Real Name: For years the only part we've been sure of was "Magnus."
AKA: The White Pilgrim. Joseph, sort of. Erik Magnus Lensherr. (For some reason, this perfectly-good name is no-longer 'canon.' No one told that to the movie writers in time...)
First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men 1
Powers: Magneto has utter control over the magnetic spectrum, and apparently a great deal of control over energy fields in general, making him the most powerful (and the most dangerous) human being the planet Earth has ever produced.
What's His Problem? As a small boy, Magneto witnessed the murder of his family and his entire village by Nazis. An Auschwitz survivor, he is tormented by the knowledge that he could have prevented that and other war-time horrors if only he had realized his powerful mutant potential earlier in life. Lensherr is determined that such atrocities will never be committed against mutant-kind, and is willing to use deadly force to protect mutants. He has several times expressed the belief that mutants, whom he calls Homo superior, will eventually be the dominant life form on the planet. He wavers between wanting to exist in harmony with Homo sapiens, wanting a separate homeland for mutants, and wanting to enforce his superiority over all humanity.
Favorite Quote: "I am beset by women!" (The Vision and the Scarlet Witch (v. 1) 4, as Mags finds a simple visit to his granddaughter complicated by Luna's mother, the Inhuman Crystal, and her aunt, Magneto's own daughter Wanda)
Heroes He Keeps Running Into: The X-Men were created to prevent powerful mutants from exerting their will over the rest of humanity, and therefore are the group Magneto is most closely associated with. However, as one might expect with someone who periodically decides he wants to dominate the world, Magneto has also clashed with the Avengers, the Fantastic Four, the Defenders, an irate Thunder-God and a cosmically-powered Spider-Man. He also has a long and complex history with several other would-be world leaders such as Dr. Doom and Namor, consisting of alternating bouts of camaraderie and betrayal. When the fascist war criminal the Red Skull was foolish enough to join a super-team of villains that included Magneto, Mags systematically humiliated him and came close to destroying him. The Skull is tough, but in an one-on-one with the Master of Magnetism it's really no contest...
People Who Think He's Not So Bad: The X-Men themselves have mixed feelings about Magneto; at one time he was an advisor to the X-Men and the instructor for their training group, the New Mutants. Magneto's goal of making the world safe for mutants using any and all possible means proved unacceptable to the X-Men. Even the New Mutants eventually rejected him, although his training may have been a partial factor in their more militant stance as X-Force. In any case, Magneto's (ahem) magnetic personality means he is never without followers for any length of time. He has been the founder and leader of several mutant groups, including the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and the Acolytes. After spending a great deal of time in a comatose state when mind-wiped by Charles Xavier, Magnus apparently returned in a younger body with no memories of his days as the most feared mutant on the planet. The amnesiac "Magneto" (named, for unfathomable reasons, Joseph) was considerably startled when the real Magneto showed up to reclaim his name. Alas, even the X-Books can't escape the horror that is cloning in the Marvel Universe; Joseph was revealed to be yet another in a series of cliche-ridden copies of the original. Once the dust cleared, Joseph was dead and Magneto had his homeland for mutants as he became the recognized ruler of Genosha.
Most Despicable Act: Magneto's belief that the ends justifies the means has caused him to commit a number of atrocities, including the destruction of a Russian submarine which resulted in the death of the entire crew. That was considered his most egregious deed until X-Men 25. In retaliation against the world governments' initiating a magnetic grid designed to keep Magneto on his off-planet home, Magneto generated a electro-magnetic pulse that effectively shut down all mechanical devices on Earth. The death toll from plane crashes and failed medical equipment was never specified, but conceivably could have reached tens of thousands. Magnus recognized at the time that he stood in danger of becoming a Hitler-like tyrant, something he has always understandably feared happening, but his pride would not permit him to let the grid go unchallenged.
Now It Can Be Told Department: One of the most hotly debated controversies among fans of the Master of Magnetism has been his ethnicity. The X-books have finally clarified that Magneto comes from a Gypsy background -- and in doing so have directly contradicted author's Chris Golden's contention in a novel approved by Marvel that Magnus is Jewish. Stay tuned!

Three Decades of Magneto Mug Shots!

Journey Into Mystery 109

Uncanny X-Men 18

Fantastic Four 104

Magneto vs. Quicksilver
Big file!

Magneto reborn!

Magneto vs. Vision
Another big file!

Avengers 110

Vision/Scarlet Witch 4

Uncanny X-Men 274

Magneto Sound Bytes!

From X-Men: The Animated Series. All sounds in .wav format

"Are these the people whose laws you trust? They don't seem to share your sense of brotherhood."

"The humans must be crushed...and I have the power to do it!"

"You dare oppose me?"

"If Xavier refuses to face me, I'll make him regret his cowardice."

"We shall not perish at the hands of a pyschotic biologist."

Sound Bytes from the Konami X-men Video Game

courtesy of Nic Neidenbach

(Evil laughter)

"I am Magneto, Master of Magnets!"
(Evidently Mags was still working on his catch-phrase
when he recorded this.)

"I am Magneto. You are nothing!"

"You shall meet with my wrath!"

(I can't imagine Magnus actually saying this.
But wouldn't it be funny if he did!)

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