No one would challenge the fact that the mutant known as Magneto is one of the most layered and fascinating characters in the entire Marvel Universe. It’s always a delight to see him get a spotlight, and Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1 does exactly that in one of the most interesting single issues in the Dawn of X to date.
In the third Giant-Size one-shot, we put a focus on Magneto, but it’s not a deep psychological profile. This is an adventure comic, with the nuance of Magneto and his role on Krakoa front and center. It’s great work by Jonathan Hickman, Ramon Perez, David Curiel, Clayton Cowles and Tom Muller.
Emma Frost needs a favor. She needs an island. She knows Magneto is the person to ask for help. However, the owner of the island they choose may need a favor in return.
So I’m going to say this first. This story follows suit with the two one-shots that preceded it – these aren’t character studies. These are adventure stories that are specifically geared towards the character getting the spotlight, with a lot of plot set-up for the future.
That said, this is a VERY fun story. I’ve been excited for more of Hickman’s Namor since the brief scene in Atlantis back in Powers of X and pairing Namor with Magneto is a fantastic combination. Though there’s a lot more quiet contemplation here than past Magneto stories he’s written, this is another example of how well Hickman writes Magneto. Add the two big plots this sets up – Magneto holding some sort of Atlantean artefact and Emma Frost having some sort of facility on this island – and this is an engrossing, if light, issue.
There’s no question that this issue is probably the best thing Perez has ever drawn. Without losing his distinct expressive style, he uses an inkwash style that evokes House of X artist Pepe Larraz, while drawing breathtaking landscapes, quiet character moments, and explosive action. It looks great.
Curiel’s colors add another beautiful layer to the art, evoking watercolors (ironically most prominently when they end up underwater). He creates a thematic tie to the House of X in his work mimicking Marte Gracia a bit while keeping his own unique style. This is a book well worth it for the art alone, and this makes me hope to see Perez and Curiel back in the X-Men fold soon.
Krakoa is growing in some interesting literal and figurative ways. I’m excited to see where these last few specials go next.
Giant-Size X-Men: Magneto #1 is available now from Marvel Comics.