defends our people's sanctuary!! How long do you think Genosha can stay free?! How long until the Friends of Humanity take advantage of the weakness that you encouraged?!"
―Magneto to Superman[src]

Magneto is a powerful mutant with the ability to generate and control magnetic fields. He is a mutant supremacist, who is driven to protect the mutant race at the cost of overpowering or wiping out humankind.

History

Early life

Born Erik Lensherr, he was a Jew who grew up during World War II and was interned in the German concentration/extermination camp at Auschwitz, where the rest of his family perished. He was among the prisoners that were liberated by Captain America and Logan Howlett. At some point in his life, Lensherr manifested his mutant powers.

Lensherr immigrated to the United States and befriended another mutant, Charles Xavier. The two held different beliefs regarding the consequences humanity faces with the rise of mutants. Lensherr's experiences surviving Nazi Germany would shape his outlook on the situation that mutants face. Determined to keep such atrocities from ever being committed against mutantkind, he is willing to use deadly force to protect mutants. He would believe that mutants ("Homo superior") will become the dominant life form on the planet and would set about either creating a homeland on Earth where mutants could live peacefully, or conquering and enslaving humanity in the name of mutantkind. Lensherr breaks his friendship with Xavier due to the latter's pacifistic approach and became known as Magneto.

At some point, Magneto recruited Mystique as his second-in-command, and produced two twin children by an unknown mother: Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. Magneto incarcerated his daughter in the New York Mental Institution for years due to her power being too uncontrollable. This consequently filled Wanda with great hatred for her father. Magneto also fell into a brief flair with a human woman named Ellen Dane, who produced their daughter Lorna. Magneto left his second daughter under Ellen's care until she developed her mutant powers.

Magneto would come across Irene Adler and learned of a prophecy of a "Child of the Star" from another world that will unite mutantkind. Magneto misinterpreted the meaning behind the prophecy of the "Child of the Star", believing that said "child" was destined to lead mutantkind over humanity.

Rise of Magneto

Magneto operated from behind the scenes, usually acting through his agent Mystique, whom he instructed to recruiting mutants to his cause, to which end she recruited Toad, Avalanche, and Blob. She formed these mutants into a team, the Brotherhood, and also lodged them in a nearby boarding house. He also told her specifically to recruit Pietro Maximoff, with whom he had a strained relationship. Pietro agreed to join the Brotherhood when Magneto broke him out of jail.

Later, Magneto was confounded by the superhero Superman, who sided with Xavier's team, the X-Men, and at first mistaken him for a extremely powerful mutant until he then realized that the hero was the destined "Child of the Star" from Irene Adler's prophecy. Determined to either convince or coerce Superman to his cause, Magneto allied with Doctor Doom, who shared similar goals as Magneto's but for different reasons, in help creating Genosha and Asteroid M in preparation for creating a haven for mutantkind and laying outright genocide on humanity by manipulating the M-19 meteor shower to bombard Earth.

On the day nearing the advent of the meteor shower, Magneto approached Alex Masters (secretly the brother of X-Man Cyclops) in Hawaii and used him to sway Cyclops to his cause. He then personally confronted Superman and regarded his destined role in uniting and guiding mutantkind, and offered the chance to join him. Superman, however, refused his offer and of the idea of imposing anyone of their free will. Already expecting Superman's refusal, Magneto (although regretfully) exposed him to Kryptonite that was provided by Doom. He had Superman imprisoned in a lead room with the Kryptonite on Asteroid M and later abducting Xavier and the X-Men as his "protectors and peacekeepers" while putting them in stasis.[1] Using a special chamber powered by the Ruby of Cyttorak, Magneto enhanced the mutant abilities of Sabretooth.

However, Magneto's Brotherhood was not privy to his entire plan. Avalanche was warned by Superman and soon discovered this directly from Magneto, and was appalled of what he is trying to do; he informed Cyclops and Alex, and help in freeing the X-Men and saving Superman. A battle then erupted between Magneto's followers and the X-Men, but Magneto succeeded in pulling the meteors within Earth's gravity-well and escaped. Nonetheless, Superman was able to destroy every last meteor thus saving the planet in the process, and with help from Cyclops and Alex destroyed Asteroid M. Despite his plan foiled, Magneto was rather impressed by Superman's actions and further reinforced his belief that Superman is the leader that mutantkind needed.[1]

Magneto's later activities led to personally recruiting a new team, the Acolytes, and de-age himself from using the same technology that created Captain America,[2] and finally, in cooperation with Doom, revealed the existence of mutants to the public after the X-Men and Superman fought off Sentinels which was meant to destroy every mutant known. The latest plot was to manipulate the mutant-hating extremist group, the Friends of Humanity, into attacking Genosha with an arsenal of Sentinels (that was also secretly funded by Doom and Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club) in order to be deliberately stopped by Superman and be exposed to the island's mutant inhabitants as their savior; however, much to Magneto's shock, Superman still rejected Magneto's expectations and only told the crowd to follow their own destiny.[3] Magneto's plot turned against him when Brainiac Mark VI unexpectedly arrived and assimilated the Sentinels, posing itself a greater threat for Earth. Magneto remained on Genosha in protecting his people until the threat passed.

Mutant Liberation

After several months since the Sentinel incident, Magneto had severed his ties to Doom and began in leading the Mutant Liberation Front, a Genosha-based mutant supremacist group, to further his goals in "protecting" mutantkind without Superman in his plans. Furthermore, Magneto was more furious over Superman's rejection and heavily criticizing his ideals over human-mutant coexistence.

Magneto attempted to gain access to Superman's Fortress of Solitude, but without any success. He then resorted to a "back-up" plan: salvaging a downed Kree vessel that crash-landed in the Atlantic Ocean during the ancient past. To accomplish this, he tracked down his estranged daughter, Lorna (who had the same powers he had), and recruited her to his cause. With her help, he salvaged the vessel, but the weaponry that he and his followers had acquired was destroyed by Superman and the X-Men. Lorna joined her father's enemies after her older sister, Scarlet Witch, revealed the truth of Magneto's plans, and taking the name Polaris.

Later, when the Friends of Humanity did launch an attack on Genosha, Magneto was caught in the middle of the conflict, being accused of launching an unprovoked attack on the United States. In reality, surprisingly, he had done no such thing; the Friends of Humanity had attempted to frame him. This plot was foiled by Superman, who managed to convince the government and S.H.I.E.L.D. that Magneto was innocent and that the Friends of Humanity were responsible--after stopping a nuclear warhead from destroying Genosha and quelling a riot on the island.

Coming of Apocalypse

Magneto soon dropped his extremism and began to refocus with a clear mind on Irene Adler's prophecy, which he grown to fear of the challenges that is to come. When Kryptonian General Dru-Zod was freed from the Phantom Zone, Magneto correctly suspects Zod as the individual that would challenge Superman from Adler's prophecy. Magneto and his Acolytes participated in establishing another alliance with the X-Men in defending Earth from the Kree, Skrulls, and Imperial Shi'ar. After the victory, Magneto's suspicions of Zod came into light when Zod used Battlestation Sentrius to rule Earth. Magneto was among those that fought and defeated by Zod. Regardless, Zod was soon defeated by Earth's heroes.

However, Zod's defeat does not ease Magneto's concern over Adler's prophecy and later research to learn about the mutant Apocalypse. Magneto once again allied with the Justice League and X-Men in confronting Apocalypse in which he even allowed himself to remove his helmet for Charles Xavier to read his mind to enforce his honesty. Apocalypse proved himself as too powerful and overwhelmed the heroes with an army of robots, which Magneto sacrificed himself for the heroes to escape and trapped himself in the Great Sphinx before urging Superman and his League to do whatever they can to stop Apocalypse.

Powers and Abilities

Magneto is a mutant with the power to manipulate electromagnetic fields to achieve a wide range of effects. He is a genius with competence in various fields of advanced science, especially in genetic manipulation, particle physics, engineering, and other fields of technology.

Personality

Magneto is one of the most complex characters in the series. He is easily capable of switching from a villain to anti-hero, and occasionally a full-blown hero when the times has cause for it. Because of his horrible past and obsession with keeping mutants from facing genocide, it is difficult to call him an outright villain (though many characters do so anyway). His most defining traits are his belief in mutant supremacy and utter contempt for humanity.

Magneto's suffering at the hands of the Nazis warped his mind, possibly beyond repair. Believing that humanity could never coexist with mutants and fearing that mutants would suffer a similar fate to the Jews during the Holocaust (a belief that is not entirely unfounded, if the existence of anti-mutant terrorist groups such as the Friends of Humanity is anything to go by), Magneto came to believe that the only way to ensure mutant survival was to destroy humanity and have mutants reign as the dominant race on Earth. To that end, Magneto has gone to great lengths, such as kidnapping, terrorism, and even trying to destroy humanity with a meteor shower.

In terms of demeanor, Magneto can be an almost fanatical man, utterly obsessed with "protecting" mutants when, in reality, several of his actions have put his own race in great danger, albeit unintentionally. Despite this, he is also, ironically, one of the most "human" villains that the heroes have faced, as he does feel remorse for several of his actions and actually has second thoughts about what he does on occasion.

Quotes

"The last of a doomed race will be the one to save ours...how tragically fitting."
―Magneto[src]

Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 The Last Son, Book One: Gatherings, "Fated Hour"
  2. The Last Son, Book Two: Reckonings, "War Wounds"
  3. The Last Son, Book Two: Reckonings, "Zero Hour"

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