ADVANCE REVIEW: Magneto: Not a Hero #1

Magneto: Not a Hero

Magneto: Not a Hero #1

Written by Skottie Young
Pencils by Clay Mann
Inks by Seth Mann & Norman Lee
Color by David Curiel
Letters by Chris Eliopoulos

$2.99 / Color / 32 Pages

Marvel Comics

We can all agree that mutants are filthy.

For the sake of political correctness, we’ll concede that each is filthy in its own unique way. So too are there varying degrees of filthiness, from subtle layers of film and grease to those veritable quagmires constantly turning up on the news. Repugnant is repugnant is repugnant.

Why then is the most outspoken and flamboyant mutant also the most compelling and likable? Another supposition: We can all agree that Magneto is the #4 most exciting Marvel character behind Man-Thing, Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder. Is it perhaps his articulate confidence? He is after all the #1 most exciting Marvel character with the gift of speech. Is it his his level of contrast with one Charles Xavier, a known Jerk? Is it his plum and scarlet color scheme, so strikingly regal? Could it be his history as a dashing hunter of nazis? Or is it his usurpation of whistle-blower Scott Summer’s (exciting character #968) command, even after decades of terrorism? Perhaps it’s simple magnetism.

Here Erik returns to prominence in Skottie Young and Clay Mann’s inventive conspiracy plot, Magneto: Not a Hero. When Magneto’s likeness turns up in the video-taped mass murder of some well-meaning mutant haters, a steamed PotUS dispatches Tony Stark and Steve Rogers to the mutant stronghold Utopia. Scott defends the supposedly reformed Erik, suggesting the viral video has been doctored by some bored teenagers. After all, Utopian mutants have their own footage of Magneto on the opposite coast from the same alleged time. All just a bit of mischief and misunderstanding. But things get stickier when Tony calls on forensic science. Has Magneto returned to his radical ways or is something far more sinister at play?

Pun not intended.

Art by Clay Mann

Clay Mann delivers some real bombast in scenes of mutant mayhem, especially in the opening anti-mutant rally and subsequent attack. Magneto (or is he?) has only ever looked cooler and more intimidating under the pencil of Jim Cheung, and Mann’s style is certainly in that Cheung/Coipel school, a refinement of Jim Lee’s 90s work. He also does an admirable “Casual Wear Magneto” which should be reason enough to grab this. It’s miles away from Skottie Young’s own visual style, but together they make a formidable team.

For his part, Young writes some great banter for Tony and Steve and transitions nicely to an equally playful though character appropriate conversation between Erik and Emma Frost. Along the way he offers cameos by some of Utopia’s young students and some haunting scenes from Magneto’s subconscious. It’s just the beginning for this four-part mini, but the voices established here are rock-solid.

Though it’s not another origin story, it seems that this book has the same potential for insightful character study as DC’s Penguin: Pain & Prejudice. We love great and monstrous villains like The Joker and Thanos, but some of Marvel’s most compelling baddies of late are the newly reformed like Magneto and young Loki. In the wake of Schism, the X-Men world isn’t quite gray–Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men proves that, tonally–but let’s call it morally complicated. Just look at these rosters. Emma Frost and Magneto are role models and a Brood is comic relief! That makes the conceit of this limited series a very welcome examination of one of Marvel’s most tantalizing course changes. And the execution is, oh what the hell, magnetic.

Stick this one on the refrigerator.

Story: 4 / Art: 4.5 / Overall: 4

(Out of 5 stars)





  1. Glad they put the Regenesis banner on there or I would have fear it would be canceled after two issues.

  2. Dammit, this sounds really good. I might have to get this. Pray for my bank account.

  3. though that title sounds really stupid, the art is gorgeous, def gonna give this a try

  4. Casual Wear Magneto returns!!!

    You know exactly how to cover the things I love, Paul. You seriously rock.

    Clay Mann had a hell of a mini run on X-Men Legacy not too long ago, and was quickly established as an artist who I really need to keep track of. The way he frames and poses his characters is quite exciting.

  5. For $2.99 I’ll give this a digital try. I like Skottie Young and think he can break the cycle of artist who really shouldn’t write.