It's finally happening. I thought it was going to happen years ago. I thought I took one too many hits of LSD because it can't have been this long. But the wait is finally over. No, we didn't find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. No, President Obama didn't admit he was born in Kenya. And no, Bill O'Riley didn't admit that he's just a grumpy old fuck. What's happening is that Magneto is going to become a villain again.
It may not sound like a big deal and that's understandable. There's an entire generation of comic book fans that don't know Magneto as the X-men's arch nemesis. Ever since House of M, he's been one of those sympathetic douche-bags. He's like Dexter Morgan, minus the sex appeal. For years he was MIA. Then he got his powers back and the first thing he did was fall to his knees and proclaim that Cyclops was awesome. And unlike Emma Frost, he didn't even have to suck his dick to reinforce that point. Since then, Magneto has been Cyclops's second-in-command. He's basically one of the X-men's heavy hitters and that's how fans have known him for nearly five fucking years. But that's all about to change.
Cyclops is no longer the leader of the entire mutant race. He is no longer the charismatic man who leads the X-men by day and bones Emma Frost at night. He's a wanted fugitive in a world where the mutant population is growing and the authorities are treating it like an outbreak of food poisoning. And now Cyclops is a wanted fugitive and a pariah in amongst his peers. Sure, he managed to convince the O5 X-men to join him, but convincing a bunch of confused teenagers to go along with him is like picking up drunk girls at a frat party. Everything is graded on a curve. Magneto has plenty of reasons to break away from the X-men and become a villain again. And Uncanny X-men #16 promises to begin that process. CBR released a lettered preview of that process and it's more refreshing than a cold beer on opening day at a baseball game.
Uncanny X-men #16
• Magneto reaches a crossroads. Everything he’s
fought for is called into question and he’s forced to make a decision
that will change him forever!
It's nice to see that Cyclops and his team made an impression when they dropped in on that rally a few issues back. It seems so long ago since X-men: Battle of the Atom got wedged in between. But Magneto doesn't seem to appreciate their support as much as Cyclops. He basically sees these protests as a bunch of rebellious young kids who would rather pretend they're making a difference because it's easier than studying for their next exam. He's not wrong either. Protests on college campuses have about as much impact on the course of human history as pissing in a river impacts flooding downstream. It's still a dick move to attack them rather than just wait for them to get bored. But if he's going to be a villain again, he ought to be a dick.
Now I'm not too stoned to see that there's probably a more pragmatic reason as to why Marvel is making him a villain now. Later this year, another shitty X-men movie is going to come out and in that movie, Magneto is going to be a villain. And since synergy is all the rage amongst big corporations, it makes sense to align some of the details with the comics. They still think that more than a handful of people will go to a comic book movie and then go right to a comic book shop. Those poor dumb bastards, but their hearts are in the right place. I'm just glad we've got a villainous Magneto again. Someone needs to give a giant middle finger to humanity in this bold new world and I doubt he's forgotten how good he is at it. Nuff said!