Top 10 X-Men Villains

Top 10 X-Men Villains

Marvel’s premier team of mutants has a rather impressive rogue’s gallery all their own. From celestial conquerors to violent freedom fighters, they have dealt with a number of rather impressive enemies. As such, today we will count down their ten best villains. Villains that have challenged individual X-Men, such as Wolverine of course, more often than the full team are not excluded from this list. Let’s begin!

  1. Avalanche

A good first step for this list, and sort of a foreshadowing of what’s to come with this list. Much of what is included on this list is here more for character and aesthetic design as opposed to deeper reasons such as personality and character arc, at least until we get closer to the top.

Avalanche is a good example of this, as, beyond being a freedom fighter of sorts and his friendship with Pyro, there’s not much to Avalanche for me beyond a sweet costume and awesome powers. His ability to create seismic waves makes him a powerful foe. His end at the hands of the Red Skull is quite a shame, and I hate that he went down that way. A new Avalanche has appeared in the new X-Men: Gold, though not much is known about this one yet.

Also, did you know he was originally Greek? Like the Rhino, I always just pictured Avalanche with something of a Bronx accent. Just like Rhino, he’s actually from Europe. Go figure.

  1. Sauron

A hypnotic, energy absorbing, pteranodon energy vampire; that is just another really cool concept from the get-go. Doctor Karl Lykos is a guy who can turn into a freaking pteranodon with a tail (not a pterodactyl or a dinosaur, those are different things), and that’s just really cool.

Beyond that, he’s always proven a deadly foe of the X-Men, and he he’s a force to be reckoned with. He’s a classic X-Men foe and quite worthy of inclusion on this list.

  1. Lady Deathstrike

The daughter of a Japanese kamikaze pilot-turned-crime lord, Yuriko was raised to hate and to fight. She has clashed with Daredevil, Captain America, and, most notably, Wolverine.

Her design is quite awesome as well, with her cybernetic augmentations, her bushido-esque armor, and her massive finger-claws. I wasn’t a big fan of her presentation as a lover-scorned of Wolverine, but she has become more than that over the years. She is a dangerous foe and a worthy rogue of the X-Men.

  1. Silver Samurai

Another Japanese Wolverine-centric foe who started off in Daredevil comics, I’ve grown to love Keniuchio in recent years. He, like many villains I love, has a weird code of honor which drives him to make his decisions. He’s a powerful mutant with the ability to channel energy into his weapons to make them even deadlier.

I don’t know what that Transformers-esque abomination in The Wolverine was, but it didn’t diminish my love of the comic book incarnation of the Silver Samurai. His costume is quite cool too, with its gleaming armor and immaculate helmet. Silver Samurai is a powerful enemy and another X-Men classic.

  1. Mister Sinister

          One of the X-Men’s most intelligent and powerful foes, Nathaniel Essex has a warped and malignant fascination with the human genome. As a result, he would naturally become obsessed with the mutant phenomenon, particularly in regards to Scott Summers and Jean Grey.

In my teenage years, I had a fascination with Apocalypse that naturally extended to his frequent ally, Mister Sinister. Though that interest has diminished over the years, it’s never disappeared completely. Sinister is a really cool foe, from his genius to his immense power that makes him a challenge even for the most potent X-Men lineup.

In my adult years I find that Sinister is probably more fleshed out than En Sabah Nur, but, well…

  1. Apocalypse

I won’t lie, this is mostly for the costume and never-ending cache of super powers. Apocalypse has been designed as this cosmic force of nature, eternally attempting to forward the wheel of evolution as mandated by the celestials what augmented his mutant superhuman abilities.

Like with Darkseid, I struggle to find foes who are destined to be evil that intriguing, but they can still be cool foes when used properly. Again like Darkseid, I still think Apocalypse is a threatening and fairly well-designed enemy that I can’t help but get excited over whenever he rears his ugly head.

  1. William Stryker and the Purifiers

Not too long ago, I read the Chris Claremont classic X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, and I was fascinated by the first appearance of the charismatic yet vicious man known as Reverend William Stryker. I was in awe of his hatred of abnormality, going so far as to kill his wife and malformed son to scourge such things from the Earth.

I love the evil bastard that is William Stryker because he and his followers are terrifyingly real. Religious zealoutry has been responsible for so many atrocities throughout history, and it shows no sign of stopping in the present day.

Stryker and the Purifiers are great foes of the X-Men because they are pure fear and hatred, but that mixture of fear and hatred is both believable and depressingly common. Recent activities by such organizations as the Westborough Baptist Church show that these organizations can still exist, and organizations like the X-Men must fight against them.

  1. Sabretooth

An unsurprising entry for anyone who saw my Top 10 Marvel Villains list, Victor Creed is a vicious monster whose bestial instincts have led to the deaths of many. He’s strong, has a healing factor as well as razor-sharp claws; Sabretooth is one of the deadliest enemies ever faced by any member of the X-Men.

He is notoriously locked in a eternal struggle with his opposite, Wolverine, and he represents an excellent foil for the restrained rage of James “Logan” Howlett.

Sabretooth is a terrifying foe who often gives in to his baser instincts which exist in us all. Though he was more recently an Avenger and an X-Man, I will always remember Sabretooth more for his exploits as a Brotherhood member and a vicious killer.

  1. The Juggernaut

I’ve always preferred the idea of Cain Marko as a hero. That’s the reason he didn’t show up on my Top 10 Marvel Villains List. He, like the Hulk and Wolverine, is a man with good intentions struggling with a monster within, in Marko’s case the demon Cyttorak who gave him his powers. He’s attempted to strike out on his own to be a hero, he has joined up with the X-Men, and he’s even been a Thunderbolt. He’s tried to make amends, but he keeps sliding back.

All this being said, the Juggernaut is a classic X-Men villain. His immense strength and unstoppability make him one of the most powerful X-Men rogues to ever challenge the team. He’s tussled with the Hulk and the Thing on many occasions, almost matching them strength for strength.

Though I still hope he is able to redeem himself, I am happy anytime the Marko shows up. Whether he be a hero or a villain, the Unstoppable Juggernaut is one of the coolest X-Men characters around.

  1. Magneto

Really, could it have been anyone else?

My love for the Master of Magnetism is well-advertised on this site. I absolutely love Eric Lensherr. He is one of the best Marvel characters ever created, and his zealousness as a freedom fighter is to be admired, even if his methods are at times ill-advised.

He will stop at nothing to defend his people. He will not stop fighting so long as there is a single mutant left on Earth to fight for, even if that mutant is simply him. He is not a villain in the generic sense; he is a man with a dream and a mission that has simply taken him down dark paths. God help any human or mutant that tries to separate him from his goal.

 

Also, he didn’t make the list, but could we all agree that the Living Monolith is really cool? I mean, look at him, plus that name…

Anyway, until next time, keep reading comics!

Inhumans vs. X-Men #6 Review

Inhumans vs. X-Men #6 Review

Not with a bang but an eh… whatever

Jeff Lemire, Charles Soule (W), Leinil Francis Yu (P), (I), Gerry Alanguilan (I), David Curiel (C)

Cover by: Leinil Francis Yu and David Curiel

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $4.99

          When last we left Inhumans vs. X-Men, I praised it for being a pretty decent crossover in a sea of mediocre-to-outright-awful ones being cranked out by Marvel Comics. It wasn’t mind-blowing, but it was a pretty cool climax to the friction between the mutants and the Inhumans.

Here we are at the climax of the climax: the final issue to the story. How does it stand up? How does it finish out the tale? Let’s see.

The issue opens up with the big showdown between the X-Men and the Inhumans rallied by Iso and Inferno. The forces of Attilan arrive via Lockjaw to join the fight immediately.

Emma in particular seems more elated about the war than the others. She and the Stepford Cuckoos help the X-Men gain the upper hand by taking control over members of the Inhuman forces. More X-Men arrive via the teleportation of Magik, among them being Psylocke and Archangel.

The X-Men appear to be winning when Ahura and Ennilux arrive to back up the Inhumans. The Terrigen Cloud is also closing in. Iso informs Medusa that this war isn’t about revenge but survival. Moon Girl then presents the queen with the activation remote for a device that would destroy the cloud for good. Medusa presses the button, and the Terrigen Cloud is destroyed.

Emma tries to encourage the fight to go on, but Storm tells her that it’s over. Emma becomes enraged and summons a brigade of Sentinels made to hunt Inhumans (they actually are really cool redesigns of the classic Sentinels). They open fire upon the Inhumans, and the X-Men help them get to cover.

Cerebra moves in on the new Sentinels, but they tear apart her own Sentinel form with ease. Magneto comes to Emma’s aid, but it is quickly revealed that he has been possessed by Emma’s telepathy.

Medusa and Black Bolt conclude that they need to be the ones to end this, so the two approach Emma Frost. The Human Torch destroys the Sentinel that Emma is standing on, and that breaks her hold on Magneto. He prepares to kill Frost, but Havoc shoots him down.

Medusa restrains Emma and seems ready to execute her. Before she has the chance, Havoc blasts her too. He goes to Emma, and the two disappear in a flash of light.

From here, we get snippets of the aftermath. Storm frees the elder Beast from his prison. We see Emma donning a helmet that resembles a hybrid of Cyclops’ ‘X’-mask and Magneto’s helmet.

Medusa abdicates the throne of New Attilan, giving it to Iso. However, Iso would prefer an election for the new leader of the Inhumans. Medusa leaves New Attilan and ends her relationship with the Human Torch. The comic ends with her visiting Black Bolt at his club, the Quiet Room.

Marvel is really bad at sticking the landing on final issues to crossover stories. This is typically because they often take the interesting ideas that drive a story like this, and then they reduce it to half-measures, maybes, and people “not being as bad as they seem.”

The prime example of this, though I was later told that I was late to the game on being privy to this information, was the fact that Black Bolt did not actually kill Cyclops. He died before Black Bolt had a chance to kill him, and Emma Frost conjured a vision of Cyclops which Medusa and Black Bolt destroyed. This all occurred in the final issue of Death of X. I didn’t actually read that story. I read the first issue and decided I wasn’t interested. Now, I will grant that Medusa and Black Bolt had the intent of killing Scott Summers, but it still all feels like a conceit made to absolve the royal couple to a degree.

The fact that the X-Men and the Inhumans forgive one another so quickly to cooperate in bringing down Emma Frost was a little underwhelming. I get it, the necessity of survival and all that. However, it feels hard to believe that Havoc is the only one who bears a grudge over the death of Cyclops and the other mutants killed and/or sterilized by the Terrigen Cloud. Hell, even Magneto seems like he would have helped her if she hadn’t stolen his mind. Also, there was a moment where Emma gets Magneto to say “Emma was right,” and I cringed so hard. This is all without saying how the tension of the conflict was unceremoniously defused immediately by the cooperation between the Inhumans and the X-Men.

The destruction of the Terrigen Cloud has its own set of problems too. Firstly, and correct me if I’m wrong here, but I felt like it was established that the intent of Forge, Iso, and Moon Girl was to condense the cloud down to a manageable size or reverting them to a crystal form. The complete destruction of the Terrigen Cloud seems like the vaguest concept of “stakes” being inserted into this tale when the super minds of Moon Girl, Iso, Forge, and both Beasts seem like they could have found another way.

What also really didn’t work about that was that Medusa, in a thought caption towards the end, proclaims that “Our species’ ability to transform through Terrigenesis does not outweigh the lives of even a single mutant, much less all of them.” This does not work for so many reasons, and it again seems to be trying to morally absolve the queen of the Inhumans for so much that has happened. The world knows about M-Pox and how it was caused by the Terrigen Cloud. Beyond that, we saw the death of Multiple Man on Muir Island at the beginning of Death of X. Lastly, you want to tell me that not a single mutant was killed by the sweeping Terrigen Cloud and the blight of M-Pox? We are actually supposed to believe that the Inhumans and the X-Men saved every single mutant ever caught in the way of either of those problems? Was this just a minor threat that the X-Men just decided to get around to now? What about the potential extinction of the species? What about the actually flipping tagline of this story, “Victory means survival, defeat means extinction?” By the shiny bald head of Charles Xavier, what the hell is going on here? I’m sorry queenie, but there is no way not a single mutant died over this, even if you aren’t counting Cyclops and Multiple Man.

All of this amounts to giving this finale the same impact as a pillow softly hitting me in the face. It’s setting up a new status quo, and it’s phasing out the Inhumans to a capacity. I get that. However, it still didn’t really have me shocked or surprised.

The fight scenes were cool, and the extended conflict between the Inhumans and the X-Men was fairly exciting. This is in no small part due to the always superb artwork by Leinil Francis Yu. He is one of the best comic book artists of the modern age, and I’m glad he came back for this final issue. But he definitely deserved a better story to bring to life than this.

As I’ve said, this final issue was just…there. I didn’t particularly enjoy it beyond the opening fight sequences, and it was far from a satisfying ending to what was a pretty interesting story at its core. I can’t recommend it, even if you were following this story from the beginning (especially at a five-dollar price tag). Just check out the Prime issues for the Inhumans and the X-Men when it comes out. I’ll at least be reviewing the X-Men: Prime here. Give this non-ending a pass.

Final Score: 4/10

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

The phrase “not a superhero movie” has been thrown around a lot since the modern superhero film surge started primarily by Bryan Singer’s X-Men back in 1999. It’s been associated with such films as the Watchmen, the Dark Knight, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Man of Steel.

The problem with this codifying of dark super hero movies as “not super hero movies” is that, well, they are super hero movies. Of the list above, the farthest one that strayed from the genre was Watchmen, and that was because Alan Moore wrote that graphic novel specifically to spite the super hero comic book realm. That being said, it was still reacting against a movement, and the best way to do that is to mine it for tropes to alter.

I say all this to let you know that when I call James Mangold’s Logan “not a super hero film” I do not mean it as inherent praise or condemnation. Instead, it is a statement of fact.

Because of this, you are probably wondering why I’m even talking about it since this is a website built upon mainstream super hero culture. I’ll explain that to you now.

Those films I previously mentioned, especially Watchmen, Man of Steel, and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice are super hero films that desperately want to not be super hero films. Hell, you could even clump the first three X-Men films in that category, even though the first two still hold up pretty well.

To contrast this, Logan is a film that isn’t a super hero film, but the characters in the movie, specifically Laura and Charles Xavier, desperately wish that it was. Where those aforementioned movies struggled against the super hero genre, Logan has immense respect for it while existing outside of it from a narrative and technical standpoint.

For the few of you that haven’t seen it yet, the plot is as follows. It’s the year 2029, and James “Logan” Howlett (Hugh Jackman) is working as a limousine driver in south Texas. Most of the mutant population is gone, and the prejudice against what is left of them has not disappeared. He lives just south of the border with Caliban (Stephen Merchant), an albino mutant with enhanced senses who can track other mutants, and the now very old Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart). Xavier’s mind is deteriorating, and his powers are malfunctioning to dramatic extremes.

A woman named Angela (Elizabeth Rodriguez) tracks down Logan and pleads with him to escort her daughter, Laura (Dafnee Keen), to South Dakota. Logan turns her down.

However, through a series of unforeseen circumstances, Logan and Xavier are forced to take on Laura in the hopes of making it to this mythical location called “Eden” which Angela and Laura heard about from X-Men comics.

Pursuing them are the Reavers, a band of bloodthirsty mercenaries led by Doctor Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant) and Pierce (Boyd Holbrook). It turns into a bloody cross-country chase where Logan, Xavier, and Laura must struggle against their pursuers as well as the deteriorating powers of the elder mutants to survive and make it to Eden.

One thing you may have gleaned from that description is that this is a very depressing movie. It grapples with mortality and how it affects even the living legends. It’s also a gory and bloodstained film, which you probably took away from that R rating. Please do not take your children to see this movie. The backlash to Deadpool was stupid and should not have happened even once, and it certainly shouldn’t happen a second time.

Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart are in top form in this film. They bring a depth to their characters that hasn’t been seen in previous X-Men installments. Boyd Holbrook plays a delightfully sadistic southern killer, and the film is weaker for him not being in it more.

Dafnee Keen is a frigging revelation as Laura. She doesn’t speak for a good portion of the film, but her facial expressions and body language are that of an experienced actor, which she isn’t. This is actually her first film. She’s also pretty freaking scary, which is perfect for the character she is playing.

The action sequences are divine, and they are what I’ve been waiting for since 1999 to see from an on-screen Wolverine. The gore is, frankly, superb, and it’s great seeing an actual warpath in the wake of the Wolverine.

Going back to what I said about this wanting to be a super hero film, the body count and casualties to this film are not that of a super hero movie. Other films, such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: Civil War have grappled with the idea of casualties to bystanders, but they didn’t approach it like this. Frankly, it’s harder to deal with in this movie, and that’s a good thing.

You want there to be a happy ending to this movie. Logan, Laura, and Xavier want there to be a happy ending to this movie, but you know there can’t be, at least not in the way they want it. They want this to be the super hero film where most things turn out alright and the damage can be undone. They want it to be like the X-Men comics Laura reads. It can’t be though. Some scars never go away completely. People die. Legends deteriorate. Entropy and death will have their due.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. There are optimistic moments in the movie. There are some good laughs. You do get to see Logan unleash the Wolverine a few times. You need joy and sorrow to contextualize one another.

That is where the film’s homage to the super hero genre lies. Laura idolizes Wolverine and the X-Men. Logan is old and embittered, and he doesn’t want to be that hero. However, Laura needs it to live and to not become emotionally hollow. Charles pushes Logan to be that hero, even if it is only one more time. Charles knows Laura is the future, and without hope and optimism, what is the future but the long spiral towards universal death? We need our heroes to give us something to aspire towards.

The film is truly something special in that regard and pays more respect towards super hero movies than many proud super hero films do.

That is not to say that the film is without flaws. One issue is it’s love of the f-bomb in the first act. I have nothing against obscenities in my R rated film fare, but the repetition can lead to it being somewhat comedic. These scenes were not intended to be comedic and the result was slightly off-putting.

The film doesn’t so much have a villain as much as it has a struggle with the self. It’s a fight against apathy and atrophy. That’s fine and fits the theme of the movie, but Pierce seems like such a great villain. Boyd Holbrook plays a charmingly evil bastard, and I wanted so much more of him than I got. Zander Rice is alright, but Pierce was just delightful.

There is one other villain that I will talk about now, but, if you haven’t seen the film yet, it’s a bit of a spoiler. You’ve been warned.

I hated that X-24 was a more direct clone of Wolverine. It gave a literal edge to that “struggle against the self” that I talked about earlier, but it was such a disappointment. Wolverine and the X-Men have such a great rogues gallery to tap into, but they just went with Wolverine being the villain for Wolverine. Hell, they could have brought back Liev Schreiber as Sabretooth and had him fight Logan again. He was by far the best part of that X-Men Origins: Wolverine disaster, and I have been hoping to see him again in one of these films.

That being said, this was still a fantastic experience. I loved this movie, and it had me thinking about it more than most super hero films, or just most films in general, do. It was smart, paced perfectly, and was an emotional ride that Hugh Jackman deserved on his last outing as the Wolverine. Go see it (without your kids).

Final Score: 9/10

Inhumans vs X-Men #3

Inhumans vs X-Men #3

No Surrender

Charles Soule, Jeff Lemire (W), Javier Garrón (A), Andres Mossa, Jay David Ramos (C)

Cover by Lenil Francis Yu and David Curiel

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $3.99

          So, I know I was just griping about crossovers last week with Monsters Unleashed, another big Marvel event happening right now, but the difference with Inhumans vs X-Men is that it is actually good.

I know that difference is subjective, but at least IvX has a story. It focuses on specific characters and a specific conflict instead of bouncing around literally all over the world.

For a refresher on what led up to this story, the Terrigen Cloud, released by Black Bolt during his battle with Thanos during Infinity, is spreading around the world, awakening thousands of latent Inhumans to their heritage and their powers. However, the Cloud has also rendered all mutants sterile. Worse yet, it has given many of them a terminal disease called M-Pox. Beast has been working with the Inhumans on a cure for M-Pox and the sterility of mutantkind. However, he has learned that the saturation of the Terrigen Cloud in the atmosphere will soon be irreversible and there will be no safe haven for mutants on Earth.

Cyclops and Emma Frost already destroyed a portion of the Terrigen Cloud, and this led to Black Bolt executing Scott Summers. Now, with extinction on the horizon, Emma Frost, Rogue, Storm, Magneto, and Logan have conspired to destroy the remainder of the Cloud and save their species. They receive some pushback by Beast, and he threatens to tell the Inhumans of their plans. They knock him out and imprison him before he gets the chance to do so.

The first two issues involved their planning then executing their assault on New Attilan. During this, they captured the entirety of the Royal Family and imprisoned them in Limbo with the help of Magik. Young Jean Grey ambushed Karnak and rendered him inert with her telepathic powers. Inferno and Iso escaped the assault on New Attilan through the Inhuman portal Eldrac. This dropped them face-to-face with Logan in Alberta, Canada.

This issue picks up with Iso and Inferno fighting Old Man Logan. Iso discovers Forge working on some sort of machine and leaves Inferno to fight the former Wolverine. Iso determines that the machine is working with a pressure system to condense the Terrigen into a solid form. Her powers work with pressure. Meanwhile, Inferno gets Logan to stab him so he can directly tap into his internal heat. Iso destroys the machine while Inferno incinerates Logan. Iso and Inferno then escape, taking Forge with them. Logan is left to inform Storm of his failure.

The story moves to Limbo, where Medusa and the other Inhumans are trying to devise an escape. After the Human Torch tells them what exactly Limbo is, they resolve that the Nuhumans left on Earth are their only means of leaving the realm. In the interim, they will search for X-Haven, the mutant refuge the X-Men created in Limbo.

Iso and Inferno are trying to determine what their next step is. Iso contacts Ms. Marvel and tells her to round up what Inhuman allies they can find. She quickly corrals Grid, Reader, Mosaic, Quake, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, and Synapse.

We are next taken to the stare down between Jean Grey and Karnak. Karnak discovers a flaw in her iris, and he learns that this is an illusion of Jean Grey. He also figures out that he is not in his tower. He is ambushed by Fantomex, who tells him that he is in the World, the pocket dimension in which the Weapons Plus Program created Fantomex.

On Muir Island, we see young Hank McCoy debating with his older self. Storm, Emma, Magneto, Rogue, and Logan decide that they need to get Forge back if there is any hope left for the mutants. We are also shown the prison they designed for Black Bolt. The image of his rather ghastly restraints is the one on which the comic ends.

This book is good. It’s not great, but it is a solid story. The stakes and tension are in abundance. The actions of each character is in line with what you would expect of them. The fights have been exciting, and there’s a level of gratification to be taken from seeing the ragtag X-Men dominate the aristocratic Inhumans. This is also aided by the meta-text of the fan base of the X-Men not willing to trade in their favorite heroes for the less likable Inhumans and that being why this story is even happening.

I was pretty apprehensive of this event at first. This was mostly due to how baffled I was that Marvel had the gall to use the marketing of the unmitigated disaster that was Avengers vs X-Men in advertising this book. However, after reading the first issue of Inhumans vs X-Men, I was quickly sold on the conflict. Soule and Lemire, two stars in the comics writing scene, are cooperating perfectly in this book.

The pacing has been quite efficient in this story, and this issue is no different. The plot is always moving forward at a brisk pace. The assault on New Attilan only took one and a half issues, and #3 doesn’t rest on its laurels and try to do nothing but build up the next arc of the story. It keeps moving. Iso and Inferno are rallying troops, the Inhumans in Limbo are planning on invading X-Haven, and the X-Men are going to find Forge. That does leave this issue to be the slowest of the series thus far, but it is far from a stalling tactic.

The art is good, but it leaves a little to be desired considering the first issues were drawn by Lenil Yu, a freaking legend in the comic art scene. His art is always incredible. That being said, this issue still looks good. There is a glossiness to everything that is visually appealing. Anime art styling is definitely being mined to inspire the facial detail. It looks good though, and its hybridized with common Western art styling to create a visually appealing book, even if the faces do look odd in some panels.

Overall, this is a solid book. It’s not doing anything particularly deep or impressive with its story, and it is contributing to the deluge of big crossovers that Marvel keeps putting out. However, it’s still an enjoyable read. If you like the X-Men, the Inhumans, or just a good old “fight-the-power” narrative, you’ll enjoy this too.

Final Score: 7/10

Monsters Unleashed #1 Review

Monsters Unleashed #1 Review

Where’s Shuma-Gorath?

Cullen Bunn (W), Steve McNiven (P), Jay Leisten (I), David Curiel (CA)

Cover by Steve McNiven, Jay Leisten, and David Curiel

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Price: $4.99

          For those who don’t know, before the Marvel Age of comics began, and even a little into its existence, Marvel put out many “creature feature” comics. These were comics, often written and drawn by the great Jack Kirby himself, that focused on some form of monster showing up and the quest to halt its path of destruction. Groot was actually originally one of these creatures, and he looked far different back then. It is this that Marvel is channeling with its new big event crossover, Monsters Unleashed.

One of my biggest issues with Marvel’s business model is its love of crossovers. From about 2007-onwards, Marvel has put out at least one big crossover every year. These result waylaying other titles that are mandated to tie-in to said crossover, and the crossovers have, in themselves, often had diminishing returns, see Fear Itself, Avengers vs X-Men, and, most recently, Civil War II. Many take issue with Age of Ultron and Original Sin. I actually thought both were enjoyable, if flawed, stories.

With Monsters Unleashed, Inhumans vs X-Men, and Civil War II, we now have three crossovers running within a month of one another. That is to say nothing of smaller crossovers that took place around the time of the beginning of Civil War II, namely Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill and Apocalypse Wars. These are becoming quite overwhelming. Marvel has kicked up the regularity of these crossovers to the point where we are having multiple running at the same time, and it’s becoming really hard to just enjoy a title that you don’t need to check out eight others to understand. We already have Secret Empire on the horizon as well, and I’m sure that’s going to crossover into twenty different books too.

Marvel is risking true impenetrability here. Many potentially new comic book readers are intimidated by the seventy-years of history that Marvel has behind it. With these ridiculous crossovers engulfing all of their books, it will become even harder to pick up a single comic and understand what is going on within its pages.

So, this is the context into which Monsters Unleashed comes out. That is quite a difficult crowd to face for any story. How does Monsters Unleashed due in the face of these insurmountable odds?

It begins with a pencil drawing on paper as a red light streaks across the sky and lands in Boston, Massachusetts. The light reveals itself to be a large, quadrupedal and squid-like monster, which promptly begins to tear up the city. The Avengers quickly take the scene and begin trying to coral the creature while saving as many lives as they can. The combined powers of Thor and Hercules manage to fell the beast, but the relief is short-lived. Two more creatures quickly land to face the heroes, and the Vision informs the team that this is a global crisis.

We next see the X-Men facing a creature in London, Black Panther and Shuri fighting another in the Golden City in Wakanda, the Guardians of the Galaxy struggling one in Seattle, and the Inhumans grappling with a monster in Venice.

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur are seen studying the “falling stars” in her lab, and she is determined to discover the origin. In Boston, a silhouetted figure is seen studying ancient parchments to discover why this invasion of monsters is happening.

We next cut to Springfield, where a teenager is revealed to be the one making the drawings at the beginning, and he is revealed to have drawn many a monster.

Next, the Champions fight yet another creature in Los Angeles. We then cut to Peru, where the silhouette is revealed to be Elsa Bloodstone, and she enters a trap-ridden crypt and finds cave drawings at its center (as I type that out, I now realize how none of that makes sense). These drawings reveal to her something about the origins of this crisis, the predictions made about it, and something indicating a potential ruler of the monsters.

We return to that teenaged artist, named Kei Kawade, who sees the monsters invading on the television, and he leaves his house to see another light streaking into the woods near his home. He runs towards it and is swept up. The individuals who caught him are revealed to be Fin Fang Foom and a number of other monsters. Foom warns him that he is playing a “dangerous game”. The comic ends here.

I love giant monster movies. I have seen just about every Godzilla movie. My personal favorite Godzilla film has to be a tie between Godzilla: Destroy All Monsters and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. I’ve seen many Gamera films, and I absolutely adored Pacific Rim. I’m saying all this to explain why it hurts me that this comic misses the mark.

It seemed like, despite it being a part of the flood of crossovers from Marvel, that this should be an easy sell to me. My favorite super heroes fighting off a plague of giant kaiju-like monsters, this should be awesome. And it’s being written by one of my favorite writers, Cullen Bunn? And it’s being drawn by Steve McNiven (at least the first issue)? This should be such an easy success.

But it’s not. It’s not terrible either though. It’s just…there. I frankly struggled trying to search out the reasons why this comic just didn’t quite do it.

I was able to come up with a few. The first is that this is another in a long line of Marvel crossovers, as I’ve stated many times. As a result, the cities I’m watching be destroyed I’ve watched crumble multiple times in the past two months. That kills the stakes and tension a good bit, because I know they’ll be back up next week.

The other problem is that there is no story in this first issue. There really isn’t a plot. There is a premise, i.e. the monsters invading the world. There are sub-plots that barely get touched on, namely Elsa Bloodstone’s search for the origins, Moon Girl’s research, and Kei Kawade probably causing everything. However, there’s no main plot. This is a result of every major hero needing to be in this one issue apparently, and that means we don’t get to focus on any one or handful of characters.

The dialogue is oddly…retro in this comic too. There is a lot of exposition-heavy dialogue where characters say exactly what they’re doing in detail as they do it. Black Panther in particular shouts out his entire plan of attack as he executes said plan. It’s quite odd and seems out of place next to Nova, Spider-Man and Hulk arguing over whether or not what they are fighting qualifies as a kaiju since they aren’t in Japan.

McNiven’s art is great in this comic, and Curiel’s colors are deep and contrasting. The monster designs are awesome and creative. But even that is undercut by the fact that we don’t focus on any one of them for more than a few panels. This keeps them from being too memorable because there are just so many.

Also, there are some weird perspective moments where some characters look too big, some monsters and building look too small, and the scale of everything gets thrown off. This is particularly apparent in the Seattle scene with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Drax looks about 20 feet tall because he’s being shown next the Space Needle at an angle that makes him look like a significant fraction of its size.

There are a lot of really cool action scenes at least. They look great, and any one of them would make a good wallpaper on a phone or a desktop. Even that doesn’t have much impact because, again, they are all happening concurrently, and no one conflict seems that important. The stakes, drama, and tension just aren’t there.

Mediocre and meandering seem to be the best words to describe this comic. It doesn’t really have a plot, but the art is good and the fighting is cool. I can’t say avoid this comic. It’s a fun action romp, but it probably won’t stick with you for long. Hopefully, the next issue will improve things.

Final Score: 5/10

The 7 Quintessential X-Men

The 7 Quintessential X-Men

Banner Art by the great Alex Ross

This felt very necessary, as the X-Men, in their long and storied history, have, at times, been far more popular than either the Avengers or the Justice League. Even with a decade and a half of movies with wildly varying levels of quality (though I think every one since First Class have been really good with the exception of the Wolverine), the X-Men have stood resilient. Even with Marvel trying to replace them with the Inhumans, the X-Men books have sold so well that Marvel have backtracked on this and are releasing a new surge of X-Men titles early next year.

Yeah, some of these are going to be kind of predictable. I’ll list the more obvious ones earlier on so that the latter will give something of a surprise. Yes, I’m doing alternates again because this is my site and I do what I want. Also, I’m not going to include Charles Xavier since he’s kind of a given, and he’s not teeeeccchnically an X-Man.

So, without further ado…

Wolverine

Art by Adi Granov

I mean, come on, he is the most iconic X-Man of all time. I know I’m the B-List Defender, but I love Wolverine. He may not have made by Top 10 Marvel Heroes, but, if I did a top 20 (and I may do 11-20 someday), he would easily make that list. I know loving Wolverine is an unpopular thing among “hardcore” comic book fans, but I do anyway. I will concede that him being injected into every book in the late 2000’s was a little ludicrous, and I have a hard time seeing him as a true leader of any X-Men team. The latter of those two was a decent display of an actual character arc though. Anyway, he’s an iconic X-Man, he is a lovably grizzled bastard, and he is the best there is at what he does, even if what he does isn’t pretty.

Storm

Art by Daniel Acuña

The best leader of the X-Men in my opinion, Storm is a fearless (claustrophobia notwithstanding) and powerful mutant who took up the helm in Cyclops’ absence. She was also the first one to stand up to Slim to take over as the leader. I’m not that big a fan of Ororo Munroe as a character, but I can respect her as an iconic X-Man. She’s a great leader, among the most powerful mutants of all time, and definitely at home on this list.

Nightcrawler

Art by Ed McGuinness

Who doesn’t love the furry blue elf? He is the most compassionate X-Man, and he keeps the positivity and humanity in the group when times get hard. His visual design and costume are among the most creative made by Marvel’s writers and artists. His conflicted yet devout Catholic faith and swashbuckling charisma provide a charming depth to the character that is matched by few, and he stands as the soul of the X-Men.

Iceman

Art by Etsy creator Aposcar Cruz

A founding member and the motor-mouth comedian of the team, Bobby Drake has stood with the X-Men through much of its complicated history. He is also one of the team’s few Omega-Level mutants, future and alternate incarnations showing that he has the potential to create sentient ice, make massive autonomous constructs, and could potentially freeze the entirety of Earth. He is another very lovable member and definitely a quintessential X-Man.

 

Shadowcat

Art by Zachary Baldus

Kitty Pryde is among the most tenacious X-Men of all time. She has had a great story arc in her own right, starting off as the shy and innocent Sprite and growing up to be the fearless and dedicated Professor Kitty Pryde and a freaking Guardian of the Galaxy. Speaking of which, you can’t argue that the Peter Quill/Kitty Pryde thing isn’t one of the most random yet strangely compatible super hero relationship pairings of all time. Anyway, her tenure as a leader to the young versions of the original X-Men and a professor at the Jean Grey School have shown that Shadowcat has grown up and is a force to be reckoned with.

Colossus

Art by Adi Granov

If Nightcrawler is the soul of the X-Men, Peter Rasputin is the gentle heart. A towering man who can turn into organic steel, Peter’s kindness is indicative of the dream of Charles Xavier. The X-Men want mutants accepted and respected by the world at large. There is a gentleness to that dream that Colossus shows as well as any other mutant. However, when his friends are in danger, Colossus reveals a warrior’s spirit and an unshakeable loyalty that is to be admired.

 

Beast

Art by Lee Weeks

Every team needs their super genius, and Hank McCoy brings that to the table along with a lot of blue hair. He was a founding X-Man too, and his self-consciousness over his own appearance is very representative of the fears of the X-Men as a whole. They are afraid of their own abilities and how others perceive them. In addition, Beast, despite his name and appearance, has a very gentle heart of his own and a good sense of humor. Yes, he has spent more time with the Avengers and even the Inhumans in recent years, but he was an X-Men first and a very important part of the team.

Alternates

Cyclops

Art by Joe Jusko

I mean…yeah. It’s frigging Cyclops. He may have gone off the deep end in recent years, but he was still the X-Men’s first field leader. His character arc has also coincided with the challenges that the X-Men have faced very well, starting off as an optimistic boy scout and turning into a Magneto-esque radical. Cards on the table, my feelings on Scott Summers are mixed. I actually really liked the boy scout version of the character, which I know is another unpopular opinion to have. I was reluctant to accept the new Cyclops at first, seeing him as a bit of a hypocritical madman. However, he’s really been growing on me lately—just in time for Marvel to kill him. Of course.

Rogue

Art by Diego Bernard and Kerem

Another dedicated X-Man who has served as a leader at times, I’m actually not that big of fan of Rogue either. However, if I weren’t trying to be objective, Magneto, Psylocke, Gambit, Banshee, and Warpath would all be on this list. I will say that her power and the curse it brings are fascinating, and I can’t deny that she has become one of the most iconic X-Men as well.

Jean Grey

Art by Deviant Artist artgerm (check this guy out, his art is incredible)

I honestly like Jean Grey even less than I like Rogue. I wasn’t even going to include her until the last minute. However, there has to be some level of objectivity here, and Jean Grey is one of the most iconic and influential X-Men of all. She was a founding member, another Omega-Level mutant, and the center of the Phoenix Saga, one of the most popular comic book stories ever written. Even after she died (three times), she has remained one of the most important X-Men. Her death pushed Scott Summers over the edge, drove him to the manipulative Emma Frost, encouraged Wolverine to found the Jean Grey School, and has inspired a litany of mutants to take up her mantle to some degree, like Rachel Summers, Hope Summers (where the hell is that character now?), and even Cable, sort of. Even the Phoenix Force itself has returned to impact the modern Marvel world, with the X-Men trusting the entity to save them in the events that led up to Avengers vs. X-Men.

So, there are your quintessential X-Men. If you guys have an idea for another team you want to see included, let me know. I’m frankly thinking about ending these lists here, though I have been considering the Justice Society and the Teen Titans. If you guys want to see those or any other team, comment and let me know.

And, as always, keep reading comics!

#1: Erik Lensherr, Magneto: The Master of Magnetism

#1: Erik Lensherr, Magneto: The Master of Magnetism

Art by Philip Tan and Romulo Fajardo Jr.

Could it have been anyone else?

Born with the name Max Eisenhardt to a Jewish family, Magneto grew up during the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. He was hated, beaten, and belittled by his nationalist peers, and the Eisenhardts attempted to flee to Poland. The Eisenhardts were killed, leaving Max to be taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau. After years, he escaped with Magda, a young Romani girl whom Max had fallen in love with.

The two fled eastward to a city called Vinnitsa inside the Soviet Bloc. Max changed his name to Erik Magnus Lensherr to hide his Jewish roots. Erik and Magda had a daughter together named Anya.

Erik began to control his powers for the first time when he threw a metal item at his employer, whom was underpaying Erik. When he returned home that day, he found the inn burning. His boss called the KGB on Erik, and he was held down while Anya died before his eyes. Erik killed the men responsible.

Magda fled, not revealing to Erik that she was pregnant again. She would later give birth to Pietro and Wanda Maximoff at Mount Wundagore and die soon after.

From Vinnitsa, Erik went to Israel, where he worked at a mental institution intended to help rehabilitate survivors of the Holocaust. Erik met Professor Charles Xavier here. The two became very close friends, though their views on how to help mutantkind were polar opposites. After an altercation with Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and Hydra, Erik left once again.

He began tracking down Nazi war criminals for western intelligence agencies. He was eventually betrayed by his superiors, and he retaliated. Finished with humanity, its selfishness, and its scorn towards mutants, Erik took on new goals. He met a woman named Cassandra Michaels, whom designed a purple and fuchsia suit for Erik to don with a new identity.

He established an orbital base upon Asteroid M (don’t ask me how, comic book logic) and assembled an activist group he called the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (later shortened to simply, “the Brotherhood”). Among his original team were his own children, Wanda and Pietro, though he didn’t know they were his children at the time. The other two founding members were the illusion-projecting Mastermind and the deformed Toad. He soon had another meeting with Charles Xavier. Xavier knew of the moves that Erik had been making with the Brotherhood. He pleaded with Erik to join him, but Erik declined. He had chosen his path.

His first debut as Magneto, the Master of Magnetism, brought him to clash with his old friend, Professor Xavier, and his X-Men at the Cape Citadel missile base. He next overthrew the nation of Santo Marco and proclaimed himself ruler.

Magneto and his Brotherhood clashed with the X-Men as well as the Avengers on many occasions following this. Erik even tried to recruit Thor and Namor to his cause, but both declined. Erik attempted to usurp Atlantis in retaliation against the latter, and he was defeated by Namor and the Fantastic Four. He attempted to manipulate Black Bolt to attack a government facility, and this turned on him as well when the royal family of Attilan intervened.

Pietro and Wanda left the Brotherhood to join the Avengers. Magneto attempted to coax the United Nations into creating a sovereign state for mutants, and he was stopped by the Avengers and the X-Men. Toad, the constant target of Magneto’s fury, left Magneto to die when their island base was being destroyed.

Magneto resurfaced in the Savage Lands, performing genetic experiments upon the locals and turning them into malformed mutates. These mutates came to worship Magneto. Eventually, the X-Men and the Avengers came after him. He held them off with mind-control technology, and it was up to the Vision to stop him.

He later stumbled across alien technology and engineered a being called Alpha the Ultimate Mutant. Alpha turned on Erik and reduced him to an infant. He was left in the care of Moira MacTaggert, who had the intention of helping offset the damage Erik’s powers had done to his mental health. A Shi’ar using the identity of Erik the Red was able to restore Magneto to his adult state.

He began temporary cooperation with Doctor Doom, and the two came into conflict with one another. Eventually the Avengers, the X-Men, and the Champions thwarted the two’s attempts at world domination.

He decided to end the nuclear arms’ race by threatening the world should they not cease creating these weapons. He was attacked by a Soviet nuclear submarine, and he destroyed it. He was next challenged by the X-Men, and he relented when he came face-to-face with Kitty Pryde, fellow Jewish mutant. He soon helped the X-Men face the Purifiers and Reverend William Stryker in a conflict that tested Professor Xavier’s faith in his own dream.

Erik was among the heroes and villains recruited by the Beyonder to participate in his Secret Wars. What perplexed the Avengers and, perhaps, even Magneto himself was that he was grouped with the heroes. After much distrust and inner conflict, Magneto relegated himself to a megafacility sequestered away from the Avengers. The X-Men as well as the Wasp, however, showed sympathy for Erik. While Magneto did aid the heroes, he mysteriously disappeared during the final battle, somehow returning home.

Magneto joined up with Xavier out of sympathy for his old friend, as Charles was weakened and unwell. He led the New Mutants for a time, and, when Xavier pleaded with him, took over the school as well as the X-Men. When the Beyonder took an interest in Earth once more, Magneto helped the X-Men drive him away.

He aided the New Mutants and the X-Men through the murderous rampage of Mister Sinister’s Marauders. He also helped broker an alliance between the Hellfire Club and the X-Men by becoming a White King in the organization.

When pieces of Asteroid M fell to Earth, he went to retrieve some of the technology aboard the base. He was intercepted by the Avengers, and this led to a clash between the X-Men and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. After the extended battle, Magneto was able to retrieve the tech, and he revealed that he was searching for his helmet, which held a device that would allow him telepathy through his magnetic powers. He wanted to remove prejudice against mutantkind from the world, and he tested it out on Captain America. He was shocked to learn that Steve Rogers held no ill-will or prejudice against mutants. He allowed himself to be arrested and taken to trial before a global court. He feared that his execution would cause more strife between mutants and humans, and he used his helmet to get himself released.

He destroyed the helmet and returned to the Xavier Institute. He befriended Illyana Rasputin aka Magik during this time. However, after a number of X-Men died while battling Apocalypse, Magneto became paranoid that he may lose more students, and this caused a rift between he and the New Mutants. He wanted them to cease using their powers without his permission. This and his collaboration with the Hellfire Club pushed his students away even further. He faced conflict from the Club as well when Sebastian Shaw challenged him. Magneto soundly defeated him, revealed his plan to amass a mutant army that would stand together in the coming war between mutants and homo sapiens, and declared himself the Gray King over the Hellfire Club. The New Mutants left Magneto’s tutelage and were left alone by the Hellfire Club on Magneto’s orders.

Magneto rebuilt Asteroid M and admitted to Moira MacTaggert that he knew he could never be a true substitute for Professor Xavier. He wanted to become the mutant threat that the world feared and focused upon. He would be the evil mutant that kept them afraid.

He was a part of the Acts of Vengeance plot put together by a number of notable rogues such as Doctor Doom and the Mandarin. The Nazi war criminal Red Skull was a part of this ploy as well, and Magneto buried him alive.

He became weary of warring for a time, and he attempted to turn Asteroid M into a place where mutants could be safe. This was challenged by the governments of the world and even the X-Men. He was angered by this and restarted his crusade, this time with a cult of Magneto-worshippers calling themselves the Acolytes.

The world governments feared the return of Magneto and activated “The Magneto Protocols,” a series of satellites that would use the Earth’s magnetic field to keep him away. He retaliated by destroying the satellites and temporarily deactivating every electronic device on the planet. The X-Men attacked Magneto and his Acolytes. During the fight, Magneto pulled the Adamantium from Wolverine’s body, and a rejuvenated Professor Xavier shut down Erik’s mind in response. He was braindead for some time after, being taken care of by the Acolytes. When Asteroid M was destroyed once again, he was saved by the Acolytes.

Magneto returned, reawakened and rejuvenated. He was ready for a fight once more. He went to the North Pole and used his powers to begin manipulating the magnetosphere. He demanded a sovereign nation for mutantkind, and the United Nations allowed him to take over Genosha. He took the country and started a dictatorial government in the nation. He began augmenting his powers through various means, both technological and biological. This started driving him mad once again,

He wanted to start a new army within Genosha, and he was met by the X-Men once more. During the battle, Wolverine severed his spine, leaving him paralyzed from the waist-down. He was aided by the former X-Man, Polaris. He soon discovered that she was actually his daughter.

Humanity struck back at Genosha and sent a number of massive Sentinels to destroy the island. Thousands of mutants were massacred while Magneto was forced to watch from a wheelchair. He was believed to be killed in the attack, and he quickly became a martyr in the mutant community. The phrase “Magneto Was Right” became commonly used.

He had survived though, and he was found by Professor Xavier. The two began rebuilding Genosha and their friendship.

This was short-lived, as his daughter, Wanda, was becoming increasingly powerful and unstable. She, coaxed by her brother, recreated reality in such a manner that mutants were the dominant class. The family of Magneto were royalty in this reality, and humans were hunted. A coalition of X-Men and Avengers challenged them and Scarlet Witch repaired reality. However, with the words “no more mutants,” she reduced the world mutant population to hundreds. Magneto himself lost his powers due to this.

Quicksilver attempted to repower mutants with the Terrigen Mists of the Inhumans (really ironic considering current stories), and Magneto attempted to stop him. This led to a conflict where Pietro beat his father nearly to death.

A being born of the M-Day catastrophe, called the Collective, which was formed from the resonant energy of the powers removed from mutants, bestowed Erik with his magnetic powers. The being was revealed to have the identity of Xorn, a mutant who had masqueraded as Magneto in recent years. He took control of Magneto and had him battle the New Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. Magneto was defeated and taken into custody, and the Collective was launched into the sun. Magneto managed to escape, but his powers were lost to him once more.

High Evolutionary was the one who would, at last, permanently restore Magneto’s mutant abilities. Among the first things he did after this was surrender to the X-Men on Utopia (which is actually a floating chunk of Asteroid M). He rejoined the X-Men and their cause. He soon began garnering public opinion in his favor when he held together San Francisco during a particularly violent earthquake.

He soon had to contend with the return of Joseph, a clone of himself. Joseph had taken the identity of Magneto and began murdering humans with a new Brotherhood team composed of clones of the original team. Magneto did not take kindly to this and killed the entirety of team with the exception of Joseph, who was taken into custody.

When Cyclops and Wolverine split the X-Men apart, Magneto stayed with Cyclops. When the Phoenix Force returned to Earth, Cyclops had convinced himself that it would somehow save mutantkind. Both teams of X-Men, with the exception of Wolverine, Beast, and Hope Summers, rallied to his side and battled the Avengers, whom were afraid of what the Phoenix would do to Earth. The war led to the death of Charles Xavier at Cyclops’ hands. Cyclops would be declared a fugitive for his crimes and was captured. However, he escaped and formed another team of X-Men. Magneto stayed with him through all of this.

This team of X-Men was dedicated to freeing all mutants held by the governments of the world. However, Magneto began feeling hostile towards Cyclops, no small part due to his murder of Charles Xavier. He gave a tip to S.H.I.E.L.D. on how to track down Cyclops’ team and left.

His powers now severely weakened, Magneto began working alone. He began establishing a new Genosha, and used mindless clones of the Marauders as foot soldiers. He had a partner and lover in Briar Raleigh, a human with a leg crippled by one of Magneto’s previous rampages.

When a clone of the Red Skull with the telepathic powers of Charles Xavier began performing monstrous experiments on Genosha, Magneto attempted to kill him. This allowed the clone of Schmidt to transfer his mind to a reborn Onslaught. Erik gathered a group of rogues to battle this being. The Red Onslaught was eventually defeated by Scarlet Witch and Doctor Doom accessing the remnants of Xavier’s psyche. Because of this, Magneto had one last conversation with his old friend. Charles broke his heart by telling Erik that he was right all along.

He continued to restore Genosha after this. However, when the Final Incursion took place, Magneto teamed up with Polaris in an attempt to keep the two Earths apart. Magneto used a mixture of technology and Mutant Growth Hormone to power himself up enough to accomplish this. He failed and perished in the process.

When the world was reformed by Reed Richards, mutant kind faced a new threat. Black Bolt had released a Terrigen Cloud that was spreading worldwide. It awakens Inhumans, but it is poisonous to mutants. To save what is left of mutantkind, Magneto, reborn in this new world, has formed a new X-Men, consisting of Sabretooth, M, Archangel, Psylocke, Fantomex, Mystique, and himself. They will stop at nothing to save their people.

Magneto is among the most fascinating characters to ever have been created by comics (in the realm of Black Panther, and you know how much esteem I hold for T’Challa). To me, he is a true antihero. Wolverine and Batman do not qualify as antiheroes to me. They are simply violent heroes with a lot of anger and brooding. Magneto’s intentions are truly pure. He wants to save his people, but humanity hates them. Therefore, he will battle humanity to the bitter end to save mutants. His methods are bloody and qualify as terrorism. However, this is what seems necessary to him to accomplish his goal. This is the true definition of an antihero: a character with pure intentions but ghastly methods.

He is incredibly complex and sympathetic. He has seen the very worst of humanity, and he does not want mutantkind to fall victim to the bloodlust of mankind. He is capable of love and compassion, and he never stopped considering Charles Xavier a friend. But their paths are too different, and Erik could not betray his own ideals. Everything he has done was for the benefit of others, never himself. He also has a taste of theatrics that I find fantastic, and, when he is crossed, his rage and thirst for retaliation are boundless. He is capable of seeing when his methods aren’t working, as he is not so enslaved to his crusade that he cannot see when a new path must be followed. This passion, ambition, intelligence, and ferocity are the qualities that make Magneto my absolute favorite Marvel Villain of all time.

Barely Retro Review of Magneto #17

Barely Retro Review of X-Men: The Magneto Testament

Review of Civil War II: X-Men #1