web stats

CSBG Archive

The Greatest Magneto Stories Ever Told!

Every day in May we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Magneto Stories Ever Told!

Enjoy!

10. Uncanny X-Men #274-275 “Magneto in Savage Land”

This storyline pitted Magneto against Zaladane, a crazy woman with magnetic powers. Guest-starring Nick Fury, Ka-Zar and Rogue! Chris Claremont and Jim Lee did the issues.

9. Age of Apocalypse

Here we get to see what would have happened had Magneto been forced to create the X-Men instead of Charles Xavier (oh, and if Apocalypse had taken over the world years ago, also). Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza handled the main story (with Mark Waid along for the ride, as well) – lots of different artists.

8. Classic X-Men #12 “A Fire in the Night”

This back-up story by Chris Claremont and John Bolton gave us a significant look at Magneto the man, rather than Magneto the mutant villain, as we see the death of his first child.

7. Uncanny X-Men #200 “The Trial of Magneto”

Magneto is put on trial for his crimes against humanity while Professor X is taken out of the picture – SOMEone needs to lead the X-Men….can it be Magneto? Claremont and John Romita Jr. did the issue.

6. Fatal Attractions

Professor X decides to come up with a “permanent” solution to the Magneto problem after Magneto makes a big show of force (he also gets Colossus to change sides). Fabian Niceiza and Scott Lobdell were the main writers on this storyline.

5. X-Men #1-3 “Mutant Genesis”

Chris Claremont’s farewell to the X-Men (at the time) in this three-parter that debuted the new second X-Men title, with artwork (and plot) by Jim Lee! This is the introduction of Magneto’s Acolytes as well as the introduction of the whole “Magneto’s powers drive him nuts” excuse.

4. X-Men #111-113 “X-Men vs. Magneto under a volcano”

Magneto beats the X-Men badly then keeps them captive with a robotic “nanny” – eventually they escape and in the ensuing battle, Magneto’s volcano base becomes a somewhat less hospitable place to be. This is the story that made it seem to their friends that the majority of the X-Men were dead for a year (only Jean Grey and Beast seemed to make it out “alive”). Claremont and John Byrne did the issues.

3. New X-Men #146-150 “Planet X”

Grant Morrison’s run on X-Men comes to a close with this five-part storyline drawn by Phil Jimenez. Magneto is revealed to have infiltrated the X-Men for months, as Morrison shows us how outdated Magneto’s ideas have become.

2. Uncanny X-Men #150

Magneto’s redemption begins in this issue, where his zeal almost turns deadly for Kitty Pryde. Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum did the issue.

1. God Loves, Man Kills

The X-Men and Magneto make an uneasy alliance against a Reverand who is preaching intolerance against mutants. Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson did the book.

That’s the list! I’m sure there is a lot of agreement and disagreement with the list out there! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section!

And please vote for the lists that are still up for grabs here!

108 Comments

Hmmm, seven out of ten for me on this one. I figured that “Fatal Attractions” would be here, but I couldn’t vote for it because…well, I just don’t think it’s that good. Would’ve liked to have seen “A Fire In The Night” a little higher, but it’s here anyways!

Nice list, and a great Magneto primer for anyone interested.

Is that Classic X-Men #12 a Mignola cover? I seem to recall that he did the covers for Classic X-Men in the early 90s. It barely looks like Mignola, but you can see it if you’re looking for it. It’s almost like something comic nerds would bring up in a game of “comic things you’ll never see”…”OK, try this one: A homage to X-Men #1, featuring the second team of X-Men…by Mignola!” “Dude, no way, you’re nuts.”

@Brian Mac: That’s Art Adams. He did the covers for the first bunch of issues, including the number one with that one picture of Wolverine that was used EVERYWHERE.

Peter Woodhouse

May 16, 2010 at 6:17 am

God Loves, Man Kills – I didn’t realise this was the basis of the X-Men 2 film (unless the movie-makers just nicked the name Stryker) until the Graphic Novel was featured in a CBR article.

Solid list, though I’d put the volcano story at #2, and Planet X at #3, and replace “Fatal Attractions” with the Xavier team-up versus Baron Strucker.

pretty much the right ten stories, though, for my personal taste, x-men 274-275 would have been #1. for me, it was the story that really highlighted the fundamental difference between the x-men way and the magneto way. plus, the jim lee art is amazing… it was right when he was first becoming a superstar, and he had not yet begun to indulge in his worst habits, i.e. all splash pages and pin-up poses. back on his original uncanny run, lee’s pencils were not only detailed and dynamic, but he really knew how to use his art for pacing and story-telling.

side note: i’ve always sort of felt like the image of rogue on the cover of #274 was the beginning of the whole 90’s babe movement in comics that went to extremes with lady death and most of the image artists. thoughts?

“Planet X” is not a Magneto story. Magneto wasn’t in it; it was Xorn. And in my opinion, it was one of the worst attempted portrayals of Magneto in Marvel history. I would have put UNCANNY X-MEN #274-275 at the No. One spot, as well. Or, X-MEN #1-3 at No. One, and UNCANNY #274-275 at No. Two.

But “Planet X” should have been ineligible, as Magneto was not a part of the story. Personal bias on the part of Mr. Cronin, perhaps?

I’m not happy with these results, but then, after having a week’s notice, I forgot to vote! So, I’m frustrated with myself at the moment more than anything. :(

I haven’t heard of many of these stories, but I was hoping Magneto Testament would crack the top 10. I liked that comic a lot.

Enrique said:

“I haven’t heard of many of these stories, but I was hoping Magneto Testament would crack the top 10. I liked that comic a lot.”

I agree. It was actually No. One on my list, that I had put in “mail waiting to be sent.” I feel so terrible now, that I didn’t vote. Like I’ve failed Magneto, or something.

For the record, here’s my list:

1) Magneto Testament limited series — certainly one of the most courageous and important Magneto stories of all time.

2) X-Men #1 – #3 — the debut of “adjectiveless X-Men” with Magneto and the introduction of the Acolytes, Claremont’s farewell to Magneto

3) Uncanny #274-275 — Magneto in the Savage Land

4) “A Fire in the Night” — backup story by Claremont and Bolton in Classic X-Men #12 — also one of the most important; the origin of Magneto and Magda, escaping Auschwitz, and introducing Anya and the eruption of Magneto’s powers.

5) “I, Magneto” — another story by Claremont and Bolton, backup story in Classic X-Men #19. The story of Magneto as double-agent, and the murder of Isabelle, the first moment he ceases to be Max and becomes Magneto in his mind.

6) Uncanny X-Men #161 — the origin story of Xavier and Magneto’s friendship, meeting in Israel

7) Uncanny #150 — Magneto on his Bermuda Triangle island, hosting a powerless Scott Summers and Lee Forrester, and almost killing Kitty Pryde in the end.

8) Uncanny X-Men #199 — Magneto and Kitty visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington, attacked by Mystique and her Brotherhood.

9) God Loves, Man Kills

10) “Legion Quest” — Uncanny #320, #321, X-Men #40, #41 — Magnus and Xavier in Israel 25 years ago, attacked by David Haller

But “Planet X” should have been ineligible, as Magneto was not a part of the story. Personal bias on the part of Mr. Cronin, perhaps?

Except, of course, for the fact that it’s totally a Magneto story, and a half-assed attempt to retcon it a month later by editorial doesn’t change that.

Bill Reed says: “Except, of course, for the fact that it’s totally a Magneto story, and a half-assed attempt to retcon it a month later by editorial doesn’t change that.”

Except of course that it’s not a Magneto story, because Magneto wasn’t in the story. Xorneto was never Magneto. You might want Wolverine to still be a human form of the animal wolverine, or Jean Grey to have never come back after the “Dark Phoenix Saga,” or Colossus to be dead, or any number of other Marvel course-corrections to have not happened, but the fact remains, in canon, “Planet X” is not a Magneto story, it’s a story about a half-assed and warped view of Magneto as manifested by Kuan Yin Xorn, pretending to be Magneto.

@Myst – Planet X was a Magneto story – there was a later retcon which sort of undid it, but it has since been said that Xorn was a duplicate Magneto construct created by the Scarlet Witch.

Either way, it’s definitely eligible and possibly one of the strongest stories on this list.

Good work, Brian!

Nothing I really disagree with. The only glaring differences that I never considered for my list were Planet X (Because as much as I love the story, I don’t like that version of Magneto. It would probably make my list of top X-Men stories, though.) and God Loves, Man Kills (While I like the way Magneto is portrayed, and this was the start of his road to redemption, it still doesn’t really strike me instantly as a “Magneto” Story.). The others on the list were either ones I considered or, in the case of Classic X-Men #12, had not read.
Here are my choices:

1. Magneto: Testament: I’m shocked that this story didn’t make the cut, but I guess many people don’t think of it as a Magneto story and more of a Holocaust/WW2 story that happens to star Magneto.

2. Mutant Genesis (X-Men vol 2. #1-3): To me, the ultimate Magneto as a villain story. You feel for him, and know that he’s doing he believes is right, but can see how wrong he is. Powerful stuff.

3. The Age of Apocalypse: Conversely, the ultimate Magneto as hero story. Magneto shows how wise and powerful he can be. The only reason this didn’t make #2 was that it wasn’t quite as Magneto-centric.

4. Magnetic Repulsion (Captain America #367): Magneto vs. The Red Skull, Marvel’s biggest Nazi. ‘Nuff Said.

5. What Was That? (Uncanny X-Men #196): This is a wonderful story that is much overlooked. Most people who remember it remember it as “that time Kitty used the N-word”, but it’s more than that. The character work as everyone deals with Xavier’s beating is amazing, and even though Magneto makes one a couple of appearances, his confrontation with a rageful Rachel Summers is such an emotional scene that shows how far he has come from the faceless villain of his first appearance that he really steals the show.

6. The Spiral Path/The Trial of Magneto (Uncanny X-Men #199-200): The end of the transformation began in God Loves, Man Kills. I like to include the first part of the story, since that’s the one in which Spiral tries to break him out of jail and he refuses to go, wanting to be judged for his crimes.

7. Magneto and Lee (New Mutants #23-29, Claremonty “could have been a back-up” sub-plot pages.): This is an awkward to identify story, but it picks up where UXM #150 left off. Claremont used these pages to show how Magneto came to care for a human, and from there humanity itself. This doesn’t pack the punch of some other stories on the list, but this “Beauty and the Beast” type story is very important in Magneto’s development.

8. Magneto and Rogue in the Savage Land (Uncanny X-Men #274-275): Great character stuff with Rogue and Magneto, and an important step in his change from hero to reluctant villain.

9. Magneto takes over The New Mutants (New Mutants #35-40): Here we see Magneto struggle with his will to change and his insecurities over his past.

10. House of M: The story that shows that “Magneto Was Right”. Honestly, aside from Australia and Egypt I wouldn’t mind living in a world ruled by Magneto.
Runners up: I, Magneto (UXM #150), Fatal Attractions, Magneto Rex, various stuff from Claremont’s Excalibur, various stuff with Joseph.

jau said: “Either way, it’s definitely eligible and possibly one of the strongest stories on this list.

Good work, Brian!”

Well, I don’t agree that it’s eligible. It wasn’t Magneto in the story. It’s not a Magneto story. It’s a story about the warped and erroneous perceptions people have about Magneto. And I certainly disagree about it being one of the “strongest” stories on the list. It’s the worst story with any form of Magneto in it, that I’ve read. And on a list that excludes “Magneto Testament” — I’d say this is not a strong list at all. But that’s not Brian’s fault, nor can he take credit. People voted, and a lot of Magneto fans didn’t even know about this vote. And I knew about it, and forgot to vote!

This is not a representative list, in my opinion, of the overall “greatest Magneto stories” since it was voted on by mostly CBR regulars who knew about the poll.

Is the Classic X-Men issue the one where Magneto “kills” Strucker and makes off with the Nazi gold to keep for himself, or is this the one where Israel is hunting him?

Great list, Brian. I have a sneaking suspicion that I’m the only person that voted for the Marvel Animation Special.

@Myst. – When Planet X was written, it was intended to be a Magneto story. The Xorneto nonsense was just Marvel chickening out when it came to making a fundamental change to one of their iconic characters. It’s a shame that more Magneto fans can’t embrace the one good and original piece of character development the character has had since the 1980s.

darknessatnoon says: “Is the Classic X-Men issue the one where Magneto “kills” Strucker and makes off with the Nazi gold to keep for himself, or is this the one where Israel is hunting him?”

That’s a great Magneto story. UNCANNY X-MEN #161. On my list — if I’d remembered to vote — but didn’t make the cut on this list.

Planet X is certainly THE iconic magneto story as far as I’m concerned. It contains the scene where he kills Jean Grey with an electromagnetic pulse which I’d imagine is one of the first things that springs to mind for most comic fans when they are asked to name an impressive power feat of his.

Wooooooo! So glad Planet X made the top 10 list! It was my #1 and def the best version of the M.O.T.T ever!

Gene M says: “It’s a shame that more Magneto fans can’t embrace the one good and original piece of character development the character has had since the 1980s.”

No, it’s a shame more Marvel fans don’t realize what a poorly written, plot-hole ridden mess “Planet X” was. And no, to take Magneto from a multi-layered and complicated character back to a Silver Age buffoon committing genocide is not character development, it’s character regression if not character-assassination. As I said, “Planet X” isn’t about Magneto — the “Magneto” in that story arc bears almost no resemblance to 616 Magneto, even in the Silver Age. It’s about the perception that people in the Marvel Universe (and the readers) have about Magneto. It’s about images and prejudices and personas, and has nothing to do with the actual character of Magneto.

Planet X is a Magneto story. The only good Magneto story we’ve had this decade.

jau says: “It contains the scene where he kills Jean Grey with an electromagnetic pulse which I’d imagine is one of the first things that springs to mind for most comic fans when they are asked to name an impressive power feat of his.”

Well, it wasn’t Magneto who killed Jean Grey. It was Xorn. And it didn’t make sense in any case; a being who has just survived immersion in a star, the sun, is killed by a paltry electromagnetic pulse? But I think the feat most fans think of when they think of Magneto’s use of his powers, is for the films, moving the San Francisco Bay Bridge, and in the comics, unleashing the EMP in Fatal Attractions. Personally, I like the way Magneto defeated Proteus in the recent X-MEN LEGACY comic; I now consider that one of his most awesome moments.

The point about Planet X was it that you can sometimes become what you hate, the irony of Magneto becoming genocidal. It was the logical place to take the character and gave him great development, staying true to his villainous roots.

Planet X was a Magneto story at the time, and it moved the character forward in a way that made sense and was powerful and entertaining. Since then, I think the best Magneto story would have to be either Uncanny X-Men #500, or his current role in Uncanny X-Men as part of the ‘Utopia’ storyline.

Clearly the best Magneto story since Planet X is Uncanny X-Men 516. Agree Vanguard.

No, it’s a shame more Marvel fans don’t realize what a poorly written, plot-hole ridden mess “Planet X” was. And no, to take Magneto from a multi-layered and complicated character back to a Silver Age buffoon committing genocide is not character development, it’s character regression if not character-assassination.

Morrison took the central conceit of Magneto’s character and held it up to the harsh light of day. Sorry if you didn’t like it, but tough.

It’s a shame House of M didn’t make it. While I don’t think of it as a great story it has a defining Magneto moment, when he pushes Wanda too far and causes the near destruction of mutantkind

To Andy: Oh, yeah, I’m very happy with the way Magneto is being portrayed today. I forgot the greatest feat of all, his bringing back Kitty Pryde! UNCANNY #522. That had to be one of my favorite Magneto moments.

To Bill Reed: Morrison reconstructed a Magneto from an extreme and warped concept of the character, dating back to the Silver Age. He did not present the “central conceit” of the character. He presented his version, and the false perceptions of the citizens of Marvel earth, and many readers. Magneto had already been changed, advanced, “updated” as it were, 28 years ago. Instead of exploring in a genuine way, the central concepts of the X-Men, and the argument between Xavier and Magneto, Morrison settled for a lazy regressive character deconstruction. This wasn’t an analysis or exploration, it was a diatribe, an outburst, an all-out attack on the character, leaving this projection of Magneto bereft of everything, including intelligence and dignity and finally his life.

Magneto in the comic book canon was, for most o fhis life, a good man. He is a Holocaust survivor, who doesn’t want another genocide to happen to mutants. There was nothing in Morrison’s “Planet X” that addressed these facts. There was only a psycho buffoon who couldn’t control his powers and couldn’t understand how to set up stereo speakers, and put people in gas chambers and ovens. This is most definitely not the “core conceit” of the character Magneto.

The way Magneto is written today, is much more of a new look at the character’s core concept. I’m impressed with how Fraction and Carey have used Magneto in the current Utopia storyline. This is the way it should be done. You take the actual history and personality traits that are in canon, and work them out in new ways, to genuinely explore the dialectic between Xavier and Magneto. I think it was genius of the X-office to annoint Scott Summers as the “synthesis” of the dialectic, and in this way examine how and where Magneto fits in, and how his ideas are applicable or outdated. In the meantime, treating the character with respect, depicting him in a positive way.

I really apologize for cluttering up this comments thread. I won’t be doing the back-and-forth ad nauseum. I feel very strongly about “Planet X” just as others do.

Awesome work, Brian.

I wish Uncanny X-Men #516 and House of M made the cut, but hey–! Planet X is great and, in my opinion, the definitive modern Magneto story, so I’m glad it got the attention it deserves.

I’m surprised by how many of these I’ve read.
I didn’t vote. I’m really sick of Magneto, and he’s been in so many awful stories. I didn’t think I’d be able to come up with enough good stories for this vote, but looking over the winners, I guess there were more than I realised.

there was an issue of adjectiveless that I think is sorely missing from this list. Issue #85. It was the “eve of the Magneto War”. This issue had Magneto trying to decide if he should declare war on humankind by spending the day with an average human; a construction worker. Everything goes well until the man asks the hypothetical question of “what if you could go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby, would you do it?” It’s supposed to be a tough question, but when posed to Magneto, all hell breaks loose. The issue has some of the most stunning and touching artwork done by Alan Davis. Sadly, the “Magneto War” crossover that this led into was completely forgettable, but if you are a fan of Magneto, you need to find this issue.
As a huge Magneto fan this list is a decent sampling of all things Magneto.
Some stuff is definitely missing, though.

Wow, can’t believe that the Volcano story didn’t win by a landslide! It’s the coolest the big M has ever been in my book (his “reformation”, while extremely well done, did take a bit of the villainous fun out of the character, so I’m just partial to his full-on supervillain days).

My list betrays a bit of old-school bias (at least on the back end):

1. Uncanny X-men 112-113
2. Uncanny X-men 150
3. X-men: God Loves, Man Kills
4. Uncanny X-men 104
5. Uncanny X-men 161 (first meeting of Prof. X and Magneto)
6. X-men vol. 2 1-3 (Chris Claremont/Jim Lee)
7. Defenders 15-16 (vs. Alpha the Ultimate Mutant)
8. New Mutants 40 (vs. Avengers)
9. Vision/Scarlet Witch (first miniseries) 4
10. Planet X (New X-men 146-150)

and honorable mention:

11. Supervillain Team-Up 14/Champions 16 Crossover (vs. Dr. Doom)
12. X-men vs. Avengers miniseries

While I didn’t like Planet X that much, I think it’s a Magneto story, and the Part 1 reveal was one of my favorite moments of the last decade (the sole reason it got on my list). I appreciate what Morrison did with Mags’ breakdown, but it still ruined the thrill of the reveal a bit. Maybe if his madness happened a bit more gradually. As it was I found it jarring that Magneto was shown as incompetent the very issue after he pulled one of the most well-done stings in the history of villainy!

Anyway, this has been my favorite entry in this series so far! (looking forward to Mr. Stern’s list, though)

I haven’t read this Planet X thing everyone is arguing about, but I wanted to reply to this comment:

“As I said, “Planet X” isn’t about Magneto — the “Magneto” in that story arc bears almost no resemblance to 616 Magneto, even in the Silver Age. It’s about the perception that people in the Marvel Universe (and the readers) have about Magneto.”

It seems to me that even if Magneto himself didn’t actually appear in the story, if the entire point of the arc was to explore “the perception that people in the Marvel Universe (and the readers) have about Magneto,” then it is a Magneto story.

Plus, I’m not sure how this is a “bias on the part of Mr. Cronin” considering enough people voted for this story to land it at number 3 on this list. He didn’t even list nominees, he just tallied the results. Not a lot of bias there. And when you say “This is not a representative list, in my opinion, of the overall “greatest Magneto stories” since it was voted on by mostly CBR regulars who knew about the poll,” I mean, what the heck are you even talking about? This is a poll on CBR. Hence the only people who could possibly vote on it are CBR readers who knew about the poll. So by definition it’s completely representative of that audience.

Look, I’m glad you’re passionate about the story, but take it from someone who has been arguing for years that New Avengers isn’t a real Avengers title: everyone who reads your comments is just going to think you’re crazy. Illogical arguments like the ones you’ve served up here aren’t going to help sway anybody.

I’m wondering if Myst is the Magneto evangelist from Comic Critics.

Forget it Myst, (this blog) it’s Morrisontown

Also, i’m surprised by the lack of love to the Maneto – Red Skull Acts of Vengeance story… i’ve found the highlights here
http://asylums.insanejournal.com/scans_daily/588225.html

I wonder why people who complain why Magneto “wasn’t himself” in Planet X never consider the very simple explanation Morrison gave to his behaviour in that and the following story arc: Magneto’s behaviour was affected by Kick, which turned out to be a part of the sentient bacteria Sublime, who was very much against mutants. It’s pretty easy to deduce that Sublime was bringing out the worst in Magneto as a part of its anti-mutant plan. It’s true that in Planet X Morrison wanted to focus on the villainous, megalomaniac side of Magneto, but it’s weird how so many people missed the way he provided a backdoor to explain away Magneto’s extreme actions, in the case you still wanted to see him as a noble character. What’s even weirder is that people at Marvel didn’t use that backdoor Morrison had so politely provided them with, and instead came up with that ridiculous Xorneto retcon.

Why is “Planet X” on the list? It didn’t contain Magneto, and even the writer has admitted it was very poor and riddled with plot holes. It is normally the preserve of CBR trolls who think having a holocaust survivor herding people into ovens is the most 133t c00l thing since the rape of Sue Dibny. Quite asides from the poor craftsmaship and plot holes, the cetral concept is rather taseteless.

And where is Testament?

[i]and even the writer has admitted it was very poor and riddled with plot holes.[/i]

Where exactly has he said Planet X was “very poor”? Also, if the writer intended it to be a Magneto story (like Morrison did), I think it counts as one, even if it was later retconned. Should the Dark Phoenix Saga not count among “greatest Jean Grey stories ever told” because it was later retconned that the person in it was a copy created by Phoenix, and not the real Jean Grey?

As for the holocaust thing, did you read my post above yours?

I love the Magneto apologists.

He’s been a genocidal maniac since his creation. Deal with it.

And “Planet X” is a Magneto story. This is one of those cases where authorial intent is important–Morrison wanted it to be Magneto, therefore it was in the context of that story. I haven’t–and don’t intend–to read Marvel’s retcons of that; they don’t change anything about the work itself as a self-contained story.

(Apologies for the double post.)

Planet X is an awesome Magneto story. The way it pisses the idiots off only adds to its awesomeness.

Why does Magneto always inspire such fanaticism every time he’s mentioned on this blog?

You can cover your eyes and ears all you want but it wasn’t Magneto..it was Xorn. He killed Jean and tried to flip the world upside down..of course Sublime was the cause but still….it was him and Magneto was in Genosha recovering from injuries sustained earlier. Sorry you can’t deal with that actuality but that’s how it is.

I don’t care one way or the other about Planet X, I haven’t read it. However, appealing to “canon” is specious enough with superhero comics in general, but with X-Men?

“Sorry you can’t deal with that actuality but that’s how it is.”

That’s the funniest thing I’ve ever read.

What’s not funny is this list and the blatant absence of Super-Villain Team-Up #14.

I’ll be in my room crying.

Magneto’s backstory as envisioned by Claremont was basically a pre-Internet use of Godwin’s Law as a justification for supervillainy. Isn’t Planet X basically the logical conclusion of what was already there?

Well, Tuomas, while the whole Xorneto thing was absolutley ridiculous, the back door that Morrison provided did not allow for a way to make Magneto not dead, which is what Marvel, and many fans, wanted. Still, there is no excuse for how stupid and convoluted the way they did so was.

[…] Comics Should be Good: The Greatest Magneto Stories Ever Told! […]

kisskissbangbang

May 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm

I’d like to see the 15-11 choices. Did no one vote for X-Men 62, the Roy Thomas/ Neal Adams issue set in the Savage Land that was the first time we saw Magneto without the mask? (Brian has a page from it on the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed.)

I’m fine with Planet X. From X-Men 1 to 150, Magneto was a genocidal maniac, and given the period when X-Men was a reprint book or not published, that was the Sixties & Seventies. Since then, he’s backslid and reformed at least a couple of times. What’s one more, especially given that during Planet X (as Tuomas pointed out), he was inhabited by Sublime? OK, the decapitation needed explaining, but the rest of it….no.

I’d like to see the 15-11 choices.

Off the top of my head, without looking, I believe the #11-15 picks were another Classic X-Men back-up, the Magneto Testament mini, the Magneto/Xavier versus Baron Strucker issue, a New Mutants storyline and Magneto’s first appearance.

Planet X was a great arc, and a good 75% culmination of Morrison’s run on the title.

This wasn’t an analysis or exploration, it was a diatribe, an outburst, an all-out attack on the character, leaving this projection of Magneto bereft of everything, including intelligence and dignity and finally his life.

Yes, but fictional characters can’t sue for libel. You can’t “attack” a character. Morrison was trying to break the cycle of X-Men stories– clearly, it didn’t work.

Magneto in the comic book canon was, for most o fhis life, a good man. He is a Holocaust survivor, who doesn’t want another genocide to happen to mutants. There was nothing in Morrison’s “Planet X” that addressed these facts. There was only a psycho buffoon who couldn’t control his powers and couldn’t understand how to set up stereo speakers, and put people in gas chambers and ovens. This is most definitely not the “core conceit” of the character Magneto.

In his first appearances, Magneto was just a bad guy who wanted to forcefully take the world over for mutants. He specifically put the word “Evil” into his team; this was a guy who knew he wasn’t a good guy. Of course, he evolved since then, into a fellow who believes himself to be noble, as well as developing a Holocaust survival background. That was a nice little touch, because it introduced a brilliant irony; Magneto survived the Holocaust, but in his quest to prevent the same thing happening to mutants, he has become another Hitler. Morrison made this more explicit, while also telling a story about how Magneto (and Xavier) have become outmoded, obsolete, how the old ideas and old stories no longer have weight. X-Men fans being what they are, they didn’t take to this, but New X-Men is about the only time I’ve ever found X-books readable, so it worked for me.

kisskissbangbang

May 16, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Follow-up to R=G.

As for being unable to deal with the “actuality” of it, actuality is a fluid concept in the Marvelverse. They could retcon it tomorrow, and where would your “actuality” be then? After all, in “actuality”, Squirrel Girl beat both Dr. Doom and Thanos, Watcher-certified as not involving clones or robots. I despise Gwen Stacy being mother to Norman Osborn’s kids, but it’s “actuality”, for now. Peter was married to Mary Jane, but not in “actuality”. Mark my words, somebody who admires Morrison’s work on X-Men (and as the poll shows, there’s a lot of us) will get on the book, and retcon the retcon. And because the Marvelverse’s “actuality” is Orwellian, and depends on who’s in power, that will be that…until the next spin of the wheel.

In “actuality”, as Inigo Montoya once said, “I do not think that word means what you think it means”.

Oh, crud. Someone had better tell Brian to remove all pre-Crisis DC stories and anything that mentions the Spidey-MJ marriage from his “Greatest…Stories Ever Told!”

Because these stories never happened.

I’ll be in my room, putting all my now-nonexistent Elseworlds and MC2 books into the trash.

Ok, like a lot of folks, I’m surprised that more of the Classic X-Men backups didn’t make it in her. Lots of good character work there.

Also, thanks to everybody who’s brought up “Testament.” There were scads of these in the fifty cent bins at the last con I attended, but I passed. I’ll definitely pick these up next time I see them.

Planet X was great but to this day I despise Angel for stepping in between Magneto and Ernst. Our little progeria victim was just about to cave his face in.

“Well, I don’t agree that it’s eligible. It wasn’t Magneto in the story. It’s not a Magneto story. It’s a story about the warped and erroneous perceptions people have about Magneto.”

Saying that “Planet X” wasn’t about Magneto is like saying the Dark Phoenix Saga wasn’t about Jean Grey because the Phoenix had taken her place. Whether it’s Magneto or Xorn in disguise, “Planet X” was all ABOUT Magneto. It’s Grant Morrison exploring what the character means to him. In his words:

“What people often forget, of course, is that Magneto, unlike the lovely Sir Ian McKellen, is a mad old terrorist twat. No matter how he justifies his stupid, brutal behaviour, or how anyone else tries to justify it, in the end he’s just an old bastard with daft, old ideas based on violence and coercion.”

From here: http://www.popimage.com/content/grant20044.html

Morrison used Sublime (a.k.a. Kick) to strip Magneto down to what he believed was the character’s essence. To Morrison, Magneto is, at his core, a man who’s willing to kill you if you lack a certain chromosome.

I still wonder if I entirely agree, but honestly, his conclusion isn’t exactly unfounded. Chris Claremont may have given Magneto a tragic past and a sense of honor, and I applaud him for it. Yet when Magneto was originally introduced, he was cruel and narcissistic, referring to himself as the “miraculous Magneto” and belittling anyone he deemed inferior… including Toad, a fellow mutant. You say the Magneto from “Planet X” didn’t even act like the Silver Age Magneto, and you’re partially right: in some ways, the Magneto of the Silver Age was worse. At least the Magneto from “Planet X” treated Toad with some respect (he did belittle Toad briefly at one point, but for the most part treated Mortimer as his confidante). He even planned to set Professor X free once his master plan was finished. Other than that, though, I’d have to say Magneto acts a lot like he did in the Silver Age.

However, Morrison never entirely removes Magneto’s redeeming qualities in “Planet X.” When Erik/Magnus envisions the Xorn helmet talking to him in issue #149, we learn that the Xorn persona itself was created from Magneto’s idealism. When you think about it, Xorn pretty much acts exactly as Magneto would if he weren’t evil. He joins the X-Men (just as he did in the ’80s), teaches the Special Class how to reach their potential (as he did with the New Mutants) and tries to help any good mutant in need (e.g. the mutant boy with the ailing mother in New X-Men #127).

This post is way too long, so I’ll end with this: even if Marvel retconned “Planet X’s” Magneto into an imposter, there are many reasons why “Planet X”– and Morrison’s run in general– can be viewed as a Magneto story.

I prefer the nobler view of Magneto, but I liked Planet X. It was thought-provocking.

I find it interesting that Grant Morrison has depicted Lex Luthor somewhat sympatheticaly throughout the years, and even Morrison’s Joker receives a certain sympathy, but Magneto is treated so harshly.

I didn’t vote, but if I DID, I would have put Planet X at the top(with X-men #1-3 and UXM #200 as 2nd-3rd) Great stories, all.

and fuck your Xorneto bullcrap, 2nd worst retcon this decade behind OMD.

” I find it interesting that Grant Morrison has depicted Lex Luthor somewhat sympatheticaly throughout the years, and even Morrison’s Joker receives a certain sympathy, but Magneto is treated so harshly. ”

Probably because both Lex Luthor and Joker are routinely demonized, while the ” tragic ” anti-hero Magneto is revoltingly common in portrayals from Claremont on ( even after his actions stopped being sympathetic ).

Planet X is overrated. Grant Morrison only knows one type of stereotypical youth and everyone acts like he talked for a whole generation when it’s just a personification and projection of his own ideas. Everyone loves it because it’s so damn pseudo-intellectual, and they can feel smart and culturally relevant. Just shows how comics are by middle-aged white men, for middle-aged white men.

Alex, I am not a middle-aged white man nor do I have the sensibilities of a middle-aged white man. I still think Magneto is a terrible man for killing all those people in New York.

“Probably because both Lex Luthor and Joker are routinely demonized, while the ” tragic ” anti-hero Magneto is revoltingly common in portrayals from Claremont on ( even after his actions stopped being sympathetic ).”

I agree. And while I don’t think that tying Magneto to the Holocaust is tasteless per se, using it to try to condone and excuse his crimes is pretty tacky.

To me, the whole point of Planet X was to demonstrate that only a complete dork like Quentin Quire could think that Magneto is cool.

I’m surprised that Planet X made the list, even higher than other stories. I liked the story. I sure think that Morrison did it only to mock marvel and let them get out of it, and it was not easy, but it sure was a powerful story. It showed magneto the megalomaniac, the one that his ideas are now good only for t-shirts and no one believes his way any more. It showed him as dinosaur, fighting only out of spite. I loved that. It was a good story but it should be read out of continuity, cause there’re no way he was Magneto all along in Grand’s run. But I can not care for Wolverine not reacognize him if a story is that well writen.

” Planet X is overrated. Grant Morrison only knows one type of stereotypical youth and everyone acts like he talked for a whole generation when it’s just a personification and projection of his own ideas. Everyone loves it because it’s so damn pseudo-intellectual, and they can feel smart and culturally relevant. Just shows how comics are by middle-aged white men, for middle-aged white men. ”

So what is your alternative?

Morrison only knows “one type of stereotypical youth”? Could have fooled me, given how awesome Riot at Xavier’s was.

MAGNETO: TESTAMENT, son, read it!

“Magneto wasn’t Magneto because Xorn was a construct of the Scarlet Witch and Magneto’s behaviour was affected by Kick, which turned out to be a part of the sentient bacteria Sublime and the Xorn persona itself was created from Magneto’s idealism….”

I gave up on the X-Men when Psylocke turned Japanese. Reading these comments, I am more certain than ever that I made the right move.

Ha! You should’ve seen the ’90s!

@matthewaos
“It was a good story but it should be read out of continuity, cause there’re no way he was Magneto all along in Grand’s run.” (sic)

What do you mean? The clues are there in the stories previous to the unmasking.

Mike Loughlin

May 17, 2010 at 6:04 am

To all the people claiming Magneto was good for most of his existence: Claremont reformed the character wonderfully, and made his change of heart feel organic rather than forced. Jim Lee, Bob Harras, and Claremont himself returned him to villainy in the Savage Land story, and solidified said villainy in X-Men 1-3. Lobdell, Nicieza, et al kept him villainous throughout the ’90s. He had some sympathetic moments, but he didn’t go back to being a benevolent figure until after Planet X. After the ’80s, the nobility he’d displayed was secondary, at best.

Seems like Planet X is as polarizing as ever. For me there were too many plot holes and random annoying things to get past to really enjoy it. As far as Magneto goes he seemed like an odd mix of the old megalomaniac version of the character mixed with the holocaust backstory. Interesting concept but not really believable for me. I was half expecting it to turn out to be a Magneto from a different earth.

Is Myst really Patty Cockrum?

Mike Loughlin: Exactly.

In the last Magneto story before Planet X (Eve of destruction) he was completely fucking nuts.

@entzauberung – I completely agree. Although that story was neglected from this top ten and rightfully so, because it was a horrible story (really only used to transition the reader into the Grant Morrison era).

For the most part I agree with the top ten list with one exception: I would have not put Classic X-Men 12 and instead placed Uncanny X-Men 315 on this list. Although it did not star Magneto per se, it was all about his ideals and was a one-off story about how his ideals should be viewed by society between Colossus and Exodus.

A really good read by Lobdell and the art from Roger Cruz was sound.

The point about Planet X was it that you can sometimes become what you hate, the irony of Magneto becoming genocidal. It was the logical place to take the character and gave him great development, staying true to his villainous roots.

I haven’t read Planet X, but your description doesn’t really make me want to.

The whole “becoming what you hate” is awfully cliche, and something that Claremont pretty much dealt with in #150, and Magneto turned away from it.

Other writers like to bring it up with Magneto-as-villain, as if it’s some clever idea that no one else has come up with.

As for “staying true to his villainous roots” … given that the character left his villainous roots a long time ago, I put such comments along the lines of thinking that gave us Spider-Man making a deal with the devil, and DC’s current Whitest Night initiative.

@Mike Laughlin: He was a villain, sure, but under Claremont and the Fatal Attractions team he was a villain that you still care for.
@Everyone who is supporting Planet X: Personally, I think that Magneto would always draw the line at genocide. To me, even all tripped out it is something he wouldn’t do. The only way that would make sense is if Sublime actually turned him into a meat puppet. The “core conceit” of the character is not genocide. Even at his most extreme pre-Claremont he never wanted to wipe out all of humanity, he just wanted to rule over them.
@Everyone against Planet X: Yes, Morrison misinterpreted Magneto. The story is still very, very well done. Magneto is one of my favorite characters, but not everything has to be about him.

I can’t wait until we get to the “greatest Doctor Doom Stories” vote and results, just for the “Doombot or not” arguments.

The absence of “House of M”, even from the extended list, amuses me.

Meh… Magneto Testament should have been on this. Planet X shouldn’t be. The plot holes are just too much and annoy me. Even more so the actual end with Morrison again killing Magnus. I’m glad it was retconned away.

I’m surprised X-Men #-1 didn’t make the list. I loved reading that comic as a kid.

All I have to say about “Planet X” is this: Xorn, Magneto, whoever-on power-enhancing drugs or not, does not in any way wield even a fraction of the power necessary to kill Jean when she has the power of the Phoenix at her command. Phoenix EATS SUNS and destroys solar systems. Merely pumping enough energy to “turn the earth upside down on it’s axis” might begin to piss her off. Might. I will never buy that bit.

@badspock – Hey, at least it wasn’t another laser cannon from the moon. ;)

“In the last Magneto story before Planet X (Eve of destruction) he was completely fucking nuts.”

“eve of destruction” was totally bizarre in how crazy Mags had gotten. He “kills” Dazzler and hangs Xavier up all bruised and bloody. it was crazy. and then, at the end Wolvie severs his spine and they all go out for a beer. It was terrible.

Jesus Christ, all the fanboys bitching about Planet X are hurting my brain.

Me, I loved it, thought it was a great take on Magneto, prefer it to the 1990’s crap I’d been raised on, and don’t give two shits if someone pulled a retcon and decided it wasn’t the real Magneto. Not a Magneto story? That’s stupid. (And if you want to play the “WAAAAAAAH NOT CANOOOON” game, Age of Apocalypse is very decidedly not canon, but I don’t see anybody complaining about its inclusion.) Yeah, it’s different from Magneto’s earlier portrayals. Guess what? The Claremont/Byrne portrayal is completely different from the Lee/Kirby portrayal. Complain all that you want about how Morrison’s version of Magneto isn’t the version you like — you’re absolutely entitled to that opinion. But when you start saying it’s wrong and Magneto would never act like that, well, that’s why people hate fanboys.

I DO think it’s funny that Cronin describes Planet X as the end of Morrison’s run — not sure if that’s a mistake or if he’s deliberately pretending that Here Comes Tomorrow didn’t happen.

I can’t believe X-Men 85 by Joe Kelly and Alan Davis didn’t get mentioned. Not only was it a strong Magneto story, but a strong X-men story period

You know you’re list is just awful when Magneto Testament was ignored for Fatal Attractions.
Great job!

Maybe its because I was a kid in the 90s but I think both Age of Apocalypse and Fatal Attractions deserve higher billing on this list. AoA in particular is my favorite Magneto Story of all time.

I’m just shocked still Magneto Testament didn’t even get in. That still shocks me. Just knock out Planet X and put it there and perhaps it would have truly been the Greatest Magneto Stories Ever Told.

was going to be shocked and suprised if god loves man kills did not make the list for hit showed. Magneto willing to find other methods dealing with the hatred of his kind. even though he really wanted to let lose on Striker. also glad to see the trial of magneto on the list for that story showed the Magneto is not totaly pure bad he can if he chooses try xaveris way of thinking and work for peace for mutants.

Forget about the Planet X retcon, how about retconning Xorneto/Xorn and any other member of the Xorn family tree out of Marvel continuity forever?

Why isn’t Magneto: Testament on this list? That is one of the best limited series Marvel has put out in the last 10 years.

Didn’t like Planet X as much as other Magneto stories…sorry Morrison worshippers. But at the same time, those people whining about it being on the list…guess what..you had a whole week to vote! AND Mr. Cronin left the column up so you could have argued your points about Magneto stories to sway future voters….

So in the words of James Storm: “Sorry ’bout your damn luck!”

I have read 9 of the 10 stories on the list so this has been the most knowingly comprehensive for me by far.

Now this makes me wonder….is it proof to the overall universal strength of the character or proof that writers’ takes on the character vary because of their own personalities?

(Personally, this is why I loved Fatal Attractions. Throughout the X-family of books, you saw that the X-Men all had their own different feelings/fears towards facing him. And that’s what makes Mr. Lensherr a great protagonist to me. Good or bad, he provokes a reaction in everyone.)

Internet comic fans love to bitch about the X-Men, but both Rogue and Magneto have surprisingly good lists of stories.

Duff McWhalen

May 19, 2010 at 4:15 pm

Glad to see that many others also liked Mutant Genesis. It always seems on the internet that people will mock a Claremont (outside of Dark Phoenix) or Lee comic just because.

Planet X doesn’t involve Magneto and I swear people will only defend it because it’s a wacky Morrison comic, but I’m surprised it didn’t get number one.

Not that I expect anybody was wondering, but here’s how I voted.

1. I, Magneto; Uncanny X-Men #150, by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum
2. A Fire in the Night; Classic X-Men #12, by Chris Claremont and John Bolton
3. Dr. Doom vs. Magneto; Super-Villain Team-Up #14, Champions #16, by Bill Mantlo and Bob Hall (if this doesn’t make the list or at least honorable mentions I will cry; do you want me to cry?)
4. The Path Not Taken!; Uncanny X-Men #274-275, by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee
5. X-Men (1991) #1-3, by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee
6. Uncanny X-Men #304, X-Men #25, by Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, Andy Kubert, John Romita Jr. and many others (you may take this for a vote for all of Fatal Attractions if you wish; but the rest was less good, less relevant to the main story, and less Magneto focused)
7. God Loves, Man Kills; Marvel Graphic Novel #5, by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson
8. Gold Rush!; Uncanny X-Men #161, by Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum
9. Point Blank; X-Men Unlimited #2, by Fabian Nicieza and Jan Duursema
10. Whispers on the Wind; Uncanny X-Men #327, by Scott Lobdell and Roger Cruz

I loved the Claremont/Lee stuff. That’s the stuff that was going on when I read it. I loved Age of the Apocalypse. As for Planet X, I think of that as the start of Marvel going off the rails with writers and concepts that aren’t really Marvel ‘Magical Spider-people, Civil War, Cat Hank McCoy) and basically saying what geniuses they are. I only read part of it, but that was enough.

So, many of those other stories I haven’t read yet. Fatal Attractions was a insane.

on Planet X. That wasn’t Magneto, but that chinese dude who had delusions of being Our Lord and Saviour.

Not to mention that Morrison plainly sucked on the X-Men. His stories were well structured, but his themes were all wrong. He basically wrote “Sorry, all you enjoy about the X-Men is WRONG!”. A good thing that this abominable depiction of Magneto was retconned almost immediately.

@Magnus…

One thing about Morrison’s run that I was very sad to see ignored (then obliterated) was the discovery of the “extinction gene” in humans.

to me that was a wonderful concept and could’ve revitalised the X-men’s social commentary. Where in the 60’s with the American Civil Rights movement and the fear/misunderstanding of minorities was a nice allegory to be touched upon by the X-men nowadays many “WASP” ‘s fear that they are becoming the minority due to fears about the growing numbers of immigrants and the like.

Not saying that I was expecting the X-men to turn into a Socio-political commentary; nor did I hold any high hopes for this concept being carried through the books (Quesada’s often stated desire to “put the genie back in the bottle” RE: the mutant population is only one reason) but it was still a bold and gutsy move (far more so than… oh I don’t know; Norman Osborn subverting SHIELD, Peter Parker making a deal with Mephisto, hell… even Norman Osborn having sex with Gwen Stacy) and one that could’ve allowed for a new interpration of the themes at the core of the X-men Mythos.

but I digress: I really liked Uncanny X-men #200 personally (I always like when villians are portrayed with a bit more depth and reasoning than a cookie-cutter “Genocidal Maniac”).

What about the opening arc of Ultimate X-Men? I know the ultimate universe is now pretty much kaput, but that was the first Magneto story I read that actually almost convinced me that Magneto’s crazy acts of terrorism may have been justified. The only time I can remember since Claremont that a writer had made the reader sympathetic to Magneto AND kept him strictly a villian at the same time.

re:CharlieX “I can’t believe X-Men 85 by Joe Kelly and Alan Davis didn’t get mentioned. Not only was it a strong Magneto story, but a strong X-men story period”

I couldn’t agree more. I posted the same thing. It’s an amazing book and no one seems to have it on their list.

@ Mike-true, but on the moon she LET herself be killed. I doubt she was thinking “Oh, enough power to flip the earth? Well, I’d better die now because I’d feel SO bad if I disappointed poor Magneto after he tried so hard!”

Still a good comeback at any rate. :)

I’ll be honest… I hated Morrison’s entire run; Planet X in particular. Magneto as a coked out weak madman that infiltrated the X-Men in order to recruit the WEAKEST students there when there is literally an army of supporters that would have backed him had he simply asked them? That, to me, was an inexcusably weak storyline, from conception to bloody miscarriage.

TNT & CharlieX:

I actually checked out this feature specifically to register a late vote for X-Men #85. I sold many of my comics years ago, but this was one I kept. While the X-Men story didn’t affect me much, the Magneto story offered such a believable look at zealotry and self-righteous reasoning. Exactly what someone would do when trying to justify his actions to himself and believe himself still fair-minded and grounded.

funny & not necessarily related…Had to share.
http://newgomorrah.net/FanArtAndStories.htm

No, you didn’t. You really, really didn’t.

I really do love “Magneto in a Savage Land.” He and Rogue always went so well together.

[…] The Greatest Magneto Stories Ever Told! (goodcomics.comicbookresources.com) […]

Testament nowhere to be seen but Planet X shows up at number 3. Sad

New Mutants 51 – Magneto and Storm align the X-Men with the Hellfire Club, leading to a fantastic moment a number of issues later (perhaps #75?) where Mags punches Sebastian Shaw essentially calling him a capitalist pig who would sellout his own race.

Magneto was right!

Leave a Comment

 

Categories

Review Copies

Comics Should Be Good accepts review copies. Anything sent to us will (for better or for worse) end up reviewed on the blog. See where to send the review copies.

Browse the Archives