What started out as a one-man mission of mutant vengeance has grown considerably in the first dozen issues of "Magneto." His quest to right the wrongs perpetrated by humankind on his brethren have put him face to face with everything from rogue Sentinel tech to deadly Predator X monsters. With the launch of the Marvel Comics mega-event "AXIS," Magneto has gone from a stealthy vigilante to a prominent player in the battle against the Red Onslaught -- and writer Cullen Bunn promises that this high stakes showdown is only the beginning of a wild journey for the Master of Magnetism.
In this week's X-Position, Bunn answers your questions about Magneto's place in the larger Marvel Universe, Genosha's role in upcoming issues and the true motivation behind the enigmatic Briar Raleigh.
CBR News: In addition to consistent praise for "Magneto" -- "book of the year" was tossed around more than once by our readers -- a lot of people want to know what's up with Polaris. Do you have plans to use her in the book, how do you view Magneto's relationship with her, what makes her different from Wanda and Pietro -- seriously, people want to know all of your thoughts on Lorna Dane.
Cullen Bunn: I think the Polaris fans will be very pleased in the days to come. I've always wanted to have her appear, but I needed to wait for the right time. Some other elements I've been planning to use for a while ended up playing so well with the idea of Polaris that I simply couldn't resist. So... yes... Polaris... and soon.
As for Magneto's relationship with her, it's certainly complicated. He's distanced himself from her, then brought her into his confidence. Master of Magnetism, maybe. Master of Fatherhood? Not hardly. I think with Lorna, though, he sees so much potential, not just because she has powers just like his, but because he didn't screw her up the way he might've screwed up Wanda and Pietro. She'll be an interesting addition to the cast to say the least.
Kurt has a question about Magneto's mindset moving forward.
Even though Magneto has banded with all the X Men and hung up his crazy extremist ways, I believe he still wants nothing more than to see his species on top and thriving. Is there a possibility we will see Magneto get a little crazier in the future or is his age finally starting to get to him?
Up to this point, Magneto has been thinking small. He's been taking out threats to mutantkind, trying to do some good in dribs and drabs. But you'll be seeing an elevation of his plans in the days to come. It started with MGH, then the events of "AXIS" and then some significant events in issues #14 through #16. Maybe he was taking a breather, but it's possible he's done with that. Now, will he be trying his hand at genocide? No. But all along he's been walking these thin lines. One step in either direction changes his actions. He's getting closer and closer to the edge. It would be easy for someone or something were to push him toward the world-dominating mindset.
With big events coming up in the Marvel Universe, Timdogg98 wonders how "Magneto" will fit in with the changing landscape.
How far out do you have "Magneto" plotted for? With "X-Nation" teased in the most recent "New Avengers" "Time Runs Out" issue, I wonder how closely Magneto will have a hand in that playing out.
I have the next ten issues or so planned out, with a rough idea of where the story would go beyond that. Right now, I'm looking at wrapping up a ton of loose ends before we get to that point, while positioning Magneto for some pretty dramatic tales to come.
The appropriately named Magneto has a question about his title's immediate future.
How big is your Genosha storyline? Is Magneto taking the reigns of Genosha over again post AXIS?
A question from Magneto himself! You already know the answer to this one, sir! Genosha will play a significant role in the series for some time to come. The place is tied so closely to Magneto that I couldn't simply leave it alone -- and neither can Magnus.
Justinian also has a question about the sovereign nation.
How do you see Magneto as having changed since the Genoshan genocide?
Here's how I see it. When Genosha fell to ruin, so did Magneto. He's never been the same. In a way, he's been a ghost of who he once was. Issue #13, for example, is titled "Ghost Stories" and plays around with that idea a bit. And if he became a ghost when Genosha "died," then the only way for him to live again is for Genosha to live again.
Floyd Fenris wants to know if there are any other super villains you would like to write.
You're currently writing some of the best solo villain series ever made with "Magneto," "Sinestro" and "Lobo." You also have some great artists on these titles with Gabriel Hernandez Walta, Rags Morales and Reilly Brown. That being said, what other villains would you like to add to your toybox and what artists would you like to work with? I'd personally love to see a Namor or Deadshot book from you.
I've often said that Namor is one of the most fun characters to write. There's pure joy in channeling that level of self-confidence. But writing Sinestro, Magneto and Namor might be too much narcissism for me to handle. There are many villainous characters I'd love to see in their own book. Personally, I'd love to see a version of the Thunderbolts with Batroc the Leaper on board -- and played as the badass he could actually be. Taskmaster, too, is someone I'd love to write. When I wrote "Fear Itself: The Fearless" I developed a love/hate relationship with Crossbones, so he's high on the list too. Suicide Squad has always been high on my list, too, but I'm guessing lots of writers are saying that right now.
Artists I'd love to work with on something villainous? Alan Davis is someone I'd love to work with. Chris Samnee and I have long talked about doing something together. I'd also dig working with Paul Pelletier or Declan Shalvey again.
Fifolet wants to know how you've managed to get away with some of "Magneto's" more grisly moments.
I'm really curious about one thing. The body count on the book has been impressive. I do enjoy the inventive ways Magneto uses his powers to maim and kill (I'll never look at a paperclip the same way again), but I was surprised you guys got away with some of it, as it was quite graphic at times. Did you ever get scolded to tone the stuff down? And can we get some more please?
You know, I've been asked to tone down violence and gore in many other comics but never in "Magneto." I was even asked to tone things down in "Wolverine" and "Carnage," but not with this book. I was pretty sure that first scene in the first issue would be axed, but we kept it as is, setting the tone for the series.
And, yes. Some of the action has been a little more grand in recent issues, but you'll be seeing more graphic violence coming up, you freak, you.
MiddlePegasus has a question about Magneto's mysterious -- and possibly dangerous -- new ally.
Briar Raleigh has been a really great addition to the book and she reminds me of the great human supporting characters Chris Claremont used in the 1980s. What made you decide to add her to the book and can you give us any info on where her character is headed? Is she playing a long con on Magneto?
Even in early stages, I knew I wanted to add a supporting character. I always knew she'd be a little mysterious. I always knew her motivations would be in question. I knew she'd have the leg brace and I knew her name was Briar Raleigh. At one point, though, she was going to be much younger. She was also in the original draft of the first issue. She was sort of a "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"-type helping Magneto from behind the scenes. I'm much happier with her current incarnation, though.
I thought she was important in order to give Magneto a foil who was not necessarily an enemy and who wasn't someone he was familiar with. She's an unknown quantity for Magneto and that puts him on edge. As for where she's going, issue #13 is a Briar-focused issue. I think it will answer a lot of questions... but also raise a bunch of new questions.
With his history of changing sides, Harry wants to know where Magneto stands in the larger Marvel villain community.
Since we just got to see Magneto round up his own group of super villains in "Magneto" #11, I was wondering how Magneto fits in with the larger villain community? What do you think other bad guys say about him when he's not around? Do they look up to him as one of the oldest bad guys around, or did he lose respect when he joined the X-Men again?
I think the other villains respect Magneto -- if they know what's good for them -- but those who focus on crime for monetary gain just don't "get" him. They don't understand that his goals and ambitions go far beyond the idea of personal gain. Those who understand true power or who have loftier goals might understand Magneto a little better. I'm certain Doctor Doom has "Magneto protocols" ready to go at a moment's notice.
Since his plans and methodologies keep escalating, Plastique has a question about the Master of Magnetism's end goal.
Magneto's really upped is vengeance game in this series and has done things that he knows the X-Men would not approve of all in the name of mutant rights and survival. It's like he's burning a lot of bridges for the greater good. With that in mind, what do you think Magneto's end goal is? Do you think he expects to see mutant equality or dominance in his lifetime, or is he aiming to become a martyr (again)? Is it in him to call it a day and retire?
In the early issues, Magneto was trying to right what few wrongs he could. He had given up on large scale mutant dominance. As the series progresses, though, he's going to have a new goal. Especially after issue #12, you'll see a different agenda for Magneto. It doesn't mean he's given up on these violent one-man missions -- far from it -- but he has something "bigger" he's working toward.
Special thanks to Cullen Bunn for taking on this week's questions!
Next week, X-Position heads to the stars with "Cyclops" scribe John Layman. Have a question for John? Go ahead and send 'em in via an e-mail with the subject line "X-Position" or if 140 character questions are more your speed, try Twitter. But get 'em in quickly, because the deadline's Friday! Make it happen!