Magnus originated from a "small country" that had been brutally invaded during "a war" in which he had "lost" his family. (While reliving a memory, a young Magnus returns home looking for his parents but finds soldiers waiting for him instead. It is implied that his parents have been killed. The soldiers drag him away.)
After the war, he went to work at a psychiatric hospital as an aide alongside Charles Xavier, with whom he became close friends. When soldiers attacked the hospital and kidnapped a female friend of the two men (perhaps the animated version of Gabrielle Haller), Xavier and Magnus rescued her, thereby revealing their mutant powers. However, Magnus also wanted to destroy the soldiers, but was prevented by Xavier. He left angrily, and started to call himself Magneto. He and a "growing legion of followers" started attacking power plants, factories and government buildings in an attempt to overthrow human society in preparation for a mutant takeover. Xavier stopped him by using his telepathy, and Magneto went into hiding for many years, growing stronger and preparing for his return.
He revealed his presence to the world again when he attacked a detention center in an attempt to free the imprisoned Beast, and was shocked to discover that Xavier was willing to let Beast remain imprisoned. He soon attempted to start a war with humanity, by launching nuclear missiles from Drake missile base, but he was prevented by Cyclops, Wolverine and Storm. He later attacked a Metro Chemical factory with the intent of luring Xavier into the open. He succeeded, but Xavier forced him to relive painful childhood memories and he fled.
- In contrast to other depictions of the character, the animated version of Magneto was only truly an antagonist to the X-Men in his first appearance. Subsequent appearances, from the Season 1 finale all the way up to the final episode, would have him teaming up with them against common, greater foes, from the Sentinels to Mr. Sinister to the Phalanx. In the final episode, the last shot of the series is of him standing alongside the X-Men watching Professor Xavier depart with Lilandra, suggesting that he may remain at the mansion as one of the team, as he did in the 1980s on Earth-616.
- Developed for television by Larry Houston and Frank Squillace.
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