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Should Magneto Be A Hero in the MCU?

Should Magneto Be A Hero in the MCU?

Magneto’s Story Makes Him a Compelling Potential MCU Anti-Hero

Erik Lehnsherr, also known by his mutant name Magneto, is a human mutant with the power to manipulate magnetic fields and metal objects. Both a friend and rival of Professor Charles Xavier, Magneto has appeared in every X-Men movie as a major character and antagonist. Despite his importance in the franchise, Magneto’s character has never appeared as a character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. However, looking at the character’s complex history, ideology, and relationships as told in the X-Men movies, shows that he could be the perfect future hero for the MCU.

Magneto’s Tragic Past 

In the cinematic telling of X-Men, Erik Lehnsherr, also known by his mutant name Magneto, was born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1930. During World War II, Magneto’s family was taken to a concentration camp, where his powers surfaced for the first time when he attempted to reach his family by destroying a metal gate between them. With knowledge of his abilities, Nazi leader Klaus Schmidt murdered Magneto’s mother in an attempt to trigger him to use his powers. This led Magneto to kill the Nazis who were holding him and escape, eventually emigrating to the United States. Magneto’s tragic past shaped his ideologies and goals, leading him to seek vengeance and mutant domination.

Should Magneto Be A Hero in the MCU?

Magneto and Xavier’s History

X-Men: First Class (2011) establishes the cinematic backstory of how Professor X and Magneto first met. In the 1960s, Magneto and Xavier meet while seeking Klaus Schmidt, who secretly harbors mutant abilities himself. Magneto is seeking to avenge his mother’s murder, while Xavier is seeking him as a part of a CIA project which recruits mutants to help the government. Xavier and Magneto find Schmidt on a docked ship, which Magneto destroys, leading him to be thrown into the water. Xavier rescues Magneto and recruits him for the CIA project, beginning their long standing collaboration  and feud. Together, Xavier and Magneto fight Schmidt along with a team of mutants. However, Magneto leaves the project after deciding that his ideologies are too different from Xavier and the other mutants. 

Magneto’s Ideology

Driven by his experiences during the Holocaust, where he was persecuted both for his mutant powers and his religion, Magneto does not believe that mutants and humans can live together peacefully. Instead, Magneto believes that mutants are superior to humans and seeks mutant domination. In contrast, Charles Xavier and the X-Men believe that mutants and humans can coexist as equals despite the campaigns of bigotry by humans towards mutants. This disagreement is the basis for the separation and conflict between Xavier and Magneto, who aim to advance the rights of mutants in different ways. Magneto often uses violence, assassinations, and other forms of warfare, whereas Xavier is a pacifist who attempts to assimilate mutants into human life. Despite their differences, Xavier and Magneto maintain a friendship and mutual respect and occasionally work together. 

Magneto as an MCU Hero

While Magneto’s complex past has been a part of many X-Men movies, it has never been explored in full detail. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there is a tradition of films such as Iron Man (2008) and The Incredible Hulk (2008) which delve into a character’s history and how it led to their motivations and development. As an MCU hero, Magneto’s past would have excellent potential for exploration and dramatic impact, lending depth and appeal to the character. Additionally, the nuanced relationship between Magneto and Charles Xavier would allow themes about violence vs pacifism to be explored in depth. Magneto’s character is difficult to label, traveling between superhero and supervillain depending on the situation. Even in his dark moments, Magneto is a sympathetic character whose past explains his pessimistic ideology. As an MCU hero, Magneto could function as more than just a foil for Professor X’s character. His story would provide a unique perspective and potential for exploration of the morals and ideologies attached to superheroes and villains.

Should Magneto Be A Hero in the MCU?

X-Men: First Class Official Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Celina Ehrlich (sometimes known as Celina Carra) is a multimedia producer, writer, and horror fanatic based in Philadelphia. As a current Media Studies and Production graduate student at Temple University, her research and production work focuses on horror, local media, and representation, with an emphasis on the intersection of all three topics. With experience in local radio, magazines, and events, Celina brings her passion for multimedia production and local arts and culture to all of her writing and production.