Name: Max Eisenhardt
Powers: Magneto is a mutant with the power to manipulate electromagnetic fields to achieve a wide range of effects. The primary application of his power is control over magnetism and the manipulation of ferrous and nonferrous metal. While 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 subatomic level (insofar as the electromagnetic force is responsible for chemical bonding), allowing him to manipulate chemical structures and rearrange matter, albeit this is often a strenuos 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 levitates himself and others. He can also generate electromagnetic pulses of great strength and generate and manipulate electromagnetic energy down to photons. He can turn invisible by warping visible light around his body. 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 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. He can can also channel his powers through his own body to increase his strength and durability far beyond human limits and has a baseline reaction time 15 times shorter than that of regular humans. On occasion he has altered the behavior of gravitational fields around him, which has been suggested as evidence of the existence of a unified field which he can manipulate. He has demonstrated the capacity to produce a wormhole and to safely teleport himself and others via the wormhole. His powers have also demonstrated that he can condense planetary objects into subatomic size.
First Appearance: X-Men #1 (1963)
The man that would become known as "Magneto" was born Max Eisenhardt in Germany during the 1920's to a middle class Jewish family. His father, Jakob Eisenhardt, was a World War I veteran and a proud German. The family struggled against discrimination and hardship during the Nazi's rise to power, the Nuremberg laws, and Kristallnacht. In the early 1930's, the family fled to Poland, where they were captured during the Nazi invasion and sent to the Warsaw Ghetto. They managed to escape the ghetto, but were captured again. Max's mother, father, and sister were executed, but Max survived (potentially thanks to an early manifestation of his powers) and was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. There, Max became a Sonderkommando, forced to dispose of gas chamber victims. While at the camp, Max was reunited with a girl he had fallen in love with during his school days named Magda. Max and and Magda escaped when Auschwitz was liberated and were soon married.
They moved to the Ukrainian city of Vinnytsia, where they started their new lives together. Max adopted the name "Magnus" and Magda gave birth to their daughter who they named Anya. Magnus worked as a carpenter to support the family and for a time they lived happily. One night Magnus was attacked and instinctively lashed out with his mutant powers of magnetism (which had never surfaced before due to a bout of scarlet fever as a child), killing the attackers. Later that evening, he returned home to find his house on fire, with Anya trapped inside. Magnus rushed inside to rescue her but he was too late.
Enraged at the death of his beloved daughter, he used his new powers to kill the surrounding mob that started the fire. Magda, terrified of her husband's strange abilities, fled to the forest and never saw her husband again. Magda made her way to Wundagore Mountain, where she gave birth to twins Pietro and Wanda (who would grew up to be Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, respectively). Magda later disappeared, presumed deceased. During the next few years Magnus had an identity forger named Greg Odekirk create him a new identity, reinventing himself as a gypsy named "Erik Magnus Lehnsherr".
It was while using this identity that he went to Israel to help at a psychiatric hospital. There, he met Professor Charles Xavier. The two became fast friends, playing chess and having intellectual debates about mutation and the future of mankind. When Baron Wolfgang Von Strucker attacked a young patient named Gabrielle Haller, Xavier and Magnus used their powers in order to save her. Following the battle, Charles and Magnus realized they had very differing ideologies. Magnus disappeared and the two friends would not meet again for many years. During the next few years, Magnus worked for the CIA hunting Nazis, but this association ended when they murdered a girl he was becoming close to. Magnus would not be seen again until he became the mutant known as Magneto.
After years of lying low, Magnus eventually resurfaced, now using the identity of "Magneto" bursting into the public eye. He attacked Cape Citadel, but was stopped by the original X-Men, a confrontation that would spark a decades long rivalry. Some months later, Magneto was seen leading a team of mutants witch he mockinly named the Brotherhood of "Evil" Mutants. This group consisted of a few mutants including, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. These young mutants where actually his daughter and son, but none of them knew at the time. Demanding not merely equal rights, the Brotherhood sought supremacy for mutant-kind. Their vicious attacks against humans led them to attract the attention of Professor Xavier and his X-Men, whom where often able to repel the group. Magneto did however not just fight against the X-men but many other superhero groups such as the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. During one of Magneto's plans, Professor Xavier sought the help of the superheroes team known as the Defenders. Magneto had made a new mutant-like entity named Alpha the Ultimate Mutant. This mutant was made by Magneto to help further his cause. The creature however turned on him and returned Magneto to the age of an infant. The child was brought into the care of Charles Xavier, whom brought it over to his former lover Moria McTaggert. She took care of the infant Magneto for some months before he was restored to his prime age as a young man. Although chaken by the events and perhaps changed for good, Magneto still sought out to win his war against humanity.
During a particularly heated battle with the X-Men, Magneto wounds and nearly kills Kitty Pryde (then only fourteen). Stricken with the revelation that he’s become a horrific extremist, willing to murder even children to achieve his goals, Magneto renounces his terrorist ways. He seeks out his former wife Magda and learns of her death, but also the truth about Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver: that they are his children. While the pair accept that he’s their father, they reject Magneto's leadership for his abusive treatment of them over their years in the Brotherhood. Time would eventually heal their wounds, and they would come to a grudging acceptance of him. Magneto joins the X-Men after being persuaded to give human/mutant co-existence a chance by Professor Xavier. This comes at a time when Charles is badly injured in battle and Magneto takes over the reing of his school, teaching young mutants to control their powers and use them for the betterment of both humans and mutants. He started teaching the New Mutants and fought alongside the X-men. This, at first was very difficult for many of the teammembers, since they had done battle against Magneto more then once. However, Magneto proved to be a valiable ally and the X-men started to trust him. Even Wolverine, previously extremely wary of the mutant leader, grew to accept him. Rogue even started to have romantic feelings towards Magneto, despite their age difference. It appeared Magneto was truly a changed man. He even went before a court of law to stand trial for his past misdeeds. Although they came into confilct with the Avengers at the time, Magneto was eventually cleared of his past misdeeds. A largely suprised Magneto now feld like a free man once more whom had made a change for the good.
However, certain events would reverse a great many of those feelings soon. The Mutant Massacre occured in witch many of the Morlocks would be killed by the mutant-hunting Marauders. Some months later, during the events of the Fall of the Mutants, Magneto's star pupils, Cypher, was killed by a human. This incident and the fact that he could not have protected an inoccent young mutant under his care, started breaking Magneto up. At this time, he also lost contact with the X-men when the team went to Australia. In finding security for his New Mutant students, Magneto went as far as joining longtime X-Men rivals the Hellfire Club in hope of providing the security for them that he could not give. The New Mutants however wanted nothing to do with Magneto anymore, feeling he had betrayed them. Magneto angerly left the New Mutants and, after this, many of his human-hating ways resurfaced. Ultimately, Magneto would view his role as leader of the X-men and teacher of the New Mutants as a failure on his part and he retired to Asteroid M to live in seclusion.
While living in isolation, a group of mutants led by Fabian Cortez calling themselves the Acolytes approached Magneto asking for his leadership. Magneto decided that his best course of action would be to create a nation for mutants unto themselves and goes so far as declaring Asteroid M such a nation. Magneto even made the move to defend himself against further attacks of the human race by taking up the armed missiles of a Russian submarine he sunk years ago. The X-Men responded akkordingly by assaulting Magneto and his group of mutants. While the X-man Rogue tried to bring peace between the former allies, it ultimately had no effect. Magneto turned his back on the X-men for good, feeling they had not only betrayed him in not trusting his judgement, but also betraying their friendship. The X-men then assauled the asteroid, with Cortez’ betrayal leading to Magneto’s ultimate defeat. Magneto retreated to his back-up space station Avalon where he grew even more bitter then before. Erik however soon encountered the X-men once again, during the X-Men’s siege on Avalon. With this conflict, Magneto still held back against his former allies, until the X-man Wolverine attacked him and almost gutted him. He then used his powers to rip the adamantium from Wolverine's skeleton, almost killing him. An angered and furious Xavier lashed out, wiping Magneto's mind and leaving him in a catatonic state. The X-man Colossus turned sides on the X-men and helped Magneto out of Avalon and returned him to a rebuild Astroid M.
For months, the catatonic Magneto sat on his thrown on Astroid M, being served by his Acolytes, but not being able to even utter a word. This all changed when the Age of Apocalypse refugee named Holocaust entered the base and brought it down around them. Magneto was however saved and found himself alone again back on earth. It was then that the mutant teleporter Astra, as a way of revenge, restored Magneto's memories (by an unknown method), and created a clone named Joseph from his DNA. It was her plan to kill Magneto off after that, but the clone went out of control and during this scene, Magneto managed to escape. For some months, it was thought that Jospeh was acutally Magneto. The clone even became an ally to the X-men.
It took a few more months before Magneto finally made himself known to the world once again. Disguised, Magneto placed the fate of humanity in the hands of an average man name William Jones. William was investigating the freakish building collapse of the Center for Humanitarian Excellence in Los Angeles, which was suspected to be the work of mutants. Magneto, posing as a board member, engaged William in conversation. The two had a pleasent conversation until Magneto showed him his powers and told him who he really was. William became affraid and told him in all honesty that he would like him to be gone from this world, not because he hated him, but because of his overwhelming power and what he did with it. Having perverted his supposedly objective experiment in human nature to his own ends, Magneto thanked William and left him to meet his cadre of robots at the magnetic north pole, where he began to manipulate the Polar magnetic fields. Only if the United Nations would mett his demands, he would stop destroying the Polar magnetic fields. Luckily, the X-men interveaned and managed to defeat Magneto, with Magneto's clone Joseph dying in the proces. His defeat was however not before the United Nations mett his demands, giving Magneto his only island to rule, the nation of Genosha.
Magneto was given full authority by the United Nation to become the leader of the Island nation of Genosha. A difficult task lay before him since the country was wrecked during the civil war between humans and mutants after the uprising of the former mutant slaves. Magneto however soon managed to establish a government and tried to bring order to the nation. Despite some difficulties, Magneto managed to pull it of. He even got help from his son and daughter, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, as well as Polaris, during this time. Genosha became a utopian nation for mutants where they could live in peace and freedom. Some months later however, Magneto kidnapped Charles Xavier in order to show him what he had achieved. A newly formed team of X-men managed to free Xavier, while Wolverine gutted Magneto badly and was left with serious injurys. Magneto however had full right to defend his nation from foreign diplomacy (being the X-men) and while Magneto was defeated in battle, he won the war when the X-men left the nation.
Some weeks went by and Erik was healing from his last battle against the X-men. It was at this time that a full frontal Sentinel attack was undertaken on Genosha by the mencae known as Cassandra Nova. Magneto was seemingly one of the first to fall in battle. A giant airplane with the appearance of an iron fist entered the tower in witch Magneto was located. After this first attack, a huge Sentinel destroyed the entire city, leaving almost everyone dead. When the X-men came to investigate they saw the slaughter of countless mutants. A true new dark age for the mutants had begun. While investigating, the X-men found a tape that was made by Magneto a few minutes prior to his seeming death. He told his nation to never give up and be strong, even in the darkest of times. It seemed that Erik Lenhsherr, Magneto, had finally perished in battle.
After believing Magneto gone for good, the newest teacher at the Xavier Institute, the enigmatic, masked mutant known as Xorn, revealed himself as Magneto in disguise to Professor Xavier. This "Magneto" told Charles he had been living under their nouses the whole time and now, along with several mutants he had been teaching there, staged an attack on the island of Manhattan. This included murdering numerous humans in crematoriums, mirroring his Holocaust persecution. The X-Men however doubted his legitimacy as the real "Master of Magnetism". However, his addiction to the power-enhacing drug named “ Kick” allowed him to assault and kill Jean Grey by giving her a planetary-scale stroke. An enraged Wolverine decapitated the alleged Magneto, who was later revealed to be an imposter under the influence of X-men enemy Sublime. The real Magneto had never left the island of Genosha after the attacks on it by Cassandra Nova. Eventually, Charles Xavier contacted Magneto and went to Genosha to figur out what Erik's next move should be. He was now the world's most hated man, even though it had not been him that attacked humankind this time. Magneto was furious to think that people would actually think him able to do those horrible acts. Magneto and Xavier remained on the island for a longer period of time, in the meantime finding other survivors of the Sentinels attacks. The two became close friends once more over the period of time and Magneto finally seemed to have forsaken his more violant ways. Things all changed when Charles and Erik saw a news-broughtcast that showed images of Erik's daughter, Wanda Maximoff, to have suffered a nervous breakdown and hurt and killed many of her former Avengers teammates in the proces. She had been taken into custody. Magneto donned his uniform once more and went straight to New York City, leaving Charles and his more peacefull life behind.
After Wanda devastatingly, but accidentally, disbanded the Avengers and was rendered unconscious, Magneto appeared and demanded to have his daughter remanded to his care. The Avengers and the X-men at this point found out that Magneto was still alive and that he was not the one responsible for the attacks on New York City, witch where actually Xorn's. The Avengers accepted a grieving father's demands and gave Wanda, somewhat relunctant, over to Magneto. Magneto then returened back with Wanda to the island of Genosha where he and Charles Xavier had spent their last months. Magneto watched over his sleeping daughter, kept unconscious by Xavier. However, both the X-men and the newly formed Avengers saw Wanda as a threat and where planing to bring Wanda in, or even have her killed should that be neccesary. Magneto's son, Pietro (Quicksilver) demanded that Magneto saved her. Magneto retorted that it was out of his hands and there was nothing he could do. On the one hand Wanda was indeed his flesh and blood and he would give his life for her, but on the other hand, she clearly had a mental breakdown and was dangerous. It was then that the combined forces of the X-Men and the New Avengers arrived on Magneto's doorstep. Before they could act however, the world flashed white and when it returned it had been remade as a world where mutants where the dominant species and humanity was on the decline. Magneto was now ruler over the sovereign nation of Genosha, the dominant superpower in the world, and mutants held almost all worldwide positions of power.
The world has been reversed: mutants now subjugate and legislate against humans, waiting for them to die out over the natural course of their existence. When Wolverine and a mysterious girl named Layla Miller begin restoring the memories of the heroes, they staged a daring coup against Magneto’s headquarters where Wanda was kept. The revelation came out that it was actually Pietro, not Erik, who convinced Wanda to remake the world in this image. As the world crumbled around them, Wanda utters three simple words: No more mutants. When everything returns to normal, 99% of the world’s mutant population has been depowered, including Magneto. This day would be known as M-Day.
For the months after, Magneto wondered the earth, even contacting his old friend Xavier again, whom both got in trouble when Magneto's old soldiers, the Accolytes, wanted to kill Xavier and no longer lissened to Magneto, because he no longer was a mutant. Magneto and Xavier teamed up and managed to break free of the Accolytes and stopped them from further persuid. The two then again went their seperate ways. Some months later again, Magneto contacted the High Evolutionary whom managed to return Magneto's lost mutant powers once again. This all hapenned during a ruse where he attacked the X-men once again. He was now the only mutant to regain his powers after losing them on M-Day.
Magneto, with his powers back, stood for a choice, returning to his old ways or now join the X-men on their homebase known as Utopia. Since no more then 200 mutants remained after M-Day, Magneto thought the few that where still there should stand strong together. He embarked on a journey to Utopia where he was met with anger by the X-men. When he arrives, Xavier demands he leave, but Cyclops overrules him and allows Magneto to state his business. Magneto then fell down on his knies and praised Cyclops' leadership and asked him if he could join them. Xavier refused to accept Magneto’s suspicous acts and change of heart and telepathically attacks him, but Cyclops stops the attack and orders Xavier to leave. Magneto laments the future of their race, but Cyclops assures him that Hope Summers, the Mutant Messiah is alive and well. Magneto swears fealty to the X-Men and is made a senior member of Cyclops’ cabinet.
He’s still not fully accepted, however, as Cyclops reprimands him for taking what he believed to be too much initiative by constructing a giant support column to not only support Utopia, but house the Atlantean refugees, calling the structure New Atlantis. To finally atone for his past sins, he journeys to the top of a mountain to reflect and finally realizes what he can do: bring Kitty Pryde back to Earth. He saw the massive bullet she was trapped in when he was in the High Evolutionary’s space station and uses his abilities to bring her back, but he lapses into a coma.
Magneto comes out of his coma right after Hope was teleported into Utopia by a dying Nightcrawler. With the Nimrod Sentinels laying siege to Utopia, Magneto stopped Hank McCoy from leaving his patients as he stated that he had made certain promises to himself, which precluded him from laying in bed while his people were in danger of genocide. Magneto prepares for battle and manage to hold off a squad of Nimrods by attacking them with electrical blasts before finally dismembering the robots by pulling shards of iron from the core of Utopia through them. The wounded but victorious Magneto then gave a speech to the awed young mutants that surrounded him that it was their destiny to inherit the world. On one day, Magneto receives a lead from X-men teammate Dr. Nemesis on one of his old Nazi tormentors. Erik reveals to Wolverine's X-Force that he is aware of their existence, and trades his silence for the murder of the Nazi officer. Wolverine takes the task on alone and completes it.
Magneto appears alongside Emma Frost, Colossus, Namor, and Iceman at the unveiling of a mutant museum in San Francisco under orders from Cyclops. The highly publicized event is attacked by the new Hellfire Club. Each of the X-Men present are taken down one by one through technology specifically designed to defeat each of them. Magneto is shot with a miniaturized neutron star. The Hellfire Club then attaches brain slugs to the X-Men to keep them unconscious. Idie, the only mutant left in the museum unscathed, kills the remaining Hellfire members to save everyone.
The Hellfire Club unleashes a giant Sentinel, charged with destroying Utopia. Cyclops and some of the younger mutants prepare to stand their ground, while Wolverine demands that the children run and save themselves. The Sentinel winds up being defeated. However, the X-Men are split between Cyclops and Wolverine. Magneto remains loyal to Cyclops and stays on Utopia.
Magneto is later assigned to Cyclops' new "Extinction Team", which also consists of Namor, Danger, Magik, Colossus, Storm, Hope, and Emma Frost. In a training exercise between the Extinction Team and Hope's Lights, Magneto is attacked by Zero and reacts by brutally by ripping him in half with his magnetic powers. Zero is able to pull himself back together (which Magneto knew he was capable of doing), but Magneto is harshly reprimanded by Hope and Cyclops for attacking so harshly during a training exercise. After the apparent death of Jocasta, Hank Pym calls for Cyclops, Emma Frost and Magneto to aid him in his investigation. Upon their arrival to the West Coast Academy, Magneto agrees to assist so long as Quicksilver refrains from involving himself in any mutant affairs. He claims that Pietro coerced his sister into the events that led to her breakdown and cites his misuse of the Terrigen Mists and the war that was caused due to it.
Magneto is also faced with a ghost from his past in the form of his clone, Joseph. Disguised as Magneto, Joseph kills a group of anti-mutant protesters witch causes a conflict between Magneto and the authorities and the Avengers. The Avengers claim Magneto to be the purpitraitor. However, Magneto soon found out that the mutant teleporter Astra, an old nemesis to Magneto as well as the person whom created the original Joseph, was to blame for the new Joseph and the murders. Eventually Magneto managed to clear his name and defeated Astra while Joseph was brought over to Cyclops where he was imprisonned.
When Captain America arrives on Utopia to discuss Hope and the returning Phoenix Force, the two teams can not come to an agreement. This causes a rift between the two superhero teams. Where most of the X-men believe the Phoenic Force to be a force that can respark the dying mutant race, the Avengers believe it will cause nothing but harm. During this, Magneto stands with the X-men's Extinction Team lead by Cyclops and helps him gain the advantage during the first fight that breaks out as a result of the diffrence in opinion. Magneto also helps the X-men during the following days in search of Hope and later when five of the X-men gained the Phoenix's powers.
Oh dear. Well...umm...Good Luck Eye-Scream. I...I really don't know what to tell you here.
What a fantastic villain. A good villain always believes what they are doing is right and Magneto actually has a lot of readers that believe him! That's how convincing he is in his argument or mutant dominance. When Chris Claremont added Magneto's backstory of the Holocaust and the persecution he faced while a young child, it just added so much more to the character. He is justified in his revenge and it took his daughter wiping his powers from existence and seeing his race on the verge of extinction to finally see the errors of his ways. He blamed himself for his daughter's actions, the first time he ever took fault or showed genuine feelings for his kids. Not only that but this guy is POWERFUL. He sends shivers down many a hero on Marvel's tier list. Whenever this guy appears, you know you're in for an epic beatdown with a hint of class. The guys nuts but hes graceful.