Besides Wolverine, Magneto may be the most well-known X-Men character in existence. He was the very first villain they fought against, and has straddled the line between antihero and antivillain for 50 years. He’s appeared in nearly every X-Men movie so far, and had a major role in every single X-Men animated TV show. Yet as far as my research can tell, he’s never had an ongoing solo title … until now.
Written by Cullen Bunn, Magneto 1 has the title character circling the globe. He is hunting down people who have murdered mutants or funded anti-mutant organizations, whether recently or in the past. In other words, he’s basically Dexter in the Marvel Universe. He wouldn’t be out of place in Craig Kyle and Chris Yost’s X-Force team (or Simon Spurrier’s current team for that matter).
As his powers are weakened, he has to use them more creatively than in the past. Rather than bending all the metal in sight, he must use smaller objects as projectile weapons. While we don’t see a lot of that in combat here, he makes good use of it with pins in his downtime. This issue’s main focus is Magneto’s mindset, and how he still feels guilt over his villain days, but wants to continue protecting his people as long as he can. The comic ends with a quick yet good fight scene, followed by a reveal that introduces the first major story arc. It’s an efficient way to develop the character while still showcasing the general direction for the story. It’s dark, but there’s still a bit of humour to lighten things up.
The art is good. Certain panels have a lot of environmental detail, whether it be Magneto’s marked maps on the wall or the broken glass and crowds at the scene of the opening kill. In his hotel room, most colours are grey or brown, with only his coffee cup, computer screen and the maid in colour. It’s an interesting look that continues into the police station, where the metal he senses is highlighted in mini blue panels. Character expressions are also well done, especially on the last page. You can tell he feels sorry for the innocent man who was turned into an Omega Sentinel.
This is a great start for a series with lots of potential. If you like Magneto, it would be a mistake not to give this comic a chance.