Magneto FAQS and Background Info

Some things never change.

In Dec. 1998, I wrote, "Recent events (it's 12/27/98 as I write this) have made it clear that Marvel management doesn't really care about continuity and accuracy. I mean, they never cared too much about historical accuracy, but now it's clear they care next to nothing about their own continuity, either. What good does it do to post FAQs about Magneto based on reconciling his comic appearances with real-world history or science or psychology, when Marvel will just completely ignore the facts and distort the character however they wish?"

Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose, apparently. I mean, Polaris is really Magneto's daughter? Since when, and when did he have time? Wanda can take away the powers of 90% of the mutants? Since when? And what was up with the guy who claimed to be Magneto, only he was out of his mind on drugs, and then Wolverine chopped off his head? Are we ever going to find out what's up with that?

Screw it. Judging from how little Magneto fanfic set in comicverse is getting written lately, obviously other people are having the same trouble keeping up that I am. I will archive FAQs dealing with recent continuity if someone gives them to me, but I ain't going there myself. If you're here to learn some history of the comicverse, you'll find what you need to understand the majority of the fanfic on this site, and maybe, if I'm lucky, write some yourself, but I'm not going to be able to get you up to date enough to understand the current comics, because frankly, I don't think anyone does, including the people writing them.

There are essentially four types of articles available about Magneto:

Overviews are articles that provide general overviews of Magneto's history, usually written for people with an interest in the character but very little knowledge.  They may be specific to certain fannish points of view.

Real-World Phenomena includes articles about things in the real world whose implications have an impact on the character of Magneto. This includes information about the Holocaust, the real-world physics of magnetism, and others.

Comic Books catalogues information given to us in the comic books. Listings of the Acolytes, listings of all comic book appearances of Magneto, and other such things fall in this category.

Extrapolation Pieces go beyond the information given to us in the comics to try to answer danglers, questions and bits of continuity contradictions pertaining to Magneto.

It's sometimes arguable where a piece goes. A timeline, for instance, orders Marvel data into a coherent chronology, but extrapolates dates. I will tend to err on the side of putting something under extrapolation pieces if I think there is material in it that is a logical extrapolation of what Marvel or real-world knowledge gives us, but which was never outright stated in Marvel.

Most of the below material is archived at my site or at its author's site. So far, the only additional archive I'm linking to for this stuff is The Cyber Hellfire Club, the homepage for AOL's "Fictional Realms: Marvel Comics" message boards.


Polar: The History of Magneto

Written for Idol Reflection by Alara Rogers, this is a general overview of Magneto's history in comicverse -- both in the comics and in Marvel's back rooms.

Enemies: A Love Story

Written for Ship Manifesto by Alara Rogers, this is a discussion of how Magneto and Xavier's relationship might be perceived as a romantic one across all of the source universes except Evolution. If slash fiction offends you, this is probably not an article you're dying to read.

Real-World Phenomena


Magnetically Levitating Frogs, Or How Does Magneto Make Non-Magnetic Things Fly?

A real-world newspaper article contributed by Tia'RaHu. The implications for Magneto's abilities are pretty obvious.

More on Magnetic Levitation and Frogs

Marty Blase provided the URL for the actual experiment referenced above. Includes detailed physics information, and a description of the experiment for the layperson.

The Holocaust:

The Mischling Laws, the Law of Return, and the Sonderkommando

By Rivka Jacobs. Real-world factual information about the above.

Historical Information and the Fate Of the Lehnsherrs

By Rivka Jacobs. Although the X-Men #72 retcon claims that "Lehnsherr" is not Magneto's real name, and we do not know the real details of his past, this FAQ explains what would have happened to Jews living in Danzig in 1939. So if "Lehnsherr" is false but the "born in Danzig in 1928" information is true, this is what would have happened to Magneto and his family.

Magneto and the Holocaust Q & A (Rivka Jacobs and others)

Most of this is real-world info, with only a little bit of extrapolation about Magneto in particular, so I'll include it here.

Refuting Haller's Claims by Sariah O'Brien. This has disappeared; if anyone has a copy, I'd appreciate it.

Uses real-world Holocaust history to dissect and generally shred everything Gabrielle Haller said in her speech in X-Men Unlimited #2.

Fun With Names:

This is largely defunct information, given that currently Marvel is claiming that "Erik Lehnsherr" is not Magneto's name. I continue to include it, however, because it might be useful to the fan writer trying to figure out where he did get the name from, or the fan writer (like me) who is completely ignoring this stupid retcon.

Rivka Jacobs' Lehnsherr FAQ

Rivka believes that Lehnsherr could not have been the name of a gypsy, and tries to prove it.

Tilman Stieve Rebuts The Lehnsherr FAQ

Tilman believes Lehnsherr isn't a real name, period, and if it was it couldn't have been a Jewish or gypsy name, and sets out to prove that.

What's In A Couple of Names?

Tilman researches the derivations of "Erik" and "Magnus."

Comic Books

Michael R. Lavin's "The Hunt For Magneto"

Greenstool (Michael Lavin) has compiled a list of all appearances of Magneto in the comic books. Originally posted to the Magneto Mailing List in August 1997, so newer issues aren't listed. Yes, this really is only current with vols. 1-3 of a 12-volume list. No, I haven't gotten parts 4-12 from Greenstool. Yes, I'd really like them.

Chris Delaney's Acolytes FAQ, v. 1.2

Chris Delaney has compiled a list of all the Acolytes as of the Magneto Limited Series.

What I Think by Scott Lobdell.

An interview with Scott Lobdell in which he talks about what he was going for with the Joseph storyline.

Extrapolation Pieces

Some of these are more factual than others. Rivka's FAQ on why Magneto is Jewish welds comic book information with real-world historical information together to such a degree that this was the only place I could put it. On the other hand, a good number of my pieces are basically nothing but something I think is a plausible explanation for some aspect of Magneto's behavior or actions that haven't been explained yet.

Magneto is Jewish by Rivka Jacobs. Updated 11/9/98.

Newly updated to incorporate the latest retcons. This is pretty much the definitive explanation of why, based on what Chris Claremont showed us of Magneto's background and real-world Holocaust history, Magneto cannot be anything other than Jewish.

More About Magneto Being A Jew (Rivka Jacobs, Alara Rogers and others)

Taken from a discussion thread on rec.arts.comics.marvel.xbooks. The topic under discussion was whether Magneto could have been part-Jewish, part-Gypsy or not.

Magneto Timeline by Sariah O'Brien. This has disappeared; if anyone has a copy, I'd appreciate it.

Although any number of timelines can be generated that explain the available facts, this is one of the better ones.

Another Magneto Timeline by Rivka Jacobs.

This is more like a FAQ describing, in order, all of Magneto's appearances and relating them into a single continuity.

A Description of Magneto's Powers by Laura Pierson.

An attempt to explain most of Magneto's powers in real-world terms. I disagree with some of this, but a lot of it makes sense.

Alara solves it all, or How I learned to stop worrying and love Magneto's name (The "How To Resolve the X-Men #72 Retcon FAQ")

I think that sums it up, don't you? I attempted to explain all the loose ends left by the X-Men #72 "Lehnsherr" retcon. Of course, after the horrors of Marvel continuity of the past year, I am now completely ignoring the whole thing in my own fanfic.

Is Magneto A Latent Telepath?: by Alara Rogers.

One day, when I just couldn't take the silliness of "Magneto controls the iron in people's blood" anymore, I wrote up this theory.

Magneto the Headmaster Wuss? by Alara Rogers.

Did you think Magneto got his butt kicked way too often while he was with the X-Men in UXM #196-NM #54? Me too. But here's a possible explanation I thought of.

Mutant Powers, Mutants and the X-Factor by Alara Rogers.

This doesn't pertain to Magneto per se, but to all Marvel's mutants. My theory for how the X-Factor works, and the difference between mutants and superpowered humans.

Diagnosing Magneto: by Rivka Jacobs.

In addition to being our resident expert on Magneto and the Holocaust, Rivka's studying clinical psychology, and for a class had to do a paper diagnosing a fictional character. Since she and I have long speculated on Magneto's apparent mental illness (as stated by Moira McTaggert in XM #2), this must have been rather fun to do. Scary how well it ties out, too. For fans who don't know Magneto's history that well, section 2 includes an absolutely wonderful detailed history of Magneto, covering pretty much all his major appearances and everything we know about him up to the XM #72 retcon of Erik Lehnsherr.

Moira MacTaggert Did Not Brainwash Magneto by Alara Rogers.

Do I really need to explain this one? I am so very sick of Marvel forgetting its own continuity and promulgating the "Moira brainwashed Magneto into being good" thing.

Back to the main Magneto page