Magneto, Volume 1: Infamousby Cullen Bunn, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Javi Fernandez, Jordie Bellaire, Dan Brown, Cory Petit, Paolo Rivera Published 14 Oct 2014
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Once the deadliest, most feared mutant mastermind on the planet, Magneto is no longer the man he was. After allying with Cyclops and the X-Men, he became a pawn in another man's war. But now, determined to fight for mutantkind's survival on his own terms, Magneto sets out to regain what he's lost...and remind the world why it should tremble at the sound of his name. Magneto will safeguard the future of the mutant race by hunting down each and every threat that would see his kind extinguished — and bloody his hands that they may never be a threat again.
But as horrors from his past loom large and S.H.I.E.L.D. agents pursue him, will Magneto soon become the villain he once was? And how will a mysterious woman from his past affect his mission?
Collecting: Magneto 1-6
"Magneto, Volume 1: Infamous" Reviews
Shallow Comics buddy read this week is RED. Because we're lazy, and it's fairly easy to find a superhero whose got some sort of red on 'em...somewhere.
I'm just not feelin' Magneto in this one.
Really sorry about that, because this was one I'd been looking forward to since his exit from the Uncanny X-men.
The story centers around Magneto (still not at full power) slurking around small towns, and rooting out anyone who has wronged mutants.
He's an ass, and he doesn't seem to mind torturing folks to dispense his particular brand of justice. His inner monologue is the narrator on this journey, and he's pretty self-aware as far as his faults go.
I guess that's supposed to make him honest and intriguing.
I think it just makes him a sadistic dickhole.
I could probably get on board with a cool anti-hero fairly quickly, but the biggest problem for me was that Magneto's inner voice was dry and boring.
I don't wanna hear him ramble on and on about his bullshit mutant ideals.
Either say something funny or say something meaningful.
Otherwise, shut the fuck up, Grandpa.
I didn't truly hate this, but I didn't like it.
Recommended for fans of Magneto only.
The first half of this book was great story wise, Magneto on a mission, in anti-hero mode. The downside? The art is patchy, and Max/Erik/Magnus/Magneto looks like The Kingpin. Fat face? No.
The stuff with the helmet and the black and red and white palette is good.
It really drops the ball when the mysterious girl following him shows up and has all this help to offer, not looking suspicious at all. Nope. Then it gets lame and stupid and a whole 180 degree turn from what he was doing.
Potential, yes, but enough problems that it lost momentum. I really liked the first few issues where he was a man possessed. I like it, more like Frank Castle, Blade, anti hero superstar.
I liked the powers being missing, yet he still kicks ass with his residual powers. It really shows how powerful he was at full power.
I hope the series continues, but I feel like a Cullen Bunn joint will fizzle into shit.
Remember that scene from X-Men: First Class where a young Magneto hunts down some Nazis in post-war South America and executes them? That’s the basic concept of this series with an older (and less powerful) Magneto roaming across America as a wandering angel of death, avenging any and all wrongs against mutants by mankind.
It’s actually a brilliant concept for the character because Magneto’s gone from being the quintessential X-Men villain to, recently, an almost heroic figure while retaining some of his darker tendencies. He’s kind of like the mutant Malcolm X, standing for a good cause but using questionable means to support it, so it’s in keeping that he would kill and still be the anti-hero of his story.
What’s frustrating about this series is how vague the two stories in this book are when you think about them as a whole – but when reading them, you don’t actually notice that quality. So the first story arc is, I think, about some scientists doing Dr Mengele-esque experiments on human subjects to create human/sentinel hybrids, while the second arc is…. um… about The Marauders? I don’t know anything about these characters but they mean something to Magneto. They have a fight and then there’s that bizarre final page. So…
But, like I say, when you’re reading the book, it’s quite easy to follow – Magneto is incognito (take away the costume and helmet and he’s just an ordinary bald dude) and being hunted by SHIELD. He’s popping up all over the country violently executing people who’ve hurt mutants. Simple! But when Cullen Bunn introduces a plot, things start to wobble a bit.
Bunn gives Magneto a strong, resonant voice which is personable, even likeable, distinctive and sounds reasonable, in contrast to his very dark actions – the ways he kills is extremely violent. Though when the people he kills turn out to be nasty pieces of work, hurting mutant kids and whatnot, it’s hard not to feel righteous about Magneto’s murders. He’s not killing for the sake of it, he’s doing it for a purpose, and though you could say an eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind, you get a strong feeling that that’s how Magneto’s wants to play it and damn the consequences. Which is kinda cool – don’t get many of those Marvel types with their own series!
Bunn throws in some flashback scenes to World War 2 and we see a young Magneto witnessing horrific violence at the hands of the Nazis, so you know where he’s coming from, but he’s also very aware that he’s become like the monsters who once tormented him. There are a lot of grey areas in this book and Bunn brilliantly walks the line between light and dark with Magneto.
Thinking about the book as a whole though and it’s harder to figure out what the point was – it doesn’t help that there’s no real antagonist. Magneto’s just getting stuff done… whatever that stuff is. We know it’s probably in service of the mutant cause though. Probably.
It almost doesn’t matter though when the main character is so well written and the moments when Magneto becomes Magneto are so exciting, like the opening chapter when he walks into the police station and uses various bits of metal to form his trademark costume, appearing in the midst of them, floating. So good!
Artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s art is terrific, from that splash page I just described to drawing Magneto’s victims’ faces – he acutely captures their pain - and I liked how he represented Magneto’s powers like how he feels the metal in the police station just being around them with small panels displaying a gun or a paperclip. Jordie Bellaire’s colours give this book a magnificent look, using a limited palette of muted and darker tones, making his black uniform and helmet very stylish.
I don’t think Bunn did a great job of making the reader aware of what was happening in the main – ie. the point of that particular arc – but I do think he got the voice down perfectly. I read through the first six issues in one sitting (a rare feat) because I was so hooked by Magneto’s narration rather than the plot (magnetic personality? I’ll get me coat…).
It would be better too if he were really challenged which he hasn’t been so far – every threat he comes across is dealt with quite easily, almost effortlessly, on his part, so there’s little dramatic tension. It’d be better to see him on the ropes and being forced to use his wits more or facing a villain of his own.
Still, it’s a very decent first volume to kick things off with. With Bunn’s Magneto and Al Ewing’s Loki, the Marvel villains are turning out to be as compelling in the spotlight as the heroes!
Magneto's powers may be broken, but his body and spirit are intact. Magneto had been following Scott Summers lead, but now he's setting off on his own to protect mutantkind in his own way. Sure he can't drop a tank on someone, but Magneto is still dangerous.
So Magneto has gone from being a powerhouse who takes on armies all by himself to being far more covert about his actions.
On a positive there is less collateral damage, but he's far more vulnerable. Magento shows he's much more than the master of magnetism with his well thought out plans and their efficient execution.
Infamous shows that full powers or not, Magneto will protect mutantkind with everything he has.
I'm not sure what to feel about this book. It's great to see Magneto be dangerous again, in a way that is truly scary. As much as I love the idea of Magneto joining forces with the X-Men (or just Cyclops & Emma, I guess), I've forgotten his past and where his heart truly lies when it comes to the protection of the mutant race. So, you know.
Thank you, multiple and varied panels of Magneto brutally killing people, I won't forget that is a part of who he is for a long, long time. (The scary thing is, I get it. I see your side of it, Erik. But I also see the brutal killings and terrorizing you do.)
Don't know why there are not more books like this,
but Magneto has always been a fascinating character.
He has fought on both sides of the (Marvel) "moral compass"
but still remains true to his character/nature.
And here Magneto is in his post-Phoenix state of diminished powers and that adds to the excitement IMO.
Excellent writing here from Bunn!