|“||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...||„|
|“||Tell me... in the world you come from... in your future... do you recall an Inhuman lifting a finger to help our people? And would we need makeshift memorials such as these... if not for the Inhumans? That is why I have come to ask for your help, Ms. Grey. So that we can not only protect the future... but so we can protect the future for mutantkind.||„|
|~ Magneto to Rachel Summers.|
Magneto (real name Max Eisenhardt) is a fictional character from Marvel Comics and its universe. 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.
He was created by the late Stan Lee and the late Jack Kirby, and first appeared in X-Men # 1 in September of 1963.
In the X-Men film series, he was portrayed by Sir Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender as a young adult.
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.
Max Eisenhardt was born in Nuremberg, Germany in a middle class Jewish family, being the son of Jakob and Edie Eisenhardt. In his youth, Max became attracted to a young Romani girl named Magda, and would often create necklaces and excel in sporting events to gain her attention. One day while returning from school, Max encountered a Nazi rally and found his uncle Erich beaten. Later on, Max was accused of cheating when he won a javelin competition, and despite winning the competition a second time, he was accused once again and expelled from school before being beaten.
Max traveled with his father to see Major Scharf, a man whom he saved in World War I, and Jakob was beaten by a group of Nazis in Scharf's office. When things worsened in Germany, Jakob taught his family that fighting back will get your head stumped in, and they fled to Warsaw, Poland after Reichskristallnacht. Max started smuggling food and supplies there, and his family escaped from Warsaw when the Nazis started to deport ghetto inhabitants. On their way to their hideout, they were captured by the Nazis, and Jakob saved his son's life by pushing him out of the firing line without anyone noticing.
Max was buried alongside his father's corpse, but after being found, was imprisoned at the extermination camp, Vernichtungslager in Auschwitz, Poland. In 1944, Max witnessed Mister Sinister and Josef Mengele operating at Auschwitz, and Max became a Sonderkommand to avoid them. Max often discovered the bodies of his friends when cleaning out the furnaces of the crematoria, and became the only member of his family to survive the Holocaust.
Max was also unable to access his mutant powers when he hit puberty, due to a bout of hepatitis from working in the camp. While in Auschwitz, Max was reunited with Magda and continued to smuggle food and supplies to her. Max later saved Magda from the gas chambers and the from execution, and the two escaped as the Sonderkommando revolted. For several years, Max and Magda lived in a Carpathian mountain village, and the two married and had a daughter named Anya.
Afterward, Max sought forger Georg Odekirk, and asked him to create a new identity for himself. Odekirk fabricated the existence of "Erik Lehnsheer", so Max could live with his wife and live easily among Magda's own people. Max decided to add "Magnus" as his middle name, and though many knew of his history as a Jewish prisoner, no one knew his past life as an Eisenhardt. Not satisfied with the simple life, "Erik" moved his family to the then-Soviet city of Vinnitsa so he could better himself. On their first day in the city, "Erik" consciously used his powers for the first time, hurling a crowbar at his boss who was cheating him of his pay.
When he returned to his family, "Erik" saw that their inn was on fire and that his wife and daughter were trapped on the upper floors. He attempted to save his daughter with his powers, but his boss had called the KGB, whom attacked him and held him down, preventing him from saving Anya. "Erik's" daughter burned to death, and fell in front of him, causing him to use his powers to destroy the men holding him and a large section of the city in revenge. Terrified of her husband's powers and overwhelmed by the loss of their daughter, Magda fled and was unknowingly pregnant with twins. "Erik" attempted to bury his daughter, but had to kill more soldiers when they shot him in the head.
Eventually, "Erik" traveled to Israel possibly under the guise of "Erik Magnus", working as a volunteer orderly at a psychiatric hospital for Holocaust victims. There, he met and befriended Charles Xavier, and the two would debate the subject of mutants' coexistence with the rest of humanity. Though the two would frequently debate the subject, neither revealed that the two were mutants to each other. The two later joined forces to rescue Gabrielle Haller from Baron von Strucker and his HYDRA agents, the two revealed their mutant powers to each other. "Erik" seized HYDRA's Nazi gold and left for parts unknown, realizing his and Xavier's views were incompatible.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Peak Human Condition: Magneto's body is in his prime condition.
- 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.
- In the X-Men films, he was portrayed by Sir Ian McKellan, Michael Fassbender as a young adult, and Brett Morris and Bill Milner young. McKellan also played Gandalf in the The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as Michael Fassbender also played Aguilar de Nerha in Assassin's Creed, and Walter in Alien: Covenant.
- In the 1970s Fantastic Four animated series, he was voiced by John Stephenson.
- In Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends, he was voiced by Michael Rye.
- In X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men, he was voiced by Earl Boen.
- In the X-Men animated series, he was voiced by David Hemblen.
- In X-Men: Evolution, he was voiced by Christopher Judge, who also voices Kratos in 2018s God of War, and played Teal'c in Stargate.
- In Wolverine and the X-Men, he was voiced by Tom Kane, who also voiced Professor Utonium in The Powerpuff Girls series, Darwin the Chimp in The Wild Thornberrys and Takeo Masaki in the Call of Duty zombies series.
- Kane also voiced the character in Marvel Super Hero Squad video game, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order.
- In The Super Hero Squad Show, he was voiced by Maurice Lamarche.
- Lamarache also voiced the character in Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet.
- In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, he was voiced by Ron Halder.
- In Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers, he was voiced by Banjō Ginga.
- In X-Men: Next Dimension, he was voiced by Fred Tatasciore, who also voices Damon Baird and Tai Kaliso in the Gears of War series, and voiced Nikolai Belinski in the Call of Duty zombies series, Poseidon in 2005s God of War, Mario Auditore in the Assassin's Creed series, and Zeratul in the StarCraft series.
- Tatasciore also voiced the character in X2: Wolverine's Revenge.
- In X-Men: Legends, he was voiced by Tony Jay.
- In Marvel Nemesis: Rise of the Imperfects, he was voiced by Christopher Gaze.
- In X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse, he was voiced by Richard Green.
- In X-Men: The Official Game, he was voiced by Dwight Schultz, who famously played H.M. Murdock in the A-Team tv series.
- In Marvel: Ultimate Alliance II, he was voiced by Phil Proctor.
- In X-Men: Destiny, he was voiced by Bill Graves.
- In Marvel Avengers: Battle for Earth, he was voiced by James Arnold Taylor, who also voiced Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels.
- Taylor also voiced the character in Marvel Heroes.
- In Lego Marvel Super Heroes, he was voiced by Nolan North, who also voiced Nathan Drake in the Uncharted series, Primis Edward Richtofen in the Call of Duty zombies series, Desmond Miles in the Assassin's Creed series, and many others.
- Ranked 17 in Wizard's Top 100 Greatest Villains Ever list.
- Ranked # 1 as the Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time by IGN.
- Ranked 9th Greatest Comic Book Character Ever in Wizard's list of the 200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time.
- 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.
- Magneto was formerly the chief antagonist of the x-men franchise alongside Apocalypse but has since found common ground with the x-men with apocalypse taking over.
- DC comics supervillain, Doctor Diehard of the Extremist, is based on Magneto.
- Magneto's surname, "Eisenhardt" or rather "eisenhart" means "hard as iron", which fits him due to his powers being associated with metal.