Marvel confirms Magneto is one of its deadliest villains, with thousands of deaths on his hands

Resurrection of Magneto #2
(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

Magneto is one of Marvel Comics' most complex and layered characters, with a long history as one of the publisher's top villains as well as several stints as a full-on mutant hero. In February 28's Resurrection of Magneto #2, Magneto's complicated nature is put on full display as the Master of Magnetism is confronted with the full weight of all the deaths he's caused - but also with the other side of the scale.

Spoilers ahead for Resurrection of Magneto #2

Resurrection of Magneto #2 by writer Al Ewing, artist Luciano Vecchio, colorists David Curiel and Jesus Aburtov, and letterer Joe Sabino picks up where #1 left off, with Storm discovering Magneto stuck in a kind of mutant purgatory, seemingly in torment. 

As it turns out, Magneto is undergoing a kind of self-inflicted penance, in which he is reading the names of all the people who he ever killed and who died because of him and his philosophies. 

People who died "by my hand or in my name. By my action or inaction. By intent or accident. Those I regret. Those I don't. They all count," states Magneto. 

As Storm observes, there are tens of thousands of names displayed on the walls from which Magneto is reading - meaning that Magneto is truly one of Marvel's deadliest villains.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

But there's a twist. Though Magneto refuses to forgive himself for his misdeeds and insists on remaining in his personal purgatory, passing judgment on himself (in his own words), Storm shows him the other side of his history in the Marvel Universe.

Rearranging the walls to show the names of all the people saved because of Magneto and his presence in the Marvel Universe - which outnumber the people whose deaths were caused by Magneto "a thousand to one," reaching well into the tens of millions - Magneto realizes that his legacy isn't as black and white as even he believes.

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

With some more convincing from Storm, who tells Magneto of the fall of Krakoa and the corralling of mutants into concentration camps by Orchis, he finally agrees to return to life, using a secret ace-in-the-hole: a magic key given to him years ago which will allow him to return to life, as seen in a flashback earlier in the issue.

And though Magneto's magic key does take him and Storm out of the mutant "Waiting Room," they don't go straight back to Earth. Instead, they fall into darkness, coming face-to-face with the Shadow King. 

(Image credit: Marvel Comics)

This implies they could be in the Astral Plane, a psychic realm from which the dead can sometimes return, as previously seen when Xavier himself was brought back to life way back in 2017 after dying in 2012's Avengers Vs. X-Men.

We'll learn exactly what's what when Resurrection of Magneto #3 arrives on March 20.

It's no surprise that Magneto tops the list of the best X-Men villains of all time.

George Marston

I've been Newsarama's resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I've also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)