created by Stan Lee
by Marvel Comics
. Magneto first appeared in The
Uncanny X-Men #1
Erik Magnus Lehnsherr was the only son of an upper
class Jewish family in Poland in the 1920's. Lehnsherr's
early life was relatively normal, until when he was
in his early teens, Nazi forces entered his small village,
killing his entire family. Lehnsherr survived being
gunned down, an act that he attributed to the first
manifestation of his mutant powers. Lehnsherr possessed the ability to create magnetic fields, allowing him to manipulate iron-based metals. After he was captured by the German
forces, Lehnsherr was sent to Auschwitz where he
stayed until the camp was liberated by Soviet forces.
In that hellish place, Lehnsherr acquired a deep hatred
for humanity, seeing it at its worst.
When Lehnsherr left Auschwitz, he traveled with a
gypsy girl named Magda. The two were married and
had a daughter named Anya. The two moved from town
to town, while Lehnsherr searched for work. In one village,
Lehnsherr was cheated of his pay by a foreman, and
his power again manifested itself. Lehnsherr in his anger
caused a crowbar to attack the foreman. The foreman
called the authorities. Lehnsherr fled, but the authorities
caught up with him at his home, which they set fire to.
The fire killed his young daughter, driving Lehnsherr
into a rage. Lehnsherr used his powers to exact revenge
upon his foes.
Lehnsherr's wife, Magda, fled, frightened of her husband's
powers. She traveled to Wundagore Mountain, where she
was taken in by the High Evolutionary. Magda was
pregnant, though she had not told her mate. On Wundgore,
Magda gave birth, but died in the process. The two
children, Wanda and Pietro, were given into the care of
a gypsy couple named Maximoff. The two children were also
mutants and would later become known as the Scarlet
Witch and Quicksilver.
Magnus searched for his bride, but never found her.
He traveled to Israel where he worked with those who
were displaced due to the Holocaust. Here he first
came into contact with Charles Xavier. The two became
friends, debating whether humanity and mutantkind would
ever be able to peacefully coexist.
While in Israel the two came into conflict with former
Nazi, Baron Von Strucker. Von Strucker sought information
from a woman that Xavier and Magnus were friends with
Gabrielle Reese. The two battled Von Stucker, defeating
him. Magnus left, having stolen the gold that Von
Strucker was searching for to finance his dream of
The next time that Xavier and Magus met was in completely
different circumstances. Xavier's students, a group
of young mutants called the X-Men fought Magnus, now
calling himself Magneto at the Cape Citadel missile
base. Magneto led a group of outlaw mutants, he had dubbed
the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which included, the
Blob, the Toad, Mastermind, and Magneto's own
children, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. It would
be years before Magneto would find out that these two
young mutants were his children.
The X-Men defeated Magneto's force, but the groups would
clash again. Magneto came into conflict with the Avengers
as well as the Fantastic Four also. Magnus eventually
allied himself with a being he called Alpha the Ultimate
Mutant, who Magneto had genetically engineered. The creature
used its awesome powers to change Magneto into a 6-month
old infant. The infant was given into the care of
Moira MacTaggert, a genetics expert. MacTaggert attempted
to change Magnus's genes to ensure that he would not
grow up again to be the villain he was.
Magnus was eventually returned to adulthood, by Eric
the Red a Shi'ar agent. He again came into conflict
with the X-Men, although the group had changed from
the original team. He fought this new group a number
of times. During one of their encounters, Magnus
injured the young mutant Kitty Pryde and began to
question his motives.
Magneto eventually turned himself over to the authorities
to answer for his crimes. A trial took place in Paris
and Magneto was eventually exonerated for his crimes.
The trial was attacked by the children of Baron Von
Strucker who go by the name Fenris. During their
battle with the X-Men, Charles Xavier succumbed to
injuries he had sustained earlier. Xavier's life would
have ended, except for intervention of his love, the Shi'ar
Majestrix Lilandra. Xavier asked Magnus to take
over as leader of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters,
and Magnus accepted.
Magnus began training the New Mutants for a time, but
eventually, their mistrust of him, the death of his
student Doug Ramsey, and the passage of the Mutant
Registration Act, drove Magnus back into conflict with
Magus eventually learned of MacTaggert's manipulation of him while he was an infant. This drove him farther from Xavier and the X-Men.
About the same time, Magneto gained a new group of followers, dubbed the Acolytes. One of the Acolytes, named Fabien Cortez used his
powers to boost Magneto's, but causing him harm in the process. Magnus eventually became reliant upon Cortez to be able to use his abilities.
Another of the Acolytes, a mutant named Exodus, was the catalyst for Magneto creating an orbiting mutant nation called Avalon. When
the Legacy Virus began to strike mutants on Earth, Magneto put out a call that any mutant who wished sanctuary could join him there. Colossus,
the Russian X-Man, who had recently lost his sister Illyana to the Virus, accepted and became one of Magneto's Acolytes. The nations of
the Earth attempted to defend themselves from the threat that Magnus posed by creating a magnetic web over the earth. Magnus responded by
creating an electric magnetic pulse, that shut down power worldwide.
The X-Men fought Magneto to stop him, and during the battle, Magneto caused the adamantium that had been bonded to the bones of the
hero Wolverine to be pulled from his body. In response, Xavier used his awesome mental abilities to shut down Magnus's mind. Colossus
saved the helpless Magneto as his orbiting base was destroyed.
The villainess Astra found Magneto and restored his mind, but also created a duplicate of him. This duplicate, who called himself Joseph,
believed himself to be Magneto. Joseph allied himself with the X-Men, helping them in their battle against Bastion and the threat
of Onslaught. Joseph eventually went off to try and find out about his past, with the mutant heroine Sabra.
In the meantime, Magneto used an old base of his Antarctica to work on a plan to sow trouble in the X-Men ranks. He disguised himself
as Eric the Red and accused the X-Man Gambit of past misdeeds. He then began his plan to hold the world hostage until they established a
mutant homeland. This again brought the X-Men into battle with their old foe and the ensuing battle cost the group the life of Joseph. At
the end of the battle, the United Nations gave control of the island nation of Genosha to Magneto. Recently, the nation of Genosha was attacked by an advanced series of Sentinels and Magneto was believed to be killed
in that attack.
Thanks to Walter
for the latest update on Magnus
's mortality. Also, thanks to NothingLasts4ever
for a clarification of the method of his demise.