Magneto's Power (from the X-Men)

I was just watching the X-Men a few nights ago and I was wondering about Magneto’s power.

At the end of the movie they have him imprisoned in a plexiglass prison so he can’t use his considerable power to bend apart ordinary metal bars.

However, why couldn’t they have built his prison out of aluminum or some other non-ferrous material? Ok, it looks cool for the movie but the nitpicker in me wants to know. In addition, he stops bullets which shouldn’t be possible either given that lead is non-magnetic. Finally, the whole thing that got me wondering was thinking ahead to when Wolverine met Magneto whether Wolverine’s metal skeleton would be affected. In the movie it was and Magneto had absolutely zero problem dealing with Wolverine as a result.

So, is Magneto’s power really a power over all metal and not magnetic in origin at all? In that case wouldn’t a name like Metal Mangler have been more appropriate if a little less cool?

I think they want us to believe that any metal can be affected by magnetism, if the magnetic fields are really, really, really strong (the cap to the Statue of Liberty is made of copper, from what I hear…). Bullets could have been steel-jacketed, but that’s unlikely for beat cops.

What I want to know is how Cyclops’s eye beams don’t blow his eyelids clear across the room. They’re not ruby quartz, ya know…

And how did Iceman freeze that ball of fire? It’s plasma; if it cools off enough to freeze, it GOES OUT! Poof! Gone!

Remember, this is about a COMIC BOOK. You know, those worlds where you can pick up a building and swat somebody with it. Once, anyway.

Seeing as how he can control his magnetic fields at will,he could rapidly oscillate the field strength to induce currents in any conductor, including non magnetic metals, and hence move them around.

The original maglev tracks designed by Laithwaite levitated a plate of aluminium. Vats of liquid metal are often stirred using induced currents, despite the fact that they are non-magnetic.

Got this from an X-Men FAQ:

Magneto has the mutant ability to control magnetism and other related electromagnetic forces. He also possesses minor psychic abilities, such as the ability to create a psychic shield against psionic attack.

So his ability to control non-ferrous metals (like bullets or Wolverine’s adamantum skeleton) come from the “other electromagnetic forces” part of his powers. I think the reason he’s in a plexiglass cage is because he can’t affect plexiglass.

Cyclops is immune to his own blasts, so his eyelids are unaffected by them.

The ball of ice created by Iceman was probably made from the water in the air freezing around the plasma ball.

Somehow he’s always been able to affect all metals. Doesn’t make a lot of sense, but there you go.

In addition, he can fly via “magnetic lines of force”, he can shoot static electric lightning bolts, his costume’s made of colored iron particles that he holds in place through sheer force of will, and in a few dumb stories, (Avengers 110-111, frex) can control people’s minds by controlling the flow of blood via the iron in the blood to the brain.

He’s immune to his own power. He and his brother Havok are also immune to each other’s powers too.

It’s good to know stuff like this, 'cause chicks dig guys who know their comics trivia! :wink:


In the comic book – at least, so someone told me – Magneto sucked all of the adamantium out of Wolverine’s body, leaving Wolverine with claws made out of bone.

In the animated X-men series, I don’t remember Magneto ever being able to affect Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton, even when Magneto was moving other metal objects nearby. In addition to being the strongest known metal, adamantium seems to be non-magnetic.

In the cartoon that might be the case, but in the comics (as in the movie) Wolverine is definitely vulnerable to Magneto’s powers. I think Magneto has forced Wolvie to stab himself with his own claws a couple of times over the years but Wolvie’s healing abilities are always enough to save him, helped by the fact that Magneto probably was careful to only wound Wolverine not kill him outright, which I imagine he probably could do easily. After all, healing powers or not, I imagine that Wolverine would not be able to recover after beheading himself.

I also remember Wolverine losing his adamantium skeleton as well, but I’m not sure if that was an alternate reality storyline or if he is now just a normal guy with fast reflexes and superhuman healing ability. When Marvel expanded X-Men to 25 different monthly books I gave up.

In one of Marvel’s books (“The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe”), Magneto was once described as a ‘living embodiment of the Unified Field Theory.’ While he finds magnetism easy to manipulate (actually I think ‘effortless’ better describes it), he has been known to affect all the forces of nature. He can certainly control electric fields.

He’s also been able to counteract gravity with an effort, and to transmute elements (which would imply control of nuclear forces).

The plexiglas prison will make it hard on him, but he won’t be in there very long.

It was ripped out by Magneto. Wolvie got along without it for a long time. His body’s natural healing factor went into overdrive, healing him from nearly anything instantly. Not having to counteract the effects of having admantium bonded to the skeleton.
(This doesn’t address Bullseye, who had the same treatment and is otherwise normal human sans claws, and why his healing factor slowed down in later issues.)
So, after a trip to stop a skrull invasion led by X men look alikes, they discovered that Wolvie had been kidnapped and replaced with a Skrull lookalike. Apocolypse rebuilt Wolverine to original specs, so to speak, and brainwashed him to be the Horseman Death. The skrull wolverine died in the battle to retrieve the original and deprogram the original. The skrull died a hero, and the original has his skeleton back.

Oh, and Joe Quesada is now Editor in Cheif, and he’s axed 5 X books! And is going to redo Spiderman…
[sub] Yeah, I’m a comic fan. Sorta.[/sub]

The guy built his own freaking planet and you guys are gripeing because he stopped a few bullets… and he has alwasy been able to pimp wolvie around… and well basically everyone else too… the only one who really gives him any trouble is xavier… and thats through mind games …

Putting Magneto into a plexiglass prison reminds me of how the KGB thanked US intelligence for setting up a “safe” room in the 1950s. It was sealed in plexiglass to keep the sound from travelling to outside “bugging” devices and sound pick-ups.

Well, all that plastic and glass creates a great static electricity field. A decently sensitive pick-up would be able to use that static field as a microphone. Fortunately the US was tipped off to this,and after playing around a bit dropped the whole concept.

Now we know Magneto loves to play with electricity, so he’s probably just hanging out there for a nice rest until he’s up to conquering the world again.

On a tanget, how did Wolverine get his skeleton? It doesn’t really say much in the movie…

In the movie, from what I gathered, there was an operation done by someone (don’t know who) to explore the regenerative capabilities of Wolverine. Evidently they’re pretty fantastic, else he would have died from the experiment.

The mystery of Wolverine’s past is one of the big features of his character. The movie stayed true to the comic in that he has no clear memory of his life before he got his metal skeleton and claws.

The comics give a clearer picture though. He served as a secret agent for the Canadian government who may or may not have volunteered for the adamantium operation after they realized his healing powers meant that he could survive such a procedure.

He was Canada’s “Weapon X” (where he made his first appearence in an Incredible Hulk comic) before he joined the X-Men and became “Wolverine”.

A quibble: The character was named “Wolverine” in his first appearance in Hulk 180-182. There was a retcon decades later that he’d been active (as Weapon X) for years before Hulk 180-182.

Which is one of the huge, glaring holes in Marvel continuity: We SAW Adamantium being invented in Avengers 66-68. Marvel has a (dumb) rule that regardless of how much real time passes, the Fantastic Four launched that rocket 10 years ago. By that reckoning, Avengers 66 must have occured in 1994 or so.

Wolverine has been shown many times as having had Adamantium claws before the FF launched their rocket (World War Two, to name one example: 50 years before Adamantium was invented.) Let’s see Marvel try to expain that! :wink:

[sub]Like I said: Chicks dig guys who know their comics trivia!*


Could you explain what rocket? I’m not a comic guy, sorry.

What the hell is the power of that lion like dude that hangs with Magneto?

The Fantastic Four gained their powers when exposed to cosmic rays on an experimental rocket that Reed Richards designed(?) and launched.

[sub][sup]Yeah, I’m a geek[/sub][/sup]

Dude be Sabretooth. He has the healing factor and feral 'tude of Wolverine but no adamantium (in the movie, and until recently the comics, too.) Think of him as what Wolverine could have been, had he given in to his animal urges.