That particular college I was forced to attend taught me well. I could not count on my tribe for help. I could not expect government to treat me as anything but something to be gassed, processed, and burned.
Damned if I'll let them do that again. Not to my new tribe.
Would that I could afford to be a messiah. That would be such a liberation...to walk among the nonpowered ones, bringing my gospel of altered genetics, preaching brotherhood and integration, trusting in the good nature of Man to bring justice for mutants.
Messiahs are crucified by mobs. That, at least, is the realistic part of the narrative.
Ever wonder what it's like to be one of the most powerful and tormented super-villains of all time? This story is a series of excerpts from Magneto's diary, and reveals his motivations, actions, and tortured soul in an untold tale that takes place around the time of his public debut in X-Men (1963) #1.
Dark Mark has also authored X-Men 1970, Fire!, A Prize for Three Empires, Hellsister Trilogy, Kara of Rokyn, A Very Kara Christmas, A Force of Four, Superman of 2499: The Great Confrontation, Here There Be Monsters, The Vampire of Steel, Superman and Man, The Unfantastic Adventures of Bizarro No. 1, Dance with the Demons, With this Ring... (Green Lantern), Funeral For A Flash, Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime and Maybe the Last Archie Story.
Tropes found in this work include:
- Anti-Villain: Magneto intends to become a dictator to prevent another genocide.
- Arc Words: "Resist the Temptation to Bend."
- Broken Bird: After surviving traumatic loss after traumatic loss, Erik has come to believe that emotions and personal desires are weaknesses which he must overcome.Irrelevant. This is my part to play. MUST BE STRONG. Like the iron. I bend the iron to my will.
It is only by strength that I resist the temptation to bend.
Spring outside. White gulls fly about my island. Pietro and Wanda are outside, catching some of them with hexes and speed, setting them free again. The surf can be heard even in here, and I consider taking my boat out alone and fishing like a Hemingway character.
Resist the Temptation To Bend.
- Brought to You by the Letter "S": How does Magneto know it was Xavier who sent five mutants against him? Well, since their uniforms are emblazoned with his initial...Does he think that he can send this force against me, and expect me not to know it is HIM?
When he plasters his initial across their belt buckles in that black-and-yellow soldier's uniform, does he think I am stupid enough not to know his hand is in it, up to the shoulder?
- Canon Welding: Pre-Chris Claremont Magneto was a power-hungry asshole who fueled racial tensions in order to manipulate an oppressed minority into giving him political power. Claremont turned him into a shell-shocked Holocaust survivor who was trying to prevent a genocide through highly questionable means. The present story blends both interpretations, establishing Magneto behaved as a tyrant because he believed he had to.
- Category Traitor: Magneto labels Xavier as a traitor to mutantkind for training mutants and sending them against him.
- Cloudcuckoolander: According to JJ Jameson, the surge of heroes and villains is "a JFK plot to foster public dependance on 'super-creeps' instead of police and the army".
- Conservation of Ninjutsu: Averted. Individually, the X-Men weren't rival to Magneto. But their teamwork was enough to drive him away.Except these yearlings had power. None of them equal to mine, individually. But they knew how to effectively combine what they had.
- Diary: The story's framing device is diary entries written by Magneto.
- Dramatic Irony: The final straw which transformed Erik into Magneto was a mob murdering his daughter. Years later, he instigated a mob to attack Wanda Maximoff, unaware that she is his second daughter.
- Engineered Heroics: Magneto saved Wanda and Pietro from a riot secretly instigated by him.She and Pietro owe me their lives. I made sure of that. They will never know that I paid the instigator of the riot against them. They will certainly not learn that from the party himself I sent a pitchfork through his body at the site.
- Even Evil Has Standards: During his trip to New York Magneto visits Marvel Offices and meets Stan Lee. In a nod to Fantastic Four #10, Lee tells how Doctor Doom once dropped by his workplace. Doom reminded him of Hitler, but Stan doesn't think Doom's anti-semitic. Otherwise he and Jack Kirby would be dead.
- Evil Is Hammy: Lampshaded by Quicksilver, who notes Magneto talks like a movie villain.I overheard Pietro once saying that I talked like a villain from an old movie.
- Evil Is Petty: Subverted. Stan Lee thought Doom was going to murder him and and Jack Kirby because he plays the villain role in their comics. But it turned out that Doom considers their antics below his notice. Magneto briefly considers to get rid of them when, not if, they put him in a comic book, before deciding it's not worth it.Stan Lee: Doom knew who we were, because we put out the book, and he knew that Reed Richards was going to pay us a visit that day, to tell us about that recent case with, um, Sub-Mariner, I think. All I could think of was: I'm gonna die. He's gonna murder me right in my office, because we've been putting out comic books with him as a villain. We were lucky. He didn't give a hang about our comic books. He just wanted to take out Reed Richards, and he waited around until Richards came, and knocked him out.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: Magneto was never a mellow guy, but after being defeated by the X-Men for the first time his temper becomes downright volcanic.
- HeelFace Door-Slam: Magneto briefly considered to drop the whole plan and lead a normal life the eve of his first terrorist act. Regardless, he suited up and took over the base only to be stopped by his erstwhile friend Xavier's team. In the aftermath, he swears he will be Magneto until his last breath.Eric Masters lies locked away in a hold deeper than Davy Jones's locker. I shall not loose him again.
Resist the Temptation to Bend.
I AM MAGNETO.
And I shall be Magneto till my dying day.
And long after Xavier's.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Magneto is quite aware that he is turning into the kind of monster he hates... but if he has to choose between being the jailer or the inmate, he'll pick the former.With my own eyes, I saw what humans did to other humans. To my people, my future wife, myself. Auschwitz.
I learned the lesson there. Well, Magnus, would you be the gypsy, or the Nazi?
If I had to become the Nazi in order to save the gypsy, then by Hell I would.
- I Did What I Had to Do: It's quickly made clear that Magneto does NOT want to be a super-villain or a tyrant. He doesn't even enjoy mistreating people. But he's convinced that his way is the only way to save mutantkind.I curse myself as a barbarian. I did the right thing, God knows, but I damn myself for the act.
THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Magneto's intended punishment for whoever dares to read his diary.None will find the book, none will spring its lock. If anyone does, even if it is Wanda, I will pierce him (or her) through with the holy metal again and again.
- Inappropriate Role Model: Unsurprisingly, Magneto considers Doctor Doom to be his inspiration.
- Large Ham: Not even while writing his private thoughts Magneto can refrain himself of being overly dramatic. Or writing on all caps.I curse myself as a barbarian. I did the right thing, God knows, but I damn myself for the act.
THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE (scratch out words).
I would to G-d sometimes that I had another path to walk.
Irrelevant. This is my part to play. MUST BE STRONG. Like the iron.
I bend the iron to my will.
It is only by strength that I resist the temptation to bend.
- Manipulative Bastard: Magneto forces Scarlet Witch into a ridiculous skimpy outfit because it arouses Toad and Mastermind's lust, which in turn makes Quicksilver angry, guaranteeing his soldiers will be too busy fighting among themselves to think of joining against him.I have dressed Wanda in a way she does not prefer. Her body provokes lust in Mastermind and the Toad (and, truth to tell, in myself—weakness. Must Be Constrained.). The Toad thinks of himself as Wanda's defender. Wyngarde merely wants to bed her. And he knows full well that Quicksilver would dismember him if he did. She grows bitter, wishes to comport herself in more dignified clothing, but I will not allow it. The display throws my cohorts into more consternation, and allows me more control.
I doubt the four of them could effectively stand against me. Still, it is best not to take chances one does not have to take.
- Ms. Fanservice: Deconstructed. Scarlett Witch is forced into a skimpy suit which she finds demeaning precisely because it arouses desire among her unrelated and disgusting male companions.
- My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Mastermind lusts after Wanda, but he's too frightened of Quicksilver to try to seduce her.The Toad thinks of himself as Wanda's defender. Wyngarde merely wants to bed her. And he knows full well that Quicksilver would dismember him if he did.
- Nothing Is Scarier: In a nod to Fantastic Four #10, it's told how Dr. Doom ambushed Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. During their meeting, Doom took his mask off, and both of them looked away as quickly as possible.Stan: I didn't see too much. Both Jack and I had to turn away. Jack saw more action than I did, in the War. He'd seen guys burned up, crushed, shot, beaten to death, all of that. And he told me he'd never seen anything quite that bad. I don't even like to watch Twilight Zone because of that. I might see something to remind me. All I can say is, we were glad just to see that metal mask again when he put it back on."
- Not Worth Killing: Magneto reckons Doom didn't kill Stan and Jack because they were beneath his notice.
- Period Piece: This story is set in 1963, the year Uncanny X-Men #1 came out.
- Plagued by Nightmares: Magneto suffers from frequent nightmares in which his helmet is crushing his head, or his wife is leaving him, or he's being tortured in Auschwitz again.In the middle of the night I woke up in terror.In my dreams, I was back within my helmet.It was pressing inwards and threatening to crush my head.
- Possessive Wrist Grab: Magneto grabs Wanda's arm when she asks instructions in case of his capture, and he only lets her go after stressing it will not happen.
- Properly Paranoid: Magneto reacts to the news that a special branch has been appointed by the USA Government to the study of mutants with a skepticism which would sadly prove to be justified.
- Secret Identity: Magneto snooped around New York City using the moniker "Erik Masters".
- Show Within a Show: Marvel Comics, DC Comics (Stan Lee convinced his boss to get the licensing for a Fantastic Four comic before Irwin Donenfeld -DC's owner back in The '60s- did) and Archie Comics exist in this universe.
- Spanner in the Works: Magneto looked into the then-current cadre of heroes and villains and decided neither of them would want or be able to stop his coup. Yet still he was driven away by five heroes who nobody had previously seen before... although he KNEW who they were working for.Damnable adolescent yearlings, every one of them, like the beardless youths Hitler put against the Allies when all his other defenses were cracking. Except these yearlings had power. None of them equal to mine, individually. But they knew how to effectively combine what they had. And they had luck, three times damned three times luck, and NO ONE HAD EVER SEEN THEM BEFORE.
Three males, one female, and one snow-being whose sex is impossible to determine at this point.
An unknown quantity.
A XAVIER FACTOR.
- Suicide by Cop: Back in Auschwitz, Erik more than once considered to goad the camp's guards into gunning him down.The fool spent his childhood safe in America while I was trying to keep myself from rushing into the barbed wire and suiciding in the guards' bullets.
- Then Let Me Be Evil: As far as Magneto is concerned, he's "evil" because the world made him.If the outside world comes to see me as a man of Hell, they should know that Hell was the forge they fashioned.
- Villain Protagonist: The story delves into Magneto's inner thoughts and motivations.
- Villains Out Shopping: Magneto spends the better part of his one-week-long reconnaisance trip snooping around New York City.
- Villainous BSoD: Magneto has a breakdown after being defeated by the X-Men for the first time. He's so unspeakably mad he's unable to talk about it during two weeks.