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X-Men: Magneto Testament Hardcover – June 10, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

It takes a lot of nerve to use the Holocaust as setting for a superhero story, but villain/antihero Magneto's background requires it, and the story by Pak and DiGiandomenico carries out the idea with respect. The boy who would become Magneto is Max Eisenhardt, smart and athletic, living with his family in Germany in 1935. He watches in horror as the Germans invade Poland, prompting his family to flee; he sees them killed, like thousands of others; he takes his place as a worker in a concentration camp. But all the while, it nags at him that he should be fighting back, and his father's admonition to wait for the moment, a time when everything lines up, when anything is possible, when suddenly you can make things happen rings in his head, as does the face of the girl he has always loved, a girl who has ended up in a Gypsy camp, fated for extermination. This is an inherently powerful story, handled with grace and care, delivered in a haunting, painterly style—and filled with historical information and context. Extensive back pages include a teacher's guide to using this series in the classroom. (June)
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Product Details

  • Series: X-Men (Marvel Hardcover)
  • Hardcover: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Marvel; First Edition edition (June 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0785138234
  • ISBN-13: 978-0785138235
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,240,524 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Pak is a comic book writer and filmmaker best known for "Action Comics" and Batman/Superman" for DC Comics, "Planet Hulk" and "Magneto Testament" for Marvel Comics, and the "Code Monkey Save World" graphic novel and "The Princess Who Saved Herself" children's book, based on the songs of Jonathan Coulton. He directed the award-winning feature film "Robot Stories" and dozens of shorts, including "Happy Fun Room." He was named one of 25 Filmmakers to Watch by Filmmaker Magazine, described as "a talent with a future" by the New York Times, and named "Breakout Talent" of the year by Wizard Magazine.

Pak co-wrote the fan favorite "Incredible Hercules" series with Fred Van Lente, with whom he also wrote the new How-To book, "Make Comics Like the Pros."

Pak is represented by Sandra Lucchesi of the Gersh Agency, Los Angeles, and David Hale Smith of DHS Literary. For more about his work, visit twitter.com/gregpak and gregpak.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A subperb example of expanding a super hero character's origin story. Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico have done an epic job. They manage to tell Magneto's story, remain true to most of the existing continuity, and maintain historical accuracy. This is a moving and important account of a Jewish boy's coming of age during the Nazi era in Germany, and the story of survival in Auschwitz. But more, this story shows us how the young Magneto (Max Eisenhardt) survived in Auschwitz, working in the Sonderkommando, which reveals much about the character's later history as Magneto. The writing and art are first rate. The coloring is excellent as well. The book contains a true Holocaust story -- that of Dina Babbitt, called "The Last Outrage" and a teacher's guide for Holocaust studies in the classroom.

Magneto is one of Marvel's most important and sophisticated characters. Despite repeated depictions in the comics (in recent years) that are flat, one-dimensional, and uninspired, (usually due to the writer not wanting to address the full complexity of Magneto's psychology and history), Magneto remains one of the best adversaries in comic book history precisely because of his Holocaust and World War II backstory. This character was a good man who became a costumed "villain" to protect his mutant people. Magneto spent most of his life trying to play by the rules, trying to forget his past. He started out as a heroic and well-intentioned boy, growing up in a loving family -- but a family increasingly beset and attacked by Nazi-inspired hatred and violence. MAGNETO TESTAMENT depicts a part of this journey of the character, from the years 1935 to 1944, with a coda from 1948 at the end.

I highly recommend this book, for fans of the comic book character, fans of the movie version of Magneto, and for anyone interested in a graphic novel about the Holocaust, for either reading or teaching others.
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By H. Sibley on November 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Magneto's Testament finally gives readers the background story of Magneto in one book. Certain things are different then what had been assumed in the past, and a few things are tweaked- for example the only time when magneto's powers come into play is when he is shot at and it is severely downplayed. It's not obvious that it was his powers and instead looks as if his father acted as a shield. This is different from the scene in the X-Men movie where his will to stay with his parents bends the metal gates at the labor camp. Also, there was no saved by wolverine or captain america which was shown as happening in the series X-Men Evolution.

All in all this is a good read, and a great addition to anyones shelf.The artwork is both well done and respectable to those who actually survived the holocaust. It, however, is not filled with epic action sequences between mutants and Charles Xavier makes no appearance in it whatsoever. However, you do meet Magda, the gypsy who is destined to be the mother of Pietro and Wanda Maximoff.

A definite necessity for an X-Men fan, and a good read even for those who aren't. :)
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Format: Hardcover
I know this story's been out for a while but I came across it at my local library. It is excellent, a gut wrenching story of the holocaust that made me cringe several times, and for that reason I cannot help but give it a favorable review. What surprised me though is that we have a story of Magneto in which his mutant powers are barely addressed. There is some suggestive innuendo at the begining about how his powers might have something to do with his talent in creating jewelry, then he is able to throw a javelin farther than more highly trained athletes, and finally at the time of his capture by the Nazis he appears to be struck by bullets that hurt him but do not actually penetrate him, making him the sole survivor of his family. This sequence though is rather ill defined and it's hard to tell exactly what the writer was trying to get across. If that happened, I would think the Nazis would fixate on it and subject him to all kinds of experiments to try and figure out how he did it. This doesn't happen, and in fact at no point does anyone in the story seem to notice that there is anything superhuman about him- not his family, not the Nazis, not even himself. When he takes part in the revolt at the end and escapes from the concentration camp, he does not use his powers at all. I was expecting to see something at least similar to what is shown in the first X-Men movie in which he bends the fence at the camp. Instead, this book seems to conclude with Max still having no idea that there is anything superhuman about him. Also, fans of the movies will be used to him being called Eric rather than Max, and Eric here is the name of one of his relatives. All in all though, this is a very emotional and gripping tale of courage and dignity in the face of utter hopelessness that typified the holocaust.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of the best origins I have ever read for a comic book character. I have been collecting comics for over 20 years and always was fascinated about Magneto's origin. We all know Magneto was a Jewish kid growing up during WW2 but this book gives us more detail into his childhood life and his family.

If you took off the X-men name on the cover, and you took off the Magneto in the title, this would still be a fantastic comic.

Spoilers: There are no mutant abilities or any super powers happening in this book. It's a tale of Max Eisenhardt (Magneto's birth name) growing up during the Nazi rise to power and his struggles for survival. I was moved by the book simply because it is retelling real life. The stuff that happens in the comic happened in real life during those times and it is saddening to think people can treat others this way. The art while not the best, fit the book and the mood perfectly. The book moves at a fast pace and can be read in about 30 minutes. This is also a great book to us as supplemental material to teach young children about the Holocaust and why we can never sit back and ever let anything like this happen again.

5 stars! Get this hidden gem today.
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