Writer – Cullen Bunn
Artist – Javier Fernandez
Color Artist – Jordie Bellaire
Letterer – Cory Petit
Review by Joey Braccino
Cullen Bunn’s Magneto is a deliberate, meditative vigilante’s tale featuring one of the most complex characters in the entire Marvel canon. The moody narration, the brutal violence, the bleak and sullen aesthetic all combine together into a unique noir X-book unlike anything else on the stands.
Magneto has taken on the role of mutant avenger in this series and, after last issue’s shocking conclusion, he’s onto a new target. While the premise in this issue isn’t necessarily anything new (Purifiers capturing and torturing mutants), Magneto’s narration under Bunn’s deft pen is plenty engaging on its own. To hear him justify his actions and couch his mission in the context of “memorializing” the dead is simply devastating given the trajectory of the character over the last decade. Bunn is giving us, for all intents and purposes, a Punisher book starring Magneto, but the key difference is that Magneto’s driving force, unlike Frank Castle’s, is not personal—it is communal. The atrocities he commits are, at least in his eyes, done for the protection of his people, whereas the Punisher wages war out of vengeance (though this has changed in the past few years).
Javier Fernandez takes over art duties from the ineffable Gabriel Hernandez Walta (Astonishing X-Men). Fernandez’ style is just similar enough to Walta’s noirish cartoon aesthetic that the book still feels like Magneto, butthis issue, moreso than the first three, really plays up the shadowy, MAX tone of Bunn’s script. Colorist extraordinaire Jordie Bellaire has to capture several separate tones this issue: first Magneto’s dark, bleak bunker; second, the lush forest in which the bunker hides; and third, the desert base of the Purifiers. Bellaire is one of the industry’s best, and she’s more than up to the challenge. The result is one of the most aesthetically engaging books on the stands.
Buy. Magneto may be too brutal for some, but it’s an enthralling, visceral reading experience for fans of the character, fans of the X-Men, or fans of damn good storytelling. Check it!