With Magneto’s recent dismissal by Matthew Malloy in the pages of Uncanny, I was thinking back to when the character was truly a force to be reckoned with. Be aware, I write this without any knowledge of what has recently happened in Axis or Magneto’s current solo series. However, we’ve had several different iterations of Magneto over the past couple of years and I’ve loved the ambiguous nature of the current Magneto. That said, back in March 1999, Magneto had returned and meant business. Click below for the Pro/Con review of this great arc.
Pro: The prologue to this arc is an interesting one. We begin with Magneto who has orchestrated an accident at a building site so that he can single out William Jones, an average man, joe schmoe who will be the subject of a sort of battle of wits. The outcome, Magneto believes will prove his theory that Humans have an innate hatred of homo superior.
Pro: This great series of panels. Things don’t go well and Magneto pretty much convinces himself of his point of view, despite Jones giving an every mans, non cynical view of the whole deal. It is only when William is threatened, that his fears help Magneto make up his mind.
Pro: Alan Davis on the art. I LOVE HIM ON ART and I only wish he could have completed art chores on each part of this arc despite my being a fan of Leinil Francis Yu.
Pro: The X-men function as quite the tight knit group, despite the newer members and several members having recently returned . Gambit and Kitty working together was always fun, and I loved Marrow’s interaction with the team as a more cohesive addition.
Con: The acolytes. I didn’t feel like they really interested me, with one exception.
Pro: Scanner. I really wanted Xavier to allow those few Acolytes who wanted to join the x-men to actually do so instead of send them away, and in this arc we see how much bad blood that fostered. Scanner actually went and improved her ability and became an actual threat to Xavier.
Pro: Despite Scanner’s cool turn as a foil for Xavier, the X-men still get the drop on the Acolytes and this is where things get exciting. The X-men have to split to stop both Magneto and Astra who has abducted Joseph and is now using him to foil Magneto’s plans.
Pro: Battle Royale. While Nightcrawler takes Astra out of the equation (which is wonderfully drawn by Davis) and Rogue leads the battle against Magneto, Xavier, Storm and Colossus go to help Joseph who is now attempting to undo what Magneto has done with the worlds magnetosphere. This battle is epic.
Con: Then tragedy strikes and we realize that despite the team effort from Xavier’s group is not enough to save Joseph who then proceeds to save all them by sacrificing himself to right the magnetosphere and nullify all the malfunctioning machinery.
Pro: “Logan, please do not force me to Stop you.”
Pro/con: Joseph’s last words. “Only by working together will mutants and humans ever be as one,” juxtaposed with the below panel.
So why did I love this arc so much? I think Alan Davis had a lot to do with it. I remember at this point, there was a kind of backlash in comics over Davis’ style and involvement of the books, but I’ve always loved his clean style and his plotting. I loved his previous run on Excalibur for the same reason.
This arc had a lot of drama and philosophy over who was right and Magneto’s whole character and drive, and it also delivered that memorable battle at the end with none of the X-men really able to take magneto down. Yeah that battle took its toll on Magneto as you see in the last few panels, but in essence, Magneto won.
Let’s have that sink in. MAGNETO WON HIS WAR. He was given Genosha by the U.N. and the X-men left with their proverbial tail between their legs. One of their own gone, one of them put to sleep, the remainders shaken and questioning their roles.
What do you think? Did you like The Magneto War? Do you have a favorite part?