Magneto has never been known for his sense of restraint, but the X-Men comics have revealed Magneto could have killed Professor X any time.
This article contains spoilers for X-Men Red #3.
Magneto has just proven he could have killed the X-Men’s leader, Professor X, any time he wanted. Charles Xavier and Magneto have a long, established history. The friendship between the two runs back decades, for each was among the first mutants the other encountered. Unfortunately they dedicated themselves to very different paths, ones that ultimately brought them into conflict.
Xavier’s Dream was one of mutant-human coexistence, of mutants and human beings living side-by-side. In contrast, Magneto imagined a world where mutants were supreme, living in peace because humanity had been subjugated. The two fought many times – Xavier even erased Magneto’s mind in the classic “Fatal Attractions” storyline – but they have recently found their peace. The two lived together for a time on the living island of Krakoa. In X-Men Red #3, by Al Ewing and Stefano Caselli, Magneto reveals he could have killed Professor X any time he wanted.
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X-Men Red #3 sees Magneto confront an Omega-level Arakki mutant named Tarn the Uncaring. Tarn possesses the ability to manipulate the genes of other mutants, making him a terrifying threat in battle – but Magneto knows how to block such abilities. He understands Tarn’s powers are psionic in nature, and renders him powerless by dropping his own telepathy-blocking helmet over Tarn’s head. He then kills the vicious mutant by using his magnetic powers to crush his head with the helmet. The strategy is a smart one – and it could have been used against any telepath.
Magneto has never had a reputation for self-restraint, but it seems he’s been holding himself back all these years. That’s particularly remarkable given Professor X himself lacked this kind of restraint, unleashing the full measure of his powers against his nemesis on so many different occasions. He can count himself lucky he never wound up with Magneto’s helmet over his head, blocking his powers – because he would have been defenseless against the Master of Magnetism’s powers. It’s quite likely, of course, that Magneto’s strategy against Tarn is inspired by plans he’s considered using against Professor X in the past.
Magneto chooses to use only one helmet in his battle against Tarn, aware his opponent’s powers have already been disrupted and he will be unable to use his own powers when the duel begins. But he could have chosen to confront Professor X in a completely different way, making a duplicate helmet so he is protected as he advances upon his old friend. Instead, though, he uses only the one helmet – and for defensive purposes, to keep telepaths out of his own mind. In doing so, Magneto proves himself a far better man than Professor X and the X-Men ever realized.
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Tom Bacon is one of Screen Rant’s staff writers, as well as a Peer Mentor for new writers and a member of the Care Team, offering support and a listening ear to members of the Comics group. A lifelong fan of major franchises including Star Wars, Doctor Who, and Marvel, Tom is delighted his childhood is back – and this time it’s cool. You can find him on Twitter @TomABacon.
A graduate of Edge Hill University, Tom remains strongly connected with his alma mater as a volunteer chaplain. He’s heavily involved with his local church, and anyone who checks him out on Twitter will swiftly learn he’s into British politics too.
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