Hello. My name is Field, Lyle Field.

Magneto. One of the greatest characters in the 50 years that the Marvel Age of Comics has existed. A villain with definitive shades of grey, matching his hair. You could say Magneto is one of the premier Anti-Heroes within the comic book genre.

Yes, I have said it. Magneto—an Anti-Hero.

Michael Spivey (a professor of cognitive science at the University of California) and Steve Knowlton (a senior research analyst with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan) describes the concept of the Anti-Hero in this manner, “Too good to be a villain, too bad to be a hero, the anti-hero occupies an all too realistic gray area in between those idealized extremes.”

Magneto: Not A Hero is a four issue series that attempts to examine the anti-hero concept within Magneto.

Since his introduction nearly 50 years ago, Magneto (once) believed it was the fate of the homo superiors (aka mutants) to replace their lesser counterparts, humans. Hence, Magneto became the most hated and feared mutant terrorist on Earth. However, when his granddaughter, Luna (daughter of his son. Quicksilver, and Crystal of the Inhumans), was born he attempted to play the role of good guy throughout most of the 1980s. During this period, Magneto struggles with self-doubt to adjust to Charles Xavier’s teachings of peaceful co-existence between humans and mutants, while barely restraining his full fury in his quest for redemption. The 1987 X-Men vs. Avengers mini-series (available in graphic novel format) saw Magneto fighting to restrain himself when he (along with the X-Men) engaged the Avengers, and succeeded in not going down the road of the villain then. However, Magneto reverted to his “villainous” ways starting in the early 1990s, where his good intention is perceived to be the bad in order to protect his “race”.

The House of M changed Magneto’s view again where virtually the entire mutant population is extinct thanks to his daughter’s (The Scarlet Witch) probability altering words… no more mutants! Magneto faced ultimate defeat including the temporary loss of his mutant powers, but has since regained them thanks to the High Evolutionary. Defeated and dejected, Magneto reluctantly joins the X-Men (once again) not only to save the remains of the mutant race, but because he has nowhere else to go.

Magneto: Not A Hero takes us into the Anti-Hero mind of Magneto. The mini-series focuses on Magneto attempting to prove his innocence where it was alleged that he murdered a crowd of anti-mutant protesters. Magneto finds that the person behind his current dilemma is his clone aka Joseph. Joseph was created during the mid-1990s as a naïve and good Magneto only to be found “deceased”, however he was resurrected by Astra (an early ret-conned member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants) along with a warped clone versions of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Blob, Toad and Mastermind).

Skottie Young writes Magneto: Not A Hero, whose intention to explore the grey areas of relativistic morals in a multifaceted globe, but fails in its execution by re-treading the ridiculous cloning concepts that helped define the 1990s of comics. Plus, it seems more and more that ideas from the drivel that made up the 1990s is slowly making a comeback. Ugh!

The only bright spot to the entire mini-series, thus far, is the minor subplot from the first issue that took place at Avengers Mansion, especially the verbal throw down between Magneto and Iron Man, which will reach fruition in the highly anticipated 12 issue Avengers vs. X-Men series.

The art work by the team of Clay Mann and Seth Mann is not too bad and aids in turning a bad series into a mediocre one. The Mann’s artwork has a style similar to Oliver Ciopel’s art, which is meant as a complement.

Despite the disappointment on the execution of Magneto: Not a Hero, by having the fortitude and ethical haziness to perform shocking acts that necessitate anything from terrorization to mass slaughter as a means to an end, the character known as Magneto helped blaze trails in the new territory between apparent righteousness and sheer malevolence. Just take a look at similar characters such as Black Adam, Catman and even Sinestro in the past decade that comes to mind.

By the way, my money is on Magneto when he takes on Iron Man in the upcoming Avengers vs. The X-Men series.

Until next time… I’ll smell you later.

Lyle FieldComicsanti-hero,Magneto,Magneto: Not A Hero,Marvel,Not A Hero
Hello. My name is Field, Lyle Field. Magneto. One of the greatest characters in the 50 years that the Marvel Age of Comics has existed. A villain with definitive shades of grey, matching his hair. You could say Magneto is one of the premier Anti-Heroes within the comic book genre. Yes,...