by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer
Magneto: Not a Hero
Written by Skottie Young, Art by Clay Mann
Published: April 2012
Not a Hero, Magneto’s four-issue miniseries, has come to its conclusion, and I wish I could say it was a surprising one. That isn’t a criticism. The ending was inevitable from the beginning and to do it differently would be to betray one of the most compelling characters in comics. The tricky thing about a miniseries is figuring out when to end it. Ending it too soon when you have more story to tell could rob your reader, but dragging it out could do irreparable damage to the entire series. Not a Hero may be guilty of the former, but it’s a lot better than the latter.
Where last issue featured Magneto taking on a freak show clone version of The Brotherhood of Mutants, this issue’s highlight lies in our (not a) hero taking on his resurrected clone Joseph. Towards the end, after saving countless humans from Joseph’s wrath, Magneto is still met with hatred and resistance from the survivors. Skottie Young did an excellent job of showing the world from Magneto’s point of view and helping us understand his continued disdain for mankind. While you won’t walk away from the comic defending Magneto for all of the merciless killing he’s doled out over the years, you’ll understand that his hatred for humanity extends beyond the suffering he experienced during the holocaust.
X-Men has always been a titled used for telling cultural tales and Young has done just that with Not a Hero. Humans hate and fear mutant kind. Much to the X-Men’s displeasure, that hatred and fear will always be there. Even if its eradicated at surface level, it’ll be buried deep down, waiting to come out again the second one wayward mutant steps out of line. Magneto is not a hero, but that may be a defense mechanism, not necessarily a choice.