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, Erik was implicated in the murder of John F. Kennedy, with the conspiracy theory being that, although Lee Harvey Oswald did fire the bullet, it was not meant to be fatal, and Magneto used his powers to make it fatal. However, he intended to save Kennedy from the bullet, for he knew Kennedy was a mutant. Lehnsherr pleaded innocent, sparking the "Free Magneto" movement.
Lehnsherr was incarcerated a hundred floors beneath the Pentagon in a concrete prison for the better part of the next decade, despite the movement's protests.
In 1973, Erik was broken out of the prison by Peter Maximoff, a mutant who possessed the power to move at tremendous speed. He was surprised to find out that it was Charles, along with former ally Hank McCoy and another mutant who orchestrated his breakout. Charles told Erik that they needed him for a mission. He accepted, not knowing all the details.
Together, the four of them boarded a plane to Paris the next day. On the plane, the other mutant introduced himself as Logan, and claimed to have been sent from the future. They told Erik of Logan's mission to stop Mystique from killing Dr. Bolivar Trask at the World Peace Summit in Paris.
During the flight to Paris, an argument broke out between Charles and Erik about how Erik took Raven away from Charles, and how Charles went into hiding during a time when fellow mutants needed him the most. A couple of hours later, Charles asked Erik why he killed Kennedy. Erik then revealed that his intention was to save the President, for he too was a mutant. However, he failed at completely deflecting the bullet, thus killing the President. Erik then offered to play chess with Charles as a form of truce.
When they arrive in Paris, they infiltrate the World Peace Summit, which distracted Mystique long enough for Trask's military chaperon, Major William Stryker to stun Mystique with his stun gun. Erik remembered what Logan says about Mystique setting them on a darker path, so he took the opportunity to kill Mystique. Charles tried to convince him otherwise, but he was certain about his decision. Mystique panicked and jumped out the window, and before Erik could fire the bullet, Hank tackled him. As they were falling, Erik used his power to fire the bullet, and steer it towards Mystique. He managed to get Hank off of him, and so he took a film reel, and levitated down to the street outside the building. He sensed the bullet inside Mystique's ankle, and pulled her towards him. Ready to kill her again, Hank (now in Beast form) attacked him, and the two wrestled into a nearby fountain. Magneto used the metal in the fountain to restrain Beast to end the fight. Realizing Mystique escaped, Erik left the scene as well.
Erik stayed the night in a hotel room. As he tended to his wounds from the fight with Beast, he also reviewed the film reel he got from the summit, which contained blueprints and designs for the Sentinel, a machine specifically created to hunt down and kill mutants. He then formulated a plan to send the humans a message that they will not so easily be hunted down.
Erik later ran into Mystique, who apparently had been stalking him to have known where he was going. Mystique got mad at him for his attempt to kill her, but Erik explained that it was to ensure the future of their race. Now having realized that killing her was not the best course of action, Erik tried to persuade her into joining him once again, but she refused and disappeared into the crowd.
Erik later heard that President Richard Nixon has ordered six Sentinels to the White House in order to present them as an "answer to mutants" to the public. Erik hopped aboard on the train carrying the Sentinels, and detached the railroad from the ground to coat the Sentinels with metal, in order to control them.
A couple of hours later, Erik searched for his helmet. He found where the government was keeping it, so he infiltrated the vault in which it was kept, and took it.
The next day, Erik donned his Magneto suit, and headed to RFK Stadium. Once there, he lifted the whole stadium off the ground, and hovered it towards the White House. Before landing, he made the Sentinels attack everyone in the crowd, which caused the President, Trask, and other White House staff to retreat into a bunker inside the White House. Once the White House lawn was cleared of people, Magneto dropped the baseball stadium to the surface to keep the police from interfering from his plans. He saw that Logan, Beast, and Charles were there as well, so he made his Sentinels attack them. Logan decided to attack him head on, so he got metal rods off of a concrete block, and stuck them into Logan, and sent him flying out of the stadium, into a river. With Beast preoccupied and Charles trapped under debris, Magneto searched for the bunker inside the White House, using his power as a metal detector. He found the bunker, and pulled it straight out of the White House.
Magneto then ripped the door off the bunker, and turned all their guns towards them. With the President and Trask as his hostages, Magneto turned on all the cameras their and broadcasted them onto television. He declared mutant superiority, but before he could kill the President and Trask, Mystique (disguised as President Nixon) pretended to surrender to him. At that moment after Beast use a "cure" serum he brought for emergency case to turn him back to normal against a Sentinel's attack, the Sentinel detected Magneto instead, so it charged to attack him, but Magneto deconstructed it to a pile of metal. Mystique took the chance to incapacitate Magneto, so she shot him in the neck and knocked him out. When Magneto regained consciousness, Mystique was gone, and his helmet was off, and Charles had mentally controlled him to remove the debris. Magneto told Charles that he would be hunted for what he had done today, and Charles told him that he knew. Magneto said goodbye to his old friend, and flew away.
A Chance at Peace
Magneto ended up in Poland, where he sought try his old friend's way of life. One night at a bar, he met a woman named Magda Gursky, who accepted who he was. Going by the name Henrik, they got married and had a daughter named Nina, who was a mutant with the ability to communicate with and control animals. "Henrik" even got a job a the metal plant in town, making several friends there and in the police.
Washington DC battle's consequences
In 1983, an earthquake is caused by the awakening of the super mutant Apocalypse. This caused a vat of molten metal to nearly crush one of Henrik's co-workers; however, he saved him. Feeling that everyone who soon figure out that he was Magneto, he returned home and prepared to leave with his family. However, Nina was captured by the police, who asked him if he was Magneto.
Trying to reason with a member of the police he was friends with, Henrik was ignored; they only saw him as the monster from the day he attacked the president. He offered to be taken into custody if his family was left alone; however, this upset Nina, who called on birds to attack the police. However, this caused an officer armed with a bow to fire an arrow, which ran Nina and Magda through, and killing them instantly. Consumed by his grief, Erik used Nina's locket to kill the officers. He yelled to the sky at his god for causing him nothing but pain. He then buried his family, swearing revenge to honor them.
Horseman and Redemption
Angered that his compassion towards a coworker lead to the deaths of his wife and daughter, Erik returned to the metal plant and sealed the doors. Erik told them that because of their paranoia, they caused the death of his loved ones; now the loved ones everyone there would feel his pain. His coworkers attempted to reason with their friend, but a heartbroken Erik called himself "Magneto", ready to kill them.
Apocalypse arrived at that moment to recruit him, killing the workers by sinking them into the ground. Taken back to the concentration camp Shaw had killed his mother, Eric was told that his power was born during this time and that it can move the very metals of the earth. Promised a better world, Erik joined the madman in his quest.
When Charles attempted to reason with him using Cerebro, Erik let Apocalypse in on the conversation; the super mutant used the connection to force Professor X to make all leaders of the world launch their nuclear missiles into space to prevent humans from stopping them. Arriving in the X-Mansion later, Erik pulled Xavier's wheelchair into the portal with them.
After Charles delivered Apocalypse's message to the world, Magneto began pulling all the metal in the world out of the ground per his orders. He was surrounded by a strong magnetic field.
Convinced by Raven's speech, with Quicksilver, that he still had a "family" with her, Charles and Hank, Eric stopped destroying the world and began attacking Apocalypse. After En Sabah Nur's death, Erik decided to create a new path to himself. Unknown to him, Quicksilver is his son, but Peter decided to wait for the right moment to tell Eric the truth.
A new home
After having saved the world, the government, as an apologize for Erik's family death, give to Lensherr a land all for him as his new home. Erik decided to turn the land into a refuge for mutants, at some point he met Selene and Ariki which became his loyal helpers, Erik understood that not all humans are evil and he also changed his ideals, he called the island: Genosha.
Jean becoming Dark Phoenix and alien invasion
In 1992, Jean Grey visited Genosha after she had troubles to control her powers which caused her to accidentally kill someone and attacking a squad of police.
She asked him how he stopped to kill people and Erik told her how he did it, Jean tells him that when she lose control bad things happen to the people she loves, when Erik asked whose blood is that on her shirt and to see what happens when she get angry, Jean told him to stop as she didn't want to hurt him.
Seline came in and tells Lensherr that militaries has come to Genosha, Erik tried to hide Jean telling her to stay inside his house but Jean attacks the militaries and tries to kill them, Erik stops her and saves the men saying to them to escape.
Jean gets mad at Erik and asks him if he really protects mutants but Lensherr tells her that he's protecting them, from her, then he banish her from Genosha.
Later Hank McCoy arrives to Genosha to recruit him into finding Jean for him, Erik told to Hank that he had no reason to find her, however Hank told him to doing it for Raven, when Lensherr asked him if Raven sent him there but Hank revealed to him that Raven was killed by Jean.
After a moment of silence for crying in devastation for his friend and old love's death, Erik told Hank that if he would find Jean he would've kill her but Hank answered that he knew that and that's was why he came to ask his help instead of Charles's.
After Hank told him that Charles manipulated Jean's memories accidentally making her developing a lot of rage inside of her heart, then Erik told him that despite he knew they had their divergences in past they both loved Raven which Hank agreed, then Selene came to them and revealed that she found Jean and that she's at New York, Erik wears his old helmet, after so many years, to protect himself from Jean's telepathic powers.
Erik, Hank, Selene and Ariki arrived to New York and thanks to Selene they discovered the palace where Jean was, however they were temporarily stopped from Charles, Storm and Nightcrawler, which team were at the moment in break time due to Jean's actions.
Charles tried to convince Erik to spare Jean but Lensherr refuses and tells him that Jean will pay for what she did to Raven, while the two teams fought in New York's streets, Magneto succeeded to enter into the house where he confronted with Jean, now fully controlled by the Phoenix Force, telling her that now he knew who's blood that was, he tried to kill Grey but she stopped him and destroyed his helmet, then she threw Erik out of the window, Lensherr landed violently and loosed his senses being also captured by the militaries which were convinced that they were criminals and took him in a train with the other mutants to take them in prison and also making them wearing collars who inhibited their powers.
When he woke up in the train, Charles apologized to him and Hank for manipulating Jean's memories and accidentally causing Raven's death, then he revealed to them that an alien named Vuk wanted to take the Phoenix Force from Jean to use it to rule the Earth with her species, D'Bari, and killing all Earth's living creatures.
When D'Bari attacked the train, the militaries released the mutants allowing them to fight against the aliens, Erik killed most of them despite loosing Selene and Ariki in the process. Then he tried to fight and kill Vuk but she defeated him easily and beat him leaving him in the ground.
Later Jean woke up and saved her family, including Erik, taking them in safe and then going to space to kill Vuk leaving the Earth and making Erik, Charles and the others convincing themselves that she died.
Reuniting with Charles at Paris
After the battle, Erik came back to Genosha while Charles leaved the X-Mansion due to feeling guilty for Raven's death and Jean's apparent death and he got to Paris.
Erik discovered that and he wanted to offer him a home at Genosha, he reunited with Charles at Paris and they reconciled, then the two friends started to play chess unconscious that Jean was alive and she was right on their heads, flying in the sky while she was coming back to Earth while learning to control her power.
If he is in an area with no metal, Magneto is almost completely helpless.
Any metallic objects within his reach.
- Michael Fassbender portrays Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: Apocalypse and in Dark Phoenix.
- 3 appearance(s) of Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-TRN414)
- 16 image(s) of Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-TRN414)
- 1 quotation(s) by or about Erik Lehnsherr (Earth-TRN414)