Magneto is a mutant super villain first appearing in The X-Men #1, 1963. Once a friend of Professor X, Magneto soon pushes for more aggressive methods to achieve mutant rights.
The mutant later known as Magneto was born as Max Eisenhardt in Germany during the 1920’s.
He was raised in a middle-class Jewish family. His father Jakob was a loyal German and veteran of World War One.
The family endured hardship and discrimination during the rise of the Nazi party, Kristallnacht and the enforcement of the Nuremburg laws.
The family fled to Poland in the 1930’s. Unfortunately, they were soon captured by Nazis and taken to the Warsaw Ghetto.
The family managed to escape, but were later captured again. Max’s parents and sister were killed.
Young Max survived, thanks in part to his growing mutant abilities. but was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp.
At Auschwitz, Max became a Sonderkommando. One of his responsibilities was disposing of the bodies of the camp’s many victims of the gas chamber.
Max was reunited at the camp with a young girl named Magda who he had fallen in love with when they were in school.
The couple escaped following the camp’s liberation and were later married.
They started their new lives together in the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia. Max soon started going by the name of Magnus, and Magda later gave birth to their daughter Anya.
There the family lived together very happily. Magnus supported his family by working as a carpenter.
One night when Magnus was attacked, he reacted instinctively with his mutant powers, killing his attackers.
Magnus returned home later that evening, only to find his home up in flames, His young daughter Anya was trapped inside!
He ran inside the burning building to rescue her, but he was too late.
Magnus used his powers of magnetism to kill the growing mob, while anguishing over the loss of his child.
Magda feared her husband’s powers and ran off into the woods, never to see her husband again.
Major Magneto Story Arcs
War on Humanity
Magnus laid low for several years. When he resurfaced, he had adopted the identity of Magneto. He went to attack Cape Citadel and was defeated by the original X-Men.
The battle began a rivalry that would last for decades. Magneto later reappeared with a team of other mutants that he jokingly referred to as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
The group consisted of Magneto, the loathsome Toad, the criminal Mastermind and mutant siblings Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch.
The siblings were actually Magneto’s children, although none of them knew it at the time.
The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants fought for mutant supremacy.
Their subsequent attacks against humans soon drew the attention of Professor X and his young X-Men.
Xavier’s group defeated the Brotherhood on several occasions. Magneto also battled the Fantastic Four and the Avengers.
Professor X enlisted the aid of the non-team the Defenders during one of Magneto’s attacks.
One of Magneto’s allies during the battle was Alpha the Ultimate Mutant, a powerful entity that Magneto himself had created.
Although Alpha was created to support Magneto’s cause, he eventually turned on his ally.
Alpha returned Magneto to infant age. Young Magneto was placed in Professor Xavier’s care. Xavier later turned him over to former love Dr. Moira McTaggert.
Moira cared for the infant Magneto for several months, until he was returned to his adult state.
Magneto was understandably shaken by recent events, but still sought to resume his war against humanity.
Magneto came close to killing teenage X-Man Kitty Pride during a heated battle.
After realizing the extremes that he was willing to go to achieve his goals, Magneto decided to renounce his terrorist ways.
He returned to the Ukraine in search of his wife Magda. While there, he learned of his wife’s passing.
He also learned that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch (now members of the Avengers) were his children.
The mutant siblings eventually accepted the fact that Magneto was their father.
They rejected his offers to join him after all the years of abusive treatment while they were part of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
Magneto lived in isolation for a period of time, until he was approached by a group of mutants known as the Acolytes.
The Acolytes were led by the mutant Fabian Cortez. Fabian and his Acolytes asked Magneto to lead them.
Magneto agreed, and decided that the group needed their own nation. He declared his Asteroid M base to be the Acolytes’ nation.
Magneto also decided to shield himself from future attacks by taking nuclear missiles. The missiles belonged to a Russian submarine that he had sunk several years before.
Xavier’s X-Men responded to the potential threat by attacking Magneto and his new group. Former Brotherhood member Rogue tried to instill peace between both factions, to no avail.
Magneto felt that the X-Men betrayed his trust and judgment. He turned his back on the X-Men for good.
The X-Men led an attack on Asteroid M. During the battle, Magneto was betrayed by his former follower Cortez. Magneto fled to his back-up base Avalon.
There he grew even more bitter and disillusioned than ever before. He would later battle the X-Men again during their siege on Avalon.
Magneto held his abilities in check for most of the battle, until the mutant Wolverine nearly gutted him. Magneto then unleashed his fury on the Canadian mutant.
He used his powers to forcefully extract all of the adamantium from Wolverine’s body, nearly killing him in the process.
Professor Charles Xavier was furious. He lashed out at Magneto on the mental plane. He erased Magneto’s mind and left him catatonic.
X-Man Colossus turned against his teammates and returned Magneto to Avalon to rehabilitate and rebuild Asteroid M.
Magneto sat on his throne for months, still catatonic and unable to utter a single word, with his loyal Acolytes at his side.
Everything changed after the mutant known as Holocaust, an Age of Apocalypse refugee, entered the asteroid base and destroyed it.
Colossus saved Magneto and returned to Earth with him. There, the mutant teleporter Astra used an unknown method to restore Magneto’s memories.
Astra also used Magneto’s DNA to create a clone of him, which would be known as Joseph.
Astra was acting out of vengeance and had planned to kill Magneto. However, the clone soon went out of control. allowing Magneto to escape.
The clone eventually allied with the X-Men. For several months, many mutants thought that the clone was Magneto.
The real Magneto would not reveal himself until several more months later.
Leader of Genosha
The United Nations granted Magneto full authority to lead the mutant island of Genosha.
The island nation was in ruin, following a recent uprising of formerly enslaved mutants and subsequent battles between mutants and humans.
Magneto was able to form a respectable government to Genosha, despite several difficulties. He even enlisted his children the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver’s assistance.
Xorn and Excalibur
Magneto was believed to have been gone for good. That is until, Xorn, the newest instructor at Xavier’s institute revealed himself to the professor to have been in disguise as Magneto.
Magneto told Charles that he had been living under their noses for months.
He quickly battled and defeated the X-Men before taking several of his mutant students on an assault on Manhattan.
House of M
The Scarlet Witch was rendered unconscious after accidentally disbanding the Avengers. Magneto then appeared and demanded that his daughter be put in his care.
The X-Men and Avengers then learned that the real Magneto was still alive.
They also realized that Xorn was the one responsible for recent attacks on New York.
The Master Returns
Magneto wandered the Earth for several months. He decided to contact his former friend Xavier, but unwittingly led them both into trouble after his former Acolytes appeared intending to kill Charles.
Because Magneto was no longer a mutant, his Acolytes no longer followed him. Xavier and Magneto united to defeat the Acolytes and prevent them pursuing them further.
Xavier and Magneto later parted company. Magneto eventually sought out the High Evolutionary, who restored Magneto’s mutant powers.
It happened during another attack on the X-Men. Magneto became the first mutant to regain his powers after the events of M-Day.
With his powers returned, Magneto had a choice to make. He could return to his old evil ways or he could join the X-Men on their island home base of Utopia.
Less than 200 mutants remained after M-Day. Magneto thought the surviving mutants should band together. He went to Utopia, where he met the ire of many X-Men.
Upon arrival, Charles immediately demanded that Magneto leave. Colossus overruled Xavier’s decision, and allowed Magneto to plead his case.
Magneto asked to join the group, falling to his knees as he praised Colossus’ leadership.
Magneto awoke from a coma after the mutant child Hope was teleported to Utopia by the dying X-Man Nightcrawler.
While Nimrod Sentinels were attacking the X-Men’s base, Magneto prevented Hank McCoy (also known as the mutant Beast) from leaving his patients.
Magneto said that he had already made promises to himself, which meant that he couldn’t lay idle in bed while his fellow mutants were being slaughtered.
Magneto stood beside Prince Namor the Sub-Mariner, Colossus, the Iceman and Emma Frost for the unveiling of a new mutant museum in San Francisco, California under Cyclops’ orders.
They soon found themselves under attack by members of the Hellfire Club.
Each X-Man at the event is defeated by technology specifically designed to counter each mutant’s abilities. Magneto is brought down by a blast from a small neutron star.
The Hellfire Club members then attached brain slugs to keep the defeated X-Men immobile.
They are rescued after the Hellfire Club members are killed by Idie, the only X-Man who was unscatched during the assault.
Cyclops later assigned Magneto to join his “New Extinction” team, along with Emma Frost, Namor, Storm, Colossus, Majik, Danger and Hope.
During a training activity with Hope’s Lights and the New Extinction team, Magneto is attacked by Zero. Magneto then uses his powers to tear the mutant in half.
Fortunately, Zero was able to restore himself (which is an ability that Magneto knew about).
Magneto is harshly reprimanded by Cyclops and Hope for using such a brutal attack during a training exercise.
Avengers vs. X-Men
Captain America later arrived on Utopia to discuss the returning Phoenix Force and Hope.
The Avengers and X-Men are unable to reach an agreement, creating a rift between the teams.
Many of the X-Men believe the Phoenix Force could be the spark needed to ignite the mutant race, while several Avengers viewed the Phoenix Force as a potential danger.
Magneto sided with Cyclops’ New Extinction team. That decision gave him an advantage in the ensuing conflict that arose.
Magneto later assisted the X-Men and Avengers when they searched for the missing Hope and later on when five mutants gained powers of the Phoenix.
The Mutant Revolution
Magneto later helped break Cyclops out of prison and joined his rogue group of X-Men.
Magneto’s powers had been impaired due to a blast from the Phoenix Force, while several of his teammates’ abilities were also impaired due to exposure.
The team was on the lookout for new mutants that had appeared after the mutant gene was re-ignited.
Magneto pretended to betray Cyclops’ team as he went to work for SHIELD.
He then told Cyclops what SHIELD was up to. Magneto revealed to the team his need to act as a double agent since the group was on the run from authorities.
He later helped to build the new Charles Xavier school that was constructed using the remains of a former Weapon X facility.
Powers and Abilities
Magneto’s main ability is magnetism, although he can also manipulate and project other energy forms related to magnetism.
In the past, he has generated enough heat to melt metal doors and has also fired bolts of lightning.
Infrared radiation, or heat, is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
The spectrum also includes x-rays, gamma rays, ultraviolet light, visible light and radio waves.
Magneto may be able to project any of these elements. He has created anti-gravity fields, which is probably done every time that he levitates an item that isn’t magnetic.
Magneto may give credence to the Unified Field Theory, which states that all energy forms are related. Magneto primarily uses only magnetism, so it may be difficult for him to manipulate other types of energy.
Magneto’s knowledge of genetic manipulation and engineering goes beyond contemporary science. He may even be considered a genius in these fields of study.
He has been able to mutate humans to give them superhuman powers. He has also been able to generate adult human clones and manipulate their genetic structure during their development (see Savage Land Mutates).
He learned how to create artificial life by using Maelstrom’s equipment and information.
Magneto has also mastered several technology fields. He has designed and built magnetically-powered generators skycraft and spacecraft, robots and computers.
Magneto has been known to use his magnetic powers to increase his physical strength above Class 100 (which is the ability to lift 100 tons).
Known Superhuman Powers:
Magneto is a mutant with the ability to master magnetism. He can manipulate and shape natural and artificial magnetic fields.
It’s unknown whether he needs to draw magnetic power from outside his body (if so, he can draw it from great distances) or if he can generate magnetic power internally. No one really knows if Magneto’s power is physiological or psionic.
Magneto is a popular villain in Marvel Comics. Check out the complete list of the best Marvel villains of all time.