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"All-New Marvel Now!" Review: "Magneto" #1

All-New Marvel Now Magneto #1
Marvel Comics

Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Hernandez Walta's "Magneto" definitely brings a powerful mutant badass revenge story. The problem is there's no specific person to get revenge on.

A waiter at a coffee shop recounts a story to some shadowy figures about a man who came in to talk to a Dr. Hatcher. The doctor apparently always had lunch there, and this guy knew it, which allowed to be there in time to rip out his fillings with a snap of his fingers. Shortly after, he sent a handful of road signs into the doctor's mouth and out the back of his head, and the waiter notes that killing was like being on "autopilot."

Later, Erik Lehnsher AKA Magneto sits in his crappy roadside hotel room, remembering how the doctor in the coffee shop was a financial contributor to several mutant hate groups. He's momentarily distracted by the cleaning woman coming by with his newspaper, and has a slight moment of paranoia when she makes a phone call as she leaves. He turns back to a massive map and collection of newspaper clippings on the wall, planning on going after a multiple murderer of mutants named Colton Hendry who recently turned himself in for reasons unknown.

Mags finds the police station where Hendry is being held. After nonchalantly walking in and taking stock of all available metal in the building, he grabs it all in a big tidal wave of metal, forming his signature helmet. Police and guards are quickly dispatched, and Mags tears open the cell doors to Hendry, who swears he did nothing wrong. His pleas are quickly cut off as his body transforms against his will into a variant of an Omega Sentinel.

The Sentinel attacks Magneto, but being as it's a robot versus a master of magnetism, the fight doesn't last long. Mags rips out the cyborg implants that made the poor guy into a Sentinel, swearing to find the people responsible and make them pay. Hendry slowly dies, moaning that he was on "autopilot."

This book makes Magneto into a super badass. He makes no bones about how he's made his own mistakes and he'll probably pay for them at some point, but he's going to make others pay first. Cullen Bunn also makes Magneto vulnerable by having him act paranoid and be wary of SHIELD.

My problem with the book is that it's slightly dull. It starts in medias res and ends abruptly, and the only reason Magneto has to go after the badder guys is that they're making cyborgs to kill mutants. Of course, Magneto feels like he's the savior of mutants, so there's his problem. There's no real emotional core. If you're reading this book it's for the Magneto badass quotient, which is pretty high.

I can roll out the usual "for fans only," but it's not necessary because this story is so deep in X-Men minutiae I can't imagine who else would read this story. It doesn't directly reference any existing continuity, but you'd have to care about the idea of mutants. There isn't any supporting cast or any kind of specific external threat established, so outside of the revenge story aspect, I can't see what would make someone come back next issue.

"Magneto" makes the sometimes bad guy seem cool, for sure. But there's not a lot in the way of an actual cast or plot to follow. Maybe the next issues will flesh things out, but this first issue is a fun but forgettable read.

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