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Official Site: Marvel Comics
Magneto (born Max Eisenhardt, also known as Magnus and Erik Lehnsherr and Deus Maximus) is a fictional character that appears in comic book published by Marvel Comics. He is the central villain of the X-Men comic, as well as the TV show and the films. The character first appears in X-Men #1 (Sept. 1963), and was created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby. A powerful mutant with the ability to generate and control magnetism, Magneto has been the X-Men's most prominent enemy ever since his first appearance. In his early appearances, his motives were bent on megalomania, but writers have since fleshed out his character and origin, revealing him to be a Jew Holocaust survivor whose actions are driven by the purpose of protecting the mutant race from suffering a similar fate. His role in comics have varied from supervillain to antihero to even hero.
Sir Ian McKellen portrayed Magneto throughout the entire X-Men film series. He was ranked number 1 by IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Villains list, was listed number 17 in Wizard's Top 100 Greatest Villains Ever list, and was ranked as the 9th Greatest Comic Book Character Ever in Wizard's list of the 200 Greatest Comic Book Characters of All Time, the second highest villain on that list.
In a 2008 interview, Stan Lee elaborated that he "did not think of Magneto as a bad guy. He just wanted to strike back at the people who were so bigoted and racist... he was trying to defend the mutants, and because society was not treating them fairly he was going to teach society a lesson. He was a danger of course... but I never thought of him as a villain." In the same interview, he also revealed that he originally planned for Magneto to be the brother of his archnemesis Professor X.
Magneto's first original title was the four-issue miniseries Magneto (Nov. 1996 - Feb. 1997), by writers Peter Milligan & Jorge Gonzalez, and penciller Kelley Jones. The miniseries took place during a period where it was believed Magneto had been de-aged and was suffering from amnesia, calling himself Joseph; it was later revealed that Joseph was a younger clone of Magneto. Later, Magneto became ruler of the nation Genosha. During this period, he received two miniseries; Magneto Rex (written by Joe Pruett and drawn by Brandon Peterson) and Magneto: Dark Seduction (written by Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Roger Cruz).
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