8 Ways Magneto Has Changed Over The Years (For Better Or Worse) – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Magneto has gone through a lot of changes. Some of these changes have affected him for the better but others have been for the worst.
Magneto has long been one of the most interesting characters in the X-Men mythos. Magneto’s history has painted him as a complicated man, one who is often beyond the traditional bounds of morality. He’s been both the X-Men’s greatest foe and one of its most stalwart allies, a mutant unlike any other. He cares deeply about his people and will do whatever it takes to ensure the type of future they deserve, a belief that has led him to some intriguing places over the years.
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Magneto has gone through a lot of changes. Some of these changes have affected him for the better but others have been for the worst.
Professor X and Magneto met when they were younger and hit it off incredibly well. As time went on, their relationship would sour and eventually become adversarial, as their different dreams for mutants came into conflict. Their relationship has always been a very complicated one but it has reached a new phase recently.
Magneto and Xavier are closer than ever, working together to get the new mutant nation of Krakoa through its growing pains. The two mutants work very well together and as a united front are the greatest allies the mutant race can have. Seeing them work together has shown the world just how serious Krakoa is.
While Xavier and Magneto are powerful leaders on the world stage, Magneto has been surprisingly passive. For years, Magneto was known as a man of action; if something was in his way, he demolished it. While he’s always been a leader, resting on his druthers and administrating isn’t his style at all. So far on Krakoa, Magneto has sat back and let others do the fighting while he and Xavier have done most of the work of governing.
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It’s strange for one of the most powerful mutants in the world, one known as a man of action, to sit back and let others do all of the work. Magneto has always led from the front and the fact that he isn’t right now is just strange. It deprives the mutant race of one of its greatest firebrands and protectors.
For years, Magneto’s views on mutant supremacy have been hurt by his own actions. Magneto’s attacks against humanity have caused the arms race meant to deal with mutants to intensify. Magneto’s threat is one of the most serious; this is a man who can pretty much take down all of society any time he wants to. Human authorities have worked for years to come up with ways to deal with him and those methods have been used on other mutants.
Magneto has been an X-Man for years now, working to protect his people instead of attacking humanity. Before his actions made mutants targets, as his constant attacks on humanity made them hate mutants more. Now, his work to help mutants instead of destroying humans has made things better for them.
While it’s been cool seeing Magneto as a member of the X-Men and working with his former foes, it has also been kind of disheartening. Magneto has long been the X-Men’s greatest foe and part of the appeal of the character is that he represents an opposite to Xavier’s dream that isn’t completely wrong. Humanity has proven unable to overcome its racism and has a tendency to do terrible things to the “other”. Magneto’s counterpoint to Xavier’s dream made both more interesting.
Magneto deciding that the best way to do things is to work with the X-Men takes away the more interesting aspect of who he is. Magneto as an opposite number, a bad guy who isn’t wrong except in his way of doing things is much more interesting than the character he’s become.
One of the great things about comics, in general, is the way that villains have evolved over the years. Gone are the cackling bad guys of the Silver Age; villains have become just as well developed as the heroes they battle and few have gotten the kind of polish that Magneto has. Reading early Magneto appearances and ones from the ’80s and beyond are like reading completely different characters but in the best possible way.
Writer Chris Claremont, who wrote the X-Men longer than anyone, completely revitalized Magneto’s character, transforming him into a multi-faceted character who was more than a simple villainous opposite of Professor X. Over the years, other creators have taken this portrayal of the character and run with it, making him one of the best characters in the Marvel Universe.
Magneto returned after a long disappearance during the era of the X-Men when the team had moved to San Francisco. Mutants were at their most desperate and Cyclops was leading the scant few hundred left in the world. Magneto made a major peace offering and pulled Kate Pryde back to Earth, joining up with the X-Men to help protect mutants from the threats that were arrayed against them.
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Seeing Magneto just following Cyclops’s orders was strange in the extreme. Not so much because of the years of fighting the two had done but mostly because seeing Magneto subordinate to anyone without even trying to take control is completely the opposite of the Magneto anyone knew. It led to some different Magneto stories but seemed very out of character for him.
The idea for Krakoa came from the many lives of Moira MacTaggert. She and Professor Xavier worked out the particulars based on the failures of her previous lives and they brought Magneto in to help them. The three spent years working behind the scenes and laying the groundwork for Krakoa, working to give their people a home and power like they’d never had before.
Magneto became one of Krakoa’s most important citizens because of the work he had put in. Magneto’s vision for the world has helped inform the Krakoan one; many times over the years, Magneto had tried to create safe havens for mutants and give them power over their affairs. With Krakoa, Magneto has ensured that mutants would be safe and powerful.
House of X/Powers of X establishes that Magneto worked with Xavier and Moira for years behind the scenes. This leads to the problem of explaining the antagonism between Xavier and Magneto that fans had witnessed for years. Was Magneto just pretending to be evil as part of the master plan or was there a falling out between the three? While Magneto fans are no stranger to retcons, this question has never been answered, and it’s vaguely infuriating.
Fans like to have their questions answered and this one has not only not been answered in any kind of way whatsoever but any answer would ultimately be not great for the character. Either he was pretending for years to destroy humanity or he abandoned the idea of Krakoa and then took it up again later, neither of which are good looks for the character.
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David Harth has been reading comics for close to 30 years. He writes for several websites, makes killer pizza, goes to Disney World more than his budget allows, and has the cutest daughter in the world. He can prove it. Follow him on Twitter- https://www.twitter.com/harth_david.

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