The Master of Magnetism has struck out on his own and I’ll be following along in the path of destruction he has laid out as we review the first issue of the Magneto solo series.
The story starts in Cape Girardean, Missouri, where some unfortunate barista is having the pleasure of being questioned about the murder that transpired moments ago. And when I say murder, I mean the victim got skewered by sign posts through his mouth until he was pinned to the ground. The barista states that the assassin knew his routine and had a brief discussion before he ripped the fillings out of the victim’s mouth, threw him into the street, and then replaced them with said sign posts, and that for this guy killing was like autopilot.
We then go to Kansas, where Magneto contemplates his circumstances in the motel. He knows he’s got a one-way trip to hell, but right now what he’s doing is for the greater good of mutants and so his actions are all that matters. This is shown in a minor flashback to when he met the victim of the murder, who contributed to many of the Anti-Mutant organizations even if he never once pulled the trigger himself. Magneto made him pay for what he did in the past by taking away his future and he would do the same for others.
It’s then a maid arrives and gives him some newspapers that he asked for. He can tell she knows the name he’s given her is an alias and that he’s dangerous, but very few people know what Magneto looks like without the helmet. Still, he makes sure to tip her very well. Never let it be said he was mean to the help.
He then goes to his poster board map, which outlines where he’s tracking down the enemies of mutants. He’s lower on resources than before, going from some of the most sophisticated tech to old laptops and newspaper clippings, but he’s still managed to stay out of the hands of SHIELD and those who would be interested in him. SHIELD’s gone as far as to place fake reports of attacks on mutants to draw him out, but he can tell real from fake and figures they won’t take him seriously until he hits a target too big to ignore.
Until then he focuses on his next target, in Mountain Air, California. It took him awhile to get there since he was flying under the radar, and while tracking the killer of three mutants was easy enough he didn’t expect him to turn himself in. Magneto acknowledges that he’s jailed, but thinks that’s too little of a punishment and not nearly severe enough for the grimness of his crime.
So he strolls into a police station and calmly calls forth all the metal he can to clear out the cops while reforming a helmet to match the rocking black motif he’s got going on. I doubt it’ll offer him psychic protection like the normal one does, but it’s the image that counts. After taking care of the police in the way, he confronts the killer who seems frightful and wants him to leave, even shocked that he murdered someone. Then the freaky stuff happens.
His chest tears open, his arms twist into weaponry, and he opens fire upon Magneto. He’s a poor-man’s version of the Omega Sentinel, a human turned into a death machine. Magneto puts him out of his misery by ripping the machinery away, leaving him dying and in pain.
In the man’s final moments Magneto asks who turned him into that monster, realizing he was as much of a victim as those he killed. He gets a location and relates to his pain of being unable to stop himself like he was on autopilot. And then he swears to find the ones responsible for this and make them pay as well as the first issue ends.
Okay, review time.
Now, this was a good start overall. The plot picks up some time after Magneto dropped a building on Mystique and flew off, so we’re catching up on what he’s like after doing this for some time. There’s no time wasted in-between and we get straight to the grittiness that’s evident in the artwork.
Character-wise, I felt Magneto was spot on. He’s always had mutants’ best interest at heart and punishes those who deserved it for endangering the species. While he’s had moments where he was a flat-out villain, the current version of him tries not to overdo the killing of innocents or straight-up human bashing. You could see it on his face in the final page that he felt bad about it, but there was really little choice in the matter…that being said, if you try to lynch him after he saves your ass from a train wreck, he will drop all the wreckage on you.
I can’t really think of any faults to the story for the opening of the series and it was a decent read, so I’m giving Magneto #1 (2014) a perfect 5 out of 5.
Fair Warning: This Review Contains Heavy Swearing
…Yeah, I can’t say I’m enthusiastic about this art or issue but I’ve been reviewing the series for a minute and that means I write about the good and the bad. And boy was there a lot of bad in Issue #18 of Uncanny X-Men. So I going to do this, but it’s going to be short and I will be using many, many swear words.
The story begins with the NXS kids and staff returning from somewhere in what appears to be the Blackbird, sometime after the botched Tabula Rasa training mission judging from how they say Tempus has been nagging on Cyclops to take Hijack back into their group for some time. You wouldn’t know time had passed given that her hair is short again while Phoebe’s is missing a distinctive shade of red. Yeah, if I didn’t have enough issues with the art before, I’m going to bitch about that later on. Anyway, it’s the aftermath of the beginning of the Trial of Jean Grey event and as such they find the All New X-Men group gone and the flashbacks begin.
The first one starts with two weeks ago, where Cyclops is training with his broken powers when Magik decides to bring Kitty to meet with him and then goes to hold the rest of the NXS back so they don’t interfere while the two come to terms with themselves. Kitty pretty much puts her fingers inside his head and threatens to kill him by un-phasing just enough for it to damage his brain. Arguments that have already been fucking discussed get brought up again, which understandable given it is a flashback to before BotA, and they whine about it for a minute until he asks her what she needs, which we already knew was a place to stay with the Teenage Original 5 X-Men.
Then, a week later, they pick up with the O5 arriving and some of the worst scenes in the series with Emma Frost bitching about bringing teenage Jean Grey to stay with them. And then the scene between Cyclops and Teen Jean and Teen Cyclops was…lackluster. It was not only short, but what should have been an emotional session that tugged at my heartstrings was a waste of three pages.
Back in the present they wonder what steps they should take next. These range from securing a space-craft and going after them, trusting them to make it on their own and so on. It then ends with Cyclops firing into the sky.
Okay, review time…
What. The. Hell?
Leaving aside the fact that this art is not my cup of tea—I mean come on, the continuity errors with Eva and Phoebes’ appearances, the lack of eyes some times, the horrendous expressions, and the sheer amount of wasted space was something that spits in the face of those who bought the comic—what is wrong with the writer?
Having Eva whining about Hijack twelve times like a little girl? Come on now, you can do better when you come from the future. Given some legitimate reasons like if he goes rogue or something, and then take Cyclops, Emma, Magik, and the Stepford sisters, into a private room and do that psychic projection thing that they did in Battle of the Atom so they have a leg up on what’s going down.
And then Emma? What was this? She was practically cordial to her teenage-rival in Battle of the Atom and to this damn point in this series. Granted the moment she saw an adult Jean Grey she tried to gouge out her eyes, but we all knew that was coming. Being so childish and saying she would bring a baby Colossus to their time and see how they liked it…that doesn’t make any sense coming from the former White Queen and Headmistress of the X-Men.
And then the reunion between Cyclops, Jeen, and Tyke? Short, inconclusive, and a waste of three pages like I said prior. This could have gone a lot better, and I mean that in every sense of the word.
And then the plot? Wasted. We just got one team member kicked off, one sent to the future or past and back, and a looming confrontation with SHIELD…and you give me this piece of garbage, Marvel? The majority of the issue covered the prelude and aftermath of the ANXM kids coming to the school. They turned what should have been inserted directly after that waste of time and money that was the most useless crossover of the year, Battle of the Atom, into a goddamn filler piece that does little to nothing and keeps away from the meat of the good stuff. And there was no damn closure at the end at that.
This issue…words do not begin to describe how disappointed I am. People were already whining Cyclops’ revolution was taking too long, and you put useless filler that would have been better several issues ago in with bad art? Fuck you, Marvel, for adding to the problem when I legitimately like the series.
This Issue is getting a 1 out of 5.