Magneto’s Latest Attempt to Retire is Doomed to Suffer the Same Fate as Previous Tries

The following contains spoilers for X-Men Red #1, now on sale from Marvel Comics.

Magneto is currently in a strange place in the X-Men. After serving as one of the architects of the modern era and as a major leader on Krakoa, recent events have shattered others' faith in him. Magneto has seemingly agreed with this assessment, ultimately trying, once again, to step away from the spotlight.

Magneto is trying to retire once again in X-Men Red #1, (by Al Ewing, Stefano Caselli, Federico Blee and VC's Ariana Maher) and it's looking like it'll be as much of a failure as all of his previous attempts to leave active work.

X-Men Magneto Retiring 1

Following his voluntary retirement from the Quiet Council after the events of Inferno, Magneto has relocated away from Krakoa and Earth. Arriving in Arakko, he quickly befriended a fisherman and set about creating the Autumn Palace; a metallic castle that will serve as a "comfortable grave" for him to spend the rest of his life. Inside his new home, Magneto announced his intention to retire from the world which is something he's done numerous times over the years. And as always, an opportunity to help mutants will likely draw him back into the world despite his proclamations. This time, it seems to be Storm announcing a new Arakko Brotherhood to serve as a counterpoint to the Krakoa aligned X-Men. But this is far from the first time a similar situation has befallen Magneto.

At first glance, it seemed like Magneto was serious about turning his back on his more violent past. But this is far from the first time a similar situation has befallen Magneto, and each time he always ends up back on the warpath. After surviving the Holocaust with his first love Magda, Magneto attempted to lead a quiet life with their daughter Anya. But when locals humans discovered his powers, they lashed out and in the process killed Anya, setting Erik Lehnsherr on a path of violence. After almost dying during an early encounter with the X-Men and the Avengers, Magneto relocated to the Savage Land and remained in hiding until the X-Men confronted him multiple times, drawing him back out into the open.

X-Men Magneto Retiring 3

Erik's attempts to relocate to his fortress in the Bermuda Triangle following the events of Secret War were short-lived, as he quickly rejoined the world and even found a place among the X-Men. The construction of Asteroid M and his eventual fortress in Genosha were both predicated on the idea that they would give Magneto the chance to be a leader outside overt conflict with the rest of humanity but in both cases, war found him and resulted in numerous deaths, and his return to the public.

Every time Magneto tries to break away from the world, the Master of Magnetism is fated to return right to it. Despite his efforts and the litany of tragedies that have befallen him over the years, he just can't turn his back on the perceived slight, justified or not, against his people. It speaks to the enduring willpower of Magneto, but also to one of his most tragic attributes. The war will never end for Magneto until he likely dies in battle -- as every attempt to lay down his arms ends in him picking them right back up. There is likely never a happy ending for Magneto after a long life of war. At best, Magneto will fight on for what he believes is a good cause until his dying breath -- and at least find meaning, if not peace.

Read Next
About The Author