Why Magneto’s Acolytes are Lame: A Discussion

This post was brought on by watching X-Men: First Class, several iterations of the X-Men in cartoon form, and a discussion with my husband. For a long time I have had an issue with the level of person Magneto surrounds himself with. I feel this way for two reasons; one, is that Magneto has a great power himself and uses it to the fullest and two, he is logical and correct about what would happen to mutants. We live in a world where we try to take away rights and put laws in books to stop people from all sorts of things that the status quo deems unfit. People are labeled by the majority as deviant because of their skin, or sexual preference, or religion. Imagine if mutants did exist. People would narc on those trying to hide in plain sight and those with either “weak” powers (ala Toad) or those that label them (ala Mystique) and they would be imprisoned. Those with very strong powers (ala Rogue) or those whose appearance deems them normal (ala Jean Grey) would have no problem either hiding or fighting back.

This brings us to Magneto’s lame “brotherhood”. Magneto is truly strong and powerful. He has also, as a Concentration Camp survivor, seen the worst that man can do to those who are different. He makes great speeches and constantly engages in unbridled acts of badassery. But, compared to Professor X, he can only round up the dregs of the mutant class. There is a reason for this. Magneto plays on fear. The weak and brightly plumaged mutants need him. They would be the first in the camps. Deep down, after they stop talking about “mutant pride”, this is why the follow him. He helps them feel special and powerful and that they can become something special. Professor X’s followers, conversely, have no real need for such things. They typically have amazing strength or can do amazing things with their minds. His army is built of people who do not fear the government or societal structures because they don’t have to. Hanging out in a rich white guy’s house far away from the public doesn’t exactly make for the hardest mutant life.

Magneto is right. He is strong and smart and charismatic. He just needs better people.

Post Script: If my husband and I were blessed with a mutant kid, we would start a Parents and Friends of Mutants (PFOM) group. Trust me, we would love to have a child of the atom.

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