Review: Magneto 21 – Last Days of Magneto

Last days of Magneto?  Sure.  For now.

He’s dead, except not. Magneto does love to play the sacrificial king, doesn’t he?

No one stays dead in comics for too long.  While Marvel continues to insist on playing this game with their stories and characters, I still get dragged along.  I’ve loved Magneto since I was a child, I still love him, and I admit I really enjoyed this run.  However, the fact that they ended it this way feels like such a waste.

Now don’t get me wrong, the way he went out was perfect.  It’s somehow suiting that the back-and-forth villain is the one who gives his life to save the world, and it’s always been in Magneto’s character to be deeply reflective about who he is and what he’s done.  However, I feel like this series had way more promise to it, and it was cut short by yet another dumb universe-wide bad editors desk decision.

Why end the series?  Because we wanna have fighty times!  Marvel Comics, ladies and gents.  And I’m sure it has nothing to do with trying to grab rights for movies from certain companies.

That being said, the comic is great in its own right.  Flashbacks abound as Eric/Max (whichever name he’s decided to call himself nowadays) channels all of the power he can muster from any source (MGH, power amplifiers, Polaris) towards saving the world from another incursion event.

Artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta has a wonderful art style for this comic – the way he draws Magneto is both severe and sad – which suits the subject matter perfectly.  While writer Cullen Bunn has a great grasp of the conflicting feelings that drive Magneto.  At the same time, he manages to capture the broken warrior, the violent defender, and the sad grandpa that Magneto has become over all these years.

This is man who can’t exist peacefully while his cause still drives him.  This is a man who pushes away anyone and anything that gets too close to him and might steer him from his path.  This is a man who will destroy anything in his way as a means to an end.
And you know what?  I pity him.

This comic serves as a revelation for Magneto.  As he dies, he realizes that for all the good he tried to do, he’s done just as much harm.  ‘The road to Hell…’ and all that rot.  The comic ends with some great lines that really touch the heart of who Magneto is:

"I let my own fury drown out the voices of the people I swore to defend.  Mutants have been burdened... scarred by my actions."
Magneto 21 -2nd to last page, top panel

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