Comic Book / Magneto

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/magneto_4316.jpg
The Master of Magnetism.

"I have been known by many names. Max Eisenhardt. Erik Lensherr. Magnus. Magneto. Each name marks its own sin, and one day I will answer for those offenses. But not today. Only my actions...what I do in the name of all mutants...hold any real meaning."
Magneto, Magneto Vol. 3 #1

Magneto is a character that appears in comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with the X-Men. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appears in The X-Men #1 (September 1963) as the Arch-Enemy of the X-Men.

The story of his life however, begins rather earlier – a Jew, he was born in Weimar Republic Germany in the late 1920s before moving to Poland with his parents in 1939... and you can venture a guess as to the end result of that. As a young man, he witnessed and endured some of the very worst of what humanity had to offer. His family was murdered when he was just a boy, and dumped in a mass grave before his very eyes; soon after, he was himself sent to Auschwitz, where as a Sonderkommando he was forced, on pain of death, to mete out that same fate to thousands of other innocents at gunpoint, running their gas chambers and furnaces. Lame with hepatitis, all hope and reason crushed under the mad Nazi jackboot, he was ready to admit that so many times he was tempted to resign himself to his black fate.

But if Max Eisenhardt was anything, he was a survivor.

The one good thing he remembered from those years was his darling love, Magda, a Romani girl interned with him, and during the October 7 revolt in 1944 the pair managed to make their escape. They fled to the Ukraine and lived out the remainder of the war and its aftermath in relative peace with her family, and Magda bore them a daughter, Anya. They were happy together, though he hid from his wife a great secret he was only just uncovering himself — he was a mutant, born with the power to manipulate magnetic fields and master the entire electro-magnetic spectrum.

Their peaceful life was not to last. While they lived in the then-Soviet/now-Western Ukranian city of Vinnitsa (alas, the life of a Roma did not suit him), he was cheated out of his pay by his employer and, in anger, used his powers consciously for the first time by throwing a crowbar at him through sheer will alone. In retaliation, driven on by fear of what they could not understand, the people of Vinnitsa formed a mob and burned down the inn where Magda, Anya, and him were living. When he saw his daughter's burning body fall out of her room, prevented from helping her by KGB agents who held him down and battered him repeatedly, he did not take it well. He unleashed the fury of his newfound powers, killing the thugs who held him down, the mob who killed his daughter, and tearing a chunk of their city to the ground. Magda survived, but his power, and his temporary insanity, terrified her into fleeing, leaving him alone to bury their daughter (and when Soviet troops attempted to stop him from doing so, he turned their guns on them and pulled their triggers).

It would be decades before he found out that Magda had been pregnant when she fled. He never saw her again, for she died shortly after giving birth. His last memory of his wife is of her screaming in horror and terror at him.

With pain and anguish and the torment, he fled Europe, and began traveling, eventually making his way to Israel where he did volunteer work in a psychiatric hospital for Holocaust survivors, those who were overwhelmed by the sheer barbarity of it all. Another volunteer at that hospital was a young American named Charles Xavier, and he was destined to be his best friend and greatest enemy. He and Charles discussed many things, foremost amongst them the subject of mutants' coexistence with the rest of humanity and the consequences humanity faced with the rise of mutants, though neither revealed to the other that they were mutants

He saw once and for all that Charles' views and his were incompatible once they were drawn into battle with the Nebulous Evil Organization known as HYDRA, who had abducted their friend Gabrielle Haller because she knew the location of a hoard of Nazi Gold. They both revealed their powers that day and overpowered the HYDRA agents, Xavier with his boundless telepathic might and Erik with his ever-growing mastery over the forces of magnetism. Following the battle, Erik, realizing that his and Xavier's views were incompatible, took the gold for himself and left.

The final nail in the coffin was when he worked for a Western intelligence agency, tasked with hunting down Nazi war criminals while maintaining his cover as a Double Agent for Mossad, and handing them over to Israel for trial. He had fallen in love again with a woman named Isabelle, but his Western masters — who had been well aware of what he was up to, but had up to now condoned it — decided that his latest capture, Hans Richter, was too valuable to surrender to his fate. They recruited him and murdered Isabelle right in front of his eyes, for which he hunted down each one of his controllers and paid them in kind.

In the face of ever growing anti-mutant persecution, he remade himself as Magneto, a living example of mutant superiority, of mutant existence, so as to make a statement that mutants no longer had to hide in the shadows. He declared war on humankind, because he concluded that force was the only thing humans understood, and the only thing that would save mutants from an identical fate. Xavier, now a cripple, made clear he opposed his plans, and he clashed time and time again with his band of mutant heroes, the X-Men. They thwarted plan after plan, and battled him and his Brotherhood, amongst whom were two bitter young mutant twins called the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver — whom he later learned were Wanda and Pietro, his children by Magda, though unfortunately for him only after his radical ways had proceeded to alienate them from one another.

In the face of endless opposition, from his own kind and his own children, as well as non-mutant superhumans such as The Avengers, who accepted Wanda and Pietro into their ranks, he learned to soften his stance somewhat. He has even joined the X-Men himself from time to time, and worked with them to combat greater mutual menaces. But he still stands by his most core belief. He has seen the lowest depths of human evil; he may have dragged himself from the abyss of his own hypocrisy, but though he is no longer as bent on genocide and domination does not mean for him that mutants are safe. The safety and well-being of his people are of paramount importance, and be assured, he is prepared to do anything to ensure their survival and prosperity, and to avert the repetition of history which would see mutantkind consigned to the death camps.

Because if Magneto lives by any creed, it is this: Never. Again.

For his 2014 solo series, see here.

Read in his own voice here.


Anime

Film

Video Games

Western Animation


Magneto provides examples of:

  • Adaptational Heroism: In the 90s X-Men cartoon, because the show was basing its stories on what was current in the comics and at the time he wasn't an antagonist, he actually was an ally to the X-Men in most of his appearances.
  • Adaptational Villainy:
    • While he may renounce Homo sapiens' labels of morality, his counterpart in Wolverine and the X-Men was willing to allow Sentinels free reign of Genosha, killing fellow mutants en masse, simply so that the remainder would be more willing to wage war, something that goes against everything pretty much every other incarnation has ever struggled for.
    • Likewise, his film counterpart, while charismatic, and certainly true in every regard about mankind's treatment of mutants, is still an utter self-serving bastard.
    • Worst of all is the inept counterpart of his faced by the Ultimate X-Men, who completely sacrificed any and all of his mainstream counterpart's moral ambiguity to become nothing more than a repugnant mutant supremacist and genocidal maniac.
  • Affably Evil: In some portrayals, Depending on the Writer, he is a gentleman in his pursuit of mutant freedom. Being played by the charming Sir Ian McKellen in the movies highlights this aspect of himself.
  • Ambiguously Jewish:
    • He is Jewish by birth, but this aspect of his character is not always openly stated. In addition to more specific examples, it's never made clear if he is a practicing Jew.
    • In the comics, at one point, Marvel at one point retconned his ethnic status away while they were preparing for one of his more vicious phases, afraid that such a villain being Jewish would seem anti-Semitic and cause problems. Naturally, no one wondered if it was anti-mutant. And if you're wondering what they changed him to, it was to a Sinte, a Romani subgroup. It was a rather disingenuous move given their motivations.
    • In the 90s cartoon series, he was stripped of his status as a Holocaust survivor, as World War II and the Nazis were not allowed due to the "moral code" of the animation producers. Instead, he was given a background as a boy from a more generic Eastern European country which was invaded and conquered in a more recent armed conflict, with his parents being killed during the invasion. Though not quite as horrific as the Holocaust, it still convinced him that using reason in the face of violence was a foolish gambit, and that humanity was far too brutal and warlike to make coexistence a possibility.
      Magneto: When I was a child, my people talked while others prepared for war! They used reason when others used tanks, and they were destroyed for their troubles. I won't stand by and watch it happen again, I WON'T!
  • Antagonist Abilities: Whilst he would scoff at the mere idea of "fighting fair" (in his defense, the X-Men hardly agree to battle him one-on-one), his mastery of magnetism gives him a number of abilities which opponents have trouble circumventing:
    • First of all, there is the gift of Flight, and his ability to stay well out of reach of brutish attackers like the brash Logan.
    • Secondly, he is able to place Deflector Shields and other barriers around him to protect even from long-distance attacks.
    • Thirdly, his magnetism can act as an Area of Effect that does not even require conscious aiming or precision, although this is rather taxing for him.
    • He has demonstrated the ability to perform Villain Teleportation, if the need requires.
    • He can use any of the many objects in his vicinity as Flying Weapons to keep his opponents busy and distract them as he completes his objectives.
    • If there is sufficient iron (or other metals) in their bodies, he can manipulate others like People Puppets.
    • When damaged, he can magnetically seal his wounds and reduce damage to prevent blood loss.
    • Due to the human mind relying upon electromagnetic synapses and other similar functions, he has been known to dabble in Mind Manipulation when given sufficient cause.
    • And last but certainly not least, being the Master of Magnetism makes him effectively able to shape reality to his very whim.
  • Anti-Hero: Regardless of whether he fights against or with the X-Men, he never hesitated to give scumbags exactly what they deserve.
  • Anti-Villain: One that has started many an argument of varying maturity. To some, he's a Well-Intentioned Extremist supremacist mass-murdering terrorist demagogue, with occasional outright genocidal ambitions; alternately, some people still root for the Brotherhood despite their muddled blood, weep for Magneto's cause, or have contempt for his position in life, and Depending on the Writer, his ideals can be portrayed as rightfully accorded because he lives in a Crapsack World where all of humanity are persecuting scum who have it coming... which again, is all Depending on the Writer.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • The X-Men in general; Charles Xavier in particular... although he doesn't take it personally.
    • If not Charles, then the Red Skull. As much as he battles the X-Men, they are ultimately a Friendly Enemy he would much rather join forces with, but the Skull is by far the one being alive that he despises more than anyone. He symbolizes everything he detests, and he would gladly crush his throat with his bare hands if not for the fact that for Magneto such a death would be too kind for such Nazi scum.
  • The Artifact: Yes, World War II was 70 years ago. Age is but a number, he's still a paragon of power.
  • Artistic License – Physics: Writers play around with the moniker of "Master of Magnetism" to the point that very little of what he can accomplish has anything to do with magnetism.
  • Astral Projection: It's suggested that he learned how to do this despite not having any Psychic Powers of his own, though perhaps it is merely that, though he does have psychic powers, he prefers to use his magnetism. He prefers not to say.
  • The Atoner:
    • He has in many days attempted to atone for his misdeeds, a result of his status as the main villain with good aims adversary to Charles and his X-Men. During two of his atonement phases, he even joined them.
    • In an alternate universe, he had made a deal with an entity from another universe hoping to give mutants a fighting chance, but he soon learned to his horror that he had brought a deadly virus to Earth, and he devoted the remainder of his life in that universe to save as many people, human AND mutant, as he could from the monsters that were once heroes.
  • Badass Grandpa: He has two grandsons, who helped him find their mother the last time she went missing, and a granddaughter.
  • Badass Baritone:
  • Badass Boast: Is prone to giving quite a few throughout his Career as a mutant terrorist/revolutionary. One in particular when he revealed his identity while trapped in an underground mutant fighting club orchestrated by gangsters & corrupt power brokers in Hong Kong, China. Gave the crowds such a scare that their expressions changed from cruel enjoyment one minuet to wide eyed terror the next upon the revelation, Magnus even lampshades it.
    Magneto: Some of you might have realized who I am. If so... then I suggest you warn the others. Because anyone who is still here in five minutes, Will die SCREAMING MY NAME.
  • Barrier Warrior: He can raise electromagnetic barriers, with varying degrees of "electro-" and "-magnetic."
  • Berserk Button: Do not even THINK the words "Just Following Orders" in his presence.
  • Big Bad: Formerly, the chief antagonist of the X-Men. They have since found more common ground.
  • Big Good: In the Age of Apocalypse timeline, he led the mutants opposing Apocalypse and his twisted minions.
  • Boxing Lessons for Superman: Years after discovering his mutant powers, he studied magnetism in depth, along with many other different scientific fields, in order to perfect his gift.
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good:
    • When he was de-aged by Alpha, Charles and Moira MacTaggert did this to him. As it transpired, it hadn't actually worked at all.
    • Of course, he also made use of this, once making Mastermind bury a young Lorna's traumatic memory of killing her mother with her newly activated powers.
  • Broken Pedestal: Suffice to say, some of his Acolytes were thoroughly displeased to even look at him when he lost his powers on M-Day. Miss Joanna Cargill especially so.
  • Brought Down to Badass: There have been times where he had to make do without his powers, for one reason or another. They do nothing to slow his effectiveness however, as Joanna Cargill (and her eyes) can attest.
  • Byronic Hero: He's driven to the things he does only because he believes that his people need someone willing to stand up and fight for their rights in the face of a world that will always hate and repress them. If this causes him to engage in behavior that would not be considered "heroic" from a human perspective, then so be it. Michael Fassbender, the actor who portrays his young self in the X-Men film series, even portrayed Rochester in a 2011 adaptation of Jane Eyre.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: When he adopts such a moniker, it is partly out of a sense of irony. Largely, however, it is because he does not care to waste time answering to homo sapiens' moral standards, such as when he named his organization the Brotherhood of "Evil" Mutants. If they will call his kind "Evil Mutants" regardless, then his Brotherhood and he will embrace the term and live up to it.
  • Chew Toy: It would appear that the universe at large may have a thing against mutants as mankind does.
  • Cool Helmet: One that protects him from psychic intrusions as well. As a result, "Bucket Head" is a Fan Nickname.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Usually, he is the one handing them out. But when he faced the Stranger, he quite convincingly turned the tables on him.
  • Dark Messiah:
    • He will use any means necessary to bring mutants back into dominance. His people have even considered him their "Mutant Messiah" in contrast to Charles' approach.
    • After the events of Avengers vs. X-Men, he has bequeathed the role to Cyclops, as he alone is responsible for the plan that has brought back mutantkind from the brink. It is not often that even he is impressed.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Depending on the Writer in the comics; his incarnation in the live action films is very much witty.
  • Depending on the Writer:
    • Is he an Anti-Villain with sympathetic aims, a leader with extreme methods toward a golden age for mutants, or a completely psychotic madman who will strike down ANYONE who gets in his way? It depends on what interpretation there is one thinks holds the most water.
    • How reliant he is on his helmet to resist telepathy tends to depend on whether the writer remembers he has telepathic talents of his own. It's not sure when it started, but it appears they've mistaken his helmet for that of Charles' unruly step-brother.
    • Whether or not his powers extend to a certain magical hammer has also widely varied. At times he's written as unable, yet on other occasions he is more than capable of it.
  • Determinator: Nothing less could withstand the barbarity of the Holocaust.
  • Doting Grandparent: Even if she is powerless, lamentably so for him, he will not allow any to harm his granddaughter Luna. Indeed, he once swore he would rather die than allow her to suffer a moment's grief.
  • Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto Us: This is one of his main rationales in his war on humanity, and one of the main sticking points in his philosophical differences with Charles: He must strike at humans before they do mutants harm.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: That Magneto had been a Holocaust survivor wasn't part of his backstory until Chris Claremont wrote him in the late '80s, a good quarter of a century after his debut. In the early Stan Lee-Jack Kirby run, Magneto was more or less a mustache-twirling villain without any benevolent attributes, Gaslighting his own subordinates, exploiting his own children as pawns, and as a kind of Poor Man's Substitute for Dr. Doom (i.e. Central European tyrant), with retroactive out of character moments of leading a Nazi-styled invasion of San Marco. In fact, Ultimate Magneto in terms of narrative fidelity is Truer to the Text than the benevolent Tragic Villain mantle Magneto got under Claremont's run.
  • Enemy Mine:
    • He has had to side with Charles and his X-Men when the need arises. Said forced team-ups may have also been the result of another entity playing a game.
    • On another occasion, he worked with several of the Marvel Universe's most despicable villains, including the Red Skull, in what was colloquially referred to as the "Acts of Vengeance", in an attempt to destroy the "heroes" who constantly interfered with their plans, through he and the other participants in the plot were manipulated by Loki the trickster god.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
  • Evil Genius: He is amongst the many geniuses of the world, specializing in Magnetism (obviously) and Physics in general as well as having a keen knowledge of Genetic Engineering, Engineering in itself, Geology, and other sciences. He's also very much multilingual, even being able to decipher a long-lost language and having reconstructed advanced computer devices from memory. As expected from his leadership, he is also a talented strategist, a requirement in his war on humanity. He is also quite the connoisseur of the fine arts and finest literature, admitting that Homo sapiens have made at least some worthwhile contributions to life. To others, his ability to manipulate the lessers amongst mankind is paramount.
  • Evil Is Petty: During one of his more "unstable" periods, when he regained his youth and vitality but before he regained his composure and focus, he used his command of magnetism to make Wolverine punch himself in the face.
  • Evil Plan: His methods to prevent mutant genocide can be rather... extreme, especially if you're human.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Whatever the writers decide of his powers, he can always control metal.
  • Final Boss: In nearly every Video Game about the X-Men ever made. It would be easier to list the ones that don't feature him as this.
  • Forgot About His Powers: There was an incident in which Reed Richards managed to dupe him with a wooden gun. The sheer simplicity of his trick dumbfounded Magneto to the point in which the authorities took him in without incident. To this day he still cannot explain what happened.
  • Flanderization: Since the movies, both fans and even writers often seem to assume that his powers are restricted to manipulating metallic objects.
  • Freudian Excuse:
    • Back in his day, it was called the Holocaust. ...But no, that's not quite right. That wraps things up too nicely. The Holocaust happened, and he survived, even attempting to not let such an event shape him negatively. Then his daughter was killed, and he discovered and unleashed his powers to deal some righteous judgment... and, regrettably, his beloved Magda left him in fear soon after he had unleashed his wrath upon the culprits responsible.
    • Perhaps what truly makes his Ultimate Marvel counterpart so disgusting is that he has no reason to be a mutant supremacist. He was not a victim of the Nazis or even of prejudice in general that we know of, instead being born to an affluent and high society family. Yet he chose to take up the cause of mutant supremacy to a level even his mainstream counterpart would shudder at.
  • Friendly Enemy: Depending on the Writer (usually Chris Claremont takes this view), there will be many times in which he heavily regrets the seemingly never-ending conflicts he has with Charles and his X-Men, even if he thinks that he does what is right by his people.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Once he was just a simple young man, until he saw just how horrible humans can be. Though it was after the murder of his daughter that he became fully devoted to his cause. Had they simply left him alone, he would have stayed Max Eisenhardt. But now, he is Magneto.
  • Glass Cannon: His powers are typically highly destructive, even if all the writers can think of is manipulating metal, but at the same time he's no more durable than any non-powered man.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: Goes without saying, but when his eyes are aglow, you would be smart not to get in his way.
  • Good Is Dumb: During the first period he had running Xavier's Institute, he made some exceedingly foolish decisions.
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: He will always do what needs to be done to safeguard the future of mutantkind — regardless of whether others consider his actions "good" or "evil," such as when he yanked Miss Kitty Pryde off the Bus.
  • Humans Are Bastards: This is his view of humans after the hand he was dealt (it was the Holocaust, after all) and seeing a similar hand being dealt to other mutants around the world.
  • I Have Many Names: Erik Magnus Lehnsherr and other shortened variants such as Erik Magnus, Magneto (of course), The Master of Magnetism. To be honest, his REAL name is Max Eisenhardt, a German-Polish Jew. In most other retellings, he's content with simply "Magnus".
  • Imagination-Based Superpower: Magnetism is capable of anything in his hands. For example, his magnetic attraction power can hypnotize the less mentally capable. He has also magnetically lifted various objects and entities that logically he should not have been able to, like simple water. He can even manipulate the entire electro-magnetic spectrum, albeit without the same potency as regular magnetism, and once in a while he displays some latent telepathic powers.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Not him, of course; for all of his contempt towards humanity, he would never condone so repugnant an action in response. However, his reprehensible counterpart in the Ultimate Marvel universe quite blatantly states he has eaten human flesh in the past, and then goes so far as to threaten to turn humanity into literal livestock for mutantkind as part of his build up to executing the President of America.
  • Immune to Mind Control: He has a special helmet that prevents him from being mind-controlled. A most useful tool when his arch nemesis (Professor X) is one of the most accomplished psychics in the world.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Even if his methods reach far into the depths of villainy, even if he almost becomes exactly like his oppressors, he desires nothing but a world where mutants are FREE from the hand of racism dealt by man.
  • Joker Immunity: He's Marvel's premiere example. That very trope page brought up that he may well have had more intended permanent deaths, de-powers, and lobotomies to render him harmless than any other super villain, so much so that he might have likely been the Trope Namer if not for the Joker.
  • Knight Templar: In the past, he has done whatever it takes to ensure prosperity for mutantkind. Naturally, how far he's forced to go depends on who's writing at the moment.
  • Large Ham: How else can he show that he's superior to you human beings than with powerful speech and gestures?
  • Light 'em Up: He has occasionally manipulated the visible electromagnetic spectrum to make himself invisible. He does have a slight white motif with his hair and lightning, but he doesn't go pretentiously overboard.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: If there's no possible way for his magnetism to pull off a certain insane feat, that is where the "electro" prefix of "electromagnetism" comes in.
  • Love Triangle: He is part of one, locked in combat with the Cajun Remy LeBeau (better known as Gambit) for the affections of the mutant Rogue. She promises nothing about the future, but he has won the triangle for now.
  • Made of Iron: In one of his confrontations with Charles' students, he received several blows to the head from Colossus, yet still remained standing, to say nothing of the fact he simply shrugged off Wolverine's attempts to skewer him.
  • Malcolm Xerox:
    • It's common for fans to paint him as a (rare) white, albeit non-WASP, version of this trope at least based on The Theme Park Version of the Civil Rights Movement as the more radical alternative to his Friendly Enemy Charles Xavier's Martin Luther King, Jr. In actual fact King and X barely knew each other, met only once, and none of their differences ever led to any actual split in the movement. Likewise, Malcolm X was actually known to be considerably more moderate than his reputation allowed, while King was more radical than people knew.
    • Magneto has also been compared to Meir Kahane, the founder of the paramilitary Jewish Defense League and the now-banned Kach Party in Israel. Like Magneto, Kahane endured the Holocaust and believed that his people could only survive "by any means necessary". The Professor X-Magneto divide is further explored and paralleled by fellow Holocaust survivor Irving Greenberg, who was a close friend of Kahane until they split over Kahane's radicalism.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He always tends to plan before he goes into a fight, and even when surprised, he adapts pretty quickly.
  • May–December Romance: Some fans are bothered by the age difference between himself and the lovely Rogue, even though thanks to being turned into a baby by Alpha the "Ultimate Mutant" and later returned to adulthood by a Shi'ar agent, he now has a body that is physically in its thirties. The age difference is never brought up when people talk about Wolverine's romantic relationships with women of roughly Rogue's age (Jean Grey, Mariko Yashida, Yukio, etc.) even though Wolverine is old enough to be Magneto's grandfather. Regardless, Rogue and he have married and started a family in at least one universe.
  • Meaningful Name: His original name, Max Eisenhardt, is quite poetic. "Eisen" is the German word for "Iron". "Hardt" sounds like German ("hart") and English ("hard"), which both mean the same thing; and in German names, the "-hard/hardt/hart" suffix originally means "strong"; it is also present e. g. in "Bern(h)ard" (strong as a bear) or "Gerhard" (strong with the spear), thus "Eisenhardt" means "strong as iron", or in his case also: strong with iron. "Max" connotes intensity. Who would have guessed a man with such a name would later become the hardened master of metal manipulation?
  • Morality Pet: At times, Kitty Pryde — fellow mutant and fellow Jew — serves in this capacity. One of his terms as a Face is due to delivering her from danger.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: In essence, his reaction to harming a young Kitty Pryde in battle. For all that he have sworn to fight for mutantkind by any means necessary, he will not harm children.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name:
    • Early Magneto, pre-Claremont (who was the first to characterize him as a Holocaust survivor) was pretty much envisioned as one by Jack Kirby and the Ultimate Marvel incarnation as well as Grant Morrison's Planet X returns to this. Unlike his more well known mainstream and cinematic/animated versions, these versions of Magneto actively encourage mutants to kill and terrorize humans as part of his "mutant supremacy" creed. Ultimate Magneto has taken separation from humanity to the extreme, attempting to create a new mutant culture to the extent of devising new "mutant commandmants" (probably the one thing similar to what his mainstream counterpart would do), very similar to Himmler and Hitler's efforts at building up their new "Aryan culture"... and also denigrating humanity to levels of the worst form of Untermensch. Filth that they were, even the Nazis did not consider cannibalism as an appropriate "use" for their undesirables, whilst this twisted mutant once threatened on live television to keep surviving humans as literal livestock for the new mutant civilization. He eventually was killed by that universe's Cyclops in retaliation for the cataclysm he caused.
    • Later versions of Magneto post-Claremont, moderate this by bringing this as a Became His Own Antithesis moment, at times becoming no different than the Germanic bigots who butchered his family, upholding the same creed of racial supremacy with equal fervor. It has been noted that there's uncomfortable similarities in his own crusade to promote Homo Superior to replace humans as the dominant species and the Nazi beliefs in the Ubermensch and the Untermensch, though Magneto has never, canonically, countenanced the sort of barbarism the Nazis used to slaughter those they considered unfit. He considers violence as a necessary proactive steps to protect his people from humanity; he believes that humans will eliminate themselves eventually without any need for direct intervention on his part. Indeed, at least twice he has sought to simply remove his people from humanity to leave them to their fates, such as when he founded Genosha or established Asteroid M, but such efforts have always simply redoubled humanity's fervor to strike at him.
  • Nazi Hunter: When the need arises; burying Red Skull alive was particularly satisfying.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: When he's given sympathetic motivations, he gives this reaction. He's a Holocaust survivor who doesn't want mutants to face the kind of genocidal bigotry he endured in his youth, though it does kind of go against him when he has no qualms about doing that to humans.
  • Never My Fault: He refuses to assume that his actions may have harmed more of his fellow mutants and hurt the cause of mutant rights more than they have ever helped; he only pins the blame for that on humanity.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: Over the course of his career, he's found many ways to use the power of magnetism to manipulate related forms of energy for a variety of uses. For example, turning invisible by bending light, manipulating electromagnetic energy to shoot lightning bolts, or altering the behavior of local gravitational fields; some see this as "evidence" of a unified field theory that states all energy is the same, but just emitted in various ways. Still, in most cases, magnetism is far easier to manipulate than any other, so he usually stays with that.
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Until dramatic media made the way he prefers his name to be pronounced more widely known, certain people insisted on pronouncing it "magnet-oh".
  • Noble Demon: He has commited many atrocities, but they're driven to protect his loved ones and his people from harm.
  • Not So Different: Many had tried this on him, but none had enraged him as much as when the Red Skull did this. He paid him back in kind.
  • Not Quite Flight: Controlling magnetic lines of force enables him to levitate. It is also a likely explanation for how he can move things lacking ferrous metal.
  • Older Than They Look: Thanks to the courtesy of Alpha and the High Evolutionary, he's in his physical prime, despite being almost a century old.
  • Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Genetic manipulation, particle physics, engineering, designing weapons, space stations, superpowered humanoid lifeforms, devices that generate volcanoes and earthquakes, devices that block telepathy, devices that can nullify all mutant powers except for his own, reconstructing computarized devices from memory. He could probably make the top ten list for smartest people on the planet if he put his mind to it.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil:
    • He once imprisoned a man in a basement with limited water and no light. By the time he was found, he was wishing for death. The man in question was the Red Skull; a villain so vile and repulsive that even The Joker won't work with him.
    • He once did this with Fabian Cortez, a treacherous mutant supremacist that in the past tried to kill him, manipulate wars between humans and mutants that led to the destruction of a safe haven for mutants Magneto created, and also tried to use his granddaughter as a human shield. The minute he no longer needed him, he flung him miles away and then smashed him into the ground.
  • Put on a Bus: It seems that when he has battled humanity for "too long", he ends up swept aside so other villains can "take the spotlight for a while." The first instance was after one of his battles when he unexpectedly found himself a prisoner of a an unexpected extra-terrestrial called the Stranger.
  • Putting on the Reich: His domination of San Marco, wherein he had an army of mercenaries, outfitted with Waffen-SS surplus uniforms. The stylized "M" armbands were one step away from swastikas, otherwise the resemblance to Adolf Hitler was total. Come to that, many of his actions as a man willing to use any lengths to replace mankind with his own genetically superior people do draw unavoidable comparisons.
  • Rebellious Spirit: He has a bit of a problem with authority, as one might imagine, and he doesn't recognize peers easily. It should go without saying that he calls no man "master," save himself. That said, he brooks no opposition within his own ranks.
  • Revenge Before Reason:
    • After being restored by Erik the Red, he was determined to avenge himself on the X-Men, ignoring the fact that in the time since he had last encountered them all but Cyclops had been replaced with entirely different people. Eventually, they had no recourse but to flee, but he still vowed to confront them at another time.
    • If a human were to harm another Mutant, he would more likely call for their death than anything else, even a truly heartfelt apology. It became much less amusing when his former Acolyte, Exodus, turned this around on him for defending Charles from Frenzy.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Unlike Xavier, he believes that there can be no peaceful cooperation between humanity and mutantkind. If it was up to him, Mutantkind will take its flawed predecessor's place, and although he tries not to be too carelessly callous, he will not lose sleep over doing what he thinks must be done.
  • The Rival: Charles Xavier, as a result of their differing views on whether mutantkind and man can live in peace or not; in the wider Marvel Universe, his rival is instead Doctor Doom. He is the closest he considers to be legitimate competition.
  • Shock and Awe: A primary attack of his, aside from throwing any amount of tons of metal at his enemies, is shooting bolts of lightning. Don't expect to turn his own powers against him either.
  • Shooting Superman:
    • Most people never learn that bullets are made of metal. There have been attempts to counter his abilities with non-metallic ballistics, but mutant gifts tend to continuously outpace human innovations in every capacity.
    • The X-Men themselves did this when they sent Wolverine, whose skeleton is magnetic due to his adamantium bones, on a team to deal with him. They should have known better.
  • Slave Brand: He will forever carry the tattoo of a Nazi concentration camp upon his skin. As his cinematic counterpart so eloquently stated, he would sooner die than allow another needle to touch his skin, or that of any other Mutant.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: A character-personified version, with Charles on the Idealism end and himself vice versa. Magneto believes that peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants is not reasonable.
  • Some of My Best Friends Are X: Before he met Rogue, he generally was romantically or sexually involved with non-mutant women — Magda, Isabelle, Polaris's mother, the Wasp, and Cyclops' former lover Lee Forrester.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": People are often confused as to the spelling of his preferred civilian name. Erik is sometimes written as Eric, and Lehnsherr is written as Lensherr as often as not.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: Marvel were planning to have a major battle between him and Wolverine, when Peter David realized that I could just rip his skeleton out and be done with him.
  • Steven Ulysses Perhero: Yes, his "human" name translates roughly into "intensely strong iron". Plus, he has used "Magnus" as a middle name since the ill-fated incident that cost him the closest to family he could ever experience. Though, one believes that "Magneto" is a far more superior and indicative moniker.
  • Strong as They Need to Be: As this page states, his powers are essentially limited to whatever the writers can think of with magnetism, which means they can vary considerably from one story to another.
  • Superpower Lottery: Long story short, he has total control over one of the four fundamental forces of the universe. This doesn't put him in spitting distance of strongest mutant, but he's far away stronger than most others.
  • Super Supremacist: He has reacted to human persecution of mutants (in particular the parallels to his personal experiences in the Holocaust) by advancing his own version of mutant superiority over humans. He's not always aware of the tragic irony of his beliefs.
  • Supreme Chef: He's no savage, you know. To go along with his vast powers, he's also quite the skilled cook. It was a necessity during his time as a child prisoner of Nazi concentration camps.
  • Tangled Family Tree: His is... complex. to say the least. He's even present on the page image.
  • Übermensch: It's not easy to consider him "nice" in any respect, but he believes myself to have his own type of moral code that allows him to believe that it will all mean well in the end, placing himself as leader, and having to eliminate the inferiors. To any medical psychologist that would thus make him a sociopath ideologue with typical monstrous egomania and entitled ruthlessness; others at least put him in a more sympathetic light. Still others go so far as to claim it's all a result of bipolar disorder brought by his powers and claim he's just plain mentally ill.
  • The Extremist Was Right: One has to concede him that that no matter how many times the X-Men have stopped his plans or saved the world from any other number of threats to it, mutants are still hated and feared by normal humans as much as they were before.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Averted, as there is a very, VERY good reason they call him "The Master of Magnetism" as he is one of the strongest mutants on Earth, as well as having great skill and creativity in how he implements his mutant abilities. Considering magnetism is one of the four fundamental forces of nature, his powers are held in high regard by humans and mutants alike, and it also helps that he is a learned scientist in my own right, so he WOULD know how best to use them. It is also why he is able to fight those with similar abilities who truly CAN be considered Unskilled, but Strong. He once did battle with a cosmically powered Spider-Man on his own. On another occasion, he told the assembled heroes of the Marvel Universe that only The Mighty Thor was his equal in power. No one argued the point with me.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: Whatever it takes, mutantkind WILL prevail.
  • Visionary Villain: No matter how vile they may be, his every act is a stone in the foundations of a world where mutants do not live in fear of homo sapien oppression.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He'll do what he must to ensure mutants never suffer any more at the hands of you humans. Indeed, when his universe was merged with the universe known as Capcom, he was able to finally build a world for Homo Superior to live on.
  • Wicked Cultured: He has a full understanding and appreciation for the few things that he finds positive and admirable that human culture has produced over its long, floundering history.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: It would certainly appear that his powers have left his mind damaged from the constant use, leaving him in a state of constant irritation and agitation. There was the time in which him, after posing as Xorn, conquered Manhattan Island and turned it into, more or less, a concentration camp for humans, complete with gas chambers and/or crematoriums. Even with one of his own likening the imitator's actions to Nazi Germany. Of course, that was later attributed to his addiction to the mutant-power-boosting drug "Kick". Then they tried to claim the drug was actually a sentient virus. What REALLY REALLY happened was when Wolverine decapitated the thing, revealing its TRUE identity as the REAL Xorn's Evil Twin, imitating me imitating Xorn!... No wonder Linkara seems to have a point when he notes how other people wonder why new readers can't get into comics.
  • Worthy Opponent:
    • Their conflicting ideologies aside, Charles Xavier is still his dearest friend, and has done more to help mutants than anyone in the world (besides myself).
    • As much as he loathes to admit it, he must concede that perhaps alone of all humanity, Captain America does seem to truly believe in the ideal of equality that he espouses.
  • You Have Out Lived Your Usefulness: He did this once to Fabian Cortez, after he temporarily allowed him back in his ranks due to need of his powers, but as soon as he found a machine that served as a substitute, he finally killed him for his treachery against him years earlier.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ComicBook/Magneto