- I realized that I was never fighting for mutantkind -- I was always fighting for myself. To foreword my own goals, regardless of who was caught in the crossfire. Now, humans and mutants, they all share the same conviction of me. I have nothing to fight for, and there is nothing left for me here. I am, and always will be... the monster.
Erik Eisenhardt, also known by the title of Magneto, was a former leader of the mutant uprisings and revolutionary. An old adversary of Charles Xavier and his X-Men, Eisenhardt has tried to make amends for his many crimes against humanity, mutantkind, and most of all, himself.
Erik was born to Jacob and Edie Eisenhardt in Germany, while on the precipice of the Third Reich's regime. After witnessing the brutal murder of his family by the Nazis, Erik was sent to the Auschwitz death camp where the combined efforts of James Howlett and Captain America freed all of the Jewish prisoners inside, including Erik. Erik's mutation occurred at an unusually young age of only four, when he used his magnetic abilities to hold back the retaliating Nazi forces.
Xavier and Magda
Eventually, Magneto settled in Israel, where he became friends with the young Charles Xavier. They continually debated on whether mutants could peacefully coexist with the rest of humanity.
Erik aided Charles in creating the first ever mutant school, titled for gifted youngsters.
Eventually, both men founded the earliest version of the Xavier institute, Erik and Charles began to have clashing ideologies over mutant/human relations, with Erik believing that the mutants were the next logical step in mankind's evolution. Erik started to form the Brotherhood of Mutants behind Charles' back, using it as a foundation for his radical movements.
When their friend Gabrielle Haller was abducted by Baron Von Strucker and his HYDRA agents, Erik and Charles rescued her. Erik used his powers to make off with a cache of Nazi gold that only Stucker had sought. Erik decided that the only way to prevent humanity from oppressing the emerging race of mutants was for mutants to conquer the rest of the human race. Erik finally showed Charles that he believed that mutants were superior to ordinary humans and deserved to rule over them. The two bitter old friends went their separate ways.
Magneto did not begin his plans for human domination that quickly though. In 1975, Erik met a woman named Isabelle Magda. Erik and Isabelle grew very fond of each other, and soon the pair had their first children, the twin mutants Wanda and Pietro in 1981.
Erik, now calling himself Magneto, took to wearing a helmet to prevent any psychological attacks from entering his mind. In 1998, Magneto made his first step in his war against the human race by seizing the Cape Canaveral air base. By this point, Xavier had formed the X-Men, who foiled Magneto's plans.
Magneto used his Brotherhood to battle against both the X-Men and humanity for years. After numerous clashes with the X-Men, Magneto attempted to work with the ruler of Atlantis, Namor against a common threat: humanity. However, Namor refused the offer.
Using his advanced knowledge of genetic engineering, Magneto attemped to work against the High Evolutionary. In retaliation, the High Evolutionary devolved Magneto. After the Fantastic Four intervened, Reed Richards reverse-engineered the Evolutionary‘s technology to restore Magneto back to his physical prime.
Hence, Magneto is physically younger today than his contemporaries from the World War II period.
In 2007, Magneto seized control of the planet's magnetosphere from the north magnetic pole, in an attempt to force the world into creating a mutant nation. This resulted in the United Nations ceding Magneto the island nation of Genosha, which had no recognized government, as a homeland for mutants.
Robert Kelly listens to reason and agrees to stop the Sentinel program, but Magneto refused to give up on his plan to unite mutants against the human race. Magneto sent Mystique to pose as Senator Kelly in order to unleash the Sentinels on Genosha, making it appear as if Kelly started the attack. When the Sentinels attack Genosha, Magneto initially does nothing, claiming that the weak must be sacrificed so the strong can rally together. He then uses his powers to reprogram them to attack humans. He was knocked off his Sentinel by Storm yet was rescued by Quicksilver, who took him back to Genosha.
After the attack was stopped by the X-Men, Scarlet Witch and Polaris had Blink teleport Magneto and Quicksilver away from Genosha. Finally seeing the corrupt and misguided nature of her father, Scarlet Witch takes control of Genosha with the islanders' full support. Though Scarlet Witch tells Quicksilver that he is always welcome in Genosha, she also states that Genosha is no longer Magneto's country; therefore banishing her own father.
Magneto and Quicksilver soon appear at the Triskelion, and are surrounded by the Avengers. Outnumbered, outmatched, and demoralized, Magneto surrenders into S.H.E.I.L.D. custody.
Weary of their father's crusade against humanity, Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch quit the Brotherhood and joined the Avengers. Polaris still had faith in her father not by his ideals or crimes, but by his sentimental actions towards her.
In 2010, after 12 years of fighting against human oppression and the X-Men, Magneto was detained in the S.H.I.E.L.D. prison the Raft. As he was kept there for two years, he had much time to think, and challenge Xavier's philosophies whenever Charles had time to meet him.
Soon, Mystique and Pyro would carefully sneak into the Raft and break out Magneto. Mystique would take Magneto's place as the prisoner in the raft while the real Magneto escaped with Pyro.
Eventually, with a new suit and helmet, Erik was reunited with the rest of the Brotherhood, and got updated with Forge on his progress with Project Avalon, a mutant sanctuary that would surpass Genosha. Over the years, Magneto came to realize one thing; that his war with humanity would never change anything, and that it would be better if mutantkind simply cut off all ties with the bigotry of the Homo-Sapien. Some like Sabretooth disagreed with this new course of action, claiming that Magneto had grown soft.
Eventually, Asteroid M took to the stars, inviting all mutants to live in peace. Of course, there was a massive amount of distrust as Genosha was destroyed three years prior, leaving most of the mutant population in skepticism with Magneto's promises. In an attempt to try and prevent future unnecessary violence, Magneto disbands the Brotherhood.
While onboard Asteroid M, Magneto encounters a group of mutants that pledge their allegiance to him, Fabian Cortez among them. They take their role as Magneto's acolytes, and Magneto returns to the ruins of Genosha to rescue the mutants living in poverty there. The X-Men confront Magneto on his behaviour, but Magneto defends himself by saying he only wants his people to live in peace, and that the humans can destroy themselves on Earth while the mutants are safe from harm.
Things become awry when Gambit is captured, and Cortez with his healing abilities, reverses the effect and betrays Magneto, planning to turn him into a martyr to unite mutantkind against humanity. The X-Men infiltrate Asteroid M, fighting the Acolytes. Cortez reveals that the station is loaded with nuclear payloads, and plans to use them to raze the Earth. Beast tries to defuse them, but he is too late before the last half of the nukes launch.
Magneto, believed to be dead, returns, disabling the warheads and Asteroid M along with it. Magneto battles Cortez and kills him. The X-Men evacuate the remaining mutants with aid from S.W.O.R.D., but Magneto stays behind to make sure that Asteroid M doesn't destroy any cities on it's re-entry.
A New Approach
Erik later used his intelligence, resources, and contacts to track down various anti-mutant hate crimes and make sure that those responsible pay for their sins. During one of his quests, he discovered a group of MGH (Mutant Growth Hormone) traffickers, and after killing them, he abducted their scientist in order to perfect his MGH formula to restore mutant powers instead of substance abuse.
Around this time, Magneto would battle Iron Man. While Iron Man held himself in the fight, he was outmatched by Magneto's uncanny use of his powers.
During his personal crusade, Magneto was met by a mysterious woman named Briar Raleigh had agreed to help Magneto seek justice. Although he was skeptical at first, Magneto accepted her aid. Briar had many resources at her disposal that proved to make her a valuable ally for Erik, even if her true intentions still remained a mystery.
Rise of Apocalypse
By September in 2011, Magneto's attention was bought when he got news that Genosha was utterly destroyed by Apocalypse, who had started the first phase of his plan. Magneto immediately entered the ravaged remains of his former home, attempting to find his daughters Wanda and Lorna, both who were still looking over Genosha since it's fall years ago.
Something at the back of Erik's mind was still tugging at him, so he decided to visit the Xavier school. Everyone was surprised to see that Magneto had come to talk. Charles immediatley took this as another trap, and attacked him telepathically. However, Magneto did not fight back and simply surrendered. Jean forced Xavier to stop the attack, and Magneto commended her for doing what they should have done years ago -- talked things out. Magneto offered his aid to the X-Men. Although they quickly turned him down, some like Cyclops and the younger students felt that he really was trying to change for the better.
Even with Magneto's attempts of correcting his public image, S.H.I.E.L.D. was still onto him and Briar. He unraveled a plot to catch their attention and surrender, only to heavily damage the helicarrier from the inside and delete the agency's files on all mutants.
In 2012, when the Skrulls revealed themselves to humanity and began their invasion, Magneto immediately took up arms. When he realized that the skrulls had infiltrated every major team, government and organization, Magneto decided to work alone, trusting nobody and planning to take the fight to Queen Veranke herself. However, it was revealed that Briar herself was a skrull, and with their knowledge of Magneto's weaknesses, incapacitated him while aboard the skrull mothership.
Magneto was imprisoned and tortured until a last-minute-rescue by Groot and Rocket Raccoon saved him. The ship was floating above Washington D.C., and Magneto joined the Avengers, X-Men, and Guardians of the Galaxy for a combined attack against the skrull armada.
As the fight became more destructive, Magneto began rescuing citizens across the battlefield, ensuring that they got out of the conflict safely, including a few mutants. When the battle was finished and Veranke killed by Cyclops, Magneto was thanked by the residents of Washington. He was reunited with the true Briar Raleigh when the skrull victims were rescued. However, he was incarcerated yet again by both the United Nations and S.H.I.E.L.D. for his past offenses.
Crimes Against Humanity
In a private meeting between Charles Xavier and Magneto a short time after the Skrull invasion, Erik affirmed that his change of heart was genuine, and Charles assured him that he could see past his evil deeds and remember Erik the man he started out as, before he became Magneto.
The public opinion, however, demanded more. Magneto's trial lasted five months. At the outset of the proceedings, Erik pled guilty to "Crimes against Humanity". Just as his defender, Matt Murdock, was reading a statement declaring this, the trial was dramatically interrupted by a small gang of mutants led by Toad and Pyro, who had escaped from the brig on one of the helicarriers. The invading force attempted to get Magneto away to safety, but he refused to escape and the uprising was quickly quelled.
During the recess that followed, Charles confronted Erik over his true motives: Prior events made him realize that, were he to submit to execution now, his legacy would only be one of pain and death. Erik requested that he be allowed to join the Guardians of the Galaxy in their adventures away from the hatred of both humans and mutants on Earth, thus ensuring that that would be his legacy, after which he would submit to whatever punishment was deemed necessary when he returns home.
Charles agreed on the condition that Magneto would read a prepared speech denouncing the Homo-Superior cause and asking all active Brotherhood mutants to stand down. Magneto did so, at great personal pain.
Erik would later lament that his body did not feel as "confident" as it usually did, which he considered a sign of his waning age.
Guardian of the Galaxy
Magneto was assigned to co-captaincy of the Milano alongside Star-Lord, who instantly hated the idea. This would lead to an antagonistic relationship between the two. A month into the journey, Magneto agreed to a therapy session with ship's self-proclaimed psychoanalyst Mantis, during which she supported his current thinking on personal history, and the ability to selectively edit or abandon entirely previously-held truths.
Following the session, Magneto discovered that the door to his quarters had been graffitied, as he knew that it had to have been Rocket Raccoon. Magneto spoke to Rocket, and threatened to kick him off the team, showing Rocket firsthand that Magneto wasn't one for jokes.
Magneto subsequently oversaw the bringing onboard of a mysterious coffin the Milano found floating in space. A short time later, a drunken dare gone awry resulted in Rocket accidentally cracking the coffin open. Magneto reprimanded him by permanently dismantling his favorite gun, and assigned him the role of the ship's pilot in order to focus his mind. The pair then turned their attention to the opened coffin, which was revealed to contain the body of... another Star-Lord?
A brief analysis suggested that the body was of Star-Lord from the future, but before the matter could be settled, rest of the Guardians were forced to abandon the ship as it suddenly began disappearing around them. Soon, the Guardians were stuck in a claustrophobic escape pod, before everyone could be released as the Milano strangely re-materialized out of thin air. Magneto used his powers to bring the ship to them so the pod could dock with it. But this wasn't the same Milano, and the Guardians were met with the corpses... of themselves. Except for Magneto.
Still believing that the duplicate ship hailed from the future, Rocket accused Magneto of being responsible for the devastation, and, realizing that the recent huge changes he had made in his life left him devoid of any surety in his future actions, Magneto allowed himself to be imprisoned until the truth could be determined.
Mantis and Warlock were able to deduce that the duplicate Milano and its crew, including the second Star-Lord, were actually extra-dimensional duplicates created by the Eternity Forge two years prior. To make matters worse, the explosive chemicals leaking from the engines was threatening to all of the populated planets nearby, but Magneto had no compunctions about getting to safety and leaving the planets to their fate until Star-Lord called him out, forcing him to face up to the fact that choosing to be an Guardian meant reflecting it in one's actions.
Magneto used his abilities to safely make it through the orbiting residue and deactivate the engines, saving surrounding worlds, "cancelling out" the duplicate Milano, and reinstating their own. As they made their way back to the returned Milano, Star-Lord invited Magneto to remain at their side, despite their differences.
Back aboard "their" Milano, Magneto discovered the Brotherhood had reformed and was being led by Mystique back on Earth. Though depressed by this outcome, Magneto destroyed all of his communications with Earth, severing his ties to his past. But even though he tried to put that behind him, Star-Lord quickly delivered news to him that the future mutant Bishop had traveled to their time (as Quill still had access to Earth-based tech). This caused Magneto to have a mini-breakdown over how ridiculous the whole scenario was, but he soon got ahold of himself, and theorized that Bishop was attempting to change history by hunting a certain individual.
The Milano landed in Knowhere, where Magneto was introduced to Cosmo the telepathic space dog. Cosmo pointed out that Magneto's helmet blocked his telepathy, and Magneto was glad that a dog wasn't reading though his thoughts.
Soon, Magneto and the Guardians met a being calling himself the Silver Surfer. The Surfer arrived to Knowhere, bringing news of the planet-destroying force called Galactus. Galactus plans on destroying the Skrull homeworld, as their prophecy had foretold during their secret invasion of Earth a year prior.
The Guardians had a difficult choice to make -- to aid an oppressive empire that had already tried to claim one world under its heel, or let its planet and possibly its entire race go extinct? Star-Lord eventually made the final decision to help the Skrulls against Galactus. Magneto joined Quasar, Adam Warlock, and Gamora as they entered the planet. With the Guardians split into two teams, and Silver Surfer working alone, Magneto quickly became suspicious of the Surfer's true intentions.
Magneto's team encountered the Skrull experiment known as Titannus, driven mad and enraged by his captors. After dealing with Titannus, Galactus' presence loomed closer towards them, and Magneto ordered Rocket in the Milano to evacuate any Skrulls caught in Galactus' path.
A Skrull scientist led Magneto's team downstairs to where he had been keeping a group of mutant skrulls. The Skrull empire had been much harsher on the mutants on this world rather than on Earth, and Magneto felt both pity and sympathies for the mutant skrulls. However, Warlock warned Magneto to not let his emotions cloud his judgement. Before the Guardians and the mutants could escape in time, Magneto was attacked by Paibok. After dealing with the super skrull, Magneto's team and Star-Lord's reunited with the Silver Surfer.
But, the Silver Surfer revealed the truth -- he had only asked the Guardians to come so that Galactus could destroy them all himself, knowing that the Guardians would be a threat to Galactus' future plans of devouring. Magneto arrogantly fought the Surfer, only to be quickly defeated by the Surfer's power cosmic. Soon, Galactus himself showed up to wipe out the Guardians. The team threw everything they had at the towering giant, with Magneto pushing his weakened abilities to their limit by dropping two skyscrapers on Galactus. But this didn't stop him, and it only made Galactus annoyed. Magneto's helmet is crushed during the fight, but after some convincing and guilt tripping, the Surfer betrays Galactus as the team save the Skrull homeworld.
After the event, the Guardians salvage a weapon of unequaled power, the Ultimate Nullifier. With such power in their possession, the team start to argue over their next move. Should they hand it over to the Nova Corps, or keep it for themselves? The executive decision came down to Magneto and Star-Lord. But, Magneto refused to let it fall into the hands of the Nova Corps, or to have the Guardians keep it themselves. Instead, Magneto suggested that they give the Nullifier to Reed Richards on Earth. Adam Warlock agrees, and Star-Lord reluctantly flies back to Earth.
Powers and Abilities
- Magnetokinesis: Magneto has complete and total control over all and any form of magnet, making him one of the most powerful mutants around, if not the most. Magneto has even proven in the past to be strong enough to manipulate the magnetic poles of the Earth itself. Magneto has used his powers in increasingly brutal and creative ways, for both good and bad reasons.
- Magneto's Helmet: Although it's visual look has varied greatley over the years, Magneto's helmet has always served the same purpose; to protect him from psychological/telepathic assaults.
- Magneto's Suit: Magneto's uniform has changed over the years; originally appearing bulkier, with more of an overcoat aspect, it has now started to look more along the lines of tightened armor. His suit is made up of various metallic alloys -- light enough to keep him on his toes, and allows him to fly without the need for a metal platform. It also provides a good defense against physical harm.
Magneto is a genius and is very experienced in dozens of scientific fields. He has created and managed ships, advanced technology, and has dealt with genetic tampering as well. He has also mastered several foreign languages. Erik is a master planner, constantly a step ahead of any opponent and even ahead of what he himself wants now, preparing for anything he may want in the future.
Magneto's personal belief has always been that mutants -- Homo-Supierior if you will, should be the ones ruling the Earth. While Magneto had a distaste for the human race during his years as the leader of the Brotherhood, he never wanted to wipe them out. He saw himself as the dictator that the world needed, should mutants ever be treated equally. He has stayed with this mentality for years, until Project Avalon -- when Magneto was betrayed by Fabian Cortez and left to die. That day, Magneto realized that mutants and humans weren't so different -- that both species were corrupt in their own ways. That, and the fact that Erik became aware that the way he had been treating humans with the same disregard as the Nazis had treated his people only added to his existentialism.
While Magneto has the physical might to overpower most foes, it's his mind that has one-upped several tyrants, politicians and rival mutants, like the X-Men. But his cold clinical nature is a front he has struggled to keep up with, as he's still quick to anger and even quicker to use excessive violence as a solution. WIth a renewed sense of purpose thanks to a second chance given to him by the Guardians of the Galaxy, Magneto has been trying to change, but he's spent such a long time reveling in violence that it may have been a lost cause from the start.
Nick Fury's Notes
I’ve always held some bittersweet sympathies for Erik. At the end of the day, the man’s just doing whatever he feels is right for his people. But whatever his intentions were, they sure as hell don’t absolve him of any of his crimes, and the lives he’s both taken and ruined over the last decade.
Magneto’s one of the most powerful mutants out there, not just in terms of sheer might, but his mind as well. No matter what anti-magnetic gimmicks we use, he somehow drudges up a way to counteract it. Won't miss him, but I can sure breath easier knowing he won't be back for a while.
"Look at me, Lorna. I'm old. Old and weak. Their poison makes me brittle, but even at full strength I'm long past my prime. My powers flicker where they once flared. There's no purchase. No bite."
"I don't like to hear you talk like this."
"Because it's not you! The mutant who brought the world to its knees, who emancipated millions. The Magneto we followed, the Magneto we loved... what happened to him?"
"I don't know. Maybe he's dead."
"Dead? Or just resting?"
--Magneto and Polaris
"What are you doing? Unhand me!"
"Shut up and follow me. Oh, and for future reference? Only bad guys say "unhand me"."
--Magneto and Star-Lord
- His theme.
- Erik's favorite movie is "The Thing From Another World".
- In his later years, Magneto has began to show signs of sympathy towards the humans and other social minorities besides mutants, even forming respect for certain human rights activists, such as Malcolm X.
- Drax, Gamora, Mantis, and Warlock appear to be the few Guardians that Magneto can genuinely tolerate.