Height --- 6'2"
Weight --- 190 lbs.
Eyes --- Blue-gray
Hair --- Silver/White
Other distinguishing features --- Magneto has been literally rejuvenated by Alpha the Ultimate Mutant, so that despite his much greater chronological age, he appears still to be a relatively young man.
Strength level --- Magneto can use his magnetic powers to increase his physical strength up through Class 100 (the ability to lift over 100 tons). Magneto once lifted a sunken Soviet Typhoon -class submarine from the bottom of the Atlantic! Given the weight displacement involved, PLUS the additional weight of the water filling the vessel ... this is a given. It puts him in a strength class with Thor and The Hulk! He also once blanket more than half the world with a single, self generated EMP pulse that caused wide spread devastation.
Known superhuman powers --- Magneto has the mutant ability to control magnetism and other related electromagnetic forces. He also possesses minor psychic abilities, such as the ability to create a psychic shield against psionic attack. In fact, Charles Xavier (the most powerful mutant mind on Earth!) has not only been unable to breach those shields, but once described those psychic shields as "hellish". Magneto has also been known to be able use the ability of astral projection at times. The theory is wide-spread that Magneto was quite possibly INTENDED by nature and his X -Factor to be a powerful telepath. What prevented it? Consider this: most mutant powers arrive with the onslaught of puberty. Where was Magnus at that time? Auschwitz. Imagine if you will such burgeoning psychic abilities emerging in that hell of pain, deprivation, guilt and terror. Speculation is that this side of his genome shut itself down almost immediately under the assault in order to preserve his sanity. Shut itself down so tightly, in fact, that these abilities are unlikely EVER to emerge in their entirety; only in such minor fashion as noted above.
Costume specifications --- Made of flexible metal bonded on the molecular level, provides protection against projectiles, energy weapons, and concussive force; helmet also provides protection from psionic attack.
Erik Magnus Lehnsherr AKA Magneto. As the self-styled Master of Magnetism, he wields the electromagnetic fields of the planet as if it were child's play. With his command of his powers, he has stopped armies, moved mountains and changed the course of rivers. He is an elemental force given human form. As one of the most powerful mutants in the world, he has been one of the most misunderstood characters in the X-Universe. At times, Magneto has been the X-Men's closest ally, at times, he has been their most bitterest foe. He has dealt them their most painful defeats, crushing many of the team's members and he has also suffered from their victories.
Essentially, Magnus believes in the same cause as Xavier but with a small difference. Unlike Xavier's plea for tolerance and equality, Magneto believes the Homo Superior can only survive by striking first and subjugating humanity in order to prevent the more numerous and paranoid humans from attempting the extermination of homo superior. After all ... he's seen it happens before, hasn't he?
The man now known as Magnus or Magneto, began life as a typical Jewish youngster; most likely in eastern Poland. Born somewhere around 1927 or 1928 in all likelihood, in the region of Gdansk, Poland, the evidence suggests that Magneto's family were either merchants or upper class intellectuals before the arrival of the Nazi's. His was a large family of which he is the sole survivor. All the Jews and other "unfit" people of his village, including Magnus, his mother and father and older sister, were rounded up, trucked deep into the surrounding forest where they were given shovels and told to dig. When they had completed excavation on a large, deep pit, they were lined up in front of it and shot. Magnus was probably about thirteen or so at the time. Magnus speculates, now, that this may have been the very first appearance of his control over magnetism. None of the bullets struck him. He survived. He did, however, fall into the bottom of the pit, where it took him several hours to dig his way free of the gory dead bodies atop him. He was recaptured almost at once by the startled SS, who were in the process of covering over the mass grave, taken to the nearest railhead and forced aboard a train bound for ... Auschwitz. In fact, it has been indicated that Magnus was one of the slave laborers who built the infamous death camp. It is almost certain that his captors believed him to be older than he actually was, else they would have simply shot him or gassed him as they did all "guests" at Auschwitz under the age of 16 and over the age of 50.
He spent his early teens imprisoned here, with other far flung (his immediate family all perished in the forest) members of his family at the Nazi death camp in Auschwitz, Poland. The only member of his family to survive the camp, Magnus here learned how brutally human beings could treat minorities whom they considered different. It was a lesson he never forgot.
It is almost certain that, in order to survive Magnus became a Sondercommando, one of of the despised "crematorium raven" who helped the Nazis lead their victims to the gas chambers, collected their belongings, pulled the bodies out of the gas chambers, strip them, search them for hidden valuables, and then burned them. He seems to have done his best to help his fellow inmates when he could, giving them food, etc. However, it is also clear that in order to survive the hell of Auschwitz for as long as he did, Magnus most likely stole food when he had to, did as he was bid by the Nazis, and endured. It has even been speculated that he may have exchanged sexual favors for extra food, less demanding labor and the like.
Late in the Winter of 1945, just before the camp was liberated by the Soviet Army, in fact, Magnus and a young Sinte Gypsy woman under his protection named Magda escaped. Rather than see the young woman murdered by an SS soldier, Magnus slew the SS guard and he and Magda fled into the snowy woods to the northeast of the camp. For a time they wandered from place to place, living hand to mouth. After the official end of World War II they settled in small village in the Carpathian Mountains.
Magnus married Magda and, eventually, they settled down and Magda bore him a daughter, Anya. Magnus called her is "talisman" -- his belief in the future given human form. Magnus evidently supported his new family with hard, physical labor. But, from an educated family, all the while he dreamed of something better. His remarkably keen mind was starved for knowledge. He longed to become educated. Like a magnet he was drawn away from his relatively safe and simple life in search of knowledge. Uprooting his small family, he wandered into the Soviet Ukraine and in time to the university city of Vinnitsa. Taking a job once more as a common laborer on a construction Site to establish himself, Magnus was enraged when he was cheated out of his first days wages by his new boss. His anger lashed out and sent a nearby crowbar flying at the man. Running back to his family residing at an inn, Magnus was set upon by soldiers under the direction of his the foreman and the inn was set afire. Magda had stepped out only long enough to procure food for their meager dinner, but it was long enough. When the mob prevented Magnus from rescuing the four year old Anya, who burned to death before his eyes as he was held helpless to prevent it, he used his powers to destroy them all in revenge.
Terrified by her husband's new powers and threats of vengeance against humanity, Magda fled, never having revealed to him that she was pregnant. Magda fled to Transia in the shadow of Wundagore Mountain. There, she apparently died soon after giving birth to twins, Wanda and Pietro, leaving her new born children in the care of Bova, a mutated cow woman created by the High Evolutionary (John Edgar Wyndham). Magnus would not know of the existence of Wanda and Pietro for many years. While they were still infants, the twins were given to a Gypsy named Django Maximoff and his wife to raise. For most of their lives they believed themselves to be Maximoff''s natural children.
Magnus, in the meantime, searched widely but in vain for his beloved Magda. He never found her. Sad and dispirited, he was forced to give up his search and to attempt to carry on with his life.
Eventually Magnus went to Israel, where he worked as a volunteer orderly at a psychiatric hospital near Haifa under the auspices of Dr. Daniel Shomron whose specialty was the treatment of Holocaust victims. There he first met and became friends with Charles Xavier. Magnus and Xavier frequently debated the subject of mutant coexistence with the rest of humanity. Soon the two men joined forces to rescue their friend Gabrielle Haller from Baron Strucker and his Hydra agents. Strucker, who ahd sexually abused the youthful Gabrielle while she was a concentration camp victim, implanted deep within her memory the location of a secret cache of Nazi gold, intended to help establish a Fourth Reich. After defeating Strucker, Magnus left for parts unknown, taking with him Strucker's stolen Nazi gold to finance his future operations.
The next we know of him Magnus is in Brazil, apparently in the employ of a clandestine government agency (quite possibly the CIA!) for whom he hunted down Nazis. A tidy arrangement all the way around! It was at this time that he first began to call himself, Magneto. But problems soon began to emerge. "Control", Magnus' contact, took him to task fro killing the wrong Nazis. Apparently, "Control" and his ilk had use for some selected Nazis and wished them to be spared. Magnus, of course, disagreed. And disobeyed, slaying his prey regardless of their usefulness. It may very well be that Magnus was a kind of "double agent": working for another clandestine intelligence network under the guise of working for "Control": Most likely the Israeli Mossad.
After being betrayed by "Control", who attempted to kill him, but only succeeded in slaying Magnus' lover, a lovely Brazilian doctor named Isabelle, Magnus slew "Control" and fled once more, ending this phase of his life.
It is interesting to note here that apparently Magnus was suffering from the effects of the constant use of his power. He was subject to crushing, painful, debilitating headaches; thus the presence of Isabelle. It would not be the last time that Magnus was so afflicted. It was, however one of the most severe. From this it has been speculated that Magnus power, it's use and duration are directly tied in with the chemistry of his brain. If so, this might go a long way toward explaining his sometimes incredibly moody and even erratic behavior and even his bouts with obsession and near madness.
Years later Magnus reemerged as Magneto, who was determined to conquer the human race to prevent their oppression of mutants. Xavier's original team of X-Men thwarted his first public move in his war with humanity, the takeover of the Cape Citadel missile base. It is here that we first see him clad in his now, familiar red and purple garb and helmet. When they next clashed, Magneto was leading his original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, which included Wanda and Pietro, now known as the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. Not until years later would Magneto learn that they were actually his children.
Magnus had many adventures in these early years of contention with the X-Men, including taking over (briefly!) the entire South American country of San Marco, being kidnapped (twice!) to another planet by The Stranger, attacking the Avengers and many other bizarre happenings.
At this time he built his technologically advanced island base within the Bermuda Triangle. When he discovered that Charles Xavier was supposedly dead, Magneto decided it was a good time to attack the X-Men once more. Through the combined efforts of the X-Men and the Avengers, he was defeated. He pretended to fall to his death on some ocean rocks, to cover his escape. Instead, he found himself, by chance, within The Savage Land.
In the Savage Land, located underneath Antarctica, Magneto constructed a citadel. He kidnapped local swamp dwellers, primitive people, and abusing his own body, using his life force and magnetic powers, he mutated and genetically altered them, turning them into his obedient mutant slaves. All the while he was known as The Creator.
In an attempt to stop him, the X-Men attacked and destroyed his citadel. The structure collapsed on top of the Master of Magnetism and, thinking he was dead, the X-Men departed. Injured but not dead, he struggled to the shore and collapsed.
He was found, later, and revived by Prince Namor, the Submariner, ruler of the undersea kingdom of Atlantis. He attempted to trick Prince Namor and the people of Atlantis into helping him invade the earth. He even kidnapped Sue Richards, the Invisible Woman, from the Fantastic Four. Sue's husband, Reed Richards, also of the Fantastic Four, stopped him, and was able to take the Master of Magnetism prisoner. Richards used a device that turned Magneto's own powers cleverly against him; rather like a Chinese-finger-puzzle, the more he used his powers, the more he was restrained -- ensuring that he, in essence, captured himself. The Fantastic Four placed him inside a small, completely non-magnetic prison cell, and inhibited his powers with an anti-magnetic force field. Eventually, he was able to breach the anti-magnetic field's integrity, so that he was able to use his genetic gift to free himself.
He managed to escaped by going into a completely quiet, meditative state. Thus freed, he attempted to build a machine that would mutate all of the non-mutants on earth ("Welcome to the future ... brother."). He captured Black Bolt, the king of the Inhumans (no easy task!). Segregated in their Great Refuge, the Inhumans proved easy prey. Magneto nearly succeeded in destroying every non-mutant human in the world, using nuclear energy to power his "universe machine." However, when it was clear he was facing certain defeated, he detonated the nuclear energy canister that he was using as a power source, in a vain attempt to vaporize himself.
Of course, he survived. He battled the Avengers again, and kidnapped Wanda, making her and her fellow Avenges dance while under his mental control. This was the first appearance of Magneto's ability to control the iron in human and mutant blood and thus to control of the mind of any warm blooded creature. His body ravaged by the explosions and injuries he had sustained, he used a special costume that once belonged to the X-Man, Angel (Warren Worthington III), to siphon off the life-energy of Angel and this helped keep him alive. He obtained the costume by attacking Charles Xavier and the X-Men at their mansion, beating his crippled friend and the young X-Men, and demolishing the contents of the mansion. He sent video pictures of the whole scene of destruction to Avenger's Mansion where the Avengers watched helplessly, and were thus lured to the mansion to render assistance. The Avengers overthrew the mutant Master once again, captured him, and attempted to imprison him in an energy-globe, deep underground.
This prison globe was small, and he was completely isolated. He was able to escape when the approach of a comet caused just enough of a shift in the energy globe for him to use his control over the forces of Magnetism to, once more, escape certain imprisonment.
At one point Magneto came across what seemed to him to be a treasure trove of alien records and scientific equipment, which had actually been left for him to find by the master geneticist Maelstrom. Using these resources, Magneto genetically engineered a being called Alpha the Ultimate Mutant, who rebelled against him and turned Magneto back into an infant, aged about six months.. Xavier gave the baby into the care of his colleague and former lover Moira MacTaggert, along with the rest of the de-aged Brotherhood, to be cared for at her Muir Island Reseach facility. Moira may have tampered with the infant's mind in the hope that he would grow up to become a better man. Charles had vague plans to raise him to adulthood again, confident that this "second childhood" devoid of the horrors of the Holocaust, would result in a "New Magnus" who would use his powers for the good of all humanity. Years later Danvan Shakari, alias Eric the Red, an agent of the alien Shi'ar, transformed Magneto back into an adult, albeit one younger than before. Not a happy camper at the thought of having been reduced to a helpless infant, Magneto thereafter had a series of battles with Xavier's new team of X-Men.
He later constructed a massive, sophisticated Antarctic base under a volcano on the mountainous rim of the continent. He then proceeded to track down the X-Men, and discovering they had been captured by Mesmero, he rescued them, but promptly seized them for himself.
He imprisoned them in his new Antarctic citadel. This time he strapped the hapless Cyclops (Scott Summers), Phoenix (Jean Grey), Storm (Ororo Monroe), Nightcrawler (Kurt Wagner), Wolverine (Logan), Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), and Banshee (Sean Cassidy) into specially prepared high-tech chairs of his own construction, that suppressed their powers, and reduced them to the level of six-month-old babies! Poetic justice, that:):) He created a robot, named Nanny, whom he dressed in a cliched maid's costume, and programmed with a horrid, sickeningly sweet voice and over-attentive manner, to "care" for the X-Men in their helpless state. Thanks to Storm, whose coordination was extraordinary, even when she was a baby, the X-Men were able to escape, and Magneto's Antarctic complex was destroyed in the process.
Seriously injured in the fight with the X-Men, Magneto migrated back to his citadel on Asteroid M/Avalon, now positioned in stationary orbit over Anya's grave, in the Soviet Union. His behavior seems to have cycled from violent to depressive and brooding. It has been speculated that at this time he was too injured to use his powers for a time. In this quiescent state, he was allowed to analyze his beliefs and actions.
He reappeared on the world stage, after raising his Bermuda Triangle island base from the bottom of the Caribbean, and altering the earth's magnetic field in order to limit Charles Xavier's psychic powers. From the Master of Magnetism now came the order for all of earth to give up their nuclear weapons, and to cede world rule to him in order to bring peace to all. Once again Charles and his X-Men battled against me, in order to stop me. It was at this time that he first faced his crisis of conscience after he injured young Kitty Pryde.
Eventually, apparently, MacTaggert's manipulation of his mind seemed to have had a delayed effect. Magneto underwent a crisis of conscience.
Going into isolation on Asteroid M/Avalon, he fell into depression once again. It was during this critical period of personal reflection that an alien being, from a techno-organic civilization with rigid rules and regulations, a being who was a "mutant" and did not want to comply with those guidelines and was fleeing to earth, collided with Asteroid M, breaking it to pieces. This is the first known appearance of Warlock who was to become one of Magnus' students during his association with the New Mutants. Once more, Magneto was sent falling towards Earth, where he became quite seriously injured and near death, floating in the Atlantic Ocean.
He was rescued by the intrepid Lee Forrester, captain of the fishing trawler Arcadia. He came to care deeply for Lee. With extensive injuries that required hospitalization, he returned with Lee to his Caribbean island base to recuperate. During this travail he found it very difficult to use his magnetic powers. The extent of his physical injuries were so great that he experienced an enormous amount of pain every time I attempted to use my powers in any significant way. From this an other such evidence it seems obvious that the use of Magneto's powers, especially at the levels upon which he commonly uses them, is quite a strain on his body. He must be in top physical shape to use them properly, it seems.
While in one battle, Magneto struck down the young adolescent X-Man, Kitty Pryde AKA Shadowcat. Shocked and appalled that he had tried to harm such a young girl, he immediately began reconsidering the moral path he had chosen. For a while thereafter, Magneto allied himself with his former enemies, Xavier and the X-Men.
His time with the X-Men and Charles slowly altered his views on the roles of mutants in the world. Finally, Magneto surrendered himself to the law so that he could stand trial for his past crimes. While accompanying Kitty Pryde to a reconvening of Holocaust Survivors in Washington DC, Magneto and the youthful X-Man were accosted by Mystique and her newly formed and accredited Freedom Force, now a legitimate arm of US law enforcement. Although triumphant against Freedom Force, Magneto shocked everyone and surrendered himself to the law. A special tribunal of the International Court of Justice was set up to try him for crimes against humanity. Magneto fully intended to abide by the tribunal's verdict, and also used his trial as a forum for declaring his opposition to the persecution of mutants. His old friend Gabrielle Haller was his attorney. Unfortunately, the trial was interrupted by the attack of Fenris, who were actually Andrea and Andreas Strucker, the children of Magneto's now-deceased enemy, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker,. Fenris was summarily defeated, and a gravely wounded Xavier begged Magneto to look after the X-Men and to take over the helm of his School for Gifted Youngsters whilst he was taken by his lover Lilandra, the Majestrix Shi'ar, to be healed. Magneto agreed.
Eventually, Magneto was exonerated of his crimes by the International Court of Justice. However, he was still regarded as a major criminal. Following an attack by Nimrod, he and Storm forged an alliance with their erstwhile foes, the Hellfire Club to protect mutants, and Magneto was named the White King. Assuming the role of Xavier's cousin, Michael Xavier, he headed Xavier's school and was the mentor of the New Mutants. In time, the X-Men were presumed to have died in the wake of the debacle in Dallas, Texas, and the New Mutants started to rebel against his autocratic rule. With the tragic death of Magneto's pupil, the young New Mutant Doug Ramsey, and the imminent passage of the Mutant Registration Act, his fears and sense of anxiety and panic were accelerated. Upon Storm's advice and urging he agreed to join the Hellfire Club when invited to take his seat there as The White King. It all ended with the Inferno Saga when the teams under him fell apart and Magneto was left to his own devices again.
The beautiful Rogue, driven through the Siege Perilous, after the seeming death of the X-Men in Dallas, Texas, found herself stranded in the Savage Land where she met Magneto again. It seems that the evil Zaladane had absorbed her kinswoman Lorna Dane's, AKA Polaris, powers and was slowly gaining control of all magnetic energies, consequently draining Magneto's powers. After a long battle, Magneto managed to seize back his awesome powers and incapacitated Zaladane. Despite Rogue's pleas, Magneto killed Zaladane and reverted to his old beliefs, leaving the X-Men. "I am not Charles Xavier." he said. "I will never be Charles Xavier. I was a fool to try. As he was, for believing I could succeed." He did make a promise as I flew off, that he would still be fighting "evil" mutants, and try to help all mutants. However, his words that day portended disasters to come, for "the chains we forge for ourselves .. tempered by hardship and grief, honed by duty -- are often all too tragically unbreakable." It should be noted that, for all intents and purposes, Magneto and Rogue had an affair while in the Savage Land, when Magneto used his powers to negate Rogue's inability to touch another person without absorbing their powers and psyche.
Next, he became involved in the Acts of Vengeance, and was briefly reunited with a possessed Scarlet Witch, his daughter, and Quicksilver, his son. His goals were doubtless twofold -- to find out what the villains of the Acts of Vengeance alliance were up to regarding mutants, and to find out what had happened to Wanda, who had cut her hair and turned ruthless and cruel. But his amorphous plans to "recruit" Wanda to his cause were abandoned, when he discovered she was being controlled by something not of this dimension (Cthon!).
It was during his brief association with the Acts of Vengeance villains that he rebuilt a more magnificent version of Asteroid M. After escaping a fight with Iron Man, the Mutant Master of Magnetism returned once more to his asteroid home. Alone, once again, isolated on a small rock in space his hair grew long and wild, he was unshaven, his appearance and mood were dark and brooding.
Without warning, a man named Fabian Cortez appeared upon Asteroid M's doorstep, with a group of escaped prisoners (henceforth known as my Acolytes), all mutants, who claimed eternal devotion to Magneto, their "Lord." I attempted to send them away. But Cortez manipulated Magnus, secretly amplifying his powers, forcing him to become dependent upon him, while pushing all the right emotional buttons. Cortez's goal was, unbeknownst to Magneto, his assassination. He engineered events so that Magneto became a villain again in the eyes of the world. He became an enemy of the X-Men again, and seems to have slipped, once more, into one of his manic phases again, engaging in violent and threatening actions.
Cortez was slowly killing Magneto.. Cortez's mutant ability is to amplify or augment another mutant's powers, sometimes to dangerous levels. And, after Magnus was severely injured by Wolverine, while he attempted to resurface the Lenningrad (a Soviet submarine that he himself sank with all hands aboard), Cortez pretended to heal the Master of Magnetism while instead amplifying his powers to mask the effects of the wound.
Biography: Part 2!