Magneto Was Alright


magneto-was-right-tshirtWriter:  Cullen Bunn
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letter: VC’s Cory Petit
Publisher: Marvel

Why is every superhero t-shirt I’ve bought in the past three years form fitting?  Are there statistics published somewhere that claim the average height and weight of an avid comic book reader are similar to that of a marathon runner?  Don’t get me wrong, I am a strikingly attractive fellow… but my “Magneto Was Right” t-shirt is buried in the back of the closet, patiently waiting for the day I lose my freshman 50.

Since I won’t be able to show off my Magneto-mancrush with my choice of casual wear, I thought buying the new ongoing book might be the next best thing.

[Let the record state that I would not choose to write a straight forward comic book review under normal situations… but by request and with the promise of a free meal next Pancake Day, I have attempted to do my best impersonation of one.]

I added “Magneto” to my file as soon as I heard about it.  Growing up an X-Men fan, the “Master of Magnetism” has always been my first choice when asked to choose my favorite villain (and at times I’ve been able to use the same answer for my favorite superhero).  He’s a complicated man, Max Eisenhardt… a moustache twirling silver age super villain bent on world domination, a holocaust survivor, an unsuspecting father, a dictator, a teacher, a friend, and a ruthless murderer.  His relationship with Professor X has always hinted that he was more than just a stereotypical villain, and by the early 80’s he was more of an “anti-hero” than a villain.  X-Men super-scribe Chris Claremont, did a great job of blurring the lines of good and evil when it came to Magneto.  With comparisons to Che Guevara and Malcolm X, there is always a revolutionary undercurrent, and by the end of the 70’s, readers’ opinions of his philosophy might have been based on their own personal situations and perspective.

As of late, we’ve seen Magneto playing the” right-hand man” to a more militant and revolutionary Cyclops.  There are few characters who have more interesting, complicated and historically rich relationships with the characters they interact with, and this is no exception.  Magneto has been spending his days counselling and often taking orders from his best friend’s prodigy and killer.  Unlike so many of the other relationships within the X-Men soap opera, this dynamic remains absolutely intriguing to me.  It’s been impossible not to speculate that something would eventually have to give, and with the announcement of a Magneto solo book, I assumed we were finally going to see this all come to a head.  Obviously all the cards aren’t on the table with just one issue, but we’re definitely we’re not there yet.

magneto-1Magneto #1 presents a slightly more “everyman” version of the character, carrying out his personal agenda.  (in the sense that he is low on funds, and trying to blend in with the public… he’s still a genius with control over magnetism though).  There is no indication what his role in the x-men will be moving forward and I read the whole book wondering why he was sneaking around?  I’m thinking the new Cyclops would be onboard with everything he had planned in this book.

The book does manage to provide the reader with a little more insight as to where Magneto’s head is at, and it stays very consistent with the character’s history.  The moments where Magneto contrasts his past to where he is at now, are quite well done, and I love the fact that Marvel has taken him out of the other books to facilitate this book.  On the other hand, I would have liked a little more explanation, or at least a more intricate and interesting explanation as to why he needed to break out on his own.  A book focussed solely on hunting down anti-mutant activity, while quite possibly entertaining, would miss a great chance to explore some of the most interesting dynamics in the x-universe today.

After finishing the book, I looked at the cover and realized it was perfect for this book.  I don’t dislike it… there’s nothing the matter with it… but its not exactly spectacular either (I know, neither is this review).

While I would feel comfortable recommending this book, it didn’t give me enough reason to make the recommendation a very strong one.  If you’re just looking to add a little more Magneto to your life, start with Greg Pak’s outstanding “Magneto Testament”.  Still one of the best books I’ve ever read, and a great starting point if you’re looking for more Magneto in your life.  This book could be amazing, or it could go nowhere.  I realize that’s not saying much, but it’s all I’ve got (If I would have known that’s where I would end up, I would have gone to sleep a long time ago).  I’m optimistic, but if you’re comic budget is tight, I think I would wait to hear a review or two on the first 5 or 6 books together (and I wouldn’t trust anyone to provide that review, except the good folks here at Graphic Novice).  I think we’ll all have a good idea of where the book is going by the time they release the first trade paperback.

To summarize this article, Magneto Was Alright.

PS. I loved the “Magneto” logo font, his new costume, his wheels, and the fact that the events in this book took place just down the road from the Graphic Novice Studios.

As always, you can send your hate-mail and all recipes for gluten-free deserts to Nickel at GraphicNovice.com


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