By Cullen Bunn, Gabriel Hernandez Walta & Jordie Bellaire
Magneto is a complex character; he’s been terrorizing the X-Men and humanity since Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created him way back in 1963—happy 51st birthday, apparently—in one form or another. This new series is the first time Marvel has given this fantastic character his own solo ongoing, which might surprise some, but rest assured it’s a long time coming. This new, clean shaven anti-hero Magneto presents tons of possibilities for Cullen Bunn to explore.
The possibility of Magneto maybe turning back to his old self, for instance, or at least some hybrid version of the Magneto we all know and love (or hate?). Bear in mind this is a first issue, so there’s really only so much writer Cullen Bunn can do. You know he has to introduce Magneto to the masses, which might be somehow unfamiliar and/or haven’t been keeping up with his antics throughout various X-books for the past little while; that’s typical first issue stuff. The thing Bunn does that really hooks readers, especially ones familiar with Magneto in all his glory, is not only turn Magneto back into a complete badass but he also gives him an agenda. Saying that he’s now some sort of avenger, not to be confused with guys like Captain America, of mutants who are murdered out of fear and hate might be too simple, but it’ll have to do. He has a bigger plan, he has a bigger purpose and he’s not holding anything back.
Speaking of not holding anything back, Gabriel Hernandez Walta, or GHW, and Jordie Bellaire really crank this up to eleven in the art department. It goes without saying that Jordie Bellaire is a superstar and her colors are always spot on and flawless, so let’s talk about GHW. Being unfamiliar with his work, this was a good look of what he can do and what might be to come. Lots of heavy blacks, including a much more badass look for ol’ Magneto than that white suit…thing he had in Uncanny, and fine detail give this book its own signature look while still falling into the “Marvel look” that we’ve all gotten used to. The book, for the most part, has great art, that’s a given, but the last few pages really showcase GHW and Jordie Bellaire as a team, and not only does it leave the reader really excited for what’s next but it leaves a lasting impression when you’re done.
While Magneto the book and Magneto the character might not be for everybody in theory, this book is worth a shot and far exceeded expectations from when it was first announced. If you enjoyed the First Class Magneto, pick this up. If you enjoyed the Bendis stuff in Uncanny X-Men, pick this up. Hell, if you enjoyed Gandalf as Magneto you need to pick this up. It’s dark, it’s brutal, it’s awesome and it’s clear we’re in for one hell of a ride. Cullen Bunn hasn’t steered us wrong yet, check this out.