writer: Cullen Bunn / artist: Paul Davidson / Marvel Comics
For the second time during it’s run, the Magneto book is pulled into a cross-over event. Similar to how the book had to adjust on the fly to Avengers and X-Men Inversion storyline, this first part of Magneto into the Secret Wars fold suffers individually for it. There’s a couple problems with this issue off the bat, some of which aren’t any fault of the writer and artist themselves. This is marked as a Secret Wars book, but the production schedule puts this issue two weeks after Secret Wars has started, meaning we spent an issue with Magneto gearing up to save a world we already know is destroyed. Of course there’s some value in prequels and “meanwhile” plotlines, but there’s a different gravitas when we are talking about the world ending and new one being spawned in it’s place, but we’re still talking bout the world pre-annihilation.
As for what’s on the creators, it’s just not Bunn’s best effort. We all know that Namor might be the most arrogant character in the Marvel universe, but after watching how Hickman has written him with nuance over the last few years, here he just seems a bit cartoonish. I also found it jarring to see the time devoted to citizen’s on the street giving such calculated praise to Magneto while he is trying to save the world. It comes off a bit silly, even with Magneto’s explanation of what they are actually there to see.
Davidson’s pencils are a large departure from Walta’s simpler and pronounced style, but nothing negative stands out about it either. The portrayals of Magneto, both in the past and present are the strongest of the lot.
Magneto is winding down, but unfortunately it gives us one of the weakest installments in what has been a stellar series to this point. One imagines that Magneto of all people will have a large role to play in Secret Wars, but that remains to be seen.