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Month of Avengers/X-Men Top Fives – Top Five Last Page Magneto Reveals

All month-long we’ll be featuring top five lists about either the Avengers or the X-Men. Here is an archive of all the past top five lists!

Today we’ll take a look at the top five best last page reveals of Magneto in X-Men history!

Enjoy!

HONORABLE MENTION

Magneto’s reveal in Uncanny X-Men #350 in Joe Madureira’s last issue of X-Men was quite cool.

His reveal at the end of Uncanny X-Men #269 was interesting, although it was actually spoiled on the cover, which is really weird. What’s the point of a dramatic last page reveal if you’re going to hype it on the cover?

5. Uncanny X-Men #148

In this issue, Cyclops and Lee Forrester, are investigating a mysterious city that just showed up out of nowhere on an island next to the small island where Cyclops and Lee had found themselves stranded on after being shipwrecked there four issues earlier. Whose island are they on?

Great reveal by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein.

4. X-Men #17

In this issue by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (layouts), Werner Roth (finished) and Dick Ayers (inks), the X-Men are being picked off one by one as they return to the X-Mansion from visiting Iceman in the hospital. Angel’s parents were planning on visiting the school and they arrive to find a peculiar man answer the door…

3. X-Men #111

Chris Claremont, John Byrne and Terry Austin show the X-Men the real power behind Mesmero, who they just defeated after the villain had manipulated them the rest of the issue…

What a great page.

2. New X-Men #146

Grant Morrsion, Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning reveal the truth behind the mysterious new X-Man known as Xorn…

Brutal reveal.

1. X-Men #62

Angel has been rescued by a mysterious stranger in the Savage Land and this mysterious fellow sure seems like a good guy. Angel is willing to help him even against his own teammates, as the man explains that the other X-Men are being misled by Ka-Zar…

but who IS this man?

Magneto had never been shown without his helmet, so this moment by Roy Thomas, Neal Adams and Tom Palmer beautifully played upon the conventions of the X-Men title by taking advantage of that odd fact by making the reader be as duped as Angel is. It is a great twist on the traditional Magneto last page reveal. Plus, how awesome is that facial design by Neal Adams? It set the whole “Hey, he looks like Quicksilver. Maybe he’s his dad?” story into motion.

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

35 Comments

Great list! I would’ve put the Xorn reveal as #1, though. It’s been maligned, retconned, and eye-rolled in the years since, but it was one of the most shocking and awesome moments I’d ever read.

That reveal from #111, and especially the X-Men’s reactions, still give me chills. That’s how you reveal a Big Bad.

Good idea: Magneto becoming a full villain again
Bad idea: Magneto uncharacteristically killing innocents without provocation while high on drugs, completely lacking confidence and being manipulated by a fucking Stepford Cuckoo.

It was a great reveal. Then Grant fucked it up huge. If he didn’t want a later retcon, then he shouldn’t have shit the bed.

Was this list part of another “month of…” before? Maybe I’m getting crazy.

Holski, Magneto has always attacked and killed innocents. Unprovoked.

That was his plan. And in this case the provocation was the annihilation of Genesha.

Magneto has always been an eye for an eye terrorist twat!

Two other ones that I remember: Uncanny X-Men 350 with Gambit’s trial and the end of Excalibur 1 (Genosha volume).

Holski–I agree. I think Grant was more concerned with making a meta-commentary than being accurate to the characters. It bothered me as well.

FWIW, I’m really enjoying the current portrayal of Magneto where he’s somewhere between hero and villain. I think that’s the best place for him.

That is awesome! I’ve only recently decided to become a hardcore comicbook fan and, while I’ve noticed certain repetitive plot devices throughout comics, I’d never thought to give them a name. The final page’s surprise introduction: known as the “reveal”. I like it. I’ve heard it called a cameo before, but when I think cameo, I think more of a surprise guest appearance, and not necessarily on the last page. I guess maybe the most famous (or at least the most valuable) Reveal of all time would be Wolverine’s in Incredible Hulk #180, right?
It was pretty amusing to see the images. Looking at them all at once like this, it seems like Magneto gets a kick out of popping up from around corners and shouting “I AM MAGNETO!”. It’s pretty hilarious, in a Robot Chicken type of way.
Also, didn’t Xorn turn out to be a clone or something and not really the real Magneto? I get confused on that whole story arc, but I know there were some clone switcharoonies involved….
Speaking of Magneto, isnt’ it amazing how great of a job Ian McKellen did with the character? I don’t remember any “I AM MAGNETO!” shots in the films, but I did detail my favorite line of his over at my blog: http://cobyscomics.blogspot.com/2013/08/x2-whats-your-real-name.html

Men call me Magneto! Women call me Big Papa!

Yeah, there’s nothing out of character about Morrison’s Magneto reveal. And it perfectly fit his theme of the new replacing the old, and the old struggling for relevancy in a new world.

Brian, you totally should have revealed yourself as Magneto at the end of this article. :)

Uncanny X-Men #148 looks like a romance novel version of Magneto.

Ah Xorneto. Great reveal. If only they’d left it alone.

Brian, your html is missing the opening < sign to the link tag in the first paragraph (and possibly the whole closing tag too)

It always amuses me how Morrison gave fanboys an out for his portrayal of Magneto (Sublime was controlling him), but fanboys unilaterally reject it so they can go on hating Morrison for slandering the noble name of Magnus. They *want* to be offended.

Fanboys are always looking for something to scream about. Marvel was in bankruptcy at the time and they had pretty much told creators like Morrison that they could do whatever they wanted. Who even knew at the time if Marvel was gonna be around in a few years? Why bother thinking about the future if there might not be one?

That Byrne reveal is just so full of menace. I love that page!

another magneto reveal is uncanny 268 can’t remember the exact issue where after he helps rouge survive an attack by a freed miss marvel he steps up and says sorry rogue i could only save one of you. was right before the xtinction agenda kicked off

I’d rather Magneto still be the mass murdering terrorist he was in Morrison’s run than the current de-fanged and neutered Magneto that is now serving as Cyclops’s lacky.

To me, when Magneto decided to kill a ship full of young sailors when he could have as easily disabled the ship or turn it around, is when it was cemented that Magneto would never be a hero, no matter how hard Claremont tried.

” I’d rather Magneto still be the mass murdering terrorist he was in Morrison’s run than the current de-fanged and neutered Magneto that is now serving as Cyclops’s lacky. ”

The current Magneto (from the middle of Matt Fraction’s retrospectively underrated run to now) is much more like the Claremont Magneto than the version of the 90′s (or Morrison’s parody of that version); a pragmatic anti-hero who realized that being a supervillain wasn’t working and changed, and is willing to work with the X-Men due to their common goals, but still comes from a much more bitter place than his teammates.

I think there should have been space here for Uncanny #350. That reveal blew my eleven-year-old mind, as the inner gatefold had told me that Joseph was Magneto, so who was this fellow?! Admittedly, I never followed the X-Men much as I never bought into the inherent hypocrisy of the team’s concept, but that issue was really good.

That reveal in 350 was astonishing to 13 year old me, I actually bought 2 copies and cut out the final page as a poster in my room.

John Trumbull:
“Brian, you totally should have revealed yourself as Magneto at the end of this article.”

Haven’t you figured it out? Magneto is… Amanda Rogers!

Two favorites in this collection, but in retrospect I guess only the one in #62 counts.

Because the best bit I thought was in issue triple 1 is the reveal actually at the beginning of the next issue of just where Magneto has spirited away Mesmero’s wagon when they weren’t paying attention.

Funny, the story 62 is part of begins when they go to the Savage Land, the sequence 111 is part of ends there.

Neil: Admittedly I haven’t read Fraction’s run, and I have no problem with Magneto working with the X-Men. I’m mostly complaining about how he’s been during Bendiss tenure so far.

” Neil: Admittedly I haven’t read Fraction’s run, and I have no problem with Magneto working with the X-Men. I’m mostly complaining about how he’s been during Bendiss tenure so far. ”

What I’ve read of Bendis’ Uncanny has had Magneto openly criticizing Cyclops’ choices, taking risky actions without Cyclops’ consent (such as pretending to be a SHIELD mole and telling them about the Uncanny team’s messed-up powers), and making it clear that he still resents Scott for murdering Xavier. Magneto supports Scott because he A.) still feels that Scott is the best leader for the mutant race, and B.) feels some need to atone for his sins and prevent Scott from making the same mistakes, since Cyclops’ path overlaps with the old Magneto’s.

Love these reveals…I’d say 1, 2, and 3 are, appropriately, my favourites.

The Xorn reveal was a truly great “holy shit” moment. I echo the thoughts of others who were disappointed by how that storyline turned out…off to such an explosive start, but then kind of squandered with the “junkie” Magneto stuff.

I’ve since appreciated the meta-commentary that Morrison was trying to make, but I don’t think one has to be a Morrison-hating fanboy to have been disappointed by that arc…I like Morrison stuff a lot, and his New X-Men run very much, but for me (and others) that story wasn’t that entertaining, however insightful the statements it was making about serial adventures of corporate-owned properties or what have you.

(and it didn’t help that the story was a victim of Marvel’s trend away from any coherent universe continuity…it seems that sort of mass destruction should probably have been noticed in other books (if it was, I never saw it)).

Haven’t you figured it out? Magneto is… Amanda Rogers!

Really? I could’ve SWORN that Magneto was Paty Cockrum:

http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/preview.php?image=litg/patycockrum1.jpg

Awesome reveals, all five of them. Interesting how I never picked up any of these when they came out. Mostly because I hadn’t been born, started reading comics, or was taking a break from the hobby.

Gotta give it up for Magneto: The man sure knows how to make an entrance.

@Holski:

I think that you missed the point of Magneto’s arc.

Magneto’s methods and ideals represented those present in the 20th century. He was still stuck in an “old world” mindset. Infiltrate. Gather armies. Conquer your enemies through duplicity and brute force. That’s what Magneto was doing as Xorn. He was lying in wait and amassing an army with which to strike. Pure and simple 20th century super villain antics – right down to the monolouge and posturing.

However, 21st century came and the world passed Magneto by. He wasn’t relevant anymore. He wasn’t a revolutionary. He was just an old man and a relic. He was trying to hang on to his past glories and infamy. As an impotent older man, he was juicing to stay in the game. When the X-Men first formed and the 05 were just teenagers, Magneto was already relatively old – comparatively. With nearly 15-20 years gone by, he was even older now.

That Magneto was so easily manipulated and then addicted was a symptom of his larger problem. Here he was, an old man, having his mid-life crisis a few decades too late. Fast cars. Fast women. Fast life.

Magneto the man had become an old, tired joke. He just didn’t realize it. He was a far better symbol for those rebellious youths. In death, he could’ve done so much more for mutants than alive and leading a non-existent revolution. Instead, he tried to fight the flow of time and progress. He subconsciously chose to ignore his own irrelevance. The world, now dominated by youth culture, didn’t need a living and antiquated rebel anymore. They just needed a meme. To defeat the enemy, he needed ideas and slogans instead of guns and armies.

Morrison didn’t mess anything up. The reveal was classic to be sure, but it was itself just a setup and a twist with a twist.

As readers, he was trying to get us to believe that we were in for another typical comic showdown. In fact, he was intentionally setting it up to be the opposite. You really could have seen that coming though. Magneto’s arc was seemingly designed to complement the redefinition of the X-Men’s role, which had grown well beyond 20th century superheroics and masks. Xavier’s crew moved into the 21st century. Magneto was stuck in the 20th. One camp was designed to represent progress while the other was to represent outmoded legacy.

The drugs. The manipulations. The pretense. It was all for nothing. Magneto gave it all he had for a war that wasn’t being fought anymore. Sacrifices and compromises made in vain.

Again, go back to the beginning of Morrison’s run and look at how he redefined the X-Men themselves. Morrison was deconstructing Magneto as he had the X-Men. They were being redefined as progressive, relevant, & proactive to reflect the new world around them. By contrast, Magneto was being set up as their anithesis. He just didn’t know it, blinded by old grudges and ideals.

Exactly, Rob. The entire subtext for Planet X was “It’s 2004 and we’re still freaking doing this?”

If anything, they hit the whole thing a little too hard, with the “Special Class” kids missing “Mister Xorn” and Magneto repeatedly failing to get rid of his fake persona, which actually represented the chance to move on. He even ends up arguing with the mask at one point.

A lot of readers also missed the more literal “out” Morrison left for resurrecting Magneto: Xavier’s there, and the dialogue in NXM #150 and earlier issues of the arc suggests that no cameras are present, or much of any working electronics, when Logan decapitates Magneto. All we really see is the “Xorn” helmet bounce along the ground. There’s plenty of room to reveal that pacifist utopian Xavier saved his Kick-addled “old friend” with some telepathic trickery. Unfortunately, Chuck Austen’s follow-up story quickly provided cameras-on-the-scene footage, so that was scotched.

@Rob:

If that was Morrison’s intention, he still did it very poorly. Mike Carey did a better job commenting on Erik and Charles’ relevance in society in a SINGLE ISSUE (Legacy 210) than Morrison did in “Planet X,” and he didn’t need to desecrate them to do so.

Hey, I loved Grant’s run on New X-Men and he’s a great writer, but he made a BIG mistake. In my opinion, his interpretation of Magneto was unbelievably off the mark and my mind isn’t going to change.

I always liked Chris Claremont’s X-men Classic back-up story that showed Magneto’s powers made him mentally unstable. Great way to account for whenever some writer like Morrison or Byrne want to revert him to a one dimensional mustache twirler. I will admit, though, that Morrison’s Magneto reveal was probably the best one.

Say what you will about Werner Roth, but the man sure could draw a creepy Magneto.

@Rob- the problem is that turning a character into a “tired old joke” only works if you know that nobody is ever going to use them again. The readers all knew that Magneto would be back and if he’s going to be a credible ally or threat to the X-Men he can’t be a “tired old joke”.

My favorite remains the earliest, simply because that’s the one I read as a kid. And of course, the build-up was awesome, as the X-Men fall, one by one …

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