I’ve been waiting for this #1 issue every since Magneto went rogue in Uncanny X-Men #16. So here it is, the Master of Magnetism’s solo series in the All-New Marvel NOW! line; is it good?
Magneto #1 (Marvel Comics)
This comic starts off with a terrified barista telling authorities about his run-in with Magneto. It’s clear from the start that Magneto has moved back into his murderous, mutant defending self and is no longer the team player he became for a short while. He’s pretty much looking for mutant victims then brutally killing their tormentors. That in and of itself is a pretty weak premise to sell a book on, especially a Magneto one. It also troubles me that he is so willing to kill. This book reads as if he is on this ennobling mission to purge the world of evil doers, but in the first issue he’s only blown up an innocent child, shredded to pieces dozens of law enforcing cops and stuck traffic signs through a man who has been out of the mutant hunting business for years. It’s hard to sympathize with this incarnation of Magneto, and so far he’s a very unconvincing “mutant savior.”
Also, it’s never explained why he’s going lone wolf in the first place. Is he sick of being on the X-Men? Does he not like being told what to do? It seems to me like he’s just pouting. He seems like a vigilante with no real agenda or purpose other than to kill. We’re trusted not to question why he’s killing and just understand that he is saving mutant lives. Not bloody likely.
No matter if it’s conceptually flawed, Magneto has a writer behind him who knows what he’s doing. Hearing a recounting of Magneto’s deeds from a bystander, then seeing what actually happened from Magneto’s perspective pages later is a nice contrast and is interesting storytelling. The metaphor the barista uses with autopilot in the beginning which shows up in a completely different instance at the very end of the issue is a nice touch and makes the issue feel complete. If there were only more of a believable plot to back these writing techniques up, there could be a chance here.
What I do really appreciate from a fan and consumer standpoint is the decision not to tie this book into any other Marvel comics being published and not have any “surprise character reveals.” This is a story of Magneto and Magneto alone and should remain that way as to not get caught up in the frustrating coils of continuity. I think that this comic would have been received a lot worse by fans if it had dealt with the new mutant Utopia and Magneto’s involvement with that, which seemed a likely path for this book to take.
Magneto’s new costume design is kick-ass and really accelerates his dark motives. All of the interior artwork here is perfectly fitting and beautiful from the fear on someone’s face to the sweeping magnetic powers of Magneto himself. My absolute favorite part of the issue is when Magneto is walking through the police station and sees every piece of metal in the room. This is like Magneto’s own radar sense and is a great device that can’t be seen anywhere but comics.
Is It Good?
Not if you don’t question it. At face value this issue is very good and has some neat qualities to it, but if you try to understand Magneto’s motives or some of the moral values, the plot begins to crumble. Still, pick it up if you like the character and want to see his own personal adventures.