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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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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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: #370,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By R. Rubin on June 29, 2009
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
Magneto, the genocidal maniac and decent bloke, has had more twists and turns in his characterisation than a fruit winder. Sometimes he's merciful, other times a cold hearted killer and as a result, he's felt far less than human (which although he'd never want to be it, that's what a character needs). Magneto Testament acts as his origin story. Before you read, it must first be noted that there are no super powers here, and what you're about to read is not a superhero story, but grounded in reality. Which, makes Magneto be grounded in reality. Max is a normal Jew, the best in the class, but it's thought of as "degenerate cunning". He doesn't let the Aryans "win", but he doesn't fight to survive. He's a contradictory character that you can't help but sympathise with. Unlike his current incarnations, Magneto's almost hypocritical character isn't outlandish and cartoony; Max here is a brilliant hero, with hopes and dreams, that has to watch his race eradicated. Sounds similar, and Pak's amazing characterisation helps us bond with Magneto. We can see the man he's going to grow up to be; and we like it.

Testament is grounded in reality, and the atrocities of World War II are all played here in a monstrous light, and I couldn't help but hope that Magneto would manifest his abilities. Through clever use of narration boxes, the entirety of the war occurs and we witness first hand the effects on the Jews. Details that you'd expect from a arthouse film occur here and I felt more educated at the end. You'll be hoping for Max all the way along, despite the man we know he's going to be. Pak's dialogue is believable and clever, with a really powerful quote about each man having a moment, and the character's are generally well developed.
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