One of the great things that the x-men films have given us a truly ambiguous villain in magneto, we get that magneto is a very bad man and will do anything to further his cause while at the same time you can understand his motives. Magneto like much of the marvel universe was born in WW2 but unlike many of Marvel’s other heroes he was not born on the battle fields of western Europe or the pacific, No Magneto was born in the far more destructive part of WW2 and that was the holocaust.
This story Explores Magnetos early life as a Jew in Germany, we see the Nazi’s coming to power slowly and how his ordinary life was changing and best of all we see it through the eyes of this young and quiet innocent boy. We see how the Nazi’s slowly and methodically persecuted the Jewish people in all areas of life, This also explores Magnetos family life, We see his father a proud German veteran who would not bow down to anyone else (a trait that his son was to inherit), naturally as well as looking at the wider issue of German nazification we also get the aspect of his everyday life, His love interest who I personally think served absolutely no purpose to the book and was only there to make the ending have more gravitas, His school life which for Magnus wasn’t a problem with bad grades, It was more a problem of being a very gifted Jewish child in Nazi Germany, Which if any of you know your history isn’t the the best thing especially when Magneto took great pleasure in showing up his Aryan Classmates.
This book deals the holocaust far more sympathetically than some scholars normally I have read, The way it tows the line between being a accurate representation of the time and being a story of fiction is wonderfully done, To show that they respected the era of this book they even offer a reading list so that readers can see where they got there information from, As a history nerd I like this approach, You get to enjoy the story and if it interested you can out and read more about it, This is especially good for those younger readers who wont know as much as us veterans.
The art is OK, Nothing to write home about but lucky for the art it doesn’t need to be, Some comics hide behind good art to hide a mediocre story, This book does it right, It hides mediocre art behind a fantastic story. The artist choose to use a pencil design to give it a real aged look and I think it suits the style of story but I have seen it done so much better in many other places. Despite this the art did is not that bad, It doesn’t make the book unreadable which can be a problem for many graphic novels of the day but it doesn’t enhance the story like it should.
In conclusion the story is amazing, It manages to stay true to the source and does a real good job of showing the horrors of the holocaust without diminishing it in any way. I also liked the duality of magneto, I understand how he became magneto but I also saw the ruthlessness that would come to colour his character. The ruthlessness of a man that would do anything to survive and come out on top. This gave me a real insight to this character and the world that he grew up in, This is a must for anyone fascinated by this period of history or any Magneto fan alike.