Since their debut in 1963, the X-Men have sworn to protect a world that hates and fears them. But you know what? Here at AiPT!, we’ve got nothing but love for Marvel’s mighty mutants! To celebrate the long-awaited return of Uncanny X-Men, AiPT! Brings you UNCANNY X-MONTH: 30 days of original X-Men content. Hope you survive the experience…If there’s one thing superheroes usually aren’t, it’s ordinary. Their over-the-top flair extends not only to their powers and morals, but to their fashions as well. There are few super teams where this is more the case than the X-Men. Each Friday during Uncanny X-Month, we’ll be discussing the best and worst fashion moments of one of Marvel’s merry mutants. This week, we’re kicking things off with the master of magnetism himself, Magneto. But is he a master of style as well? AiPT!’s panel of fashion judges, Manga Editor Eric Cline, contributor Jason Segarra, Media and Content Manager David Brooke and Movie Editor Nathanial Muir, decide.
The classic costume
Art by Jim Lee (X-Men Vol. 2 #1) and J. Scott Campbell (X-Men Black: Magneto #1)
Eric: It’s hard to argue with a classic. The color scheme is fantastic–that bold, attention-grabbing red plus purple accents. Mags wears a cape well, too, but the real seller here is that helmet. There’s a reason he’s almost always worn some variation of it ever since. My main qualm is just with the briefs. Score: 7/10
Jason: This is definitely Mag’s most iconic look, and it’s easy to see why. There were a lot of subtle and not-so-subtle elements to the costume that all play well into the philosophy of the character. The deep maroon and purple coloring gives an air of regality and sophistication befitting a villain of his stature, whereas the ancient Greek-stylized helmet helps hide what little humanity the mutant master of magnetism shares with the world (and allows for a lot of creative use of shadows to obscure his facial features). I also like the billowing cape, though I wish Magnus would use it for dramatic effect more. In the cult classic Pryde of the X-Men, dude sashays confidently with cape in hand and it’s such a theatrical embellishment for the character. Like Eric, the only complaint that I have is the undies on the outside of his leotard. I have a pair that same color, but I usually wear them under my pants. Score: 8/10
David: I do love the color and as Jason said, it has a regality that suits the character. His ego makes him like a monarch who thinks they deserve it all. I have a few issues with this costume, though, even though it’s so iconic. The metal bolts holding his cape down, how do those work? The undies look quite generic too and I never understood why the shoulder pads lifted up his cape as they do. I guess to look more regal. Score: 7/10
Nathaniel: This is an amazing costume that belongs in the comic book costume Hall of Fame. Its form-fitting contour adds to Magneto’s imposing look while the cape and colors add to its air of superiority. The purple breaks up what would be too much red and the skivvies never bothered me before now. Thanks, guys. Score: 9/10
Final score: 7.75/10
The ’80s trial costume
Art by John Romita Jr.
Eric: I adore this. Unironically. It’s fantastic. Deep purple full-body coverage with nothing but his head and upper arms showing? Incredible. The ridiculously long M down his front? Also incredible. I just wish something more special was going on with the cape to match how over-the-top the rest of the look is. Score: 9/10
Jason: Man, do I disagree with the above. While I can appreciate foregoing the helmet as a small olive branch toward the world that can now see his face, I kind of hope Magneto’s first act of villainy when this phase ended was to murder his tailor because WOOF. Let’s start with the the Zsa Zsa evening gown gloves. Come on, man. Unless you’re going to a cotillion to win the affections of that dashing Mr. Beauregarde, you look ridiculous. Next up, the color. I know in the previous entry I praised the use of purple for it’s royal aura, but that was as an accent color. There’s a thin line between elegant and refined and looking like the damn Grimace. And don’t get me started on the “M.” Is it just in case you forgot your name, Erik? There’s only one man who could pull off a sleeveless purple onesie with his name on it and a pair of long velvet dress gloves, but he was a master of a different kind of magnetism. Score: 3/10
David: I like how simple this costume is, making him look sleek. Who doesn’t like a long glove? Plus, the plunging “M” seems to suggest he’s all in with the Magneto moniker. Score: 8/10
Nathaniel: One of those costumes that will make you laugh when you just glance at it, but that becomes more awesome each time you look at it. The “M” screams classic comic books and the design somehow adds to Magneto’s strength and deviance. The cape is the perfect length and the long gloves are the perfect addition. Plus, it’s impossible to go wrong when you have that much purple in your outfit. Score: 10/10
Final score: 7.50/10
The ’80s headmaster costume
Art by John Romita Jr.
Eric: Looking like a closeted gay musician from the 1970s. It’s ridiculously flamboyant and, yet again, Mags works well in purple. The white touches are also nice, neutrally balancing things out. I don’t love this outfit, but it is quite amusing. Score: 6/10
David: Is this Magneto’s Liberace phase? This costume is so generic looking it could easily be worn by another villain, hero or performer in Las Vegas. Score: 2/10
Jason: Yeah, it’s not his best look, but I’ll take the Liberace loungewear look over the monogrammed grapefruit ensemble before it. This is the outfit Magneto puts on when he heads out to the key party at the Century Village retirement community–one that prizes comfort and shows off his sexy old man chest. He’s still got the cape and the buckled pirate gloves/weight belt combination to anchor him to the super-person community, but his velour sweatsuit lets you know that he’s down to clown. Still, this thing debuted in 1985, which is about 6 years past it’s fashionable date, so it loses a few points for that. Score: 6/10
Nathaniel: Did I say it was impossible to look bad with a purple outfit? A horrendous costume that isn’t fit for any decade. Poor Magneto looks like someone with an uncontrollable bladder. Score 3/10
Final score: 4.25/10
The Planet X Costume
Art by Phil Jimenez
Eric: I like elements of this look more than the actual full ensemble as currently put together. The long-flowing robe and long-flowing cape are both dramatic, but worn together they’re a bit repetitive. On the plus side, red and purple continue to be his power colors, and the helmet is back. What’s with those boots, though? Score: 6/10
Jason: This is one that I initially liked but that has definitely soured on me in recent years. I like elements of it. The Nehru collar is dope, and the more fascistic cut of his suit and cape is very fitting for the storyline in which he donned it. That being said, the jacket being dress length just looks silly–just ask Michael Fassbender. I get that it allows you to demonstrate his abilities more clearly as it flails in the wake of his awesome power, it just feels like he’s wearing a high slit dress over some combat boots. There’s a version of this costume where the jacket is a more reasonable length (the cover of Vengeance #1 and an alternate costume in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2) that is better but adds too many buttons, making Erik look more like the master of maitre d’s than the master of magnetism. Score: 6/10
David: This is more akin to the films so I get the overall look. The red certainly gives him a more villainous persona and the overcoat under the cape gives him a lot of body coverage. I wish there was more done with it, however, since it’s basically a fashion designer doing as little as possible. Grade: 7/10
Nathaniel: This kinda looks like one of those costumes you bought as a kid at a dollar store. The ones where your Spider-Man costume is a plastic poncho with a drawing of Spidey on it. It has the right color scheme and the design is okay. It just looks lazy. Score: 6/10
Final score: 6.25/10
The Marvel NOW! costume
Art by Chris Bachalo (Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 #8) and Arthur Adams (Uncanny X-Men Vol. 3 #12)
Eric: This is a striking change in color scheme for the character, and it works. I always love bold white fabric, and the cape and gauntlets both look great. I love this tweak on the classic helmet design as well. My main con with this outfit is just that the black lines and X-belt aren’t really contributing much. Score: 8/10
Jason: The maroon and magenta may be iconic, but this is my favorite Magneto look. The white gear is just so clean, and it speaks to where Mags was at this point in his story. Lehnsherr’s always had a bit of a messianic quality to him, but his switch to an all-white outfit while he was very much on the side of the angels was inspired. I also love the black highlights to speak to the fact that Magnus may be a good guy, but he’s definitely got some dirt on him that is not coming off. The fact that he inverted it to all-black when he started his revenge journey a few months later was also a cool bit of visual storytelling and proof that simplistic yet effective design can tell you everything you need to know about a character. Well, not everything, but you know what I’m saying. Score: 9/10
Dave: Throw this guy on Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force and call it a day! The white works largely because of the well-placed black lines running down and to the side. It’s probably Magneto’s most slimming costume. I also love how the cape is more like a functioning cloak than a bombastic cape worn at regal parties. Score: 9/10
Nathaniel: White is a hard color to pull off and it looks great on Mags. The helmet, cape/cloak and gloves give a paladin-like look to the master of magnetism. My main issue with the costume is that the red and purple give him a more royal look that is suited for him. Score: 8/10
Final score: 8.5/10
Final Verdict: The Marvel NOW! Costume
Magneto’s top look is, surprisingly, also one of his most recent, with an average score of 8.5/10. All the classic elements (cape, distinctive helmet shape, etc.) are there, and they’re brought to life in a bold but simple color scheme.
What’s your favorite Magneto costume? Let us know in the comment space below!