Magneto TimelineNOTE: Another of Rivka's classic articles on Magneto and his history, this takes us right through from his birth up to his appearance as a twenty-something amnesiac by the name of Joseph. Hopefully she will find the time to bring it right up to date at some point. Ian.
NOTE: 2-21-2009. With the conclusion of the X-Men: Magneto Testament limited series, the Magneto Timeline needs to be updated regarding the new information revealed in the Magneto Testament books. The timeline also needs to be brought up to date regarding the events in Magneto's life since "Magneto Rex." There are also contradictions in Magneto's history that have been raised due to the revelations of Magneto Testament, and these will have to be noted. I will be completing these updates, new research, and analyses shortly!
Magneto's birth-name is Max Eisenhardt (X-Men: Magneto Testament #1). He has called himself "Magnus" for many years. It is unknown as to when, where, or why he started using the name "Magnus."
Max was born in Germany in November of 1926 (X-Men #191, House of M, Magneto Testament #1) to a middle-class, educated Jewish family. He spent his childhood in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg. His father was a proud citizen of Germany and a World War I veteran named Jakob Eisenhardt, his mother's name was "Edie" (short for Edith?), and his sister's name was Ruth. His father's brother, Erich Eisenhardt also lived with the family during Max's childhood.
The family endured the growing terror of the Nazi regime in Germany, including increasingly harsh laws aimed at marginalizing and removing Germany's Jewish citizens. They survived Kristallnacht, and decided to flee east, into Poland, where a woman friend of Erich Eisenhardt's named Cecelia, had family who agreed to shelter the Eisenhardt's for a fee.
In Nuremberg, during the fall of 1935, Max first set eyes on Magda, a little Sinti Gypsy girl whose people were also suffering under the Nazi regime. Max developed a crush on this girl, and was able to pass on to her a silver necklace before she and her mother disappeared (to a work camp in Berlin, unknown to Max). Max was somehow able to get a picture of Magda, a photo that he kept close to him in the years to come.
Once arriving in Poland, Max and his family were almost immediately caught in the invasion of Poland by Hitler's armies, and they fled again, choosing to move to Warsaw rather than hide in the woods or keep running.
Max and his family were forced to move into the Warsaw Ghetto, when it was established, where they suffered three years of hunger, horror, and terror. Once the deportations of Warsaw's Jews to Treblinka began, the family once again planned to escape. It seems that Jacob waited for a little while, during a lull in the deportations in late summer. But once the round-ups and beatings and deportations started again during the first week of September, 1942, the immediate family was able to escape the Warsaw Ghetto with Cecelia's help, and rowed upstream on the Vistula River, hoping to find refuge hidden by a Polish family on a farm outside of Radom. Max's Uncle Erich remained behind to fight in the newly formed ghetto Jewish Combat Organization (ZOB) or with the more established Jewish Military Union (ZZW). (Magneto Testament #3.)
Upon arriving at some point upriver from Warsaw, Cecelia betrayed the Eisenhardts to the patrols of SS troops and Einsatzgruppen sent to this part of Poland directly for the purpose of catching Jews trying to hide and escape as well as Polish partisans. Cecelia's mother was being held captive for "helping Jews" and Cecelia had thought the Nazis would let both of them go if she delivered a family of Jews into SS hands. As it turned out, she and her mother were lined up in front of an open grave, alongside the Eisenhardt family, and all were executed by machine gun (Magneto Testament #3.)
Max's powers possibly, unconsciously, manifested at the point the bullets sped towards him, because he was knocked unconscious by a bullet ricocheting off of his father, but was otherwise unharmed by the point-blank rapid fire.
Max woke up after nightfall, and managed to crawl out of the mass grave. He wandered most likely towards Radom, knowing if his uncle had escaped, Erich would also head there. Radom was also the only point in the vicinity from where Polish Jews were sent to Auschwitz, instead of Treblinka, Belzec, or Sobibor, in the fall of 1942. There were several arrivals of prisoners at Auschwitz from Radom during September 1942. These were mostly politicals, Jewish and non-Jewish Poles. Young Max was discovered in Radom, near the train platform where the train to Auschwitz was about ready to move, and the guard (probably German police rather than SS) threw him into one of the boxcars. (Magneto Testament #3.)
Max arrived at Auschwitz in September of 1942, as revealed in X-Men: Magneto Testament #4. He would have received a tattoo number in the "60,000s". The Auschwitz tattoo #24005 that Magneto revealed to Xavier in Excalibur vol.3, #2 would indicate that he arrived in Auschwitz on December 11, 1941. The Auschwitz number shown in Uncanny X-Men #161, 214782, is too big, and in the wrong position on Magneto's arm, but our view of the number is part of Charles Xavier's dream, and now seems a jumbled remix of Magneto's actual Auschwitz tattoo.
According to Magneto himself in New Mutants #49, and according to Joseph's transplanted memories which were supposed to be Magneto's memories (Uncanny X-Men #344), he was caught before he got to Radom, by SS guards who noticed his improbable survival, and were instructed to send anomalies to Auschwitz.
In the revised continuity of X-Men: Magneto Testament #3, #4, and #5:
Max entered Auschwitz I in September of 1942, before Birkenau was completed. He was met there by his old teacher from Germany, Herr Kalb, also a prisoner, who advised him to survive until he, Kalb, could get Max transferred to the "Kanada" commando. But once Max was on his way to the better work conditions of "Kanada" the kapo and guard escorting Max were stopped by one of the officers of the Auschwitz I crematorium, and Max abruptly found himself a member of the Auschwitz Sonderkommando.
In Excalibur vol.3, #7, Magneto tells Xavier and the reader that he entered the Sonderkommando in 1943 to avoid a Nazi doctor the prisoners called "Nosferatu" who "... worked in the medical section, with the Nazi geneticist Josef Mengele. We children called him 'Nosferatu' because his face was so pale he must have been an albino. But also because, if you wanted sweets from him, you had to give him a sample of blood." We now do not know why Magneto said this, or what this refers to, because it is revealed in X-Men: Magneto Testament #4 Magneto, or Max, entered the Sonderkommando not too long after he arrived in Auschwitz, which would have been late September or early October of 1942. In X-Men: Magneto Testament #4, Max states that he has been in the Sonderkommando for "almost two years" yet in Magneto Testament #5 we see it is May, 1944. So, Max must have entered the Auschwitz I SK not long after he arrived.
In any case, The Sonderkommando was a horrible and gruesome squad -- it was a special assignment reserved for Jewish prisoners by the Nazis in all their death camps after 1942 (although the squads went by different names in different death camps). There were Polish and German kapos in the Sonderkommando of Auschwitz, and for a brief time 19 Russian POWs (possibly Russian Jewish POWS, as in Sobibor) were brought in from Majdanek in April of 1944 to help exterminate 1/2 million Hungarian Jews. But all the rest of the SK were Jews.
Once a young man got into the Sonderkommando, he became the walking dead. He was an untouchable. He became the Nazis' accomplice in mass murder. The SK were isolated from the rest of the camp. What they did was supposed to be a secret. They were like silent minions of death, called "crematoria ravens" by the other prisoners.
Young Max lived on after 1942, covered by the grime and ash of the dead day and night. He had to act as a servant to the SS including Mengele who supervised the gassing and burning, but the Nazi doctors couldn't do anything to him. Nor did they want to touch him. Except to do business with him, as members of the SK would take a lot of the valuables and food the incoming victims brought with them and use this to "organize" or trade and barter or buy. So, young Max had enough food to eat in the Sonderkommando, and we can only speculate that he used the goods he took from the victims in the changing rooms of the gas-chambers to help smuggle food and medicines to other prisoners (Uncanny X-Men #199) and to help the Sinti girl Magda and her family in the Gypsy Family Camp.
Like all Auschwitz inmates, young Max would have suffered from the most humiliating and dire circumstances on a daily basis. He endured constant physical and psychological abuse, malnutrition, and the effects of diseases. As a member of the Sonderkommando, Max would have made a daily "deal with the devil" -- to stay alive while he helped kill his own people. Sonderkommando members were also given enormous amounts of vodka, to keep them working.
At some point in May of 1944, Max saw Magda again, now a young woman in the Gypsy Family Camp. She likely arrived at Auschwitz with her family in early 1943, when mass transports of German, Austrian and other Western European Roma began. The Sinti and Roma were imprisoned in the Gypsy Family Camp. X-Men: Magneto Testament tells us nothing about what happened to Magda's large family, or what happened to her before the moment Max set eyes on her again. Magda appears to be alone in May of 1944, which would explain why she would be willing to leave the camp on a transport in August of 1944.
In the story "A Fire in the Night," which appeared in Classic X-Men #12, Magda makes it clear that she feels she should have died with her family in the gas chambers, indicating family members might still have been alive when she agreed to save herself alone. This is either uncharacteristic of a heroic Magda, or possibly very characteristic of a frightened somewhat selfish and unheroic Magda, the likes of whom would run away from Max when their daughter Anya was killed (see below) and would run away again, from her twin babies after giving birth on Wundergore Mountain (see below).
Whatever the truth was, Max loved Magda unconditionally, and once he saw her again in the Gypsy Family Camp, brought her food, and helped her survive. In August of 1944, what was left of the entire Gypsy camp was murdered, taken to the gas chambers.
In the original continuity, young Magneto apparently saved Magda, but no one else in her family. He apparently bribed guards, kapos, and anyone else he had to, to transfer Magda to the Jewish women's camp. He could have put her on the last transport of the young Gypsy men and women to Buchenwald and it's women's subcamps, but she (historically) could not have been sent back to Auschwitz until after the Sonderkommando revolt, since the transport back to Auschwitz from Buchenwald that arrived on Oct. 5, 1944 was composed only of boys and young men, who were all kept in a quarantine block until gassed on Oct. 10, 1944.
In the original continuity, by the winter of 1944-1945 the Russian army was closing in on Auschwitz. It was most likely on January 20th after the evacuation of Auschwitz and the death march had begun, that young Magneto killed an SS soldier who was about to kill Magda, and the two of them escaped into the snowy woods outside of the camp. According to the original canon, Magnus was perhaps 15, 16, or 17 years old at this time. Magda was probably slightly younger. (Classic X-Men #12, "A Fire in the Night," X-Factor Annual #4, Excalibur vol.3, #9.) Magda was definitely hidden among the Hungarian Jewish women, that was never in doubt. There is real-world historical precedence, so this is an historically accurate and viable story option. But the reader didn't know how exactly -- in the original continuity -- this happened. Did Magda slip among the Jewish women herself? Did young Magneto bribe enough kapos and guards or clerks to change or hide her Auschwitz number, or have her smuggled into another work detail, or hide her with the arrivals in the transit camp called "Mexico"?
In the revised continuity, as portrayed in X-Men: Magneto Testament #5, Magda is put on the last transport of young Gypsy men and women out of Auschwitz to Buchenwald on August 2, 1944. Max is seen working in Crematorium V during the destruction of the Gypsy Family Camp, and Crematorium II by the time of the Sonderkommando Revolt on October 7.
There are some historical glosses with X-Men: Magneto Testament #5 and Magda's escape. For example: Block 32 of the Gypsy Family Camp was not an ordinary infirmary block, but Mengele's headquarters, and the "infirmary" was acutally the ward where Mengele's experimental subjects were treated. His dissection lab was next to the sauna. But no mention is made of Mengele in the story and it is interesting to speculate if Magda or Max met him in camp BII-e. Magneto does state he met Mengele in X-Men vol.2 #2.
In the latest version, in X-Men: Magneto Testament #5, Magda escapes the quarantine block of the condemned, finds herself in the old Gypsy Family Camp, (now a transit camp) and hides amongst bodies that are piled somewhere near the sauna, either with or without Max's help (it isn't clear), and luckily gets picked up by the right corpse commando, and is taken to Max's crematorium (Krema II), and is discovered by Max at the right moment on Oct. 7th so that the guards and Polish kapos don't find her first, just at the moment Crematorium IV is set on fire signaling the start of the Sonderkommando Rebellion.
Max and Magda escape Auschwitz during the Sonderkommando breakout next to the Women's Camp BI-b, and Crematorium II.
The setting of Max and Magda's escape, before the publication of X-Men: Magneto Testament #5, was confirmed in X-Factor Annual #4, and Classic X-Men #12, as being in the middle of winter, after the Third Reich had been defeated but before the war was officially over. The escape was shown to take place in the days after the Death March had cleared most of the camp, but just before the Soviet Army liberated Auschwitz.
The escape of Max and Magda now is fixed in the fall, on October 7, 1944.
After their escape, Max and Magda wandered for a long time, and Magnus took care of Magda, finding her food and clothing. They could have possibly found shelter with Polish partisan groups. They eventually settled in a Carpathian Mountain village, where they recuperated from their ordeal. After several years, they were married. It is surmised that Magda, who was very beautiful, was badly treated in Auschwitz (Gypsy girls suffered rape and sexual abuse, and Gypsy children were used in one of the camp's brothels) and she might have found an intimate relationship with Max difficult. Given his tender concern for Magda, we can presume that he waited for her to recover, physically and emotionally, and before he asked her to marry him. Max seems to have been in love with Magda from the start. We don't know when Magda fell in love with Max, or how she defined love. He was her savior, her protector. Max promised her he would always look after her and protect her. (Classic X-Men #12, Excalibur vol.3, #9.)
Magnus' daughter was born a few years after he and Magda were married. The girl was named Anya, after Magda's mother (Excalibur vol.3, #9). Magnus adored Anya, and she was the light of his life. He called her his "talisman" -- the promise that things were going to be better, and the world was a better place. (Classic X-Men #12.)
Magnus was restless, however. From an educated, urban family, he found life in the Carpathian village to be restricting and frustrating. He therefore insisted that they move to a bigger city, one were he could find work (as a carpenter and general contractor) while he went to university in order to better himself, and their station in life. This does not seem to have been a joint decision, and it is probable that Magda did not want to move.
They arrived in the Soviet city of Vinnitsa when Anya was between 4 and 6 years old. On the very first day there, after his very first day of work, the foreman on the job tried to cheat Magnus out of his pay. In retaliation, Magnus consciously used his powers for the first time. He sent a crowbar flying at the foreman's head, barely missing him.
When an angry Magnus arrived back at the inn where his wife and daughter were staying, he saw that it was on fire, and Magda was frantic -- she had left the child alone, upstairs, she said, so that she could find something to cook for dinner. Magnus and Magda ran into the burning inn, and as the building's ceiling started to collapse, Magnus formed a magnetic force-bubble to protect him and his wife. They both were amazed, and Magnus was suddenly jubilant! He felt he could save Anya, with these new powers.
But, when he and his wife ran outside, the foreman he'd assaulted pointed him out, and the police, along with several members of the crowd, grabbed Magnus, beating him up while he begged them to let him go so he could save his daughter. While his daughter screamed for help, and called "Poppa!" Magnus could not help her. Finally, Anya fell burning from the building, landing just in front of Magnus. The crowd, somewhat stunned, backed away and let him go. Magnus, in a fit of rage and grief, unleashed his powers for the third time that day, and sent electromagnetic radiation -- like horizontal lightning -- shooting out in all directions, killing the police and members of the crowd who were nearby, and leveling a part of Vinnitsa as if an atomic bomb had struck (Excalibur vol.3, #9). Magda, meanwhile, stood there untouched. She seemed to be going into a dissociative state. When Magnus reached out to her, some of his power leaped at her, and Magda became terrified, panic-stricken, and she ran away, called her husband a "monster" as he shouted after her, begging her to help him bury their daughter, to come back to him. (Classic X-Men #12, Excalibur vol.3, #9.)
Magnus was too weak and injured to follow after her. Shortly thereafter, he took the body of Anya and escaped into the woods, where he buried his child mere moments before a unit of the KGB found him, confronted him, and he used his powers to turn their own guns against them, killing them all. (Uncanny X-Men #304.)
He then began a years-long search for Magda. After some years of fruitless searching, Magnus went to a forger named Georg Odekirk, who gave him a false identity, one which people in the Marvel Universe (and readers) would come to believe was genuine. This was Erik Magnus Lehnsherr, a Sinte Gypsy; he took that identity in order to hide from the Soviet police and KGB, and, to more effectively search for Magda, in the camps and settlements of her people. He stated that he gave up everything his family died for, everything he was, to take this false ethnic identity in order to search for the woman he loved so much (X-Men vol.2, #72).
Unknown to Magnus, when Magda ran away she was pregnant with twins. She later ended up at Wundagore Mountain, in the country of Transia, at the citadel of an antihero-scientist named the High Evolutionary (Herbert Edgar Wyndham). With a cow-woman (Bova) as midwife, Magda gave birth to Pietro and Wanda in 1958, and then ran out into the snowy night, disappearing, her fate unknown. Bova took the twin infants to her master, the High Evolutionary, who first tried to give the newborns to Golden Age hero Bob Frank, aka The Whizzer, just after his wife and baby had died. But Frank rejected the babies. The High Evolutionary then put the newborns in stasis for a number of years, until suitable parents could be found. Eventually, he gave the twins to a Transian Gypsy couple (the Maximoffs) whose own babies had died.
Magnus, meanwhile, searched Europe for Magda, couldn't find her, and finally gave up and immigrated to Israel. He had no family, and even though he had forged "Lehnsherr" papers that could get him into any country, he decided to go to Israel, as a Jew. It is presumed that he dropped the name "Lehnsherr" at this time, and entered Israel as "Erik Magnus."
Erik Magnus worked in a hospital in Haifa. It was primarily a psychiatric hospital, that treated primarily Holocaust survivors. It is doubtful that Magnus sought therapy himself, or was willing to reveal much if anything about himself due to the events in Vinnitsa, for which murders he was a wanted man. Magnus was caring and devoted, and there is testimony that he was helpful in alleviating the distress of his fellow survivors who were patients in that hospital. (Uncanny X-Men #161, Uncanny X-Men #321, X-Men vol. 2, #40 and #41, X-Men Unlimited #2.)
At this time, some twenty to twenty-five years ago, Magnus first met Charles Francis Xavier. Xavier was also a man of immense power, and a mutant. Unlike Magnus, he had years to become accustomed to his incredible telepathic abilities, and to form theories and a philosophy about the existence of "mutants" among the general population. Xavier was from a privileged American family, from upstate New York. At the time he first met Magnus, he was already thinking of ways to ensure the peaceful co-existence of mutants and non- mutants.
Charles Xavier had come to Israel at the request of Dr. Shomron, an Israeli psychiatrist, who needed his friend's help in the treatment of a Holocaust survivor named Gabrielle Haller, who remained in a state of rigid catatonia. Xavier used his psionic powers to help Gabrielle recover, and Xavier, Gabrielle Haller, and Magnus became close friends.
But not long after, Baron Strucker, a Nazi war criminal who had escaped justice, and who had taken over a neo-Nazi organization named HYDRA, attacked and kidnapped Gabrielle Haller. (It turns out, he was the Nazi SS officer who had sexually abused her when she was a child in a concentration camp, and he had implanted in her mind the location of a huge stash of Nazi stolen gold.)
Xavier and Magnus came to Gabrielle's rescue, but in the course of the fight Magnus used his powers openly, became violent and agitated and suddenly -- after killing the Nazis (but not Strucker, a perennial Marvel villain who has popped up time and time again) against Xavier's wishes, he used his magnetic powers to raise the huge hoard of Nazi gold and carry it off, declaring that the gold would be used in the struggle of mutants to secure a safe place in the world.
This is the first recorded instance, witnessed by Xavier, where Magnus clearly identified with being a mutant. The gold -- Nazi gold stolen from mostly Jewish victims, some of which Magnus himself had helped pull off of dead bodies when he was in the Sonderkommando -- had passed from being the gold of Magnus' Jewish People, to being the gold of his Mutant People.
Magnus next, apparently, began working for a covert agency, probably Mossad, but possibly he was a double-agent for Mossad and MI6 or the CIA. He took the codename Magneto at this time. He ostensibly was hunting Nazis for MI6 or the CIA, but as a double-agent, working for the Israeli government, he actually found escaped Nazi war criminals and turned them over to Israel for trial. (Classic X-men #19.) During this time, Magnus met a beautiful Brazilian doctor named Isabelle, who understood he was a mutant, and tried to help him. Magnus may or may not have had a sexual relationship with Isabelle. (Classic X-Men #19.) At moments when he was most close to Isabelle, when it seemed the next step was for him to begin making love to her, Magnus was overwhelmed with memories of Magda. He was reminded of Magda's words, accusing him of being a "monster." Magnus seems to have feared two things: being disloyal to Magda, who he still hoped to find, and, becoming a "monster"-- that is, he feared that if Isabelle became his lover, he would lose control of his powers once again, become the "monster" that Magda had accused him of being, and kill Isabelle.
Unfortunately, his worst fears were realized in a way. While Isabelle was comforting him, trying to relax him by giving him a back-massage, in their hotel room in Rio de Janeiro, Magneto's Control, his boss from MI6, showed up with some thugs, who grabbed Isabelle by the hair and slit her throat. They threw her body down next to Magnus, who was just realizing what was happening. Then, Control admonished Magnus for capturing "our" Nazis (as in, Nazis Britain and the US governments wanted) and turning them over to Israel. In other words, Magnus' status as a double agent had been discovered. Control ordered his men to kill Magnus, but Magnus declared himself MAGNETO, a superior being, a mutant, Homo-sapiens-superior, and rose into the air, in a sense declaring war on the human race while killing the men below him. (Classic X-Men #19.)
Magneto's next known appearance suggested he was attempting to organize some sort of resistance movement, or at least was trying to expose how governments around the world were misusing mutants. (Generation X #10.) There is very little known about Magneto's activities during this time.
Magneto at some point around twelve or so years ago Marvel time, created a costume for himself, and a helmet, and formed an organization which he called, with ironic intent, The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. (As in, you think all mutants are "evil"? Well then, here we are, the "evil" mutants.) The members of this group included Toad, Mastermind, and two teens -- twins -- from Transia, whom Magneto had rescued not long before. The twin youths were named Wanda and Pietro, codenamed the Scarlet Witch -- who had probability-altering powers, and Quicksilver -- who had super-speed. Magneto had no idea these were his children with Magda, and he treated them quite brutally. He was alternately cold, aloof and withdrawn, and ranting and manic at this time, as witnessed by Wanda. (X-Men -1.)
Magneto's first open attack in his "war" against humanity was directed against Cape Citadel, a military missile base somewhere in Florida. The X-Men, a group of teens gathered and trained by Charles Xavier, defeated him. (Uncanny X-Men #1.) Thus began the long enmity between Magneto and the X- Men and various X-Men allies. Magneto's attacks were frequently accompanied by his elaborate speeches about mutant superiority. Magneto's initial goals were to rule the world and turn it into a place where mutants wouldn't be persecuted, but where he, Magneto, would be the sole dictator. He also made vague and contradictory statements about mutants generally ruling over non-mutant humans.
Magneto was captured by an alien being named The Stranger, along with Toad (Mortimer Toynbee). (Uncanny X-Men #11.) Magneto escaped, returned to earth, tried to defeat the X-Men once again, but this time, Xavier called the Stranger back! The Stranger recaptured Magneto, and threw him back on a cold, barren planetoid prison, where Toad had remained. (Uncanny X-Men #18.) This event seems to have triggered something in Magneto, since he became manic, threatening, making delusional and grandiose statements about conquering the universe! (Avengers #47.) Magneto escaped the Stranger a second time, on this occasion with Toad, returned to earth, and attacked Wanda and Pietro, who had joined the hero group, the AVENGERS, and were more than happy to have nothing whatsoever to do with Magneto.
At this time Magneto built an extraordinary island base with incredibly advanced technology. He articulated vague goals about conquering the world again. But soon, Magneto became completely distracted by the need to get control of Wanda and Pietro, and then, the X-Men. When he found out that Xavier, his old friend, was supposedly dead, he gloated in a disjointed speech full of rage, and decided it was a good time to attack the X-Men. (Uncanny X-Men #43.) Magneto was eventually defeated by the X-Men and the Avengers, and pretended to fall to his death on ocean rocks, to cover his escape. (Uncanny X-Men #45, Avengers #53.)
He next showed up in the Savage Land, a place where dinosaurs still live, that exists in a timeless Cretaceous state. It is located somewhere under Antarctica. Here, Magneto built himself a citadel. He kidnapped local swamp-dwellers, primitive people, and abusing his own body, using his own life force and magnetic powers, he mutated and genetically altered them, turning them into his slaves. All the while he was masquerading as The Creator. (Uncanny X-Men #62, #63.)
Again, his goals were contradictory, clear and vague at once, his actions seemingly brilliant and insane. He was manipulative and talked endlessly, but despite having some design on using the mutated humans as an army to conquer the world, ultimately there was almost no point to all Magneto's activities.
The X-Men defeated him once again, and at the end of this story (Uncanny X-Men #63), he was last seen on his knees, shouting, "Yes ... too late ... TOO LATE! Too late to do ANYTHING ... BUT DIE!!" as his Savage Land citadel collapsed on him. He made no attempt to escape, or ask for assistance, and instead seemed to be hyper-dramatic and out of touch with reality.
Magneto survived, however, and was rescued later by Prince Namor, the Submariner, ruler of the undersea kingdom of Atlantis. (Fantastic Four #102.) Magneto tried to trick Prince Namor and the people of Atlantis into helping him invade the earth. He kidnapped Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman, from the Fantastic Four. (Fantastic Four #102, #103.) Sue's husband, Reed Richards, also of the Fantastic Four, stopped Magneto, and was able to take him prisoner. How this was done is significant. Richards used a device that turned Magneto's own powers against him; like a Chinese-finger-puzzle, the more Magneto used his powers, the more he was restrained -- ensuring that only HE captured himself. (Fantastic Four #104.) The Fantastic Four placed Magneto in a small, completely non-magnetic prison cell, and inhibited his powers with an anti-magnetic force field
Magneto eventually escaped after going into a completely quiet, meditative state. Once he was back in a more grotesque version of his old costume, he reappeared trying to build a machine that would mutate all of the non-mutants on earth. His speeches were by now incoherent, his actions bizarre and violent.(Amazing Adventures vol.1, #9, and #10.) Magneto tried to carry out his plans in illogical ways; he was witnessed by many at this time, having captured Black Bolt, the king of the Inhumans. (The Inhumans are a group of altered humans who live segregated from the rest of humanity. Pietro, (Quicksilver), married an Inhuman princess, Crystal. Black Bolt is married to Crystal's sister, Medusa.) Observers uniformly reported Magneto to be insane. They reported hearing "insane" laughter, and it was evident that Magneto's face was wide-eyed, his features twisted. He almost succeeded in destroying every non-mutant human in the world, using nuclear energy to power his "universe machine." However, when it was clear he was defeated, Magneto detonated the nuclear energy canister he was going to use as a power source, and attempted to vaporize himself, saying, as he appeared to die, "Now ... the power is MINE ... the GLORY -- THE HONOR -- FOREVER -- Magneto's...."
But he survived. He battled the AVENGERS again (Avengers #110, #111), and kidnapped Wanda, making her dance while under his mental control. He didn't know she was his daughter, but it still was a terrible moment. By now, Magneto was visibly altered -- his eyes wide and staring, with huge circles underneath. His body ravaged by the explosions and injuries he'd sustained. He used a special costume that once belonged to another one of the X-Men, Angel (Warren Worthington III), to siphon off the life-energy of Angel and this helped keep Magneto going. He obtained the costume by attacking Xavier and the X-Men in the X-mansion (Xavier's estate and mansion in Westchester County, New York), beating the crippled Charles Xavier and the young X-Men, and trashing the contents of the mansion. It is significant to note, that although Magneto had often threatened he would kill Xavier and the X-Men, when he caught them off-guard this time, he did not kill them, but instead ranted at them, threatened them, physically abused them, and destroyed their property. Furthermore, he sent video pictures of the whole scene of destruction to Avenger's Mansion, in New York City, where the Avengers watched helplessly, and were thus lured to the mansion to render assistance. Which is how and where Magneto captured them. The Avengers defeated Magneto once again, captured him, and attempted to imprison him in an energy-globe, deep underground.
This prison globe was small, and Magneto was completely isolated. Magneto was able to escape when the approach of a comet caused just enough of a shift in the energy globe's integrity, that Magneto was able to use his powers to get out. (Defenders #15.)
Next, Magneto formed another group of "evil" mutants, recreating some of his Savage Land mutates. These included Lorelei, a mutate woman whom Magneto seemed to be personally attached to, although it is highly unlikely he had a sexual relationship with Lorelei, or anyone, at this time. Magneto then attempted to attack the United Nations building, lifting it magnetically in the air, while he used a being he had created himself, grown from a test-tube, Mutant Alpha, to try and conquer the world. However, this creation, Mutant Alpha was evolving at an accelerated rate, and became a "star-man" almost overnight. While Xavier and Dr. Strange, and other heroes looked on, Mutant Alpha judged Magneto, and the others in his little Brotherhood. Mutant Alpha decided to give Magneto a second chance, and reduced him to the age of a six- month old baby. (Defenders #15, #16.)
Charles Xavier took baby Magneto to Muir Island, and entrusted him to the care of Dr. Moira MacTaggert. The baby was put in a cell, but as far as Magnus remembered, Moira tried to treat him with gentleness and affection. The other baby members of the BOEM were also placed in cells, in Moira's research center on Muir Island. Xavier had vague plans to raise Magneto to adulthood again, confident this "second childhood" devoid of the horrors of the Holocaust, would result in an adult Magnus who would use his powers for the good of all humanity. However, whatever Xavier thought he was going to do, to change Magneto, he never got the chance. An agent of the alien Shi'ar empire, Davan Shakari, re-aged Magneto, restored him to his prime, his health, and restored all his memories at once. (Uncanny X-Men #104.)
Magneto briefly attacked the X-Men on Shakari's advice, (Uncanny X- Men #104) and planned revenge for his being a helpless infant in Xavier's care. But his mind was in ferment, and all the old mania seems to have come back to him. Immediately after his re-aging, in fact, Magneto became hostile, paranoid and dangerous again, exhibiting all the classic symptoms of a manic episode with psychotic features. Certainly not any symptoms of a man whose genes had been altered to make him "good," as some would later, erroneously, claim.
Shortly after leaving Muir Island, Magneto was drawn to Latveria, by Dr. Doom. (Super-Villain Team-Up #14.) Doom easily outwitted and outclassed Magneto, and set him up as an "opponent" in a "game." If Doom won, the world would be his. If Magneto won, the world would be free. Doom allowed Magneto to choose one ally from among the Avengers, and Magneto chose Hank McCoy, the Beast. In the end, Magneto did not defeat Dr. Doom, it was Ghost Rider (The Champions #16) with an assist from Beast who whipped the ruler of Latveria with a taste of his own medicine. Magneto at this point demonstrated some sense of conscience, and some self-restraint.
But not long after the defeat of Doom, Magneto was demonstrating the full range of manic and psychotic symptoms again, in a confrontation with Captain America and S.H.I.E.L.D., (Captain America Annual #4). Magneto at some point gathered another group of mutant followers, and he seems to have held their loyalty with a notion of mutant solidarity. But Magneto's entire focus of attention was on a miniature, impenetrable space ship; this was the basis for all his actions that resulted in the deaths of both the tiny and hulky bodies of a mutant known only as Mister One and Mister Two. Magneto trashed a S.H.I.E.L.D. lab, battled Captain America, sent his mutant followers out on ambush duty, all so he could capture Mister One (who was as small as the hand on a watch). All so he could use this diminutive mutant man to enter the pint- sized space ship. Mister One ended up destroying the small space ship, and himself, in an explosion that Magneto escaped.
Around this time, Magneto built a huge, sophisticated Antarctic base under a volcano on the mountainous rim of the continent.
Shotrly thereafter, he tracked the X-Men (the new team), and discovered they had been captured by Mesmero. Magneto rescued them, but promptly seized them himself.
Magneto imprisoned the X-Men in his Antarctic citadel. This time he strapped Cyclops, Phoenix, Storm, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, Colossus, and Banshee into chairs that suppressed their powers, and reduced them to the level of six-month-old babies! He created a robot, named Nanny, who he dressed in a cliched maid's costume, and programmed with a horrid, sickeningly sweet voice and over-attentive manner, to "care" for the X-Men in their helpless state. Thanks to Storm, whose coordination was extraordinary, even when she was a baby, the X-Men were able to escape, but Magneto's Antarctic complex was destroyed in the process. (Uncanny X-Men #112, Uncanny X-Men #113, Classic X- Men #19.)
Magneto was seriously injured in his fight with the X-Men, and in escaping the lava flow that engulfed his Antarctic home. Returning to the second Asteroid M, that he seems to have positioned in stationary orbit over the then Soviet Union, probably over Anya's grave, Magneto cycled from violent to depressive and brooding behavior. Significantly, he was too injured to use his powers for a while, and his mood seems to have changed considerably while in this quiescent state.
Magneto reappeared on the world stage, after raising his Bermuda Triangle island base from the bottom of the sea (circa Uncanny X-Men #144), and altering the earth's magnetic field so as to limit Charles Xavier's psychic powers. But this time his motives and his methods were different from what they had been before. He now ordered all of earth to give up their nuclear weapons, and let him, Magneto, rule the world in order to bring peace (and he was sincere, too). Once again Xavier and his X-Men battled Magneto, in order to stop him. But this time, something extraordinary happened! At the height of the battle on his Caribbean island base, Magneto almost killed Kitty Pryde, who was them around 14 years old, a Jewish girl, codename Shadowcat. Magneto had a breakdown of sorts, suddenly refusing to fight any more, suddenly becoming aware of what he was doing. He disappeared. (Uncanny X- Men #148, #149, #150.)
Magneto disappeared into isolation on Asteroid M, brooding and depressive once again. He was not paying much attention to anything but his own inner conflicts. It was during this time that an alien being, from an techno-organic civilization with rigid rules and regulations, a being who was a "mutant" and did not want to comply with those rules and regulations and was fleeing to earth, collided with Asteroid M, breaking it to pieces. Magneto was sent falling to earth, where he ended up seriously injured and near death, floating in the Atlantic Ocean. (New Mutants #21.)
He was rescued by Lee Forrester, sometime X- Men ally, super-hero groupie, and captain of the fishing trawler Arcadia. He fell in love with Lee, and because of that relationship, Magneto seems to have calmed down. (Uncanny X-Men #188, New Mutants #23, #24, #26, #28.) It should also be noted once again, that at this time Magneto's injuries were serious enough to require hospitalization, and that when he returned with Lee Forrester to his Caribbean island base to recuperate, he found it very difficult to use his magnetic powers. Although the extent of Magneto's physical injuries are unknown, he was clearly in enormous pain every time he attempted to use his powers in any significant way.
Xavier appeared thrilled that Magnus agreed to try a more peaceful path once again, and had seemingly reformed and was still "good." (Secret Wars II, Uncanny X-Men #196.) Soon thereafter Magneto gave himself up for trial, when he was captured by agents of the US government while attending a Holocaust memorial event in Washington DC. He was brought before the World Court, and Gabrielle Haller was his defense lawyer, but the trial was disrupted by an attack from the children of Baron Strucker. The Strucker twins (Andreas and Andrea, the Fenris) were defeated, but Xavier became gravely ill, and he decided to leave the earth, and go off with his lady-friend, the Majestrix of the Shi'ar Empire, Lilandra. He convinced Magnus to take over for him, as head of the X-Men's youngest recruits, the New Mutants.(Uncanny X-Men #199, #200.)
Magneto tried. He tried his best to follow Xavier's path. He tried to control himself, to think rationally. He had the support of Lee, for a time, and of the X-woman Storm, who believed in Magneto and helped give him confidence. But eventually, after being baited by the Hellfire Club, after joining the Hellfire Club on Storm's advice, after Storm and the other X-Men appeared to die, and left Magneto without any emotional support, Magnus started becoming more and more agitated, delusional, returning to his old patterns of thinking and behaving. (Most of the New Mutants run between #35 and #75; X-Factor #9; Uncanny X-Men #196, #199, #200 - #203, #210 - #213, #219; Fantastic Four vs. the X-Men; X-Men vs. the Avengers; Vision and the Scarlet Witch vol. 1 #4; Vision and the Scarlet Witch vol.2, #1, #3, #6, #12; Secret Wars vol. 2, Fallen Angels #1, #2.)
Magneto claims that when he put on the old red and purple costume, and abandoned the New Mutants, he had a higher purpose, and they had chosen their destiny. Moira MacTaggert called his excuses, "Rationalizations!" Magneto told her, he was just trying to give the world someone to hate. That he was going to play the part of villain, so the world would be after him, and leave other mutants alone. (Uncanny X-Men #253.) What seems closer to the truth is, the death of Doug Ramsey, and the imminent passage of the Mutant Registration Act, accelerated Magneto's fears and sense of anxiety and panic.
At this point in Magneto's history, it is necessary to speculate. There are some mysterious and unresolved plot danglers that could have occurred at this time. One is a near-fatal batttle with the Shadow King, mentioned in Uncanny X-Men #275. The other is Magneto's discovery of Exodus' tomb. In any event, Magneto soon found himself opposing the villainess, Zaladane, whose goal was to rule the Savage Land, and then the world.
Magneto became allied with Rogue (whose life he had saved in Uncanny X-Men #269), Ka-Zar (leader of the Savage Land), Nick Fury (S.H.I.E.L.D.), and some Russians, in his war with Zaladane. In the course of the conflict, Magneto was captured by Zaladane, and nearly killed as she siphoned off his powers into herself. But Rogue and Ka-Zar saved him, he regained his powers, and he destroyed Zaladane execution-style while Rogue (his latest love) pleaded with him not to. Magneto left Rogue and the others, admitting the truth to them and himself: "I am not Charles Xavier. I will never be Charles Xavier. I was a fool to try. As he was, for believing I could succeed." (Uncanny X-Men #275.) Magneto did make a vague promise as he flew off, that he would be fighting "evil" mutants, and try to help all mutants. But Magneto's actions that day portended disasters to come, as his own words attested: "But the chains we forge for ourselves .. tempered by hardship and grief, honed by duty -- are often all too tragically unbreakable."
Magneto next became involved in the Acts of Vengeance, and briefly was reunited with a possessed Scarlet Witch, and his son, Quicksilver. His goals were twofold -- to find out what the villains of the Acts of Vengeance alliance were up to regarding mutants, and to find out what had happened to Wanda, who had cut her hair and turned ruthless and cruel. But Magneto's amorphous plans to "recruit" Wanda to his cause were abandoned, when he discovered she was being controlled by something not of this dimension.
It was during his brief association with the Acts of Vengeance villains that Magneto rebuilt a fancier version of Asteroid M. After he escaped a fight with Iron Man, Magneto seems to have returnd to his asteroid home. This might also be when he discovered Exodus' tomb. But whatever else happened, Magneto retreated. He lived alone, isolated on a small rock in space. His hair grew long and wild, he was unshaven, his appearance and mood were dark and brooding.
Without warning, a would-be assassin named Fabian Cortez showed up on Asteroid M's doorstep, with a bunch of escaped prisoners (henceforth known as Acolytes), all mutants, who claimed Magneto was their "Lord." Magneto at first tried to send them away. But Cortez manipulated him, secretly amping his powers, forcing Magneto to become dependent on him, while pushing all the right emotional buttons. Cortez's goal was the murder of Magneto. He engineered events such that Magneto became a villain again in the world's eyes, Magneto became an enemy again of the X-Men, and Magneto became manic again, engaging in violent and threatening actions, making irrational and hyper-dramatic speeches.
Magneto discovered something in the midst of this renewed conflict with the X-Men. (X-Men #1 and #2.) He discovered, that while he was a baby, Moira MacTaggert had tried to change his genetic structure, to make him better able to deal with his immense powers. Moira's theory was completely rooted in the biomedical model: Magneto had gone insane, but this was due to the overuse of powers his brain could not handle.
Magneto became totally obsessed with what Moira had done. He immediately kidnapped Moira and Xavier, blaming Charles as well although Xavier had nothing to do with this. Magneto forgot entirely about Cortez, about his "Acolytes," and about any goals he might have had. Instead he forced Moira to "alter" the X-Men the same way he had been genetically altered, which he claimed, was an attempt by Xavier and MacTaggert to mind-control him. Which of course, was not what Moira had tried to do. But Magneto insisted, raved, yelled, and clapped a metal body suit on Moira, to torture her into doing what he wanted. (He once had cared very much for Moira, and had good memories of her treatment of him, when he was a baby. He accused her now of betraying him.)
Moira did something superficial to make the X-Men look like they were under Magneto's mind control, but she fixed it to work only until they used their mutant powers. Once they did, and exerted their strong individual wills, the effects of Moira's changes on the X-Men were negated. Meanwhile, Cortez was slowly killing Magneto. Cortez's mutant power was/is the ability to amp or augment another mutant's powers, to dangerous levels. And, after Magneto was sliced by Wolverine's claws in that prior battle with the X-Men (X-Men #1), and was badly injured, Cortez pretended to heal him while instead amplifying Magneto's own powers to mask the effects of the wound
Magneto finally began to discorporate, the molecular bonds of his body began to pull apart. Cortez's intent was discovered, Asteroid M was falling to the earth, and Magneto once again elected to die, this time with his Acolytes, those desperate young mutants whom Cortez had tricked and used. (X-Men #3.)
Magneto crashed, but was saved by the sacrifice of one of the Acolytes. All the other Acolytes of this first band, died. Magneto was badly injured and somehow got to Antarctica, and his citadel there, to recover. He once again went through a spell of isolation, letting his appearance become unkempt, not knowing which direction to turn. At this time, he saved Xavier's life when the latter was injured during a blizzard, near Magneto's citadel. (X-Men Unlimited #1.)
Another dangerous, mad mutant named Exodus now joined Magneto -- during this time of depression and brooding. Exodus, a telepath and teleporter, who suffers from psychotic episodes, seems to have been a catalyst for a return of Magneto's own aggressive and psychotic behavior. Although Magneto said he was attempting to create a mutant homeland in space -- a homeland named "Avalon" -- (not exactly a name that someone like Magneto would give a place) -- he actually did nothing but attack Charles Xavier and the X- Men during a little girl's funeral, and then attack the earth with a special electromagnetic pulse-wave that killed thousands. (Uncanny X-Men #304, X-Men #25.)
Magneto's mania escalated during these attacks on Xavier, the X- Men, and earth. His speeches and tirades in particular were wildly contradictory, hyper, and hostile. He was clearly delusional, and dangerous. Finally, in desperation, Xavier led an away team to the space-station/ship Avalon, for a final attempt to stop Magneto. At this point, Xavier did something he swore he'd never do. He mind-wiped Magneto, leaving him a mental vegetable.
Magneto was cared for on Avalon by mutant followers, another group of Acolytes. He may or may not have been waking up.
A few months later, Avalon was attacked and destroyed, and Jean Grey and Scott Summers helped save the Acolytes. The X-man Colossus saved the seemingly comatose Magneto. But once they landed in Antarctica, Magneto disappeared.
The next thing everyone knew, there was this long-haired, twenty- something, amnesiac man, calling himself Joseph, who everyone thought was Magneto. Joseph seemed to be a Magneto who had been once again de-aged, and didn't know who he was.
However, it became apparent that Joseph was not Magneto when the real Magneto showed up, exhibiting disturbed thinking and bizarre behavior once again. He wore a costume and mask and pretended to be someone else named "Erik the Red." He captured, tortured and tormented several of the X-Men, including Joseph, Maggot, Beast, Rogue, and Gambit. After sending out bounty-hunters to apprehend Gambit, he then imprisoned his own bounty-hunters for no apparent reason. He neutralized the powers of his former love Rogue and manipulated her into the arms of Gambit, watching as they had sex (it is implied) in a cave while they were wearing chains. A rational Magneto would not have done any of these things.
Once the X-Men defeated "Erik the Red," and escaped Antarctica, and returned to the X-mansion in New York, Joseph began to have attacks and pass out. He also began to have serious doubts as to his identity and his purpose with the X-Men. In the meanwhile, the forgery of Georg Odekirk was discovered by Mossad and the Israeli superheroine Sabra. Sabra, with the help of Gabrielle Haller, Magnus' former friend and Israeli ambassador to Great Britain, raced to the Swiss residence of Georg Odekirk to save him but it was too late. Magneto arrived just before them, and while putting Odekirk's wife into a deep sleep, Magneto executed Odekirk to keep him quiet and for "failing" to keep Magneto's forged identity a secret. (X-MEN #72.)
Sabra, having discovered Odekirk's body, raced to New York, intent on killing Joseph, whom she thought was Magneto. She nearly did kill Joseph, but was stopped by the X-man called "Maggott" who told her, he had seen the "real" Magneto in Antarctica, and he knew, Joseph wasn't Magneto. Sabra then took Joseph with her, and they both set out to search for Magneto. (X-MEN #73.) Sabra seems to have felt shame and rage because Magneto, (a Jew, a Holocaust survivor, and a former Israeli citizen) had become a dangerous and deadly criminal, and she wanted to administer her own form of "justice" -- like an avenging angel -- for the crimes Magnus had committed in the past.
Magneto now had committed murder in cold blood for selfish reasons. He clearly was in a psychotic state once again. He next was seen making plans to disrupt the magnetosphere of the earth, to hold the earth hostage, until the United Nations gave him a country which would be a safe haven for mutants. He constructed an elaborate device near the north pole, that would amplify his own powers in his plan to control the magnetosphere, but he was suddenly attacked by a woman named "Astra."
Astra, it appears, had been a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants before Magneto attacked Cape Citadel. She had apparently been rejected by Magneto in those early years, and had been forced out of the Brotherhood.
Now, Astra revealed herself to be the "creator" of Joseph. (Joseph was a "technobiological copy" or genetic duplicate of Magneto, but not a clone.) She revealed that she was the one who had "rescued" the unconscious Magneto from Antarctica, where he had crash-landed with Colossus after the destruction of Avalon. She further disclosed that she was the one who revived Magneto, restoring his memories and putting him back in his old costume, before immediately attempting to use her "brummagem" Joseph to kill him. Somehow, her creation Joseph had escaped her when he was injured during one of his battles with Magneto, and so Joseph had ended up in Guatemala, where he was first found by Sister Maria (Uncanny X-Men #327.)
Astra was still determined to destroy her former leader, and that's why she used Joseph once again to attack Magneto while the latter was attempting to operate the machine that would amplify his powers and use the magnetosphere of earth to unleash a planet-wide EMP. Because of her assault, Magneto lost control of his powers, and the magnetosphere of the earth began to disintegrate. Magneto immediately attempted to defeat Joseph in order to repair the atmosphere.
But at that moment, the X-Men attacked him, preventing him from completing his repairs. While the X-Men continued to attack Magneto, Joseph sacrificed his life to repair the earth's atmosphere, aging rapidly and finally dissolving into the planetary electromagnetic field.
Just as Magneto and Xavier were poised for another personal duel, a representative of the United Nations arrived at the north pole, and gave Magneto what he wanted. The island of Genosha. Genosha is an island off the coast of Africa torn by civil war between mutant and non-mutant, and special envoy Dr. Alda Huxley talked the United Nations into giving it to Magneto to rule as a haven for mutantkind. Charles Xavier did not fight this development, and in fact rendered Wolverine unconscious when Logan tried to attack Magneto once again. ( X-MEN: THE MAGNETO WAR, #1, UNCANNY X-MEN #366, X-MEN #86, UNCANNY X-MEN #367, X-MEN #87, with follow-up in UNCANNY X-MEN #368, and X-MEN #88.)
It seemed also, that Magneto lost almost all of his powers at this time.
Magneto became ruler of Genosha. Any concern he had for mutants and his own children, now took second place to his newfound feelings of political power. He engineered a situation whereby his son, Quicksilver, came to Genosha, but Pietro was quickly captured by a Genoshan mutate rebel leader. After being rescued by Rogue, Quicksilver was soon manipulated into joining Magneto as his second in command. Pietro Maximoff rationalized his decision to stay by declaring he would be Magnus' conscience and keep his father from committing even more villainous acts. (MAGNETO REX Limited Series, # 1 through #3.)
One of the ways Magneto pressured Quicksilver into staying with him on Genosha, was to order Amelia Voght, his chief Acolyte, to keep watch on Pietro and show him such sights as a concentration camp for victims of the Legacy Virus. This "concentration camp" was most likely a sham, set up by Magneto to induce Pietro's righteous indignation. Magneto also let Fabian Cortez return as an Acolyte. This was because Magneto needed Cortez to boost his powers, that had been so badly weakened by the Magneto War battles. (Cortez had tried to assassinate him, and had later kidnapped his granddaughter, Luna. Magneto's fear of being powerless seemed to overcome his contempt for and loathing of Cortez. At least for a time.)
There were hints that something dark and "sinister" was floating around in Magneto's psyche, which Rogue saw when she attempted to kiss Magnus one last time (as she also came to Genosha to reason with Magneto, and ended up helping to rescue Quicksilver). Rogue stated at the time, that the man she once knew in the Savage Land was "dead" -- and might never return again. Rogue also claimed she could find no evidence of tender or fond regards when she absorbed Magneto's thoughts and memories.