Thursday, July 3, 2014
Scanned Thoughts: Magneto #6
Sometimes I wonder how a character like Magneto would have turned out if he decided to be a politician rather than a supervillain and occasional X-men. Well for one, C-SPAN would be way more entertaining. That’s for damn sure. But more importantly, he would not take the usual bullshit that comes along with political infighting. I imagine that if he had to deal with Harry Reid or John Boehnner for more than one day, those two assholes would have metal spikes shoved up their asses and be hung from the top of the Capitol. Considering Congress’ current approval rating, I can’t imagine Magneto would fare much better than the Michelle Bachmanns of the world. But in Magnetos solo series, he has given a massive middle finger to politics. He’s not out to win votes or hearts. He’s dedicated to doing one thing and one thing only, kill the assholes that dare fuck with mutants. That has pitted him against Sentinels and former allies like Mystique. It may be messy and bloody at times, but it’s way more effective than forming a fucking committee. I can only admire and be disgusted by such efficiency and in Magneto #6, I can only dream how much more effective the government would be with Magneto’s approach. All I know is that if I had his charisma, pot would be legal pretty fucking fast.
Some have already faced the brunt end of Magneto’s charisma. Scalphunter is one of them. In the previous issue, he found out the hard way that a cyborg fighting a guy who can control metal was a big fucking mismatch. Magneto might as well have been using cheat codes. He didn’t just kill Scalphunter. That would have been too merciful. Instead, he just fucked him up good and ripped off his cybernetic limbs, leaving him as a limbless wounded asshole who is too pathetic to even get his own reality show on TLC. It may be cruel, but Scalphunter is a weapons grade asshole and makes clear early on that he deserves as much sympathy as O.J. Simpson at this point.
Now that he’s in a hospital and more pathetic and vulnerable than the former cast of the Real World, SHIELD decides to pay him a visit, if only to laugh their asses off at him. They’ve also been a big part of this series, trailing Magneto since he began his one-man crusade to torment all those who would dare torment mutants. Scalphunter might be an asshole, but they understand he’s a vindictive asshole. He’s probably going to have incentive and insight into helping them take on Magneto. He’s also a living reminder that fighting someone who can control metal with cybernetics is a shitty idea.
Should Magneto be worried about this? Maybe so, but he’s already gotten bored with maiming Scalphunter. He’s since moved onto his next targets, but this time they’re not machines or asshole men who merged with machines. They’re actually other mutants, specifically the Marauders. Now this sounds isn’t as confusing as it sounds. Magneto made it clear when this series began that his only goal was to horribly maim those who would hurt mutants. And anybody who knows even a cursory history of the Marauders knows that they definitely fit this bill. This firmly establishes Magneto as someone who won’t let other mutants use their genes as an excuse. Unlike Al Sharpton, they cannot play the race card with Magneto. He will fuck them up the same way he’ll fuck up a Sentinel.
The two unlucky Marauders in this case are Scrambler and Prism. They’re about as well-known as the cast of the last Tyler Perry movie, but they are mutants and they are aware that they are on at the top of Magneto’s shit list. They attempt to run away and fight back. They might as well be trying to avoid back taxes while touring with Willie Nelson and Wesley Snipes. Magneto, despite his diminished powers, is able to take them out in brutal yet effective ways. Again, nobody should have much sympathy for the Marauders. I won’t say they’re on the same level as Nazis or killer robots, but they go to the same strip club.
There’s still a burning question besides how much Magneto is willing to make the Marauders suffer. How did he find them and who is helping him on this blood-soaked crusade? Well like most great accomplishments, a beautiful woman is involved. Her name is Briar Raleigh and she must have a thing for bad boys because she’s going out of her way to work with a guy who would make most hardcore bikers shit their pants. She’s the one that gave him the intel on the Marauders. She also reveals that these Marauders are actually part of a clone army of Marauders that Sinister created and kept stored all over the world. Because let’s face it, there has to be clones involved in damn near everything Sinister does. Just ask Cyclops and Jean Grey. But in addition to offering intel, Briar suggest that Magneto do more than just kill them. She says he needs to go a step further. She probably understands that no matter how devious a man might be, he can always be motivated to go further when a pretty girl with a nice rack encourages him.
This ensures that the rest of the Marauders are truly and completely fucked. They already seem to know this and are already getting more anxious than Robert Downy Jr. at a Bangkok pharmacy. They understand that Magneto is on a real winning streak when it comes to killing them and everyone like them. Even Vince Lombardi himself couldn’t rally them to victory at this point. There’s no Braveheart style speech. There’s no elaborate plan to outwit Magneto. They just start running, hoping something will come to them. They might as well be running from a hungry grizzly with a juicy steak glued to their asses. It’s pretty pathetic, but this is one case where nobody would want to root for the underdog. I know it’s Independence Day and all, but these assholes are no patriots.
And Magneto makes it a point to remind everyone why the Marauders deserve every bit of torment he gives them. In a nice little history lesson that saves readers the trouble of checking the Marvel wiki, he recalls how Sinister ordered the Marauders to slaughter the Morlocks during the whole Mutant Massacre story. These weren’t wannabe Nazi humans attacking mutants. These were mutants slaughtering other mutants in the name of “genetic cleansing” as Sinister called it. It’s the kind of thing that only Hitler would think is a good idea and it’s the Marauders who carried it out. The fact that Sinister genetically programmed them to follow his will means jack shit to Magneto. To him, they are no better than the assholes that ran the Nazi concentration camps. That means he’s going to treat them the same way Rick Perry supporters treat homosexuals, with extreme prejudice.
Since he also happens to be in a shipyard, Magneto has plenty to work with in exercising his prejudices, as Harpoon finds out the hard way. He’s the first to get a Magneto-induced migraine, ensuring he’ll never have a career as a face model ever again. Riptide and the rest of the Marauders try to fight back. They fare about as well as a bag of chips in a pot shop. It’s not as brutal or as bloody as it could be. This isn’t a MAX title, but it would be way more awesome if it were. It also doesn’t help that Magneto’s powers are still limited. While he’s able to kill Riptide, it really takes it out of him. I guess a murder streak is as exhausting as any winning streak.
It would have made for a nice bit of tension in an otherwise lopsided display of brutality. However, it’s somewhat obscured by Magneto’s fucked up inner monologue, which is basically a lecture on intraspecies behavior. It’s as exciting as it sounds. Seriously, he spends a good chunk of the issue describing all the ways species identify their own kind. He might as well have plagiarized one of my old biology teachers. If that was somehow supposed to inject drama into the struggle, it failed miserably. All it reminded me of is how badly I failed biology and how badly I want to punch my old biology teacher in the face.
For a moment, the remaining Marauders think they have Magneto at their mercy. They might as well have a job at Fox News because they’re painfully wrong. While Magneto might be weak, he’s still pissed off and that more than evens out the odds. He then uses a little something to make it ridiculously unbalanced again. He calls it ferrofluids. Without turning this blog into another boring science lecture, it’s basically liquid metal that can fit neatly into someone’s blood stream and guided into their brains, which can then be turned into a blood smoothie fit that would make a zombie cry. It’s as brutally awesome as it sounds. It doesn’t have to be overly bloody or grotesque. He doesn’t need to blow their heads of Punisher style. He just needs to make sure they wish they were dead and I think he succeeded. To quote Jessie Pinkman, “Yeah science, bitches!”
Again, he doesn’t just let them die. That would be too merciful and not nearly badass enough. Magneto also has to let the Marauders know why he’s doing this to them. They say they’re mutants, as if that will somehow make Magneto less pissed off. But Magneto basically tells them they’re full of shit and that he’s only doing to them what they did to the Morlocks. He’s deciding that, as a fellow mutant, they are not worthy of life. It doesn’t matter that the Marauders are mutants. What they did makes them an insult to the concept and Magneto, not unlike the politically correct crowd, does not take kindly to such insults.
This act of brutality is completely lost on the SHIELD agents still focusing on Scalphunter. Their whole role in this story was more forgettable than the last three Mike Meyers movies. They still want to pursue Magneto, even though he just brutally slaughtered a team of ruthless mutant killers. For some reason they actually want to stop him from slaughtering more ruthless mutant killers. I don’t claim to understand law enforcement either. I just know, as every other stoner, that it can be mind-numbingly inefficient and petty at times. The whole aside with SHIELD and Scaphunter really doesn’t contribute much to the story other than reminding readers that SHIELD is still after Magneto. I still prefer more panels showing Magneto tormenting the Marauders.
Well in the end, I might get my wish because even though Magneto killed those Marauders, they were just another set of clones. There are probably more than enough to star in the next Star Wars movie, but Magneto understands this and decides to do exactly what successful Sith Lords do. Rather than just waste time slaughtering army after army of clones, he decides to take control of the clones and use them to his own advantage. Since this series began, Magneto has been a one-man army of mutant wrath. Now he’s going to have a fucking clone army at his back. Somewhere out there, Sentinel manufacturers and anti-mutant zealots are shitting themselves. I want to feel sorry for them, but then I realize they probably voted for Rick Perry.
This issue was a great case study in all the things that make Magneto awesome and devious. Unlike country clubs in Texas, Magneto does not discriminate when it comes to his one-man war on fucking up those who dare fuck with mutants. He spent the first part of this series just going after humans and the machines they use the kill his kind. This issue offered a very different kind of battle, one where he went up against other mutants. It provided a whole new dimension to his ongoing struggle to be the most badass mutant villain/part-time anti-hero in the Marvel universe. He doesn’t just relegate himself to maiming and tormenting humans. He’ll do it to mutants too if they act too much like those same asshole humans. This includes the Marauders. But it’s not enough to just kill them. He’s now going to use them to help further his goal. It’s not just devious. It’s tactically brilliant. A guy doesn’t survive the holocaust and multiple battles against the X-men without being smart on some levels. He won both the short-term and long-term battle here. If only he didn’t try to mix in a fucking animal science lecture. Magneto #6 gets a 7 out of 10. This issue essentially establishes Magneto as the ultimate liberal in that he doesn’t discriminate. He’s basically Glenn Beck’s worst nightmare. That alone makes him awesome in my book. Nuff said!