Erik Magnus Lehnsherr, Erik the Red, Grey King, White King, Michael Xavier, "the Creator," White Pilgrim, Prisoner #214782, others
Place of Birth
X-Men #1 (1963)
Classic X-Men #12 (1987)
Although Magneto’s primary power is control over magnetism, he can also project or manipulate any form of energy that is part of the electromagnetic spectrum, including visible light, radio waves, ultraviolet light, gamma rays, and x-rays. However, Magneto almost always uses only magnetism, since it’s more difficult for him to manipulate other forms of energy. Magneto has also exhibited powers of astral projection and telepathy, and has claimed to be able to control the minds of others, though his abilities along these lines appear to be minimal.Magneto’s ability to wield his superhuman powers effectively is dependent upon his physical condition. When severely injured, his body is unable to withstand the strain of manipulating great amounts of magnetic forces.
Rescued by Namor the Sub-Mariner, Magneto was taken to Atlantis, where he quickly subjugated the Atlantean army and launched an attack on the surface world. He was opposed by the Fantastic Four, who used a feedback machine to trap him in a cone of his own power. Later freed, Magneto continued his genetic experiments and, using technology abandoned by the Inhumans Phaeder and Maelstrom, he created Alpha, whom he dubbed the “Ultimate Mutant”. Alpha turned on his creator, however, reducing Magneto and the Brotherhood to infancy. The baby Magneto was transferred to Muir Island, where geneticist Moira MacTaggert attempted to control Magneto's insane rages by manipulating his DNA so that his body would be better able to tolerate his powers. Magneto was later restored to adulthood by the Shi’ar alien Eric the Red, and initially his psychotic and destructive behavior seemed to return when he attacked the new team of X-Men off of Muir Island, and then kidnapped them, holding them prisoner under a volcano in Antarctica. After battling the X-Men in Antarctica, Magneto retreated to Asteroid M, where his mind began to heal, and MacTaggert's genetic changes began to restore his sanity. Magneto next tried to hold the world hostage to force world peace and disarmament, destroying a Russian city after warning the population to evacuate. He also sank a Russian submarine with all hands onboard after the vessel attacked him. The X-Men once more stopped Magneto, but during the battle Magneto almost killed the young mutant Kitty Pryde, an act that shocked him, and forced him to reevaluate his life. Following the inadvertent destruction of Asteroid M by the extraterrestrial Warlock, Magneto crashed to Earth and was rescued from the ocean by fishing boat captain Aletys "Lee" Forrester who took him to an island within the Bermuda Triangle to recuperate. There, Lee experienced Magneto’s “human” side and the pair had a brief romance. A remorseful Magneto then turned himself over to the World Court to be tried for his crimes, and would have certainly been found guilty if not for the intervention of Fenris, the twin children of Baron Strucker, who sought revenge against Magneto and Xavier for their intervention in their father’s plans years earlier. The courthouse was destroyed, and Magneto and Xavier were left alone as Xavier’s body deteriorated beyond repair. After Xavier’s love Lilandra arrived with the space pirates the Starjammers to heal him with Shi’ar technology, Xavier made Magneto promise to protect their dream and take over as Headmaster of his School. Magneto reluctantly agreed, and came to supervise the fledgling New Mutants team while also joining the X-Men on missions.
Seeking an alliance with the Hellfire Club against ever-increasing threats to them both, Magneto and the X-Men’s leader Storm briefly shared the position of White King within the Club’s Inner Circle before philosophical differences between Magneto and the Club’s Black King Sebastian Shaw resulted in Shaw deposed as leader and Magneto assuming the unique position of “Grey King”. Magneto later returned to the Savage Land to oppose the priestess Zaladane, who had usurped control of the Mutates. While preparing for the inevitable confrontation, Magneto saved the X-Man Rogue from a twisted version of Ms. Marvel, and then teamed up with her, the Savage Land’s protector Ka-Zar, and the international law enforcement agency S.H.I.E.L.D. to defeat Zaladane. Despite protestations from Rogue, Magneto slew Zaladane before retreating to his rebuilt Asteroid M. There, he was approached by a group called the Acolytes, who begged him to intervene in the civil war between mutants and humans on the island nation of Genosha. Magneto agreed, and when the X-Men intervened, the Acolytes captured them and they were brought to Asteroid M to be “reprogrammed”. The process was a failure, however, and during the ensuing battle, Magneto was severely injured. The Acolyte Fabian Cortez, who claimed to be healing Magneto, was actually using his power-amplification ability to mask Magneto’s pain, weakening him in the process. Cortez further betrayed his lord when he triggered the nuclear missiles Magneto had set up around the asteroid. It took all of Magneto's power to keep the base from blowing up, but the damage was too severe. While the X-Men escaped, Magneto and the remaining Acolytes crashed to Earth. Months later, the wreckage was discovered, but Magneto was missing. He later returned, stronger than ever, to a larger, more fanatical following of Acolytes, and co-opted the remains of Graymalkin, the space station belonging to the mutant future soldier Cable, into a new orbital base he called Avalon. When Magneto threatened the Earth once more, Xavier and the X-Men journeyed to Avalon where, after physically pulling all of the Adamantium out of Wolverine's body, his mind was wiped by Xavier and he remained on Avalon in a vegetative state. When a battle between the extra-dimensional Holocaust and the Acolytes’ new leader Exodus destroyed Avalon, then-Acolyte and former X-Man Colossus placed Magneto in an escape pod which crashed to Earth.Joseph was a rejuvenated Magneto, but this theory was disproved when, after the X-Men were returning from an intergalactic mission, Magneto forced their spaceship to crash in Antarctica near his old base and, posing as Erik the Red, placed Gambit on trial for his role in the infamous mutant Morlock Massacre. Upon sentencing Gambit, Magneto destroyed his former base and left, leaving the X-Men to ponder the revelations about Gambit. He then went back into hiding, emerging only briefly to kill the forger Odekirk. After a few more weeks of preparation, Magneto launched his next offensive in the form of an electromagnetic pulse that spread across the globe. This time, he was attacked by Astra, a former member of the original Brotherhood and the creator of Joseph, who was revealed to be a clone created after Astra found and healed Magneto following the fall of Avalon so as to use his DNA. She intended for the clone to kill Magneto, but he proved too resourceful and was only injured while the clone became amnesiac. Astra had Joseph attack Magneto while he was controlling the Earth’s magnetosphere, which severely disrupted Earth’s magnetic field and forced Magneto to fight against becoming pure electromagnetic energy. The intervention of the X-Men distracted him, however, leaving Joseph to fix the magnetosphere. Magneto was briefly subdued by the X-Men as Joseph made the ultimate sacrifice to destroy his template's machines, but before the battle could resume, the United Nations offered Magneto sovereignty over Genosha in return for some security considerations and a promise never to initiate hostilities against the nations of the world. Magneto accepted, but subsequently discovered that his powers were again failing him.
Magneto set about consolidating both his mutant and political power, but faced opposition from the renegade Mutate Zealot, his son Quicksilver, and Rogue. After Magneto defeated Zealot’s forces, Rogue left, and he had his Acolyte Voght manipulate Quicksilver into staying as a member of the cabinet, in the hope that he would at last learn to be a loyal son. Soon after, Magneto was revealed to be a member of the Twelve, a group of mutants supposedly destined to usher in a golden age for mutantkind. He and the others were captured by the eternal mutant Apocalypse, who sought to usurp the power of the Twelve for himself; however, Magneto’s weakness short-circuited the machine. In the ensuing clash, Magneto discovered that he could commandeer the magnetic powers of the mutant heroine Polaris and use them as his own. When Apocalypse was defeated, Magneto returned to Genosha with Polaris, and began teaching her to expand her control, while using her as a front for his own power. Over the next six months, Magneto managed to rebuild much of the war-torn country, but a rebellion in Carrion Cove proved a thorn in his side. The rebels had discovered technology in the city that they felt could not be allowed to fall into Magneto’s hands, namely a genetic manipulation chamber from the process once used to create the Genoshan Mutates which would allow Magneto to restore himself to full power. Though the U.N., rogue Acolytes, Cortez, the Avengers, and Polaris all opposed him, Magneto tore down the city as a distraction to allow him to access the chamber and restore his DNA, making him more powerful than ever before.Legacy Virus being cured, Magneto declared war on mankind. Yet again, Magneto was opposed by the X-Men, and in the ensuing clash he was severely injured by Wolverine. Recuperating, Magneto was powerless to prevent Sentinels controlled by Xavier’s genetic twin Cassandra Nova from decimating the island. Magneto was again believed dead, and after a recording purported to contain his last words was found, mutant supremacist ideals became widespread in the mutant community, with some adoring him as a martyr of the mutant cause. Magneto seemingly returned with a vengeance, infiltrating the Xavier Institute as the mutant healer Xorn, co-opting the Special Class as his new Brotherhood, and launching an attack on Manhattan. Killing Jean Grey before being killed in turn by Wolverine, it was later revealed that this Magneto was an impostor. The true Magneto was still in Genosha, where he joined Xavier in rebuilding the shattered nation. Following the dissolution of the Avengers after the Scarlet Witch suffered an apparent breakdown, Magneto rushed to her aid. When the X-Men and a new Avengers team met to discuss her fate, it seemed as though Magneto coerced her into altering reality, creating a world where mutants were the dominant species and lived openly without fear with himself as ruler. It was later revealed that Magneto's son Quicksilver was the one who actually convinced the Scarlet Witch to alter reality, in an attempt to appease their father, as well as the X-Men and Avengers who threatened to put the Scarlet Witch down. Following the events of "M-Day," Magneto apparently lost his mutant powers, but artificially regained them through manipulations by the High Evolutionary. Facing the extinction of the mutant race, and impressed with the X-Men's accomplishments establishing Utopia, a home base on the remnants of Asteroid M, Magneto wished to join his adversaries. Attempting to gain the X-Men's trust, Magneto pushed his powers to the limit and was left in a coma after rescuing Kitty Pryde from within Breakworld's "Earth-Destroyer" giant bullet which had been traveling through outer space away from Earth.
For impostors and extradimensional counterparts of Magneto, see Magneto (disambiguation).