In order to have one of the greatest superhero teams of all time, it is necessary to have a strong supporting cast of villains to go up against them. If not, nobody is ever going to take any threat against the superheroes seriously. Thankfully, when it comes to the X-Men, the villains are not only outstanding, they may even be stronger than the protagonists. The dastardly group would not be half as evil if not led by their incredibly charismatic and badass leader, Magneto.
With a backstory that is every bit as heartbreaking as it is compelling, Magneto is one of the most intriguing characters in the comic’s history, as he is often straddling the line between good and evil. The problem is that Magneto is so focussed on the potential of his vision that he is willing to go after it, even at the cost of human lives.
The complexity of the character not only makes him one of the greatest characters of all time, but also a character who has no shortage of cool tidbits or things that have happened to him since his debut in the comics in 1963.
One thing is for sure, make sure you don’t get on Magneto‘s bad side or you’ll learn very quickly just how powerful he truly is. Instead of having to experience it, why not take the time out of your day to read about it instead? Here are 10 things that you probably don’t know about Magneto.
10. He’s Is Ranked The Greatest Villain Of All Time
When IGN was ranking the best supervillains of all time, Magneto came in first! This is due not only to the sheer strength of Magneto, but also the depth and complexity of the character. It is one thing to be physically intimidating and stupid, but Magneto is one of the most cunning men on the battlefield. Not to mention that, as you’re about to read below, there are some moments in which Magneto displayed his absolute raw strength, which makes him an easy candidate for the top spot.
9. Stan Lee Did Not Consider Him A Villain
Wait, what? The creator of Magneto does not consider the greatest villain of all time to be a villain? Stan Lee has come out and stated that when he created Magneto he did not intend for him to be a villain, but instead to just be a figure that stood up against the racism the mutants were experiencing. Lee always knew that he wanted Magneto to be powerful, and at least he also made sure that Magneto was fighting for a cause that everyone could understand, even they didn’t rally behind it.
8. He Was Sent To Another Planet
While there are not a lot of moments in his history when someone gets the best of Magneto, a character known as The Stranger was able to enclose Magneto (and Toad) in a type of cocoon and sends them to another planet. When this occurs, it leads to a fracturing of Magneto‘s Brotherhood of Evil. Thankfully, Magneto eventually breaks free of this trap and returns to Earth, where he is successful at temporarily taking over Xavier’s mansion. He is eventually recaptured by The Stranger, but don’t worry, he escapes again. Rumor has it he’s a pretty hard guy to keep in one spot!
7. Stan Lee Wanted Him To Be Xavier’s Brother
There is no doubt that one of the most interesting relationship dynamics out there is the one between Charles Xavier and Magneto. Xavier is one of the strongest mutants out there, but his ideals oppose Magneto’s, constantly leading to some great clashes. What would make it even more dramatic would be if Stan Lee had his original vision come to light. Lee wanted to pair the two as brothers, thinking it would add another dynamic, but left the comic after issue #19 and by then it would not have worked with the overall vision. It is cool to think about, but given Magneto’s compelling backstory, it’s hard to complain that they didn’t go ahead with it.
For those curious, Lee instead opted to pair Juggernaut as the brother of Xavier.
6. He Could Have Killed Kitty Pride
There is no doubt that when Magneto needs to put some enemies away, he is not shy to display his power. In Uncanny X-Men #150 (released in 1981) Magneto ripped into Kitty Pride and surely, would have killed her, had he not realized that she was still a young child. Pride represented the very type of mutant Magneto was fighting for and, as a result, Magneto stopped the attack. This was largely considered to be one of the most sympathetic moments and, as Xavier had hoped, a turning point in the character. While the X-Men are not always going to be so fortunate, it was a nice moment that further speaks to the depth of the character.
5. He’s The Father Of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch
While this is not the most unknown of facts, it is definitely a really cool one for those who are unaware of it. Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch, despite being Magneto‘s kids, are far from eternal fans of him. While they have spent time in his evil brotherhood, they did not know Magneto was their father for a significant portion of their lives, as their mother, Magda, left Magneto. Hard to blame her, as Magneto’s rage got a little bit too much one night and, after several individuals ended up dead, Magda had no choice but to leave. To be fair, murder is often a deal-breaker for many people in a relationship.
Because of rights issues, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are not portrayed as Magneto’s children in Marvel’s Avengers films, and are not even referred to as mutants.
4. He Replaced Charles As Headmaster
For all the times Magneto spent trying to take down the school, you may be shocked to learn that he was once made the headmaster. After a brutal battle, Charles was left too weak (both physically and mentally) to run the school, and passes the responsibility on to Magneto. In order to limit suspicion, Magneto goes under the identity of Michael Xavier, the cousin of Charles.
It was Magneto’s decision to run the school that helped him bond with his children, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. While his term was filled with some disastrous moments (such as students dying), at least he tried.
3. He Enclosed The Red Skull In A Tomb
Magneto has been affiliated with a lot of evil organizations, but none were more awkward than his time working alongside the Red Skull. For those unaware, Red Skull is a non-forgiving Nazi war criminal, and Magneto’s backstory is that he is a holocaust survivor. The partnership ends when Magneto confirms that Red Skull helped Hitler… talk about an awkward friendship moment. Magneto then proceeds to entomb him alive. It’s one of those moments where you are not super sure if you’re supposed to cheer for Magneto, but there is no doubt that he’s a super badass.
2. Xavier Puts Him Into A Coma
You need to do something pretty awful to provoke Xavier into putting you in a coma. During a battle with the X-Men, Magneto decided it would be a good idea to literally rip the adamantium from the bones of Wolverine. As you can imagine, this would be incredibly painful, even if you’re Wolverine. While he is successful, it does lead to Xavier wiping Magneto‘s mind to the extent that it leaves Magneto in a coma. He is later cloned by Astra (another character), who also restores all of his memories and powers.
1. He Saves The City Of San Francisco
When an earthquake would have severely damaged the city of San Francisco, Magneto was the man with a plan. Inspired by Cyclops, Magneto stabilized the city’s buildings, structures and even smoothed out the Earth’s movements themselves. This saved not only countless costs in damages, but also saved many lives. You would hope this would lead to some positive public relations, but, unfortunately, to the population, it was a terrifying example of how strong Magneto really is.