- All my life, I've been at the mercy of men just following orders... Never again.
- -- Erik Lehnsherr src
As a boy, Erik was forced to live in a death camp during the Holocaust. When first incarcerated with his family, Erik pulled apart a metal gate as he was separated from his parents. Seeing this, the Nazi collaborator and secret mutant Sebastian Shaw had Erik brought to him. He was fascinated by the boy's potential and attempted to get him to move a German coin. When this failed, he had his mother brought in, threatening to kill her if he couldn't succeed in moving the coin. When it didn't work, he shot the woman, causing Erik to tear apart the lab in horror. Shaw then tortured him over the next several years in an attempt to draw out the boy's mutant powers.
Tracking Down Shaw
Following the conclusion of World War II, Erik spent years trying to find Shaw and exact vengeance, murdering other Nazis along the way and keeping the coin as a reminder of what the man had done to him.
He eventually tracked Shaw down to a small boat off the American coast during the height of the Cold War. His attempt at revenge was cut short when he was pummeled by Shaw's cohorts in his Hellfire Club, outnumbered and outclassed by their mastery of their mutant powers.
Meeting Charles Xavier
Forming the X-Men
Together and with CIA support, Xavier and Erik gathered a team of young mutants to battle the Hellfire Club, who were attempting to start a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States as part of a plot to eradicate non-mutant life on the planet and rule over the new world order. Xavier helped mutants master their powers at his mansion, including Erik. During this time, the two become close friends. However, Erik was still filled with hatred for Shaw and feared a mutant holocaust, despite Xavier's attempts to get him to let go of his dark emotions. Erik also motivated Mystique to become proud of her appearance, believing her desire to get rid of her blue skin was wrong. During a mission, Erik and Xavier captured the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost.
Cuban Missile Crisis
Ultimately, the team had to jump into action to prevent the Cuban Missile Crisis from causing World War III. The Hellfire Club was also present; they attempted to repel the CIA-sanctioned mutant team but were defeated. During the encounter, Erik confronted Shaw, who attempted to bring the troubled young man to his side with promises of a new, mutant world order. Erik deliberately stalled Shaw for a moment so he could use wires to remove his telepathy-blocking helmet, allowing Xavier to take control over Shaw's mind and keeping him in suspended animation. Erik's first instinct was to wear Shaw's helmet against the wishes of Xavier so he could block out his friend from his mind. Although he found he agreed with Shaw's goals of mutant prosperity, Erik refused to forgive him for what he did to his mother. Despite Xavier's pleas to be the better man, Erik killed Shaw by slowly sending the German coin through his brain.
When the United States and the Soviet Union struck up a quick alliance to destroy the mutants that threatened them, Erik sent their missiles back at the fleet. Xavier tackled him and the two engaged in a fist fight, which distracted Erik long enough to prevent the missiles from killing those at sea. During a subsequent attempt by CIA officer MacTaggert to shoot Erik, one of the bullets he deflected struck Xavier in the lower back, permanently crippling him. Horrified at what had transpired, Erik bid farewell to his close friend, departing with Mystique and the remaining Hellfire Club members with the vow of overthrowing humankind in order to save mutants.
The following year, Lehnsherr was implicated in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Magneto was believed to have bent the trajectory of the bullet fired by Lee Harvey Oswald so that it would hit the President. Lehnsherr pleaded his innocence, claiming that President Kennedy was a mutant and he was only trying to save him from Oswald's bullet. Magneto's trial sparked a successful "Free Magneto" movement.
Mutants Are The Future
Magneto resurfaced at the turn of the new millennium. Seeing the parallels between Senator Kelly's hateful attempt at mutant registration and the early stages of the Holocaust, he kidnapped the senator. He tested a machine called the Mutation Device on Kelly, planning to mutate the leaders at the world summit on Ellis Island. It worked on Kelly, who used his powers to escape, though it later killed him. Magneto was seemingly unaware of its lethality. Since the machine required his magnetic abilities but was potentially fatal to the user if used to a significant extent- using it just to mutate Kelly weakened him greatly to the point where he had to be carried way from the machine- he kidnapped Rogue and transferred his powers to her in an attempt to use her instead. He was stopped by Xavier's X-Men and jailed in a plastic federal prison.
William Stryker built Magneto's plastic prison and used a mind serum- generated by his mutant son- on Magneto to find out about Xavier's school and Cerebro. Mystique helped him escape after finding his location on a computer in Stryker's assistant's (Lady Deathstrike's) office. She injected one of the prison guards with liquid iron, and Magneto was able to use it to break out.
He and Mystique teamed up with the X-Men to stop Stryker from using Cerebro to kill all the mutants in the world. Magneto managed to stop it, but then reversed it to kill all humans while Mystique disguised herself as William Stryker to convince his son to change their plan. Cerebro was then stopped by the X-Men. On his exit, Magneto ran into Stryker and brutally chained him to a wall at the foot of an exploding dam, which later resulted in Stryker's death. He and Mystique also took Xavier's former student Pyro to their side, whom he regarded as "a God among insects".
Eradicating Homo Sapiens
Magneto made his Brotherhood into a huge army to wage war on Worthington Labs, the company responsible for creating the cure for mutation. He also discovered that Jean Grey was alive, and confronted her with Xavier at her childhood house. He convinced her that Xavier had been controlling her to try and ensure her loyalty in the upcoming struggle, but this revelation caused Jean- now controlled by her alter-ego of 'Phoenix'- to kill the Professor, which visibly horrified Magneto. She then joined Magneto and his Brotherhood, Magneto resolving his commitment to eliminate the cure and help Jean reach her potential even as he mourned the loss of his old friend, stating that Xavier did more for mutantkind than anyone Magneto knew.
Magneto traveled to San Francisco, tore the Golden Gate Bridge apart, and used it to connect the mainland with Alcatraz Island, where the source of the cure was being held. A battle ensued between the Brotherhood, the X-Men, and the United States military. When Jean Grey began tearing apart everything around her, Magneto looked up in horror at what he had unleashed. In the end, Magneto was "cured" by Beast and fled the island when Jean began to destroy it.
Later, at a park in San Francisco, he used his hand and managed to slightly move a metal chess piece, suggesting that the cure was not permanent.
Dark Forces Are Moving
Shortly after returning from Japan, Logan was greeted by a restored Charles Xavier and a repowered Magneto, who informed him that a darkness was coming that could destroy their kind and that he was needed.
Days of Future Past
At some point later, Magneto rejoined the X-Men. Consisting only of Storm, Wolverine, Charles, and himself by 2023, they went to China to rendezvous with the Free Mutants and execute a master plan that will prevent the Sentinel apocalypse from ever happening - sending Wolverine back in time to 1973 and preventing Mystique (who inadvertently caused the events to occur) from ever doing what she did. While Wolverine was inside a building during his coma-like state while he was in the past, Magneto stood over him. When the Sentinels came to the building, Magneto lifted the jet and hurled it at the sentinels, which Storm exploded to destroy many of the Sentinels. This ended up causing a huge level of debris that flew straight at the Free Mutants standing guard. Magneto used his powers to halt most of the debris, only to get stabbed by a large piece of shrapnel. Blink got him out of further harm's way by teleporting him indoors, where he said goodbye to Charles and expressed his regret of having fought him for so long. The Sentinels eventually breached the building, and while Wolverine was able to create a new timeline, causing one to not know what happened to Magneto, it is clear that regardless of what the Sentinels did, he did not survive the shrapnel wound.
Magneto is a class four mutant: Magneto seems to only be able to manipulate metal, not the entire electromagnetic spectrum, and has been seen to be able to affect even non-ferrous metallic objects.
Magnetokinesis: Magneto is an immensely powerful mutant, capable of generating and manipulating all forms of magnetism.
- Ferrokinesis: Magneto is able to manipulate metal and achieve a variety of grandiose and devastating effects. Thus, at a low level, Magneto can effortlessly launch small pieces of metal at the speed of bullets (thus destroying his plastic prison), lift and crumple cars, alter the trajectory of bullets, and pull guns from numerous enemies while likewise cocking the guns on said enemies. For more grand feats, he can easily lifting and immobilizing giant structures like the RFK Stadium and the X-Jet respectively plus carry them great distances, ripping up a metal bunker from under the White House, and halt numerous military missiles mid-air and sending them back. His precision with this power also allows him to launch countless projectiles in rapid succession as shown from his tremendous torrents against Apocalypse and maintain the structural integrity of his targets. He can also forcibly extract the metal within a target, though killing a living person if they are the target.
- Metal Sense: Magneto is able to sense the presence of metals.
- Magnetic Flight: Magneto can fly by gliding on the magnetic fields he creates, or by having metal on him and moving with it.
Non-Metallic Objects: Magneto's greatest weakness is that he is powerless when there is no metal around for him to manipulate.
Magneto's Helmet: Magneto's resistance to mental attack does not stem from his own natural powers but is technological in nature; the helmet he took from Sebastian Shaw contains some kind of a psychic shielding component, able to completely negate both the telepathic abilities of Charles Xavier, and also the illusion-casting abilities of Mastermind.
- Magneto is portrayed by Sir Ian McKellen in X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. He also made an uncredited cameo appearance in the mid-credits scene of The Wolverine. Michael Fassbender portrayed a younger Magneto in X-Men: First Class. Brett Morris and Bill Milner portray the character as a child in X-Men and X-Men: First Class, respectively.
- 14 Appearances of Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-10005)
- Minor Appearances of Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-10005)
- Media Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-10005) was Mentioned in
- 39 Images featuring Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-10005)
- 2 Quotations by or about Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-10005)
- Character Gallery: Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-10005)
- Characters killed by Magneto
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- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 X2: X-Men United
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 X-Men: First Class (film)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 X-Men: Days of Future Past (film)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 X-Men: The Last Stand
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 X-Men (film)
- ↑ The Wolverine (film)
- ↑ Callisto stated that he and Pyro were above class three, while Charles Xavier stated that Jean Grey was the only class five he ever met.
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