Magneto marks the first villain I have included into this Modern Myths series, and for good reason: he’s evil for all the right reasons. He is the Master of Magnetism in that he can manipulate magnetic fields to control metallic substances. In today’s day and age, that makes him as powerful as someone who controls… the INTERNET!
The thing about Magneto that makes him the most dangerous, is that he is so close to being right and justified. He is more than just a symbol but the spark of a movement; an ideal that can be picked up. He is an intelligent and ruthless opponent who has endured hardships of his own. His history begins as a victim of what happens when a charismatic figure gets a fanatic following, and he himself has become a new charismatic figure with the fanatic following. This is an example of not paying attention to your own history and being doomed to repeat it. As a mutant, he feels that the public’s hate of them is similar to that shown by Nazi Germany, his ideals of mutants being the next step of human evolution (a superior race), parallels the Nazi ideals he was oppressed under as a child. He is driven by his ideals. He is uncompromising, and he is powerful.
Magneto fights for a legacy for Mutant-Kind, but he is a father to Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Quicksilver always feels that he’s been looked over and is constantly doing whatever he can to try to please his father. On the other hand, Scarlet Witch is mentally unstable and needs to be kept under wraps so that she doesn’t undo all of reality. As a father, Magneto has lost himself to his ideals and has forgotten what should be most important to him. Instead of taking the time to get down on his kids level and relate to them where they are and build them, up he speaks to them from a pedestal and a soapbox. Heb does not teach them in the way that they should go, but preaches his ideals to them instead. He lacks the balance needed to be a good man and a good father. He is self-exalted and therefore a horrible father figure.
If you consider the person who is in complete contrast to Magneto, Professor Xavier, you see an individual who cannot be controlled by the master of magnetism. You see someone who is not jaded, hardened, or who has become cynical of the world. Magneto can control metal, and is charismatic enough to conform hard hearts to his ideal. Professor X has a very soft heart; one that cannot be turned because it is full of empathy, hope, and compassion. The things that are able to diffuse and defeat magneto are things that are not dangerous, but just can’t be controlled by him. He has such a charismatic and powerfully persuasive personality that he is accustomed to people believing, and he may even believe his own words (which can be even more dangerous). I knew someone like this (unnamed family member), but what drove them insane and made them the most angry was not that I could be a better arguer or better persuader to my side, but that I would not change what I felt or believe after they had been talking for up to an hour. I was someone they could not control or manipulate, and it drove them crazy.
As a villain magneto is epic dangerous and idealist and even after he’s gone his followers will continue to fight as a father sucks. The legacy, however, that he wants to leave all of mutant-kind should have started with his own two kids.