‘Magneto’ #8 had us seemingly make a huge step forward on the road to recovery for Magneto. Only there is no rest for the wicked so instead of pursuing the creation of a version of the Mutant Growth Hormone that would restore the Master of Magnetism to full power, he instead is off to Genosha to help other mistreated mutants that he has heard about.
While his powers are so close to being restored, even if it will probably find a way to screw him over to move a separate plot thread along, you would wonder why would he actually leave and risk hurting himself before he could once again become a force of nature. Well, Marvel’s upcoming AXIS event is at hand and considering that Magneto has a personal history with both the Red Skull and being a concentration camp survivor, it is only fitting that he helps to introduce the March to the upcoming AXIS event!
We are specifically shown parallels between the concentration camps he suffered through in his youth to the camps being setup on Genosha to exterminate mutants. The nation state which was once a bastion for mutant kind is now at the forefront of it’s destruction, again.
Bunn does a great job at pushing the story forward to put Magneto face to face against the Red Skull though quite a few of the back and forth scenes from the past to present didn’t feel as if they properly flowed together. Also throwing the pacing off is while Magneto is struggling with his own powers, and a flashback of his giving into fear, it doesn’t fit well with how he talks to some of the captive mutants here. Another detractor? It feels that with his confidence shaking he has lost all of the fighting skills and what limited use of his powers that he has regained so far in this issue. It seemed to take away the fight and the drama which could have elevated Magneto putting up a good fight against the Skull’s S-Men.
Overall, this is a great lead in to the upcoming AXIS event and more than anything it makes me want to see Magneto be the one that takes down the Red Skull. If the Skull somehow dies at the end of this event, which is unlikely, I highly suspect it won’t be at Magneto’s hand. I do hope he plays an important factor into the madman’s downfall though. This would be for both a matter of redemption and revenge in a way that might give him a small piece of closure. The aspect of the issue set in present day felt like a great Magneto comic aside from how he interacted with the prisoners. I must say though that not being able to follow up on the events from last issue due to being dragged into a multi-comic crossover event left a bad taste in my mouth. Still worth picking up but this was probably the weakest issue in the series to date.
Writer: Cullen Bunn
Artist: Gabriel Hernandez Walta