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To live among the stars, to rule jungle kingdoms, to guide entire nations, only to find oneself here. A self-loathing man might see this as deserved punishment. A vain man might compare this to the Christian Devil's fall from heaven. Me, I think the coffee's not terrible. I have been known by many names. Max Eisenhardt. Erik Lehnsherr. Magnus. Magneto. Each name marks its own sin. And one day I'll 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 is a fictional character from Marvel Comics. He is the self-styled "Master of Magnetism" and can control any metal object, as well as fly and manipulate energy. Though he is typically a villainous character and a long-time enemy of the X-Men, Magneto has many times served as more of an anti-hero and has even at times worked with the X-Men against a common threat to mutantkind. Magneto has even spent time as a member of the X-Men and once taught at his old friend, Xavier's school before becoming more militant. 

It must also be remembered that most of the time Magneto is working to protect his species and keep them safe from those who would do them harm and on this level is not that different from the X-Men, with their differing approaches being what divides them most of the time. 

Nevertheless, Magneto strives to protect the mutant race and for both this and his tragic past many viewers and readers have actually sympathized more with Magneto and argued that he is a heroic figure who does what is required to keep mutants safe from a xenophobic world. It is worth mentioning that the late Stan Lee himself did not actually consider Magneto to be a villain, which only gives further credence to the idea of him being at least an occasional hero.

This does not mean Magneto is the same unambiguously good figure that the X-Men are. The character does lend himself to a certain amount of moral ambiguity, and has ultimately played the role of both hero and villain, switching sides regularly in his unending pursuit of assuring mutant survival at all costs.

Overview

Magneto has been one of the greatest heroes of Earth and one of it's greatest villains, depending on the year or decade (the writer) and on the timeline or reality. There have been worlds where it was Magneto who was the greatest threat to the human race and those where it was Magneto who saved humanity from a tyrant or extinction.

In some worlds Magneto has conquered the Earth, in a dystopian future or a post-apocalyptic one, where he treated humans as second-class citizens at best or slaves at worst. On the other hand there have been worlds in which Magneto has been an enlightened benevolent ruler who seized power to save mutant kind and brings about a glorious age, one in which the mutants have usually been the elite.

In many of the worlds in which mutants face extinction at the hands of a racist, genocidal regime (e.g. Red Skull or the Sentinels), it is often Magneto who is the leader and champion of the mutant resistance. He has also sometimes played a role in among the stars in some timelines, either leading mutants into space in an exodus from Earth, as the leader of a spacefaring faction of mutants, or as the co-ruler (with Deathbird) of the Shi'ar galactic empire.

He has even had the opportunity to literally become a god-like being. In one reality he possessed the Cosmic Cube turning the Earth into a utopia where there was peace and prosperity for all, no discrimination or hate, no pollution and a lush environment, and so on. In another one, he seized the power of the Phoenix becoming it's host.

Powers and abilities

  • Magnetic field control: Magneto is a mutant with the power to manipulate magnetic fields to achieve a wide range of effects
    • Ferrokinesis: The primary application of his power is control over magnetism and the manipulation of both ferrous and nonferrous metal. While the maximum amount of mass he can manipulate at one time is unknown, he has moved large asteroids several times and effortlessly levitated a 30,000 ton nuclear submarine.His powers extend into the atomic level (insofar as the electromagnetic force is responsible for chemical bonding), allowing him to manipulate chemical structures and rearrange matter, although this is often a strenuous task. He can manipulate a large number of individual objects simultaneously and has assembled complex machinery with his powers. He can also affect non-metallic and non-magnetic objects to a lesser extent and frequently wears metal bracelets on his ankles and wrists allowing him to levitate. He can also generate electromagnetic pulses of great strength and generate and manipulate electromagnetic energy down to photons. 
    • Flight: Magneto can levitate his own body to float on the air on even fly. 
    • Force fields:  Another way in which Magneto frequently uses his power is the projection of force-fields which selectively block out matter and energy. These fields are strong enough to withstand the simultaneous detonation of multiple thermonuclear weapons, hence Magneto is invulnerable to most harm when surrounded by his shield and can survive in deep space thanks to it. His shields have at times withstood the likes of the X-Men, Thor, Jean Grey as Phoenix, and briefly during Secret Wars an attack from Galactus.
    • Energy manipulation: Magneo can also project or manipulate any form of energy that belongs to the electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light, radio waves, ultraviolet light, gamma rays and X-rays. Thus, it can project or absorb electric discharges or pure magnetic force, turn lasers (or other forms of radiation or energy) or create intense heat with infrared.
    • Increased strength and durability: Magneto can channel his powers through his own body to increase his strength and durability far beyond human limits.
    • Invisibility: Magneto can turn invisible by warping visible light around his body.
    • Wormhole: Magneto can produce a wormhole and teleport himself with people via the wormhole. 
  • Peak Human Condition: Magneto's body is in his prime condition.
  • Telepathy: On a few occasions Magneto has proved to have telepathic powers, including reading other people's dreams and minds, giving mental commands and effectively protecting himself from telepathic penetrations.
  • Expert Hand-to-Hand Combatant: Magneto has extensive combat experience, and has often been successful in single-handed combat against entire groups of superhuman adversaries. He also has some military training in hand-to-hand combat and has been shown to be effective with his fists, but he prefers to use his powers when in combat situations.
  • Genius-level intelligence: Magneto is a genius with competence in various fields of advanced science, especially in genetic manipulation, particle physics, engineering, and other fields of technology. He has engineered advanced weaponry, space stations, superpowered humanoid lifeforms, devices that generate volcanoes and earthquakes, devices that block telepathy, and devices that can nullify all mutant powers across a few miles except for his own. He has promptly reconstructed such computerized devices from memory. He has bio-engineered new species including the Savage Land Mutates, and, using Deviant technology, Alpha the Ultimate Mutant. He is fluent in many human languages and once single-handedly deciphered the unknown language of a lost civilization.He possesses extraordinary skill in "reading" the microexpressions on others' faces and sensing what they are thinking and feeling, whether they are lying, fearful, etc. a skill which he refers to as "taking your enemy's measure". He is also a master strategist and tactician.

Videos

Gallery

Trivia

  • In the game, X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, he and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants had no choice but to join the X-Men in order to defeat the far more villainous adversary otherwise known as Apocalypse.

See also

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