With all the excitement and drama going on with Secret Wars, Marvel is still wrapping up a few characters in their final 616-universe moments. Of those characters, Magneto still has a lot going on. Recently the “Master of Magnetism” has gone pretty dark, almost as dark as his current costume.
Now that the world knows about the inevitable incursion that will wipe out all of existence, there have been a handful of different responses. Some heroes are looking for an exit, some are enjoying their final moments while they can, and some are trying to stop the destruction. Magneto isn’t a hero per se, but that isn’t stopping him from doing all he can to save his planet from the incoming demolition.
Writer Cullen Bunn and company open Magneto #19 right on the front lines of the incursion, where Polaris has joined Magneto. The two mutants make their last stand amid the chaos surrounding them, but of course they are not alone. Unlike previous incursions seen in New Avengers or Avengers, here the other Earth is aware of its impending doom and has sent Magneto’s favorite kind of robot… Sentinels! A quick one-liner and some beautiful looking flashes of power and the book gets rolling. Magneto #19 shows us a side of Mags that we’ve grown accustomed to but haven’t necessarily seen in a while – his ruthlessness.
The stakes have never been higher for our favorite holocaust survivor and it’s great to see him in a position of sacrifice for the greater good. The difference this time, however, is that Magneto is not only trying to protect mutant lives but the lives of all who share this Earth. As someone we haven’t really seen pop up in any of the Battleworld lunacy, there’s a sense here that Magneto may not survive.
The story shifts back and forth between the incursion itself and Magneto acquiring the strength he needs, and includes an appearance of Sugar Man. The pacing here was important and Bunn handles it well to keep interest at its peak. The internal monologue Magneto is given showcases him as a man struggling with the task in front of him and that was an enjoyable addition. Bunn gets his point across clearly and towards the finale there’s some worry about just how this book will eventually come to an end.
The artwork in this issue overall is pretty spectacular. Magneto’s powers aren’t always the easiest thing to portray without getting confusing, but Paul Davidson clearly depicts his control of magnetism. The battle scenes aren’t over-polluted and you can easily understand who has the upper hand and why. The Sugar Man’s scenes underground are dark and creepy just as they should be, and when the Sentinels are getting ripped apart it’s really quite fun. Paul Mounts makes the chaos surrounding the incursion on the ground level exciting with his bright and flashy colors.
As a whole, this issue was excitingly written as it was beautifully presented. If Magneto #19 is any indication of how Erik Lehnsherr lives out his final moments then it is a fitting end to a beloved character.