By: Cullen Bunn (writer), Gabriel Hernandez Walta (artist), Jordie Bellaire (color artist)
The Story: The Red Skull makes things personal between he and Magneto…
Several times over…
The Review: Is there any rivalry between Marvel villains more natural than one between Magneto and the Red Skull? Two survivors of a bygone age seeking to create a world safe for a superior race, each of their lives shaped by their rivalry with one of Marvel’s greatest heroes. But, of course, where Magneto suffered through unimaginable atrocities as part of the Nazi’s Final Solution, the Skull happily profited off of the death of millions. Years ago, the two had a famous showdown, where Magneto walked away the victor, the Skull dying shortly after. But, once again Schmidt cheated death and now he’s behind Marvel’s latest event, in the form of “Axis”.
While “Axis” is clearly going to be far bigger than a single title could contain, it was almost inevitable that Magneto should get involved. Were their old enmity not enough, the Red Skull has sought to eradicate the ‘mutant menace’, moved his operation to Magneto’s old stronghold of Genosha, and desecrated the grave of Magneto’s oldest friend. In many ways, this really could have been ‘just’ a Magneto story.
Despite the natural place of this story within the “Axis” event, it does break the flow of this series a little. Even the recap page seems eager to remind you that Magneto was in the middle of another story. It just seems odd that Genosha becoming a site of mutant prison camps again should be something that sneaks up on the reader or Magneto.
Nonetheless, those fearing the worst of an event tie-in should put their minds at rest. Minor hiccups aside, this feels very much like a regular issue of Magneto.The procedural quality of the series is put to good use, taking us on a tour of hatred old and new that helps to humanize Magneto’s anger. In fact, this issue deals with a rich vein of storytelling possibilities that has gone largely unexplored since issue #2, Magneto’s guilt. Part of the horror of the Holocaust was the way in which it forced a choice between moral compromise and death. No one can, nor should, judge Magneto for what he was forced to do as a member of the Sonderkommando, the part he was forced to play in the Nazi machinery of death, but, understandable as it may be, it must be hard for him to live with that.
Filed under: Marvel Comics, Reviews | Leave a comment »