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  • Other aliases: Eric Magnus Lehnsherr, Michael Xavier, White Pilgrim
  • Occupation: (current) Revolutionary and conqueror, (former) Volunteer orderly, secret agent, adventurer, teacher of the New Mutants
  • Marital status: Widower
  • Known relatives: Magda (wife, presumed deceased), Anya (daughter, deceased), Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch, daughter), Pietro Maximoff (Quicksilver, son), Crystal (daughter-in-law), Luna (granddaughter)
  • Height: 6 ft. 2 in.
  • Weight: 190 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue-gray
  • Hair: White


Magneto is a fictional character appearing in the comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character is associated with the superhero group the X-Men as their primary antagonist since his (and their) first appearance in X-Men #1 (1963).

Magneto is depicted as one of the most powerful mutants in the Marvel Universe, possessing the ability to to generate and control magnetism. A Jew]ish Holocaust survivor, his actions are driven by the purpose of protecting the mutant race from suffering a similar fate. Characterizations of Magneto have varied through the years, from supervillain to anti-hero to even hero, but he is most often shown as an uncompromising militant and has engaged in acts of terrorism when he felt it was for the benefit of mutantkind.

He has been featured in almost all X-Men animated series and video games and in the feature-film series, in which he is portrayed by Ian McKellen|Sir Ian McKellen.

Publication history

X-Men#1: Magneto debuts.
X-Men#1: Magneto debuts.
Magneto first appeared in the debut issue of X-Men in 1963, along with the titular team, where he attempts to take control of a missile base. Magneto later forms the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants in X-Men #4, which faces the X-Men regularly for the first few years of the title's existence.

Through the decades from the 1960s, Magneto has appeared in several issues of the original X-Men series, generally known as Uncanny X-Men, as well as in such spin-offs as X-Men, Astonishing X-Men, Alpha Flight, Cable, Excalibur, and The New Mutants; many X-Men miniseries, and several other Marvel titles. His first solo title was a one-shot special, Magneto: The Twisting of a Soul #0 (Sept. 1993), published when the character returned from a brief absence; it reprinted Magneto-based stories from Classic X-Men #12 & 19 (Aug. 1987 & March 1988), by writer Chris Claremont and artist John Bolton.

Magneto's first original title was the four-issue miniseries Magneto (Nov. 1996 - Feb. 1997), by writers Peter Milligan & Jorge Gonzalez, and penciller Kelley Jones. The miniseries took place during a period where it was believed Magneto had been de-aged and was suffering from amnesia, calling himself Joseph; it was later revealed that Joseph was a younger clone of Magneto. Later, Magneto became ruler of the nation Genosha. During this period, he received two miniseries; Magneto Rex (written by Joe Pruett and drawn by Brandon Peterson) and Magneto: Dark Seduction (written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Roger Cruz).

Fictional character biography

Early life

The story of Magneto begins during the 1940s, as a young boy, his parents, and his sister are persecuted for being Jewish.Classic X-Men #12 They are shot at by the Nazis and buried in a mass grave; Magneto manages to survive, only to be captured and sent to Auschwitz in Poland to work in the Sonderkommando.

While in Auschwitz, Magneto falls in love with a gypsy named Magda. Together, they escape the prison camp and marry. Magda soon gives birth to their daughter, Anya, who is later killed in a fire, with a mob of people preventing Magneto from rescuing her. Enraged, Magneto's powers manifest uncontrollably, killing the mob and the surrounding townspeople. Terrified, Magda flees Magneto, discovering months later she is pregnant again. After giving birth to the mutant twins Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in Wundagore, Magda disappears.

Shortly after Magda's disappearance, Magneto is hunted for the destruction of the town, while attempting to search for his former wife, thus forcing him to pay a renowned forger, Georg Odekirk, to create the cover identity of "Erik Lehnsherr the Sinte gypsy" for him.X-Men vol. 2 #72 Magneto also worked as a hunter of Nazi war criminals for a mysterious agency.

At the time using the alias "Magnus",Uncanny X-Men #161, he would meet his future friend and foe, Professor Charles Xavier, while working at a psychiatric hospital near Haifa. There, lengthy debates are held by the two regarding the consequences humanity faces with the rise of mutants, though neither reveals to each other that they both in fact possess mutant powers. However, they are forced to reveal their inherent abilities to one another, while facing Baron Von Strucker and HYDRA. Following the battle, Magneto leaves, realizing that his and Xavier's views are incompatible, with a cache of hidden Nazi gold. The gold, which was also sought by Strucker, provides initial financing for his various enterprises.

Rise of Magneto

Magneto's experience in the Auschwitz concentration camp shapes his outlook on the situation that mutants face in the world. Determined to keep such atrocities from ever being committed against mutant-kind, he is willing to use deadly force to protect mutants. He believes that mutants ("Homo sapiens superior") will become the dominant life form on the planet. However, he constantly wavers between wanting peaceful existence with Homo sapiens and wanting to enforce his superiority over all humanity.

Magneto's first terrorist act was attacking a United States military base. He is thwarted by Charles Xavier's mutant students, the X-Men. After forming the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, Magneto briefly conquers the fictional South American nation of San Marco in the hopes of establishing a mutant homeland there, but is once again foiled by the X-Men. He later creates Asteroid M, an orbital base of operations in an asteroid he and his followers hollow out, but it is later destroyed in a battle with the X-Men.

After several unsuccessful attempts at rallying more mutants to his cause, Magneto tries to force the allegiance of the Stranger. A powerful alien being, the Stranger encases Magneto in a special cocoon and spirits him away to another planet where he remains for a long time. Magneto's Brotherhood splinters, and Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch desert him. Magneto eventually escapes and makes his way back to Earth where he attempts to reenlist them to his cause, but his plans are foiled by his former minion Toad, who has grown tired of Magneto's cruel treatment.

Using ancient and advanced alien technology he finds near the core of the earth, Magneto creates an artificial humanoid he names "Alpha the Ultimate Mutant." Alpha rebels against his creator and reduces Magneto to infancy. Magneto is then placed in the care of Xavier's former love interest, Professor Moira MacTaggert at Muir Island. At Muir Island, MacTaggert tinkers with the infant Magneto's genetic code in an attempt to prevent him from becoming "evil" in adulthood. However, her genetic tampering loses its effect when Magneto activates his powers again. Magneto is eventually restored to adulthood when he is found at Muir Island by the alien Shi'ar agent Erik the Red.


Magneto later discovers that former Brotherhood members the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are actually his children, simultaneously learning about their recent marriages to the Vision and Crystal. He also discovers his granddaughter, Quicksilver's human child Luna Maximoff. Seeing Luna as a bond to the human race he has rejected, Magneto tries to reach out to his children. Angered by his rejection of them and their mother, they push him away and refuse to forgive him.

Magneto finds himself allied with Professor Xavier and the X-Men when a group of heroes and villains are abducted by the Beyonder, a nearly omnipotent yet frustratingly short-sighted being. This entity takes them to an alien world to participate in the 1984 series Secret Wars. The characters are sorted according to their desires, and so Magneto was placed with the heroes as his desires were based on a wish to help mutants rather than the more selfish drives of the others. This surprises many of the other heroes, who still believe he is a villain, although they mostly come to accept him as an ally. Captain America even speaks in his defense on some occasions, and the Wasp develops a certain affection for him, although it is tempered by her knowledge of his past.

After the Secret Wars are over, Magneto is transported back to his base, Asteroid M, where the alien Warlock, traveling to Earth, collides into the asteroid, breaking it to pieces. Magneto is sent falling towards Earth and into the Atlantic Ocean, sustaining serious injuries. He is rescued by Lee Forrester, the captain of a fishing trawler. Lee helps him recuperate from his injuries and the two share a small romance.

After recuperating from his injuries, Magneto is asked to aid the X-Men in battling the returned Beyonder, and Magneto stays with the X-Men even after the Beyonder is defeated. His association with the team softens his views on humanity and Magneto surrenders himself to the law to stand trial for his crimes. A special tribunal is organized. They choose to strike all charges against Magneto from prior to his "rebirth," deeming that this had constituted a figurative death of the old Magneto. However, the tribunal is interrupted by an attack from Fenris, the twin children of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. Fenris is defeated but Professor X is brought to near-death due to the strain of the battle and previously sustained injuries. Xavier asks Magneto to take over his school and the X-Men, and tells him that doing so would make amends enough for his past crimes. Magneto agrees and chooses not to return to the courtroom. Instead he takes over Xavier's school under the assumed identity of Michael Xavier, Charles Xavier's cousin. Seeing him try to reform, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver begin accepting him as their father.

Though Magneto makes a substantial effort as the headmaster to the New Mutants and an ally to the X-Men, his tenure is disastrous. The Beyonder plagues him yet again, slaying Xaiver's current students, the New Mutants and bringing them back to life soon later. This deeply traumatizes the entire group. He is manipulated by the White Queen, mutant headmaster of the rival school "The Massachusetts Academy" into battling sanctioned heroes the Avengers and the Supreme Soviets. Magneto submits to a trial once again, but uses mind-control circuitry he salvages from the wreckage of Asteroid M to alter the opinions of the head justice in charge of the trial. As a result, he is finally absolved of his past crimes. Magneto does not make that decision lightly and wrestles with it afterwards. Feeling that desperate measures needed to be taken after the genocidal massacre in the Morlock tunnels, Magneto and Storm join the Hellfire Club jointly as the White King. He is unable to prevent his students Roberto da Costa and the alien Technarch Warlock from running away from the school, sees the death of the young mutant student Douglas Ramsey after the students sneak away yet again to save a friend, and witnesses the apparent death of all of the senior X-Men on national television. Magneto ousts longtime co-chair Sebastian Shaw in order to establish himself as the head of the Hellfire Club, a move which alienates the New Mutants permanently, especially since they had seen the Club work with the demons of the Inferno incident. The New Mutants do not return to Magneto's tutelage.

Seeing conditions for mutants grow progressively more perilous, Magneto begins seeking allies to protect mutants from humanity. He participates in the "Acts of Vengeance" alongside such established villains as Doctor Doom, the Wizard, and the Mandarin. He also confronts Red Skull, an unrepentant Nazi war criminal, on whom Magneto takes revenge by entombing him alive. He also attacks (and is defeated by) a cosmically powered Spider-Man. He works alongside Rogue, Ka-zar and the American intelligence agent Nick Fury as well as a number of Russian operatives in order to re-establish peace in the Savage Land. This ultimately led to an altercation with Zaladane, who had appropriated the magnetic powers of his then-unknown daughter, Polaris. The conflict ended with Magneto executing Zaladane himself. Tired of the constant state of strife, Magneto builds a second orbital base where he hopes to live a life of quiet seclusion. He is, by this point, a figurehead for the cause of mutanthood and is sought out by a group of new mutants calling themselves the Acolytes.

Avalon and Genosha

After this, Magneto sets his sights significantly lower than world conquest; he seeks only a haven for mutant-kind. He first attempts to make the orbital base known as Asteroid M such a haven but is opposed by the governments of the world and the X-Men.

Magneto later discovers how Moira had tampered with his mind when he had been de-aged. Enraged by this, he feels that his redemption has been a lie. Though it was later revealed that the genetic tampering had lost its effect when he had first used his powers after being re-aged, and thus his actions had never been influenced by Moira's tampering, the damage was done. The United Nations Security Council, in response to a resurgent Magneto, votes to activate the "Magneto Protocols" - a satellite network, in slightly lower orbit than Avalon, which skews the Earth's magnetic field enough to prevent Magneto from using his powers within, preventing him from returning to the planet's surface. In response, Magneto generates an electromagnetic pulse not only destroying the satellites, but deactivating every electric device on Earth within minutes. The X-Men respond by hacking into Avalon's own computer systems to teleport a small team to the station with the aid of Colossus (who had joined Magneto as one of Magneto's Acolytes). Magneto, during the battle with the X-Men, rips the adamantium from Wolverine's bones, which enrages Xavier to the point that he blanks his former friend's mind, leaving him in a coma; This action later leads to the creation of Onslaught. Magneto remains comatose on Avalon worshipped by his Acolytes, under the leadership of Exodus, until Avalon itself is destroyed. During the destruction, Colossus places Magneto in an escape pod sending him back to Earth. This pod is intercepted by Astra, a former ally who now desires his death.

Astra clones Magneto and when the clone is ready, she restores Magneto's mind since she feels there is no point in killing him unless he knows it is her doing. After a pitched battle, Magneto triumphs over the clone sending him crashing into a South American barn. However, too weak to continue the battle, the real Magneto goes into hiding while the now-amnesiac clone becomes known as Joseph (christened as such by the nun who discovered him) and eventually joins the X-Men. Since the world believes Joseph to be the real Magneto, Magneto takes his time to plan. He engages in a pair of brief diversions, first posing as "Erik the Red" and revealing Gambit's past crimes to the X-Men, resulting in Gambit's expulsion from the group. Then he kills Odekirk to prevent his true identity from being discovered by Sabra and Gabrielle Haller.

Following this, Magneto constructs a machine to amplify his powers and blackmail the world into creating a mutant nation. The X-Men and Joseph, who has fallen under Astra's control again, oppose him. The X-Men defeat Magneto, leaving his powers severely depleted from over-strain, while Joseph sacrifices his life to restore the Earth to normal. The United Nations, manipulated by its mutant affairs officer Alda Huxley, cedes to Magneto the island nation of Genosha, which has no recognized government. Magneto rules that nation for some time with the aid of many who had previously opposed him, including Quicksilver, Polaris, and the founder of the Acolytes, Fabian Cortez.

Despite the UN's hopes that Genosha's civil war between humans and mutants would destroy or at least occupy him, Magneto crushes all opposition to his rule and rebuilds the nation by forming an army of mutants dedicated to his cause, including mutants coming from all over the world seeking sanctuary. Eventually, Magneto is able to use the Genegineer's equipment to fully restore his power. Intending to declare war on humanity, he captures Professor X to use as a symbol with which to rally his troops. In the Eve of Destruction storyline, Jean Grey recruits a new lineup of X-Men to help Cyclops and Wolverine rescue Xavier and defeat Magneto. Taking the opportunity for revenge, Wolverine attacks the defeated Magneto, leaving him with serious injuries and crippling him for a time.


Soon after this, Genosha is decimated by Sentinels under the orders of Cassandra Nova Xavier, Charles Xavier's previously unknown dead twin sister, whom Xavier had killed in the womb. Magneto and 16 million mutants who were gathered at Genosha are reported deceased. Months after the event, a team of X-Men searching in the debris find what was apparently a recording of Magneto's last words. Mutant-supremacist ideas, attributed to him, become wide-spread in the mutant community with some holding him as a martyr of the mutant cause. Magneto has become a Che Guevara-like revolutionary figure in the mutant community. T-shirts and posters with Magneto's face and the phrase "Magneto Was Right" become popular items, even amongst certain students in the Xavier Institute.

Meanwhile, the mutant known as Xorn joins the X-Men after being rescued from captivity in China. Xorn is said to be a Chinese mutant with a "star for a brain" and wears a face-concealing metal helmet with a skull-like motif. He also possesses nebulous healing powers, although the only times he was shown to use this ability are when he deactivates a number of microscopic Sentinels and simultaneously restores Professor Xavier's ability to walk, and "heals" a supposedly dead bird.

In the Planet X storyline, he eventually removes the helmet, revealing Magneto's face beneath. It is alleged that Xorn never existed and is simply an identity conceived wholly by Magneto. Having "exposed his deception", he then schemes to destroy the X-Men and reverse the polarity of the Earth's magnetic field, increasing his power with the use of a mutant drug called "Kick". He recruits the Special Class and Esme from the Xavier School to serve as his Brotherhood of Mutants, though most eventually turn against him. Before being decapitated by Wolverine, "Magneto" devastates much of New York City and kills Jean Grey using a lethal electromagnetic pulse, causing her to have a massive stroke.

Some time later, the X-Men find another Xorn, who identifies himself as Shen Xorn and claims that the "Magneto" who devastated New York was Kuan-Yin Xorn, his brother. Marvel editor-in-chief Joe Quesada later elaborated on this, stating that "Kuan-Yin Xorn came under the influence of as-yet-to-be-revealed entity that forced him to assume the identity of Magneto." This retcon remains the official explanation of the Xorn character and its relationship to Magneto.

House of M

House of M

Magneto in House of M
Magneto in House of M

With the launch of a new Excalibur series, Xavier meets up with the real Magneto who is still alive.

Xavier brings with him the coffin supposedly containing the corpse of Xorn (but which is later shown to be filled with guns), and explains how the impostor has killed over 5,000 people including Jean Grey. Magneto is shocked and angry that people think he is capable of committing such an act. Xavier and Magneto put aside their differences to rebuild the island nation, rekindling their friendship in the process.

Magneto's daughter Wanda suffers a mental breakdown over the loss of her children and starts to warp reality in order to recreate them, inadvertently resulting in random attacks on the Avengers, until Doctor Strange puts her into a coma to stop her. In Genosha, Magneto hears Wanda's psychic cry for help and, creating a wormhole, whisks her away before the Avengers can do anything.

Back in Genosha, Magneto tends to Wanda, becoming more withdrawn and angry, allowing only Xavier to visit, in the belief that Xavier can help Wanda. Xavier is angry to learn that Magneto revealed he was alive, in rescuing Wanda, but agrees to try and help. Months pass with no avail, and not even Dr. Strange's magic helps. The X-Men and the Avengers meet to decide what should be done, and when some of the members suggest killing Wanda, Quicksilver rushes to Magneto to inform him of this development.

Magneto admits that he doesn't know what to do anymore and that the groups may be right, but Quicksilver convinces Wanda that she can undo her wrongs, prompting her to warp reality into the House of M. In the new reality, Magneto is attacked by Sentinels over Manhattan in 1979, and reveals an alleged international anti-mutant conspiracy involving Richard Nixon. This results in Magneto being granted sovereignty over Genosha as leader of the world's mutants.

A group of heroes- brought together by Wolverine, the only hero left unaffected by the shift- have their memories of the "real world" restored by Layla Miller, and they band together and attack Magneto in Genosha, believing him to be the one responsible. During the battle Layla is able to restore Magneto's memories as well, and he confronts his son, enraged that Quicksilver had done all of this in his name. Quicksilver reveals that Magneto would have let Wanda die, but Magneto replies that Quicksilver was only using Wanda and himself, and he would never have allowed this to happen. Furious, Magneto kills Quicksilver by pummeling him with large pieces of steel and then crushing him with a Sentinel.

Sensing her brother's death, Wanda incapacitates Magneto and removes his mouth when he tries to talk to her. She revives Quicksilver, telling Magneto that Quicksilver had only wanted him to be happy, but even when she gave Magneto what he wanted he was still a horrible man, and mutants were freaks. With the phrase "Daddy - No more mutants," Wanda changes the world back to its original form and causes ninety-eight percent of the mutant population to lose their powers. Magneto is one of the many mutants to lose their powers, and is left a broken man; although Wolverine contemplates killing him, he concludes that their old foe deserves every second of his crap 'sapien' life.

When Quicksilver comes to Genosha to restore the mutants' powers with the Inhumans' Terrigen Mists, Magneto condemns his actions, pointing out the disastrous effects the Mists have on non-Inhumans. An angry Quicksilver attacks Magneto with his new powers from the Mists, savagely beating him until his own daughter Luna begs him to stop. When the Inhumans come looking for their Mists, Magneto tells them what has happened.

The Collective

The Collective, a being comprised of energy from all the former mutants' powers, merges with an energy absorbing mutant named Michael Pointer. The Collective kills all of the most recent incarnation of Alpha Flight save for Sasquatch, and battles the New Avengers before landing in Genosha. There it re-powers Magneto and reveals itself as Xorn. Xorn explains that he took the image of Magneto because he knew mutants would follow him, and that they needed the real Magneto again. Magneto, not in control of himself, begins attacking the New Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents while he pleads for them to kill him. He is taken down with a direct brain attack from mutant S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson. Iron Man, Ms. Marvel, and the Sentry combine their powers and send the Collective/Xorn into the Sun. Michael is separated from the Collective and an unconscious Magneto is loaded into a S.H.I.E.L.D. helicopter. The helicopter, however, explodes upon take-off through unknown means; his body was not found among the rubble.New Avengers #20. However, as of the end of Civil War, it's been revealed that Pointer, who was shown to retain some powers immediately after the separation, is coerced into joining the newly formed Omega Flight, using a suit designed to harness his powers as the new Guardian.

Afterwards, Magneto is being looked for by the U.S. Government, the Morlocks, and the X-Men. Professor Xavier has mentioned that he has been unable to locate Magneto with Cerebra, in spite of the increase in power to his recently restored telepathy, suggesting either that his repowerment by the Collective was temporary or that he may somehow be masking his presence to avoid detection. At this moment, both Professor Xavier and Nightcrawler are looking for Magneto, as are agents of the O*N*E* organization. Xavier and Nightcrawler have found traces of Magneto paying his respects at a local graveyard, standing in front of a tombstone belonging to one of his very first henchmen. Also, the Morlocks are after Magneto for reasons of their own, and use him to justify their terrorist acts.

In Uncanny X-Men #491, Magneto is seen talking to a crippled, depowered Morlock, claiming he has lost what once made him superior, implying that the restoration of his powers by the Collective was indeed temporary. However, at the end of the issue when Skids found him at a local cemetery sometime later, and gave him a mysterious book that Masque had in his possession that claimed to chronicle the future of mutantkind, she stated that the book said Magneto was still a mutant, thereby possibly refuting his previous claim of being depowered again. Whether or not this is true remains to be seen.


An interview with X-Men writer, Mike Carey stated that Magneto would not be directly featured in the upcoming X-Men: Messiah Complex storyline, but would return in a prominent capacity sometime in 2008. It has recently been confirmed that Magneto will appear in the upcoming X-Men: Legacy, and important plans for his future will be revealed therein.

Sneak previews for X-Men: Dismantled reveal that Magneto is instrumental in reforming the X-Men. Whether or not the new incarnation of the X-Men will stay true to Xavier's vision or adhere to Magneto's vision of mutant dominance over mankind is not known.

Powers and abilities

Magneto is an Omega-level mutant capable of generating magnetic fields, enabling him to control ferrous metals (iron, steel, etc.). Magneto can use his magnetic fields to move and otherwise alter objects composed of ferrous metals, sometimes weighing many thousands of tons. He can project ferrous metals at high velocity, liquefy and reshape them, manipulate iron in the human bloodstream, affect diamagnetic substances to a limited extent, and achieve a wide range of other effects. He often generates a magnetic force field to protect himself, and can expand this field to protect other people and objects around him. His force field has withstood the vacuum of deep space and assaults from multiple X-Men and Avengers. Magneto is capable of personal levitation and sustained flight at high speeds. Magneto is also able to perceive the world around him as patterns of electromagnetic energy, and can perceive the electrical auras surrounding living beings. Unlike most mutants, whose powers first appear upon the onset of puberty, Magnetos didn't fully develop until his 20's due to a bout of Hepatitis.

Though Magneto's primary power is magnetism, he has also demonstrated the ability to produce electricity, as well as electromagnetic radiation. Although he occasionally is depicted as being able to use his powers at a molecular, atomic, and even subatomic level, Magneto very rarely does so. It may be the case that using his powers in this way requires extreme concentration and is therefore nearly impossible in combat situations. His ability to wield his powers effectively is dependent upon his physical condition; when severely injured, his body is unable to withstand the strain of generating strong magnetic fields.

Magneto has been consistently and frequently depicted as possessing the ability to resist all but the strongest or most unexpected telepathic attacks. He has been able to fend off psychic intrusion and attack from the likes of Psylocke, Karma, Jean Grey, and Professor X through sheer force of will. Writers have not been entirely consistent in their depiction of Magneto's resistance to mind control; most have treated it as strictly defensive; some have suggested that Magneto has the potential for active telepathy. In the X-Men film series Magneto's resistance to mental attack does not stem from his own natural powers but is technological in nature; his helmet contains some kind of a psychic shielding component.

Magneto also possess a sharp intellect. He is a genius with competence in various fields of advanced science, especially in genetic manipulation and engineering. He has been able to mutate humans in order to give them superhuman powers, and to create adult clones of human beings. He has designed magnetically-powered skycraft and spacecraft, complex robots and computers, and magnetically-powered generators. He has also designed artificial living beings, space stations, and machines that can nullify mutant powers.


Uncanny X-Men vol. 1, #150 (August 1981), established Magneto as a Jewish Holocaust survivor. While he was searching for his wife Magda, Magneto maintained a cover identity as a Sinte Gypsy.X-Men vol. 2 #72 This created confusion amongst some readers, as to his heritage, until it was authoritatively confirmed that he is Jewish. This confusion probably stems from a comic book published in the early 1990s which attempted to retcon Magneto into being a Sinte, possibly because Marvel was preparing to make Magneto a deadly villain again in the crossover called "Fatal Attractions" and they did not want to draw accusations of anti-Semitism by having one of their main villains be Jewish. This attempted retcon was corrected a few years later when it was revealed that the name "Erik Lehnsherr" and the Sinte ethnicity were part of a cover identity, as mentioned above.

Magneto's Eastern European heritage was loosely hinted in the 1992 animated adaptation of the X-Men, though direct references to the Holocaust and his Jewish heritage were excluded. The elements of his personality which were originally drawn from this section of his past were instead explained as being the result of a war that overtook his country (which was never named), when he was an adult. In the 2000 animated series X-Men: Evolution, the general theme of Magneto's original past was restored, but he is not specifically referenced as being Jewish or a Holocaust survivor. His incarceration in a Nazi death camp is partially retained, though it is referred to as being a POW camp. His heritage and Holocaust experiences were carried over in full for the film adaptations.


Director of X-Men Bryan Singer has stated that while Xavier is partially based on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi, the modern depiction of Magneto is in part a derivative of early Malcolm X and Meir Kahane. Others have compared Xavier to both King and X, while suggesting Lehnsherr's beliefs are more in line, from a mutant perspective, with those of Louis Farrakhan or Nat Turner.

At one point, when Magneto was assumed to have died, he was portrayed as a martyr, with the phrase "Magneto was right" becoming popular among the mutant community and his face becoming an icon in T-shirts and posters, similar to Che Guevara or Malcolm X.

Other versions

Alternate versions of Magneto

In other media

See Magneto in other media


See Bibliography of Magneto


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