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Month of Cool Avengers/X-Men Comic Book Moments – Magneto Begins His Long Road to Redemption

All month long we will feature brand-new Cool Avengers and X-Men Comic Book Moments in celebration of their fiftieth anniversaries this month. Here is an archive of all the past cool comic moments that I’ve featured so far over the years.

Today we look at Uncanny X-Men #150 and the moment that sent Magneto on the road to redemption…

In Uncanny X-Men #150, Magneto basically declares himself ruler of Earth. And when the Soviet Union begs to differ, he destroys one of their nuclear submarines.

The X-Men manage to sneak on to his island fortress but he has a power-disrupting machine on the island. The X-Men eventually destroy it and then Cyclops sends the youngest member of the X-Men, Kitty Pryde, to use her power (she can turn intangible and when she is intangible she can disrupt machinery) to mess with the machinery Magneto is using to hold the planet hostage…

Such a great moment by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum and Joe Rubinstein as Magneto finally realizes the true end result of the road he was on. This shock ultimately leads to him attempting to redeem himself.

14 Comments

And then he rode off in to the sunset, just like Cyclops, his story ended and never to be messed up. Just kidding! It is pretty interesting where these characters have been during their 50 years of history. Just goes to show the limits of serial storytelling. Eventually, the characters always head back to square one.

Also: If something had to die, it was Kitty’s costume amirite?

Yeah, Kitty is the reason the New Mutants were not allowed to design their own costumes.

@P. Boz: If the story ends here, then he never beats the living crap out of the Red Skull and leaves him in an oubliette… but if he vanished after that, I wouldn’t mind.

Magneto vs. the Red Skull happened in a Captain America book, but could it still make the list of best Avengers/X-Men moments? It was one of best things to come out of “Acts of Vengeance”.

nice for that moment showed that magneto is not all bad he still maybe could change and try to be on the side of the x-men he is not totaly gone complete to the bad side. if he is showing remorse of thinking he killed shadow cat

I always thought it was an extra nice bit of symmetry(either by accident or by design) that it was the one Jewish X-Men, Kitty Pryde, that inspired this change.

Thank you for posting this so Grant Morrison could finally read it.

@Holski: What, you mean the part where he destroyed a nuclear submarine?

I just reread Second Coming. I’m disappointed that the rapport between Hope and Magneto wasn’t followed up on more; that could have been a cool relationship and the prospects for its development now don’t look great.

This was the first issue of X-Men I ever read. And damn, was it a good issue to start off with.

I kind of love Kitty’s horrible costume. It’s exactly the superhero costume that a fouteen year old girl in the early 1980s would design for herself.

” Thank you for posting this so Grant Morrison could finally read it. ”

Bob Harras, Scott Lobdell, Fabian Nicieza, and the rest of the X-Books’ brain trust from the 1990s would receive a greater benefit from reading it, or at least reading it carefully and giving Magneto more motivation and depth than “SOMETHING SOMETHING HOLOCAUST”. Note that the same issue that actually gave Magneto the Auschwitz backstory was the same one that put him on the path to redemption.

I always thought it was an extra nice bit of symmetry(either by accident or by design) that it was the one Jewish X-Men, Kitty Pryde, that inspired this change.

Oh, wow, great observation, Jeremy! After all these years, that never occurred to me. Really insightful interpretation of the material.

There is a heck of a lot of subtext and nuance to this story, making Magneto a really morally ambiguous character without attempting to whitewash his crimes (hell, in this issue itself, he sings that Soviet sub with all hands aboard). This was the point where Claremont began to show us exactly what had motivated Magneto’s actions without attempting to justify his crimes.

And, yeah, this made my list of votes for the Top X-Men Stories. I ranked it at number four.

Magneto’s redemption will always be a source of debate due to his sinking of the Soviet sub and everything that came before. But given that he’s a fictional character, it’s no less plausible than Darth Vader turning against the Dark Side after helping blow up Alderaan and Force-choking God knows how many people, be they Imperial officers or whathaveyou.

Granted, the Holocaust backstory presented here practically reboots Magneto as a character, but if Claremont’s goal was to redeem the baddest Big Bad of the X-Family, he succeeded admirably 50 issues later with the culmination of Magneto’s trial. That one remains my favorite of any X-Men comic, ever.

It’s a testament to Claremont’s intentions that Magneto keeps swinging back to the side of the angels ever so often since this issue came out.

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