writer: Cullen Bunn / artist: Roland Boschi
Magneto #12 is a peculiar entry into the AXIS storyline, mostly for its chronological placement. I don’t want to lay any shortcomings of this book at the feet of the crossover’s release schedule per se, but as someone who is reading both of these, it does feel weird to revisit the battle against Red Onslaught when the storyline has moved passed that three issues ago. Still, Bunn has done so well to write the interior of Magneto in this run thus far, that hearing Magneto’s perspective on the closing moments of that big battle aren’t without value. Two narratives that run perpendicular to each other in this issue are of sacrifice and fortitude coupled with brutality, both of which are on display. In the present, Magneto is focused on protecting Wanda and the sorcerers as they try to defeat Red Skull and save Charles Xavier. In the past, we see Magneto trying to teach Charles the dangers of being too passive or compliant in the face of real threats to mutant existence.
The story’s effectiveness is marginal as we’ve seen these types of dueling narratives done by Bunn before, but with a little finer point to the execution. By the end, of the battle, Magneto has some awakening of sorts in recognizing Xavier’s vision, even if the appearance of Xavier to him seems to suggest the contrary. As Oz has pointed out before, Magneto having an inversion isn’t the most productive way to use him considering he hasn’t been truly evil in a long time. It can be argued that Magneto straddles the line between hero and villain more than anybody else in the Marvel Universe, so flipping his personality 180 degrees kind of brings us back to where he started in the first place.
This month, Magneto backtracks on AXIS storyline a bit and treads some ground that’s been trampled a couple times over. Magneto might have a new status quo post inversion, but ultimately, AXIS is beginning to really drag a good solo book down.