Another week, another influx of #1’s from Marvel’s “house of ideas”. And while, for the most part, I tend to treat these endless ‘reboots’ and ‘reimaginings’ with some degree of cynicism, every so often a title comes along that can’t help but grab my attention.
Magneto has always been one of my favourite characters, whether he’s been a villain, a hero or – as he is here – something in-between. There’s just something truly engaging about the character and his unshakable conviction that’s difficult not to be drawn in by, and that’s something which writer Cullen Bunn has clearly embraced in the first issue of this new series.
The opening salvo in this new story contains a lot of setup and groundwork-laying, but is all the better for it in my opinion. Mangeto’s dry, weary inner monologue as he reflects on his recent fall from grace gives us a deeper understanding of his current mindset, and from the opening few pages we’re left in no doubt about just what he’s currently capable of.
This comic has an undeniably dark tone to it, something that isn’t always the case with “big two” titles, particularly ones featuring such well-known characters. Magneto doesn’t pull any punches here, and seems to have absolutely no qualms in taking lives if he feels the situation warrants it. He almost across almost like a homo superior version of the Punisher as he doles out his own version of ‘justice’ for those whose actions he feels have wronged the world’s mutant population.
The artwork, provided here by Gabriel Hernandez Walta, echoes the tone of Bunn’s writing, providing a bleak, tired, scratchy world filled with shadows and creeping menace. This isn’t the highly polished world of your usual superhero tale, complete with its rippling biceps and flashing laser beams. Far from it, in fact. Walta’s precise lines give a high level of detail to proceedings, and his page layouts are fantastic, particularly during one sequence where we see Magneto subtly identifying all the metal objects in a particular room before unleashing his terrifying power in one brilliantly kinetic moment.
Credit must also be given to ‘Queen of Colours’ Jordie Bellaire, whose muted palette filled with greys and browns helps add immeasurably to the bleak, grimy tone of the story.
While a lot of this book is undeniably just scene setting, the final few pages provide an intriguing hook that makes the reader eager to know what happens next, and bodes well for the direction of this title moving forwards, in the short-term at least.
Overall, Magneto manages to separate itself from the pack with a gritty, brutal and uncharacteristically dark take on the ‘Master of Magnetism’, and has managed to attach itself firmly to my pull list for the foreseeable future. Well worth a look, folks.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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