Current Reviews


New X-Men #147

Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2003
By: Shawn Hill

"Magneto Superior: Planet X 2"

Writer: Morrison
Artists: Phil Jimenez and Andy Lanning

Publisher: Marvel

Magneto rants on as he destroys New York. The X-men (and every other Marvel superteam, apparently) are out of commission. Meanwhile, his new Brotherhood mills about in confusion.

Yeah, so, world upside down. "The lowest are now the highest." Blah blah blah. Basically, the misfits that couldn't have even staged Quentin Quire's riot if they wanted to are now overlords of all they survey. NYC is miraculously unconcerned (even joyous) about Magneto's brutal reconfigurations of the city. That bitch Esme has put on her slut clothes (as if her schoolgirl togs weren't already a coy come-on), and thinks she and Erik (don't call him that!) would make the perfect king and queen of the mutants. If only they weren't surrounded by such obvious losers.

Erik, however, includes himself amongst the losers, and that's why it was so much fun to have secretly undermined Xavier, his dream, his team and his school for so many months. It's a full-on outcast revolt, and Magneto has limitless power to back it up.

At least, that is, while he's on Kick, the mutant power-enhancing addictive inhalant. Just who was supplying whom for all those months becomes ambiguous, as now Esme is offering the drug to Erik, while he's flustered by the lack of reaction to his topsy-turvy world order. In fact, Esme's role as his sidekick remains suspect, as she seems rather insistent on getting her way, and effective about ensuring compliance, while Magneto seems to be mentally somewhat in disarray.

Is this all a dream? Chris Chuckry with a lack of subtlety bathes Magneto's furious swathes through Manhattan and the school in bleeding reds. Lots of great urban carnage by Jiminez, and echoes abound of Magneto's unforgettable earliest and recurring appearances. Not to mention Ian McKellen's movie interpretation, which seems to be defining the character in both attitude (desperate vengeance) and appearance these days.

Echoes also abound (with a mad leader who's out of touch and all the damage inflicted on planes, buildings and bridges) from Sept. 11. The same ones that have haunted this title since Genosha's demise.

It's not a worthless issue, but it is decidedly one-sided. Magneto's big plan seems to be complete annihilation, by sheer brute force. That's not a feasible long-term approach, and it is deeply at odds with the careful orchestration that brought Xorn to the mansion and kept him there so long.

My heart goes out most to little Ernst. She can't believe that Xorn was a mask, despite what anyone (including Erik himself, and not without tenderness) plainly tells her. Because, after all, he was so nice.

And she's right. I miss Xorn too. Beak, for one, is horrified at the growing outrages, and we already know Sooraya rejected Magneto's offer. Angel seems to be participating under duress, and Martha the Mutant Brain's position remains ambiguous. That leaves only Toad (newly arrived from Genosha), Esme and the idiotic Basilisk as willing members of Magneto's ragtag Brotherhood.

Which is to say his success is hollow, and probably fleeting as well.

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