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Why Does Magneto's Helmet Protect Him From Telepathy?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at brianc@cbr.com).

Reader Rodrigo M. wrote in to ask, "[W]hat makes Magneto's helmet immune to telepathy? Is it its shape? Is it the metal it is made for? Why there isn't more helmets like that? Why not every member of the Brotherhood wear one helmet as well? What made it unique? "

Magneto's famous helmet was designed by Jack Kirby and it was in use right from the first appearance of Magneto in X-Men #1...

Anyhow, early issues showed Magneto interacting with Professor X on the astral plane, showing Magneto to have a powerful mental prowess...

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The X-Men was a series where Stan Lee seemed to care the least about, in terms of consistent plot points. He seemed to just try all sorts of odd plot ideas that he would then quickly dismiss, like the idea that Magneto could project his mind into the astral plane just like Professor X...

Even during Chris Claremont's run on X-Men, during a flashback sequence to when Xavier and Magneto first met each other, Xavier was struck by the fact that he couldn't read Magneto's mind even without Magneto wearing a helmet at the time. However, in later stories, it was retconned out (through the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, of all places) that Magneto did not really have telepathic powers outside of perhaps a slight ability to protect his mind from telepaths (which, oddly enough, is a fairly common thing in the X-Men Universe, as Gambit and Wolverine both have the ability to protect their minds from telepathy)

Later, during X-Men vs. Avengers #4, Magneto was shown creating a special helmet that gave him telepathic powers...

Now, Magneto DOES have a helmet that protects him from telepathic powers. So how did it come about?

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