By Brian Michael Bendis and Chris Bachalo
This review begins with a question. Is calm mannered Magneto a compelling character? The answer is no. This book has been fantastic and I have enjoyed it every month since issue #1. The one criticism I have is that Magneto is useless, he gets lost in the background. Scott’s babysitter is not Erik’s finest role. Bendis tried to make him interesting by giving him that double double agent story, but that fell flat because being a double double agent cancels itself out, and turns out is not interesting (comic book math 🙂 ).
With that mentality going in I was very pleased to see Magneto on the cover but at the same time I had forgotten he was even in this book. The opening pages of this issue are brilliant. Magneto has a little meltdown in his mind where he is causing mass destruction and injuring many mutant loving humans. His fantasy is interrupted by Dazzler (now there’s a real fantasy) and as she approaches him we see him wipe away drool, induced by his violent daydream. This subtle panel is used to remind us that Magneto is still a sick bastard who wants to rid the world of all humans. Bendis has this brilliant way of saying exactly what I am thinking. Although I enjoy the freak out daydream scene I am left confused as to what exactly Magneto is after (his own book). Just as I have that thought Magneto himself says the words “I don’t know what your agenda is anymore”. At this moment I know the next 10 minutes of my life are going to be “get to know Magneto” time which honestly is something I really needed. It can be argued that launching the Magneto series is just a way to make more money but I don’t think that is the case here. I think Bendis realized that Magneto is one of their strongest characters and he is being greatly underused as Scott’s voice of reason. It is time for Magneto to break away from the team and start plotting world domination again.
The rest of this issue is also very enjoyable as we see a weakened Magneto manipulate smaller objects such as knives and guns. My favorite moment comes at the end when he goes psycho on some mutants for what seems to be a reasonable idea. He surrounds himself with five little bullets and does some serious damage. All these scenes that Magneto manipulates small objects reminded me of the bar scene from the movie X-Men First Class which was my favorite scene in that movie. Over all this was a really fun issue and a nice lead into the Magneto series which they desperately needed. A few more issues of passive Magneto and he would have been volunteering at an animal shelter.
Rating: Poor, Fair, Good, Great, Excellent