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Drawing Crazy Patterns – Last Page Magneto Reveals

In this feature, I spotlight five scenes/moments from within comic book stories that fit under a specific theme (basically, stuff that happens frequently in comics).

Today, based on a suggestion from reader David P. (who previously suggested the Elektra’s Magic Sais installment), we feature five instances where Magneto is dramatically revealed on the final page of an X-Men comic book.

Enjoy!

First off, in a bit of a break from normal procedure, I’m going to show you a moment I think is really awesome that I’m not sure if it fits here, so I’m not going to count it as one of the five. Here is the end of X-Men #62, which played off of the fact that we had never seen Magneto without his helmet, so we had no idea that this grey-haired fellow who was helping Angel out all issue long was anything but a nice guy until we see the final lines…

If I was short a reveal, I think I could sell that page as a reveal, but since I have five, I’ll just give it to you as a bonus!

The first dramatic last page Magneto reveal came in X-Men #17, as a bad guy is slowly picking off the X-Men. His face and body is always either in shadows or off panel as he does his dirty work. Until the final page, that is…

Perhaps the most famous last page Magneto reveal happened at the end of X-Men #111, an issue where the X-Men face off against Mesmero only to see someone else at the end of the issue…

The least sinister (but still quite dramatic) last page Magneto reveal on this list happened in Uncanny X-Men #148, when Cyclops and Lee Forrester washed up on a strange and seemingly deserted island. They soon find out whose island it is…



In Uncanny X-Men #350, the “Trial of Gambit” is held by the mysterious Erik the Red. At the end of the issue, “Erik”‘s facade is lifted…

Finally, one of the most awesome last page Magneto reveals occurred in New X-Men #146, when new X-Men member Xorn starts acting strangely…

If you have a suggestion for a future Drawing Crazy Patterns installment, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

56 Comments

These are all cool, but ‘The dream is over’ – man, when Morrison’s on, he’s REALLY on!

The reveal from X-Men #62 definitely counts … its actually the example I thought of immediately after reading the subject of today’s installment.

too bad Morrison’s Magneto is no longer canon…
it was a very good story

Man, John Byrne kicked so much butt back in the day.

I remember almost crapping my pants with the Xorn Magneto reveal. I wanted to tell *everyone* about it.

Heh. And modern Magneto fans like to claim he was never crazy (or hammy). :D Mind you, I actually *liked* his character development over the years, but please don’t tell he wasn’t Dr. Doom with superpowers in his early days (Doom being another villain who gets more credit than he deserves.) Just look at his eyes in issue #17!

(And btw, killing the X-men with a BALLOON? Lamest plan ever.)

And yeah, when properly inked, Byrne’s art just rocks (was that Terry Austin inking his art in #111?)

Billy Bissette

July 15, 2011 at 6:46 am

@Alice Bluegown

Not just “The dream is over”… Magneto standing in front of a “Magneto Was Right” poster (in the X-Men mansion no less) while delivering the line…

Without reading the comics, the title of this Crazy Pattern alone just made me laugh. Thanks, David P. and Brian!

The first time i read X-Men #111 was when classic x-men was being published and it blew me away! That was the 1st time i remember being really shocked at a last page of a comic

Travis Pelkie

July 15, 2011 at 7:48 am

Wow, we hadn’t seen Magneto without the helmet until 62? That’s pretty interesting.

Xorn/Magneto still makes my haid hurt. I gotta reread Morrison’s run, I guess.

Wow, we hadn’t seen Magneto without the helmet until 62? That’s pretty interesting.

There’s a Comic Book Legend on it that goes into greater detail. You should go find it! I believe it’s titled something about Magneto being the father of Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.

Xorn/Magneto still makes my haid hurt. I gotta reread Morrison’s run, I guess.

You should do so anyways, as it was awesome.

Morrison’s to me was by far the best and most badass Magneto reveal ever, but the story following was by far the worst executed followup to a last page Magneto reveal ever as well.

You should do so anyways, as it was awesome.

Seconded. Even though I didn’t like the resolution of the Magneto story, it was awesome overall.

I really enjoyed Morrison’s X-Men … definitely in my top 2 or 3 X Men runs … but it was all down hill after the Xorn/Magneto reveal … Magneto turning New York into a concentration camp, his entire characterization of Magneto ( … yeah, yeah .. I know Mags was using “kick” or whatever drug … and I know Morrison doesn’t think much of Magneto … but he still ruined the character for all time … ), Jean Grey’s “death” by electrocution after having survived being burnt up in the sun an issue before, Magneto’s “death” at the heads of Wolverine of all people (I mean. its wolverine. who is made of metal. and who in Lobdell’s pre-Morrison run … had just “killed” Magneto in nearly the exact same way … jeez), ‘Here Comes Tomorrow’ (a bacteria as a villain? nightcrawler clones? just a terrible rift on DOFP) … it was all pretty awful …

@Sijo: I for one certainly admit that Magneto was once crazy and silly. I just prefer him as Claremont and Gillen write him.

It wasn’t just that he was using Kick, it was that Kick was Sublime’s method of mind-control (because Kick *is* Sublime). Magneto’s out of character in “Planet X” because Sublime is warping his mind to create the mutant/human war it wants.

It always seemed to me that the “out” Morrison left for restoring Magneto was that Xavier is there, and the cameras that were present earlier aren’t. Did Wolverine decapitate Magneto for real, or did the Professor make everyone think he did so that eh could rehabilitate the mind-controlled villain? (Once the helmet was off, Charles could have been able to detect Sublime’s presence.)

This is a very appropriate topic for the day when Obama ripped off his mask and revealed that he’s really been George W. Bush all along. Did you plan it that way?

That Werner Roth drawn Magneto always looked so hilarious. There’s a panel in the next issue (#18) where he busts out with his magnetic ‘charming’ powers on Angel’s parents and his face is even more skewed and bizarre, and his dialogue is something along the lines of “Gaze into my eyes! You cannot look away! You are held by my magnetic attraction!” Uhhhhh, ok.

So, if Men call him Magneto, what do women call him?

(‘Often’?)

It wasn’t just that he was using Kick, it was that Kick was Sublime’s method of mind-control (because Kick *is* Sublime). Magneto’s out of character in “Planet X” because Sublime is warping his mind to create the mutant/human war it wants.

It always seemed to me that the “out” Morrison left for restoring Magneto was that Xavier is there, and the cameras that were present earlier aren’t. Did Wolverine decapitate Magneto for real, or did the Professor make everyone think he did so that eh could rehabilitate the mind-controlled villain? (Once the helmet was off, Charles could have been able to detect Sublime’s presence.)

Erg. To me that out is way worse, if it is indeed what Morrison planned. There are already way too many stories of the X-Men flouting the authorities and taking the law into their own hand and harboring fugitives. It really undermines their heroic status. Charles pulling another fast one on the world in order to rehab Magneto privately, even if he was mind-controlled, is just too much.

Billy Bissette

July 15, 2011 at 11:30 am

Morrison really allowed multiple outs with Magneto, from his actions to his death.

Omar mentioned the death “out”. From what I recall, the art at the decapitation was a black shadow instead of color and we only saw the shape of the helmet? At the time, I wasn’t sure whether it was done that way to make a graphic beheading less graphics or done as some kind of “maybe what you saw wasn’t quite what happened” kind of deal (a hint that Xavier might be pulling the wool over the eyes of the others).

As for Magneto’s actions, Sublime is certainly an out. We, the reader, have no idea how much influence Sublime had over Magneto. If you want a genocidal Magneto, then you can say that Sublime had little impact. If you want a good-at-heart Magneto who makes mistakes, then you can say that Sublime by that point had completely twisted Magneto. I think part of the reason Morrison created Beast-Sublime was to further open that door for explaining Magneto’s actions, as before that point Sublime was described as an influencing force, but Beast-Sublime showed Sublime capable of complete unbreakable control.

Ultimately, Magneto was just a stepping stone for Sublime, who might have been pulling strings since the very beginning of Morrison’s run. (Note how convenient it is that Cassandra Nova infected the X-Men with nanosentinels, which Magneto then claimed his own? Or that Magneto had plans to fake his death and do a long-term secret infiltration of the X-Men at just the moment when Cassandra Nova decided to wipe out Genosha?)

Cyclops…”can’t wait to -see- what happens next.” Wearing a blindfold. Oh Chris Claremont how do you do it?

When I read the title for today’s theme, the very first issue I thought of was Uncanny #269, with Rogue in the savage land. That issue had a great Jim Lee-drawn Magneto reveal at the end. And as that story directly led to Magneto turning into a villain again (culminating with Magneto killing Zaladane in Uncanny #275) after 5+ years of being “reformed” and leading the New Mutants, I would have thought it was significant enough to make the list.

Alas.

The first dramatic last page Magneto reveal came in X-Men #17, as a bad guy is slowly picking off the X-Men.

My favorite bit from that issue is all the vintage Silver Age deathtraps Magneto uses to defeat the X-Men, for no other reason than to disguise his identity until the last page from the reader.

@T

Morrison’s to me was by far the best and most badass Magneto reveal ever, but the story following was by far the worst executed followup to a last page Magneto reveal ever as well.

Agreed. Great reveal, terrible followup.

Hahahahahaha

It rules being an X-Men fan.

It really does … I think …

What makes the Xorn/Magneto reveal all the more powerful is Xavier’s abject plea of “This isn’t happening! Don’t do this.” It is not often we see a scared/panicked Xavier, which makes the Magneto reveal even more ominous.

People always talk about the distinctive ‘Kirby Krackle” but Byrne’s yellow and black effect (used a lot with his Phoenix) is just as memorable and cool.

I used to think Marshall Rogers and John Byrne had a very similar early style, but I just now realized that the common factor was Terry Austin’s inks. They really were pretty overpowering, but in a good way, I love the finished product in both cases. That said, now I’m curious as to how Marshall Rogers’ art looks when inked by someone else.

@T: I forget the exact quote, but I remember Byrne saying something about how when people complain that his later work is less detailed than his early work, he says that those people probably don’t realize that means they were more Terry Austin fans than John Byrne fans.

wow. that really does seem to explain it. I guess I am also more a Terry Austin fan than a John Byrne fan.

On the other hand, Byrne has also said that Austin’s inking style was that of a “tracer” (not meant as an insult — Austin inked what the penciller drew).

A lot of comic creators have said so many things over the years that they don’t remember what they said the last time the topic came up.

@sipply

A lot of comic creators have said so many things over the years that they don’t remember what they said the last time the topic came up.

Yeah, and for Byrne, that’s especially true (the saying “so many things” part).

Screw everyone, Planet X was awesome.

funkmasterdre

July 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

So when Magneto cripples Xavier in New X-Men is that the third or fourth time that Xavier had regained the ability to walk only to be crippled again? I remember the Shadow King did the exact same thing during the Muir Island Saga and when I read that issue of New X-Men I was like, “really? Again!!!???” instead of the, “oh shit!” response that Morrison was going for. That was my biggest beef with Morrison’s New X-Men. It was heralded as this new, progressive age for the X-Men, that would take them in directions never gone before and then we have the climax of the run involve a Magneto reveal and a Xavier crippling. Been there, done that. A lot.

Mike Loughlin

July 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Planet X was great up until the climax. Magneto as an ineffectual drug-abuser who was more inspirational dead was a fantastic idea. He didn’t have any new ideas, he was just another sick despot who took control by convincing people he was a revolutionary. And who did he convince? Losers like the Toad and Esme, who had nothing going on in their lives and latched onto the nearest charismatic person with power they lacked. The special class following him is more problematic, but they turn on him when he is revealed to be unlike Xorn.

Honestly, Morrison’s best trick was developing an intriguing new character then breaking our hearts when he was revealed to be a ruse. If Planet X never happened, I could easily have read about Xorn for months.

The Classics re-print of Uncanny #150 was the first comic I ever bought, and remains my favorite Magneto story/version of Magneto. The man swings from ruthlessly defending himself and his people by annihilating a nuclear submarine and blackmailing the world to stomping the X-men flat in a blind rage to torturing himself over possibly killing a teenager by his own lack of control. Complex, intriguing, and (maybe not his ideal term) HUMAN. Despite the efforts of a lot of other writers, Magneto remains the one X-men villain that has more than one dimension to me. Him opening camps and turning New York into a human furnace, Sublime or no, instantly drops my interest in the story involving that idea to 0. There’s a reason I don’t re-read the part of Morrison’s run after Cassandra Nova comes back with the Imperial Guard, and this is half of it.

xorn was a great character and I still find it hard to believe that xorn was initially intended to be magneto. there are many moments in his early appearances that really don’t fit in with the reveal later on. It was aggravating. I can’t stand the thought of the character now. He ruined one of the first (good) new characters to come along in a long time by wanting to ruin an old character.

Planet X is my favorite Magneto ever.

Magneto as-idea-that-transcends-the-person (who actually kind of sucks) totally works for me. ‘n speaking as someone who spends most of his spare time reading biographies, it’s real-world true an awful lot.

xorn was a great character and I still find it hard to believe that xorn was initially intended to be magneto.

It’s in his pitch for the series that Xorn is Magneto in disguise.

“That was my biggest beef with Morrison’s New X-Men. … Been there, done that. A lot.”

But that was EXACTLY the point of Morrison’s X-Men run. He took all the familiar X-Men tropes and plot developments that we’d seen before (Beast mutating further into a beast, Jean becoming possessed by the Phoenix, Charles walking again, Magneto disguising himself … and, most of all, the ultimate Evil Twin ever in Cassandra Nova) and turned them up to 11. His crazy Morrisonian twists to familiar plots made every issue fun and thrilling, even if you could sometimes/often predict what was going to happen.

The Xorn reveal is probably my favorite twist from any comic, ever… and this is coming from someone who prefers Magneto as a hero.

Xorn had become one of my favorite X-Men. I bought into him completely – hook, line and sinker. I was in the middle of outlining a pitch for a Xorn solo series when the issue with that revelation came out. In one issue, Morrison took it all away, and I loved him for it.

It is ridiculous that it was retconned later, but taken on its own the story still holds its power. There’s really nothing they can do to change it.

Travis Pelkie

July 16, 2011 at 1:02 am

Man, I know I should reread the Morrison run (and it is awesome, even if a lot of the details flew over my head — I think I tried reading the run too fast), but I’ve got so many other comics I haven’t read once.

But I knew about the reveal shown here (g-d Wizard!), and still didn’t see where Xorn = Magneto.

Again, gotta reread it.

on Terry Austin — based on what was shown in last week’s Legends, I’d say I’m certainly more a fan of Byrne/Austin than Byrne solo, or with someone else. And Byrne/Austin seems to be the test case for “proving” the talent of inkers — I’ve read several times where people liked some Byrne stuff and not other Byrne stuff, and later on, they realized the stuff they liked was the stuff Austin inked.

T, I think Marshall Rogers inked himself for the Misty Knight/Colleen Wing stories (collected several years back in the Daughters of the Dragon special prelude to that mini, which was a prelude to the Heroes for Hire that ended with World War Hulk), and I’m not sure who inked him several years prior to his death with that Englehart Batman mini.

re: the “out” that Omar, T, and Billy mentioned is almost exactly what was done in Ultimate XMen, right? Which was probably written by Mark Millar. Which means it’s quite possible that Morrison was planning on doing it himself ;)

Bah… I’d like to suggest that the king of last page reveals is Doctor Doom. Not only does it happen in Fantastic Four comics, like most recently in Hickman’s FF #2 and Avengers: Children’s Crusade #2, but he has a long history of doing in across the board in Marvel, and not just in one title. The last double page reveal in Steranko’s legendary Strange Tales runs was probably the most audacious. Then you had the Stan Lee/Gene Colan cliffhanger in Daredevil #36 as probably two of the most surprising.

What about… I think it was Uncany xmen 269, just before x-tinction agenda. Magneto had sort of up went away a year or so before and was totaly awol. when Rogue appears from the seige perilus and dukes it out with Carol danvers for their shared life force in the savage land the last person expected to turn up was Magneto, who saves Rogues life.

grrr morrison’s xorneto should never be mentioned again.

Well, if we’re going to talk about other last-page villain reveals, my favorite use of that trope was in the first Ambush Bug series.

I always liked Uncanny X-Men #350′s end. Especially seeing as how Magneto was already supposed to be in the book.

I am still conflicted about Morrison’s Magneto.

The first time I’ve read it, I hated it.

Then I started to think I was being a little unfair to Morrison, and a little dishonest.

It seems that most comic book fans like deconstructions just fine, when the deconstruction is of a concept that started before we began reading comics.

I liked it when Millar deconstructed the Avengers in the Ultimates, or when JMS deconstructued the JLA in Supreme Power. But I had a visceral dislike of Morrison’s take on Magneto. Magneto as a noble villain was a concept of my youth, and Morrison came and deconstructed it.

Now I think Morrison makes a lot of worthwhile points about how terrorists are ultimately sorry assholes, no matter how they try to paint themselves as noble warriors. It’s sobering. But…

The problem is that Morrison’s Magneto is a dead-end. You can have the JLA deconstructed and still write cool stories about them. But Morrison’s Magneto is such a utter failure as a human being that there are no possible further stories to tell about him.

Or you could just say Morrison went back to the original Magneto, who had no other goals other than domination but suddenly remembered he was in the Holocaust when he attacked Kitty,

Rene, I would imagine that making Planet X The Last Magneto Story was, in part, the point. Misguided, in an industry in which nothing sticks? Maybe, and you could make the case that he knew that too. Personally, I was fine with that, but I can see why others wouldn’t be.

Pete Woodhouse

July 20, 2011 at 7:03 am

Travis: Yes, Terry Austin did indeed ink Marshall Rogers again on the Englehart-scripted Batman: Dark Detective follow-up to their 70s Detective Comics run. It’s not as good as the classic Detectives (how could it be?), but as a Batman tale it was OK.

And yes, Byrne/Austin were the ultimate team, better than the sum of their parts.

I really like the Morrison one. Especially the part about the nano sentinels gluing his spine together. Thats still one of my favorite runs

Laurence J Sinclair

October 27, 2012 at 2:25 pm

But Magneto was on Genosha when it got attacked! How did he survive? And why did he not just stop the attack?

All of these are actually AWESOME. Unbelievable.

I feel like no one else will ever agree with me, but:

I was always a fan of the Scarlet Witch out for Magneto as Xorn. So we can imagine that Magneto died in the destruction of Genosha, then the insane Scarlet Witch used her realty powers to bring her father back to life. But the first time she did so, she did an awful job. The Magneto she created was an exaggeration of her relationship with him. This Magneto got along great with children (as did Xorn), but was also an abusive psycho monster. Then after he died again in Planet X, she re-created an idealized version of Magneto, the one that has been running around for a while now and has joined the X-Men and can be called a hero.

This explanation keeps every part of Morrison’s run in tact and lines it up with the other Marvel events happening around that time.

I grew up on the Claremount X-Men, and loved the misguided nobility of the Magneto that everyone is talking about.

But that is to me what made the Morrison Magneto such a powerful piece of writing. Xavier even says it to him – you poured all your wisdom and honour into creating Xorn. All that was left was this bitter, twisted megalomaniac druggie after that. Reading it, I’m hit by just how tragic that is: Magneto was willing to sacrifice everything that made him a salvageable human being into screwing over Xavier.

“Note: Our letters section appears after the next page”

In case the reader couldn’t figure it out themselves, by like, turning the next page. I don’t know if I’ll ever believe those directions were at all necessary. Did people really get to the end of a story and just think “Well, shit, what happened to the letters page? Guess I’ll have to wait for the next issue.” Or the equally ubiquitous “Story continues after the next page.” Did people in the olden days get to commercials and just assume the show was over too?

Saturday ramblings. Bygones.

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