Writer Cullen Bunn and artist Gabriel Hernandez Walta, have created a very intriguing ‘pull’ at the beginning of the books in this series. They start the story with an eye witness testimony of Magneto’s destruction. The eyewitnesses have been in complete terror and distinctly attempt to portray Magneto as enjoying the terror and mayhem he wreaks. However the intensity of the testimony is broken up in this second installment with the addition of a little comic relief through the introduction of Magneto fan-boys, who come fully equipped with Magneto t-shirts (I sense a marketing ploy).
After a nice little laugh, the story shifts from the S.H.I.E.L.D. crime scene investigation to Magneto casually strolling through Down Acres, the place of origin of Colton Hendry. Down Acres is a tent-city filled with people who have been so beaten down they have lost all hope.
This hopelessness becomes the primary theme throughout the book and how it affects the denizens of Down Acres as well as the title character. It allows Bunn and Walta to flashback and visit the horrors that scarred the young Max and let him relate to the destitute calling the tent-city home. The flashback also permits the reader to see an innocent pre-Magneto boy, which Walta does an excellent job of contrasting with the older rigid Magneto.
A secondary theme emerges when Magneto contemplates the plight of the Dawn Acres dwellers. He questions whether people are able to affect their destinies or will they eventually end up on a predetermined path. This is a very interesting development and Magneto’s answer to the question is jaw-dropping.
The best part of the book comes from intertwining the flashbacks in Nazi Germany and the lessons learned to the present day where Magneto is able to apply those ruthless lessons to his enemies. This part of the story is extremely well done and is an absolute brilliant piece of writing delving into the psyche of Magneto, one who is both haunted by his past and driven by his mission. The internal monologue is combined with a very well drawn action sequence showing off not only Magneto’s power but also his physical prowess.
The book does a superb job of fleshing out Magneto, exposing the reader to some of his motives and the lengths to which he will go to accomplish his goals. It also incorporates two major themes which Magneto must wrestle with and one that may end up defining him.
The combination of overarching themes and the delving into Magneto’s psyche make this book a MUST read.
- Overarching themes
- Delving into Magneto's psyche
- Some might not like the comic relief fan-boys