Alternative versions of Magneto

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Alternate versions of Magneto
PublisherMarvel Comics
First appearanceX-Men #1 (September 1963)
Created byStan Lee
Jack Kirby
See alsoMagneto in other media

In addition to his mainstream incarnation, Magneto has had been depicted in other fictional universes.


In the alternative history of 1602, Magneto is known as Enrique, or the Grand Inquisitor, his true agenda a mystery. Born a Jew in the Venice Ghetto, he was taken in by a Christian priest and baptized. The Christians later refused to let him return to his Jewish family, saying that giving him back to the 'Christ-killers' would damn his soul to Hell.[volume & issue needed]

Being unable to reunite with his family left him psychologically scarred. When he grew up he became the leader of the Spanish Inquisition, and oversaw the Inquisition from Domdaniel. He was ordered to execute the witchbreed, but hid those who could pass off as normal. Enrique's only known followers are his children Petros and Sister Wanda (Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch, who are unaware of their parentage. Enrique is, and chooses not to tell them), and his spy in the Vatican, Toad. Enrique uses his position to further his needs and curry favor with influential figures, including King James of Scotland; towards this end, he has all 'witchbreed' killed.[volume & issue needed]

While Enrique is attempting to have Angel killed, the witchbreed is rescued by Iceman and Cyclops. This does not deter Enrique, who continues on his path until Toad is discovered to be a witchbreed by the Pope's men, and to save his own life he sells out Enrique, Petros and Wanda. The trio are set to be sacrificed, but Enrique escapes and pursues many of the other heroes to America. However, the New World is under the threat of impending doom, and Richard Reed determines that to restore balance, Enrique has to co-operate.[volume & issue needed]

With the help of Nick Fury and Thor, Enrique participates in the restoring of the world. He then tells his enemy, Carlos Javier, to train Petros and Wanda.[volume & issue needed]

Age of Apocalypse[edit]

In the reality of the Age of Apocalypse, Magneto founded Earth-295's X-Men after the death of his friend Charles Xavier, at the hands of Xavier's own son David who traveled back in time to kill Magneto hoping to fulfill his "father's greatest wish".[volume & issue needed]

He and the X-Men fight against the forces of this world's Apocalypse who, having been wakened early by the battle between David and Magneto, was able to take over North America in the absence of Xavier's interference. Holocaust, Sinister, Mikhail Rasputin and Abyss are Apocalypse's horsemen, and while Magneto's team is composed not only of X-Men but also of standard "evil" mutants from traditional timelines, including mutants such as Sabretooth, other individuals who are "heroes" in Earth-616 serve Apocalypse in this timeline.[volume & issue needed]

In this timeline, Magneto is married to his former protégé Rogue, and being able to touch due to his magnetic mastery over his own bio-aura, are able to have a son together who they name Charles, in honor of Xavier. Magneto and Charles are later personally captured by Apocalypse himself,[1] though they are rescued by Rogue and the other X-Men, including Nate Grey, who raid Apocalypse's citadel in a desperate final attempt to save all of reality from M'Kraan crystallization.[2]

As the X-Men use the M'Kraan Crystal to send Bishop back in time to return the timeline to its proper course, Magneto and Nate Grey square off in one last fight against Apocalypse and Holocaust. Nate Grey jams the original fragment of the M'Kraan Crystal into Holocaust, crystallizing them both, while the battle between Magneto and Apocalypse ends with Magneto using his control of magnetism to rip the techno-organic Apocalypse in half. Following this, Manhattan Island and most of North America are enveloped in nuclear bombs.[2]

It is later revealed that the day was saved by Jean Grey, who manifested the Phoenix Force at the point of near-death.[volume & issue needed]

However, nobody realizes this, and everyone assumes it is Magneto, who immediately becomes a reluctant hero to a grateful humanity. The X-Men then help rebuild America in record time, and Magneto is made Federal Director of Mutant Affairs of the government of the newly restored United States of America, with the X-Men deputized as a mutant police force sanctioned to bring to justice the remaining survivors of Apocalypse's regime. Just as the burden of maintaining the deception eventually begins to take its toll on an extremely stressed Magneto, he is secretly visited by Mister Sinister (who everyone has assumed to have been killed by X-Man), who reveals to him just what really happened when the bombs fell. Sinister offers his silence in exchange for Magneto's promises not to go looking for him and to let him have the body of Jean Grey, who is actually still alive. Magneto is forced to accept for the sake of preserving the current fragile peace of global mutant-human relations, which had improved primarily due to the general public's mistaken assumption that he had personally saved the world by singlehandedly stopping nuclear armageddon. A subsequent scheme of revenge orchestrated by an embittered former X-Man later forces Magneto to confess the truth to the rest of the shocked team of X-Men. He is nearly killed by an enraged Weapon X, but is saved by the intervention of his wife. The X-Men then proceed to stop Sinister from conquering the world using his own version of the Sinister Six (which consisted of brainwashed mutants, including this world's version of Dark Phoenix) in a violent confrontation filled with many deaths, including those of both Gambit and Quicksilver. Grief-stricken and guilt-ridden, Magneto then voluntarily goes into U.S. government custody as penance for his deception. While in jail awaiting trial, Magneto appoints a restored Jean Grey as the new leader of the X-Men in his absence.[volume & issue needed]

Days of Future Past[edit]

In this possible future, when Sentinels rule North America, Magneto is in a wheelchair and, like the rest of the surviving X-Men save Wolverine, held in a mutant concentration camp, his powers suppressed by an inhibitor collar. It is implied but never stated that he devised the X-Men's plan to escape from the camp and send Kate Pryde's spirit back through time. When Franklin Richards is able to disable the inhibitors and the other X-Men flee the camp, Magneto stays behind to cover their escape and is presumably killed by the Sentinels.[volume & issue needed]


Magneto and his Brotherhood of Mutants allied with Doctor Doom, Hulk, Namor, Red Skull, and Ultron in a plot to take over Manhattan.[3] Magneto was defeated by Mockingbird.[4]

Earth X[edit]

In Earth X, Magneto resides in Sentinel City, a city he constructed after drawing all the Sentinels to the Savage Land and using the extra forces there, destroying all the sentinels and turning them into a city. He rules there with Toad.[volume & issue needed]

After the Celestial is removed from the Earth, the resulting shifts due to the removal of the vibranium within the Earth shifts the magnetic poles such that Magneto is depowered and Toad is given all of Magneto's powers. Toad forces Magneto to constantly dance and humiliates him at every opportunity by forcing him to become a Jester. When the vibranium is restored, Magneto's powers are restored as well. Magneto then joins the other heroes in the fight against Creel.[volume & issue needed]


In the Exiles comics, an alternative good version of Magneto living on Earth-27 falls in love with Rogue. Magneto uses his powers to alter Rogue's DNA so they can touch and kiss. They have a child together, a son whom they name Magnus, who has both his magnetic powers and a white streak in his auburn hair. Magnus quickly shows the potential to be an even more powerful master of magnetism than his father. Unfortunately, during his teens, Magnus develops his second mutation, which turns anyone touched by his skin into immobile steel, never dying. Like his mother he cannot touch anyone. Magnus lives a lonely life, and is eventually forced to join the Exiles, a group of alternative reality mutants forced to repair broken realities. The Exiles first mission involves a reality where all superpowered individuals have been either exterminated or imprisoned. They are instructed to save the one individual who can save this broken reality. They mistakenly release a totally evil and depraved version of Professor Xavier who uses his mental powers without remorse or mercy. Magnus dies on the team's mission after giving his life to stop a bomb set by the leader of high security prison.[5] Later the Exiles learn that Magnus' corpse is trapped inside the Crystal Palace. They free it and return it to his homeworld, where Magnus is buried by his parents.[6]

Marvel Zombies[edit]

In the reality of Marvel Zombies, Magneto and his Acolytes were a few of the survivors following a plague that caused an undead-like effect in "super-powered beings". It is revealed in Marvel Zombies: Dead Days that he and Fabian Cortez made a deal with an unknown entity from another universe to damage the Earth to let mutants become the dominant force. Though they believe it is the zombie Sentry, the zombified Reed Richards later hypothesizes that it was with an entirely different universe unrelated to the zombie plague and that Sentry's arrival was a coincidence misleading Magneto into believing he had led to the Earth' ruin.[7] Regretful that he has doomed the entire planet and his Acolytes either dead or having retreated to Asteroid M, Magneto returns to earth to help any non-infected beings left. He eventually hides out with a small group of human survivors, a female cop, a lone father and his daughter. He saves Reed Richards of the Ultimate Universe from the Zombies and brings him to their hideout, a subway station. Magneto acknowledges the irony of working with normal humans, but believing that "Beggars can't be choosers when you're down to the last few people alive". Magneto learns the zombified Fantastic Four of his reality had tricked Reed, in a plan to allow the zombies to cross to Reed's universe for more victims. Reed and Magneto work together, first getting diabetic medicine for the young girl, then taking the civilians back to the dimensional teleporter that Reed had emerged from, although they require the aid of the rest of the Fantastic Four to do so (Magneto is the first person outside of the team to explicitly refer to the Ultimate Universe's Fantastic Four as 'superheroes'). After Richards escapes with all three of the civilian survivors and his teammates, Magneto stays behind, not wanting to die but acknowledging that he is the only one capable of destroying Richards' dimensional transporter so that the zombies won't infect Earth-1610.[volume & issue needed]

Magneto destroys the device and flees from the zombies. He is contacted by the Acolytes in Asteroid M, who offer to send a shuttle down; Magneto, however, refuses to let them risk infection, and says that he will find a way up to them somehow. As the battle with the zombies takes place, Magneto decapitates the zombie Hawkeye with Colonel America's shield. He attempts to decapitate the Colonel as well but only succeeds in slicing off the top half of Colonel America's brain. The latter becomes very annoyed at this, demanding double rations when Magneto is caught. Magneto is soon confronted by more zombie hordes, whom he only destroys but with little success as result of them being undead, and prepares for a final showdown. He drops many of them with a rain of metallic debris, but is swiftly bitten by the zombie Wasp. Magneto is pounced upon and devoured before turning, his last words being "I hope you choke on me!" just as Thor and Hulk tear him in two as the rest of the group descends upon him.[8]

In Marvel Zombies 2, a group known as the "Acolytes" established a cult to Magneto in New Wakanda.[volume & issue needed] In Marvel Zombies vs. Age of Ultron Magneto is revealed to have become a zombie. Magneto is transformed into a robot zombie hybrid.


While he has yet to be seen in the MC2 comics, Magneto has inspired a few possible successors:

  • Magneta- Also known as the Mistress of Magnetism. She first appeared in the comic J2, where she attempts to start her own superhero team. She later takes up crime as a new member of the Revengers in Last Planet Standing.[volume & issue needed]
  • Charlie Philip- He first appeared in Spider-Girl #44, where he wanted to become a crime fighter with magnetic power (With a device he created to wear). He wanted to become Magneto, but without the bad attitude. He came across Spider-Girl when he tried to steal a superhero costume as he had no money. His second appearance was in Spider-Girl #92 where he tried to secure/steal funds to become a superhero, this time posing as Magneto. He is stopped by Spider-Girl and X-People member Push.[volume & issue needed]

Mutant X[edit]

In the Mutant X universe, Magneto is leader of the X-Men, just as he was for a time in the mainstream Earth-616 universe.[9] Several of the X-Men, however, feel that he has strayed from Professor X's dream and split off to form a separate mutant team, the Six.[10]


In Powerless (which takes place in a world without superpowers), Magneto appears as a middle-aged American senator named Eric Magnus. He is involved with a shadowy government conspiracy involving mentally conditioned assassins, and is ultimately killed by Logan after arranging the death of Charles Xavier.[11]


Warren Ellis's Ruins is a two-part parody of Marvels where the circumstances that gave the normal Marvel Universe's heroes their powers instead led to more realistic effects causing horrific deformities and deaths. The version of Magneto seen in Ruins is shown as a demonstrator protesting the corrupt regime of President Charles Xavier. His powers are uncontrollable, causing him to wear a magnetic-dampening harness around his chest. When a government agent pushes him aside and breaks the device, Magneto unwillingly brings destruction to an airport and kills the agent with a massive neural hemorrhage brought on by intense electromagnets. He meets his end when a plane gets magnetised towards him, killing many in the process.

Ultimate Marvel[edit]

File:Ultimate X-Men 62.jpg
Magneto on the cover of Ultimate X-Men

In the Ultimate Marvel comics, Magneto, a.k.a. Erik Lehnsherr's background differs greatly from his mainstream history. He has given contradictory accounts of his past; he once told Cyclops how his entire family had died in a large scale genocide (this could indicate a similar origin as the main continuity Magneto, only that he was a descendant of Shoah survivors, not a Shoah survivor himself), but he also claimed to come from a rich family with whom he no longer spoke; although it is possible the family he mentioned at that point was an adopted family, rather than his true family. In Ultimate Origins #3, it is revealed that his parents were Weapon X agents, and that he was responsible for their deaths. His wife's name was Isabelle (whom he still possibly loves), and is aware from the beginning of his familial relationship with Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. It is also noted that he verbally mistreats them, hinting that he regards them as a living reminder of having an inter-species relationship. An arrogant fantasist who gradually sank deeper and deeper into his self-proclaimed role as Mutant Messiah, Erik Lehnsherr eventually reinvented himself as Magneto, the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants and a ruthless terrorist who is willing to kill hundreds in the name of mutant supremacy.[12] Additionally, he was the one to cripple Professor X.[volume & issue needed]

In addition, Magneto helped Xavier to create the Savage Land, using his knowledge of technology and genetics. He created an artificial language called Epsilon-Omega, based on Esperanto and featuring its own script, for mutants to use in the Savage Land, as a rejection of human languages. They even have plays, poetry and songs in this language.[volume & issue needed]

This version of Magneto is significantly darker and more cynical than the mainstream version, regarding all humans with utter and unwavering disdain and likening them to "insects". On several occasions he has attempted to implement unflinchingly genocidal plans for humanity. More than once, dialogue refers to him actually consuming the flesh of human beings as he literally considers them to be animals. He commands a noticeably larger Brotherhood than his mainstream counterpart and has displayed enough power to defeat the Ultimates (even Thor, a literal god, on two separate occasions by taking his hammer). However, Magneto does believe that humanity has done some good things, as is shown in his appreciation for art, especially that of René Magritte. Magneto was imprisoned following the events of "Return of the King", the sixth arc in the series. Aside from a brief mention in the Ultimate Six arc of Ultimate Spider-Man, he was then unseen until "Magnetic North", the 12th arc and the final run for writer Brian K. Vaughan. Magneto was found to have hatched a scheme to escape, utilizing the willing cooperation of Forge and Mystique as well as the unknowing but amicable aid of Longshot's mutation for luck.[volume & issue needed]

Magneto escapes by the end of the arc, leaving Mystique in his cell to impersonate him. He and Longshot then exit the Triskelion unharassed and Magneto makes it clear to Longshot that he has something different planned than any of his more typical world-domination schemes.[volume & issue needed]

Most recently, Magneto has shown up in the "Aftermath", following the death of Charles Xavier. Magneto has apparently freed Forge from prison, and there are signs that he is building something. Exactly where he is hiding is still unknown, but with Charles Xavier's death he now believes it's time to speed up his plan. He takes pleasure knowing his former friend is dead (unaware that he is in fact alive and was simply transported into the future). He has a close relationship with Mystique, and arranged for her to be freed from the Triskelion by having Mastermind take her place. He has also apparently established a mutant commune. He appears in Ultimates 3 along with the Brotherhood (Mystique, Blob, Sabretooth, Lorelei and Madrox). They attack the Ultimates Mansion so he can talk to Quicksilver about re-joining the Brotherhood and retrieve Wanda's body. Magneto appeared in Ultimate Spider-Man and revealed that the Blob is Liz Allan's father. He tried to recruit her into the Brotherhood.[volume & issue needed]

In the crossover event Ultimatum Magneto uses Thor's hammer with his magnetic powers to cause worldwide devastation, flooding New York, freezing Doctor Doom's country and a portion of Europe, causing eruptions of volcanoes and earthquakes in other locations. He also uses an army of suicide bombers composed of Jamie Madrox duplicates, mind-controlled by Lorelei. His army blows up the Academy of Tomorrow, including everyone inside, and the European Defense League. The suicide bombers also try to blow the Triskelon but thanks to the SHIELD agents, Carol Danvers and Iron Man, as well as timely assistance by Clint Barton and Hank Pym's sacrifice, they fail to blow up the SHIELD base.[volume & issue needed]

Because of Magneto's actions the surviving Ultimates (Captain America, Iron Man, Hawkeye, Valkyrie and Hulk) and some of the X-Men (Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Wolverine and Colossus) travel to Magneto's floating home and after a fight, Wolverine is killed. Then soon after Nick Fury arrives and, due to Jean Grey's abilities to connect minds together, Magneto learns the truth about mutants: they were created accidentally by some scientific experiments and not by God's wish. Upon learning of this truth, Magneto pleads mercy from Cyclops, stating that Xavier would have done so, but Cyclops disintegrates Magneto's head with an optic blast. Following the worldwide devastation caused by Magneto, the American government brings in new anti-mutant laws.[volume & issue needed]

Recently, Magneto has resurfaced in Egypt, where he is being worshipped as a God. Whilst doing this, he is instructing Wanda how best to ensure the protection of mutants.[13] However they are revealed to be illusions by Apocalypse.[14]

What if?[edit]

There were various What If issues that had Magneto as a key character:

  • What if? ... "What if Magneto took over the U.S.A.?" - Following the death of Professor X, Cyclops, and Jean Grey at the hand of Cable, Magneto becomes dictator of the United States uniting the Freedom Force, the Morlocks, the Externals, Shadow King, the Nasty Boys, Fenris, the Savage Land Mutates, the Hellfire Club, and the Mutant Liberation Front. When he took over the White House, the president unleashed Sentinels which killed every mutant and non-mutant. Psylocke tried to warn Magneto about one Sentinel that carried a nuclear warhead, but it was too late. When Magneto destroyed the Sentinel, the nuclear warhead exploded killing him, Storm, Psylocke and every other mutant that was in the White House at the time. This was the Master of Magnetism's first starring role in the series, spinning out of Uncanny X-Men #269.[15]
  • What if? ... "What if Legion killed Magneto?" - Magneto is the focus of this issue, through his mere absence is a departure from the Legion Quest and Age of Apocalypse storylines.[16]
  • What if? ... "What if the Age of Apocalypse had not ended?" - Prominently features Magneto continuing his role as leader of the X-Men, continuing after the events shown in Age of Apocalypse.[17]
  • What if? ... "What if Magneto ruled all mutants?" - Magneto leads the remains of mutantkind, as they float through space on Asteroid M. He manipulates his followers into believing a baby born among them is the next stage in human evolution beyond mutants, leading to the death of the baby. Realising that the baby was actually just normal and Magneto did this to keep his followers together, Colossus leaves in disgust.[18]
  • What if? ... "What if Professor X and Magneto formed the X-Men together?" - In an alternative reality, Magneto and Xavier's confrontation with Baron Von Strucker did not end with Magneto leaving with Von Strucker's gold. Instead, he was convinced by Gabrielle Haller to let go of his hatred. Together, Magnus and Xavier formed the X-Men and were responsible for advancing the mutant cause and aiding world peace.[19]

X-Men: Fairy Tales[edit]

In the second issue of the X-Men: Fairy Tales limited series, based on the African story The Friendship of the Tortoise and the Eagle, Magneto appears as the eagle, alongside Professor X as the tortoise. Magneto/eagle has witnessed his family's slaughter when he was young, and had to teach himself to fly and survive. He has many 'demons' of his past that continue to haunt him, although while he is with his friend, Professor X/tortoise, they fade. When they come back to haunt him, he no longer believes in the friendship, thinking himself a danger to those around him.[volume & issue needed]

He also appears in the Japanese story of The little peach boy in which he and his children are demons who have taken over a town. They are defeated by the peach boy (Cyclops) and animals that resemble other X-Men: Beast, Angel, and Iceman.[volume & issue needed]

X-Men: Noir[edit]

Eric Magnus is a Chief of Detectives in the New York City Homicide Department, a firm believer in eugenics, and leader of the secret society that rules over most organized crime in the city, the Brotherhood. His son, Peter, a former track star, has just joined Homicide, and his daughter, Wanda, is a local socialite who started a relationship with reporter Tom Calloway. Magnus appears to owe most of his success to Sebastian Shaw, the latter stating that the months of practice it took Magnus to lose his eastern European accent is the only thing that Magnus didn't get from him. Magnus's last name is revealed to be Magnisky, which the Ellis Island agent misheard as Magnus. He is currently seeking out Anna-Marie Rankin on behalf of Shaw so that they may use her against "Unus the Untouchable", a crime boss and enemy of Shaw and Magnus.[volume & issue needed]


  1. Amazing X-Men vol.1 #3 (1995)
  2. 2.0 2.1 X-Men: Omega (1995)
  3. Fantastic Four: Big Town #1
  4. Fantastic Four: Big Town #4
  5. Exiles #1-2
  6. Exiles #83
  7. Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution
  8. Marvel Zombies #1
  9. Mutant X #9-12
  10. Mutant X #1 (October 1998)
  11. Powerless #3-5
  12. Ultimate X-Men #1
  13. Ultimate Comics X-Men #07
  14. Ultimate Comics X-Men #12
  15. What if? v2. #47
  16. What if? v2. #77
  17. What if? v2. #81
  18. What if? v2. #85
  19. What if? v3. #1

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