In this review of Magneto #1, while Charles Xavier in space, Magneto has taken his place as Headmaster and leader of the New Mutants. Will he be able to shepherd in and prepare this new wave of X-Men or will his past catch him before he even starts?
Writer: J.M Dematteis
Artist: Todd Nauck
Color: Rachelle Rosenberg
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Release Date: August 2, 2023
Magneto #1 starts with the New Mutants engaged in battle with the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. As the battle rages, each side throwing and receiving blows, Magneto narrates insight into the world we are living in. Charles Xavier has retreated to the stars; the old X-Men are gone, Magneto is now in charge.
The New Mutants defeat the Brotherhood then take down the Beyonder, the next of Magneto’s tests in the war room. He is proud of his students but has to remind them that even though they were the Brotherhood of EVIL Mutants, they are still mutants.
This opening is great. This is the first of the parallels that they use connecting this to the original Uncanny X-Men run that can be found in the Giant-Size X-Men. Professor X starts his new team off by challenging them in the war room, just as Magneto does here. This continues later when Magneto himself references his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men #1. He explains that he attacked the citadel with the purpose of losing. He wanted Charles’ X-Mmen to win to give the humans hope. Every story needs to have a villain to bring the good people together; in those early days he tried to be that.
Coming back from shopping for a party, he finds all his new students knocked out. None of them are dead, but all are beat up badly. He is ambushed. A woman dressed in all orange and a helmet very similar to his own starts to use her power. It feels like every angry emotion is being pulled from Magneto. Then it is all fired back at him, rendering him useless.
The issue ends with Magneto connected to a machine with the woman who took him, Irae Queen of Wrather, and the rest of her Sisterhood of Evil Mutants bowing.
I am very interested in where this goes next. The Clairmont Uncanny X-Men run are some of the first comics I ever read. There is a lot of back story, nostalgia, and reading, but the writer is making it work.
To go along with the massive amount of narration in this story, there is also a ton of action. The entire beginning in the War Room is fantastic. All of the fight panels are easy to read and very exciting. When they do the flashback to the fight at the Citidel, they upgraded the color and action to fit today’s standard while still holding onto the Kirby art. I thought they did a great job of honoring his style but still giving us an upgraded version. They hit the nostalgia in all the right places here.
My favorite X-Men stories lately have been everything that’s not involved in the main continuity.
I feel they may be trying a little hard to hit the nostalgia while giving us something new. They were able to toe that line decently in the issue but if they push it further, I think they may lose me. New Mutants and Magneto are two of my favorite X-Men properties and they have done a decent job of creating an interesting scenario for them to play out together.