Spoilers for Magneto #1 –
Find threats to mutants, and kill them. In this new series, that is Magneto’s directive. So yes, I’ll confirm what I’m sure many others are saying, this Magneto is basically The Punisher, but if he only targeted specific hate crimes. Or a one man version of X-Force. He lives more like Frank Castle, on the run, slipping quickly from location to location, paying off the locals, and being as quiet as possible – until it’s time to send a message.
This comic does so many things right. It’s aware of Magneto’s history. It sets up its own concepts to reference. It applies “realistic” nuances to actions like flying, showing them to be harder than always depicted. It doesn’t rely too heavily on the past either. We’ve seen Magneto hunt down surviving Nazis before, but there are plenty of groups active more recently, like The Purifiers, who have men behind the scenes making the action possible, and they must pay too. If I have one nitpick, it’s that the issue escalates too quickly. We’ve barely had time to enjoy this premise, it’s just been established, and already by the end of the issue they’ve upped the ante. Magneto has fallen into a bit of a trap, where some poor unsuspecting soul has been corrupted and butchered into a piecemeal sentinel hybrid, meant to take out Magneto. This I assume will form the first full arc, and while it’s a visually well depicted climax, I would have liked a little more time to settle in to this era of Magneto’s journey. At least the story has momentum though, which is also provided again by the visual art. Magneto’s calm may not be ruffled by a few cops, but as he walks into a police station, each piece of metal he intends to use is slowly highlighted, building up to the show off moment where he bursts onto the scene, forming the trademark helmet that signals to everyone just who is in town, making his mark.
My rating: 4.25/5
I have to wonder, if Magneto was less grandiose in the past, and was instead this stripped down, leaving a symbol but still more low key, if Charles Xavier would have been less inclined to stand in his way, especially with the dirtied up past that was retconned into Xavier’s history. In the past I’ve seen him referred to as an anti-villain, with his sympathetic backstory, but if he hasn’t already, after his recent stint with the X-Men, this series seems set to officially turn him into an anti-hero.
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