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X-Men: Magneto Testament

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Today, the whole world knows him as Magneto, the most radical champion of mutant rights that mankind has ever seen. But in 1935, he was just another schoolboy - who happened to be Jewish in Nazi Germany. The definitive origin story of one of Marvel's greatest icons begins with a silver chain and a crush on a girl - and quickly turns into a harrowing struggle for survival a Today, the whole world knows him as Magneto, the most radical champion of mutant rights that mankind has ever seen. But in 1935, he was just another schoolboy - who happened to be Jewish in Nazi Germany. The definitive origin story of one of Marvel's greatest icons begins with a silver chain and a crush on a girl - and quickly turns into a harrowing struggle for survival against the inexorable machinery of Hitler's Final Solution From X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong writer Greg Pak and award-winning artist Carmine Di Giandomenico. Collects X-Men: Magneto Testament #1-5.


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Today, the whole world knows him as Magneto, the most radical champion of mutant rights that mankind has ever seen. But in 1935, he was just another schoolboy - who happened to be Jewish in Nazi Germany. The definitive origin story of one of Marvel's greatest icons begins with a silver chain and a crush on a girl - and quickly turns into a harrowing struggle for survival a Today, the whole world knows him as Magneto, the most radical champion of mutant rights that mankind has ever seen. But in 1935, he was just another schoolboy - who happened to be Jewish in Nazi Germany. The definitive origin story of one of Marvel's greatest icons begins with a silver chain and a crush on a girl - and quickly turns into a harrowing struggle for survival against the inexorable machinery of Hitler's Final Solution From X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong writer Greg Pak and award-winning artist Carmine Di Giandomenico. Collects X-Men: Magneto Testament #1-5.

30 review for X-Men: Magneto Testament

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam Quixote

    I don’t know why but this is one of my most rec’d books. It’s not like I wasn’t aware of it before people started telling me to read it as I did try reading it three, maybe four years ago, but I stopped after a couple issues and never rated it. Anyhoo, to stop the recs for this ‘un I finally read the bugger and here be me thoughts on X-Men: Magneto Testament: ‘s ok… YA HAPPY NOW!?!1 Alright, I’ll do it proper. Didja ever see the first X-Men movie? That opening scene at Auschwitz, the Jewish kid I don’t know why but this is one of my most rec’d books. It’s not like I wasn’t aware of it before people started telling me to read it as I did try reading it three, maybe four years ago, but I stopped after a couple issues and never rated it. Anyhoo, to stop the recs for this ‘un I finally read the bugger and here be me thoughts on X-Men: Magneto Testament: ‘s ok… YA HAPPY NOW!?!1 Alright, I’ll do it proper. Didja ever see the first X-Men movie? That opening scene at Auschwitz, the Jewish kid gets separated from his parents by ze Germans, the trauma activates his mutant powers revealing the boy to be the legendary Marvel villain, Magneto – that’s essentially this book. I suspected as much on my first reading attempt and that’s why I didn’t bother finishing. And really that succinct scene is all the origin Magneto needs, making this overlong book, that tells the same story, completely redundant. Then again, given the teacher’s lesson plans included at the back, I’m guessing this isn’t intended to be just an origin story but more of an accessible entry point to teach youngsters about the Holocaust. And in that regard, the book provides a decent overview of that horrific event and I imagine for readers unfamiliar with the subject that this would be gripping and informative to learn about. Except I’ve studied the Third Reich, Hitler’s rise to power and the persecution of the Jews at university-level, and have read several books and seen numerous films, TV shows and documentaries on the subject so there’s nothing new here for me; I was just being reminded, in a very cursory and basic way, of what I’ve already long known. The book doesn’t offer much more than a timeline leading to Auschwitz. As you might expect for a book intended to highlight the Holocaust, Magneto is underwritten as a character and is mostly a passive bystander. In fact, if this weren’t published by Marvel or have X-Men and Magneto in the title, this could easily be read as a non-superhero history comic – his powers are so subtly hinted at that readers who don’t know the character at all are unlikely to notice when they’re used. He has a weak romance subplot with a gypsy girl and his Jewish family are badly treated – it’s all so predictable and unimaginative. Still, I couldn’t help but be moved at seeing the extent of the suffering the Nazis victims endured, regardless of how many times I’ve heard the stories of the death camps. It’s skilful but I wasn’t that taken with Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art, whose characters all looked a bit too similar and the sad, overly cartoonish eyes seemed gratuitously maudlin. The subject matter alone is powerful enough, you don’t need to try to manipulate the reader into feeling even more sympathy for the persecuted. Also included is a short comic with art by industry legends Neal Adams and Joe Kubert about Dina Babbitt, the artist who painted portraits of Josef Mengele’s victims at Auschwitz under duress, and her attempts to procure her paintings back from the Auschwitz Museum in the decades after the war. I can’t say I feel that strongly about the matter, particularly as I can see why the Museum would want to keep them – to use them as teaching tools to continue to educate and bring the memories of that time to life – and I’m not sure what better things Babbitt would’ve done with them herself anyway. I really don’t have a dog in this fight and she’s been dead for a few years now anyway so… Don’t pick this one up expecting your usual Marvel comic or even that captivating an origin story for Magneto – Greg Pak really doesn’t do anything that wasn’t done better in that scene from Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie – but X-Men: Magneto Testament is good as a kind of primer to those who don’t already know about the Holocaust or the nightmare that was Auschwitz. Still, Maus remains the definitive comic on the Holocaust and I would recommend both that and Reinhard Kleist’s The Boxer over Magneto Testament, especially as The Boxer tells the same story but far better.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    For all of you out there who think comic books are for kids (or for geeky adults with short attention spans and a lower than average IQ), I'd like to point out that graphic novels (as we like to call them) are actually fairly progressive when it comes to making social commentary. And they have been for years. So it's really no surprise that Marvel incorporated the Holocaust into the origin story of one of it's biggest characters. Kudos to Marvel and Greg Pak for a job well done. This isn't a supe For all of you out there who think comic books are for kids (or for geeky adults with short attention spans and a lower than average IQ), I'd like to point out that graphic novels (as we like to call them) are actually fairly progressive when it comes to making social commentary. And they have been for years. So it's really no surprise that Marvel incorporated the Holocaust into the origin story of one of it's biggest characters. Kudos to Marvel and Greg Pak for a job well done. This isn't a superhero story, though. This is really the story of one Jewish boy (and his family) who lived in Germany during World War II. So, you can imagine how well that turned out for them. It is the origin story of Magneto, however. And as much as I hated to do it, I couldn't give it the 5 stars that I wanted to, because although Greg Pak was true to the events of the Holocaust, I felt he wasn't true to the story of the mutants. I kept thinking, isn't the mutant gene triggered during puberty or during some traumatic event? This story was about an adolescent Magneto who eventually ends up in Auschwitz. If starting your period will bring out the mutant gene, doesn't it make sense that watching your family being slaughtered might also kick it into overdrive? I'm just saying. But that's not really the point of this book, is it? You've gotta admit, though, it would have been awesome to see Magneto kick some Nazi ass! The last page of the book is a scene where Magneto is digging through the rubble of the now-destroyed Auschwitz. He finds the canister in which he had secretly written what he assumed would be his last testament. This is what it said: My name is Max Eisenhardt. To whoever finds this, I am sorry. Because I'm dead...and now it's up to you. Tell everyone who will listen. Tell everyone who won't. Please. Don't let this ever happen again. Whether or not the human race has learned anything from the mass genocide committed during this time is questionable. As I was reading this, I wondered how the Allied Forces could have sat by and done nothing. If their planes were flying over the concentration camps, they had to have known, right? Weren't there already rumors of what the Nazis were doing floating around the world? Where was the public outrage during this time? Then I thought about it some more and realized exactly how something like this could be allowed to continue. For example, haven't we all heard about what's happening in Africa? Maybe someday my kids will wonder how we could have let something like that continue... Sorry, kids. Those countries didn't have any oil.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Paul E. Morph

    A powerful piece of work with fantastic artwork. If you want to read about the early days of the boy who would become Magneto, this is a great place to start.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019

    "My name is Max Eisenhardt. To whoever finds this, I'm sorry because I'm dead and it's now up to you. Tell everyone who will listen. Tell everyone who won't. Please don't let this happen ever again." This was a letter written by a Jewish teenage boy inside the Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz where he was one of the designated Sonderkommando who were laborers in the crematoria which is possibly the most degrading and sickening occupation ever created during the second World War. They were "My name is Max Eisenhardt. To whoever finds this, I'm sorry because I'm dead and it's now up to you. Tell everyone who will listen. Tell everyone who won't. Please don't let this happen ever again." This was a letter written by a Jewish teenage boy inside the Nazi concentration camps in Auschwitz where he was one of the designated Sonderkommando who were laborers in the crematoria which is possibly the most degrading and sickening occupation ever created during the second World War. They were the ones who had to burn the bodies of fellow Jewish prisoners after various executions (usually in gas chambers), and the most upsetting of which has to be when they had to cremate mass graves. This young man had lost his family during a firing squad which he was the only survivor of, and while at camps he spent his entire time there trying to save Magda, a gypsy girl he went to school and fell in love with. Her survival has given him more hope to live for than his own. Max Eisenhardt ultimately endures the horrors of the Nazi regime, thanks to his timing, resourcefulness and patience, but he was no longer a whole person after those wretched and traumatic experiences either, and this fearful and abused teenage boy eventually hardens into a man who now calls himself Erik Lehnsherr, otherwise known as the mutant revolutionist, Magneto, leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants. Written by Greg Pak (whose only work I have ever encountered was DC New 52's Batman-Superman) and illustrated by Carmine DiGiandomenico, MAGNETO TESTAMENT is a rather harrowing examination of the dark forces that shaped the boy called Max Eisenhardt into something deliberately extraordinary years after. Composed of five chapters and tons of research about the accounts written on the events within Nazi prison camps, Magneto Testament included some of the most depressing and at times intensely moving moments of what it must have been like for someone of young Magneto's lineage to grow up during one of the darkest periods in human history. I think this was the first time in X-Men canon that a writer has attempted to expound in narrative detail the terrible things a young Magneto had to undergo during such a criminally racist time when hatred and violence against the Jewish people were so disgustingly rampant that anyone who belonged to such a troubled time couldn't possibly stay sane, especially someone like Max Eisenhardt who watched his loved ones perish and had to take care of the remains of total strangers whose only connection he had with was the fact that they were condemned as an unclean race lower than the average human. It's fucking gross, and reading Magneto Testament is uniquely painful because of the small brutalities explored in every issue. I would like to applaud Pak in successfully delivering a rather humane piece in this twisted coming-of-age story truly deserving of one of comics' most multifaceted and compelling villains. I think Pak captured the essence of what must have given Magento during the later years his righteous rage and motivation which in turn gave him the solid platform to stand on and justify his war against the human race. I don't exactly consider myself a Magneto apologist or full-pledged sympathizer because some of his revolutionary activities done in the name of mutant superiority can be extreme and misguided, if not tragically ironic. But I think anyone who claims to either enjoy or despise his character has to at least understand his personal history, and it pleases me that Greg Pak has accomplished just that for his writing in Magneto Testament. What I consider most commendable is the fact that Pak did not even focus on Max's mutation as a metal telekinetic. There are hints and manifestations of his powers across the issues, such as the ability to throw steel lances in a far distance and the fact that he unconsciously avoided bullets during that awful firing squad scene with his family. But Pak did not give any indication that young Max even knew how special and different he is which I thought was a great choice for the story because Pak opted to highlight his permeating helplessness as an innocent Jewish boy who had to witness the inhumane acts committed around him whose cycle of systematic violence he reluctantly learned to become a part of as well. His journey as a lowly laborer to eventual Sonderkommado has enabled him to get a closer look at the surrounding abyss whenever he had to drag and burn the bodies of countless gassed victims. Young Max had no other choice but to unflinchingly stare back at the hideous darkness and welcome it into his personal space if he ever hopes to overcome it. As rich as the stomach-lurching scenes were for this comic book, it has to be the tiniest things that made me tear up. One of them was this full-paged panel where Max glimpsed through a room filled entirely with eyeglasses. It literally made me put down what I was reading as I closed my eyes and willed myself to breathe normally again. There was just something about it that struck me in the most visceral sense. It was so damn visually painful and inexplicably so. Even now I'm not sure why it emotionally wounded me when there are many scenes in the comic book which are more brutal and disheartening to look at. I suppose it truly is this small kind of horrific imagery that is seemingly inconsequential and mundane that left a rather huge impact on me. As depressing as everything is about Magneto Testament, there were impressive moments of light and sweetness concerning Max's feelings for the girl Magda and his determination to save her and get her out alive. From what I know in the canon, they eventually get married and have a daughter named Anya but Pak did not add this piece of canon information for his story which was okay because reading about a hopeful Max whose devotion and concern for a girl he barely knew was so heartbreakingly simple yet moving to watch unfold. It was enough for me to cling onto. I think my emotional investment for them was particularly high because I know what was going to happen to them after the Nazis were defeated. For this key event, Chris Claremont (who was the one who gave Magneto the Holocaust survivor background thirty years ago) touched upon it in the third volume of Excalibur, issue #6 but in case you're interested to know more about it, let me briefly talk about it here if you don't mind more spoilers. Both Erik (this is Magneto's latest name in the comics these days) and Magda escaped the camps and are more than eager to start a new life together with their daughter but a commotion happens when a bunch of Nazi sympathizers tracked them down along with other Jewish people. These assholes burned down the apartment complex where Anya was sleeping and she was trapped as Erik couldn't get her out in time. Angered beyond reprieve, his child's death was the catalyst that brought out Erik's mutant powers to the surface and he proceeds to kill them using magnetism and metal telekinesis. Magda witnessed this and called him a monster, fearing he will endanger the unborn twins in her womb she never got to tell him about. These twins eventually grow up as mutants themselves named Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, and they were reunited with their father somewhere along the way though it took some time for either parties to realize that they were family. But for now, here in Magneto Testament, we have young Max and Magda clinging onto their young, blossoming love at a time a happily-ever-after doesn't seem to be possible, blissfully unaware that their cavalry has just began. In a nutshell, Magneto Testament is a searing and sublime tale about the ugly crudeness that human beings are capable of committing on one another, particularly against a minority they perceive as inferior; and how one boy's quest for survival turns him into an avenging force of nature once he becomes a man fully capable of bending worlds to his will in the name of justice he was long denied of. In a final act of redemption, the letter he wrote at the camps as a boy eventually finds a way back to him, symbolizing and affirming the truth that it is ultimately up to him after all to ensure that another Holocaust does not come to pass ever again. This is duly recommended to both X-Men fans and comic book aficionados, especially if you're generally interested in works of fiction based on the horrors of Holocaust. I think this comic book really dealt with the events as sensitively as it could and truly delivered a magnificent Magneto-centered parable at its core. RECOMMENDED: 9/10

  5. 4 out of 5

    Terence

    Even the incredibly powerful Master of Magnetism Magneto was once a boy. A very unfortunately Jewish boy who happened to be born in Germany a few years before World War II. Magneto still went by his real name Max Eisenhardt. Max's tale is a familiar one to any person unfortunate enough to have been Jewish while Hitler took over Europe. Seeing the pictures of what happened even in comic form is just unbelievable. It's terrifying to realize one hateful man could be the impetus and the engine to suc Even the incredibly powerful Master of Magnetism Magneto was once a boy. A very unfortunately Jewish boy who happened to be born in Germany a few years before World War II. Magneto still went by his real name Max Eisenhardt. Max's tale is a familiar one to any person unfortunate enough to have been Jewish while Hitler took over Europe. Seeing the pictures of what happened even in comic form is just unbelievable. It's terrifying to realize one hateful man could be the impetus and the engine to such depravity against fellow countrymen is horrible. It's all too easy to see no matter what happened or who Magneto was fighting why he'd never stand down and let the Mutants be rounded up like the Jews. On a different and minor note I wonder what Marvel will do with Magneto's backstory in the future. The comic depicted little Max as 9 hears old in 1936 making him 90 years old as of right now. I realize in a world where a man has dominion over magnetism him being 90 isn't a huge deal, but what about in 20 years. Will Magneto just be the baddest man old man by using his powers to roll himself around in a wheelchair? It will probably just be ignored, but it was a random thought on my mind.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jacobi

    This book is deceiving. You would think a book about a young Magneto trying to survive in Nazi controlled Auschwitz would be one thing, but it's totally not that thing. This is a straight up story about a Jewish family being beaten and abused at every turn, yet still finding a way to persevere. This isn't the most original story, but it is very well done. I give Marvel credit for putting this out, and not going all cheesy with Magneto making metal monsters to fight Nazis (which could have easily This book is deceiving. You would think a book about a young Magneto trying to survive in Nazi controlled Auschwitz would be one thing, but it's totally not that thing. This is a straight up story about a Jewish family being beaten and abused at every turn, yet still finding a way to persevere. This isn't the most original story, but it is very well done. I give Marvel credit for putting this out, and not going all cheesy with Magneto making metal monsters to fight Nazis (which could have easily happened). Even cooler is this book has lesson plans in the back for teachers. It didn't even occur to me that this book could be used as a teaching tool, but it absolutely could be. In the foreword, Pak goes out of his way to say all of the information in the book is factual, so I could see this being in the Holocaust unit of a middle school history class in the same way The Sound of Music or Schindler's List are used. Also, the art is crazy good. But there were a few times I got a little lost in the storytelling, and wasn't able to tell just what was happening. That could be I wasn't being a careful enough reader, but that doesn't change the fact that a few pages and transitions lost me.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Gorab Jain

    3.5 Impressive. Even without any X-Men background, this serves a good holocaust coverage. Would like to read more such details of other X-Men characters.

  8. 4 out of 5

    James DeSantis

    Short reviews from here on put till get back from San Diego! This was a dark story of Magneto as a kid growing up during the holocaust. It's powerful visually and well told but I thought it ran so quick through events I couldn't get attached. Still, a very different and interesting tale.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Blindzider

    I'm a little torn on this. First of all, it is very well written. It gives an accurate retelling of the plight of Jews at the beginning of WWII as well as time spent as prisoners in concentration camps. By coincidence I just finished reading "Man's Search for Meaning" and could parallel some of the experiences between Magneto and Frankl. But that's also the problem with this: it feels too much like a graphic novel about the concentration camps and not really a story about Magneto. Sure he's the m I'm a little torn on this. First of all, it is very well written. It gives an accurate retelling of the plight of Jews at the beginning of WWII as well as time spent as prisoners in concentration camps. By coincidence I just finished reading "Man's Search for Meaning" and could parallel some of the experiences between Magneto and Frankl. But that's also the problem with this: it feels too much like a graphic novel about the concentration camps and not really a story about Magneto. Sure he's the main character and it's about him, but if you didn't know it was him, there's only one small part that you might figure out who it was. It just feels like a historical graphic novel as opposed to an X-Men story. The art is passable at best. Many of the character looks so alike I was confused sometimes who was speaking. And I swear Magneto and Magda look exactly alike.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pinkerton

    One of the best page in the history of Marvel comics, one of the worst page in the history of humanity. No Magneto, no hero, only Max Eisenhardt... together to millions of people in this tragedy. His first experience with (but would be better say ‘against’) prejudice, that will accompany him long the entire life. I think these aren’t Magneto origins but, the origin of the man under the helmet, and the reason because he will became the mutant chief that we know. Thanks to this giant size edition ( One of the best page in the history of Marvel comics, one of the worst page in the history of humanity. No Magneto, no hero, only Max Eisenhardt... together to millions of people in this tragedy. His first experience with (but would be better say ‘against’) prejudice, that will accompany him long the entire life. I think these aren’t Magneto origins but, the origin of the man under the helmet, and the reason because he will became the mutant chief that we know. Thanks to this giant size edition (and consequently large illustrations) you can “feel” the story even better. Don’t forget the very big poster. A job that deserve a so excellent edition, and a title that everyone should really read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Helen

    Well-researched, written, and drawn, Marvel graphic novel, detailing the harrowing story of Jewish Berliner, Max Eisenhardt, Holocaust survivor, who later became superhero Magneto. This work is quite raw in giving particulars of the Sonderkommando operations at Auschwitz, where Eisenhardt worked for 2 years. After the Nuremberg Laws are enacted, Eisenhardt finds himself in rural Poland, after his family decides to flee to relatives there. Later, the Eisenhardts are in the Warsaw Ghetto, and Max Well-researched, written, and drawn, Marvel graphic novel, detailing the harrowing story of Jewish Berliner, Max Eisenhardt, Holocaust survivor, who later became superhero Magneto. This work is quite raw in giving particulars of the Sonderkommando operations at Auschwitz, where Eisenhardt worked for 2 years. After the Nuremberg Laws are enacted, Eisenhardt finds himself in rural Poland, after his family decides to flee to relatives there. Later, the Eisenhardts are in the Warsaw Ghetto, and Max takes up smuggling/stealing to supplement their meager caloric intake (under 200 cal per day for Jews) meted out by the Nazis, which resulted in 2,000 Ghetto dwellers dying of starvation per day. Eisenhardt and his family played by the rules, in fact, Eisenhardt's dad was a decorated German Army WWI hero, as were about 35,000 other German Jewish men (along with 12,000 KIA) out of 100,000 Jews who served in the German armed forces during WWI - an astounding ratio. It wasn't enough that President Hindenburg had said that the Jews who bled for Germany were German enough for him, by God! The Eisenhardt family was swept up in the cataclysm of bigotry and hate unleashed and promoted by the Nazis, ended up murdered by Nazis, except for Max, who, because he possessed mutant superpowers (which are only subtly hinted at in the graphic novel) literally dodged Nazi bullets and alone emerged from the massacre pit alive. I won't discuss more of the story - to avoid spoiling the suspense of the plot for readers of this review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Justyn Rampa

    This volume demonstrates the transcendent power of comics. I don't know that I can truly find the words to do this work justice in my review, but I will try. This is an origin story of a complicated figure in comics, sometimes villain, sometimes hero, but always a compelling figure. Most people know him as Magneto, but he began his life as a Jewish boy named Max. As a boy, Max has to endure the horrifying atrocity of the Holocaust. This is his story. The story of the boy named Max who would one day g This volume demonstrates the transcendent power of comics. I don't know that I can truly find the words to do this work justice in my review, but I will try. This is an origin story of a complicated figure in comics, sometimes villain, sometimes hero, but always a compelling figure. Most people know him as Magneto, but he began his life as a Jewish boy named Max. As a boy, Max has to endure the horrifying atrocity of the Holocaust. This is his story. The story of the boy named Max who would one day grow up to be the man called Magento, who right or wrong, fights for mutant rights. The illustrations are well done and dramatically used. The research that went into the volume is apparent and there is even a teacher's guide in the back with a lesson plan and activities. X-Men: Magneto Testament is an example of the very best of a medium and I am in awe of Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico for their work on this very painful and articulate expression of one mankind's darkest hours.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    Well that was depressing. Well-researched and with vivid scenes and characters, I found myself pretty compelled to finish once I got started. That partly comes from deep knowledge of where the story is headed, rather than necessarily a compelling writer or artist. This was admirable work, and while I wanted to enjoy it on its own merits it's hard to separate the "of course I know I'm horrified" conditioning from birth, from any specific response to the specific presentation here in this instance. Well that was depressing. Well-researched and with vivid scenes and characters, I found myself pretty compelled to finish once I got started. That partly comes from deep knowledge of where the story is headed, rather than necessarily a compelling writer or artist. This was admirable work, and while I wanted to enjoy it on its own merits it's hard to separate the "of course I know I'm horrified" conditioning from birth, from any specific response to the specific presentation here in this instance. A few things stood out: the coins, the presence of recurring characters, a few moments of inconsequential hope dashed. I didn't find myself particularly moved by this book, as I'd hoped - but then again I've already learned many of these facts and ideas elsewhere. This'll probably hit kids like a ton of bricks. Hard to say how much I liked this on it's merits, but that it pierced my world-weary cynicism in any meaningful way is praiseworthy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    توفيق عبد الرحيم

    Wow no super powers no super villains just plain holocaust story and building up the character of young magneto seeing his people oppressed seeing his family killed in front of his eyes being a sonderkomando and taking part in the burning of millions of jews the helplessness he felt while denying the fighter inside him air to survive to save himself and to save magda his future wife and mother of his son and daughter its just amazing i loved it

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    I'm not sure what sets this book apart. Yeah, it's a Holocaust story that uses Magneto as its main character, with his nascent magnetic powers only showing up a handful of times in the five-issue story. But it's not that different from other movies or books trying to turn the Holocaust into a story about one survivor. Snippets of the main character's life reflect wider social trends; his perseverance reflects millions. But this book tries to do too much. Every few pages exposition-heavy text box I'm not sure what sets this book apart. Yeah, it's a Holocaust story that uses Magneto as its main character, with his nascent magnetic powers only showing up a handful of times in the five-issue story. But it's not that different from other movies or books trying to turn the Holocaust into a story about one survivor. Snippets of the main character's life reflect wider social trends; his perseverance reflects millions. But this book tries to do too much. Every few pages exposition-heavy text boxes push the story forward or offer the needed history lessons. Comics' conventions allow for this side-information much more gracefully, yet it still feels like too much is being crammed into one boy's story. The plight of millions murdered is harrowing and huge, but Magneto's story at times feels too slight. Writer Greg Pak does his best to make Magneto into an everyman, but what's the point of having him blend in--he's supposed to turn into a villain who has no problem with the next-brand of eugenics--mutants over humans. If his experience of the Holocaust was so typical, why's he the only one who wants to enslave all humans? It's hard to pick up much from the supervillain's story that applies to his later characterization. That lacking raises the question of why Marvel bothered producing this book. One answer might come from the teacher's guide at the back of the book--a desire to once again educate people that (most of) this all happened. With all the Holocaust deniers out there, that acceptable. Comics have strong Jewish roots--in fact, the best part of the book is probably the six-page story about a Czechoslovakian artist who endured the Holocaust created by a Jewish star-studded crew including Stan Lee, Joe Kubert, and Neal Adams. But, obviously, comics have already done this story, and done it better. A more crass explanation could be an attempt to find a new way to make money off of existing characters. After all, each class-set of this book will bring in a couple hundred bucks. That money's better spent elsewhere.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Damon

    A horrible encounter with Nazi Germany with Magneto as the young protagonist. I like that this could be a story completely independent of the X-Men comics. The story could have been a lot longer but might have just ended up a lot more gruesome; so happy with the length really.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dimitris

    Magneto Testament is a ghaphic novel that not only manages to humanize the fearsome Magneto but also to show us the nazi atrocities of the holocaust.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    Magneto has always been my favorite character in the X-Men universe. He was always so intriguing to me and his backstory always interested me. In the comics, it's confusing as to Magneto's backstory besides knowing he was Jewish and went to Auschwitz. This really cleared a lot up and the writers worked to make sure that the story stayed consistent with the previous comic's stories of Magneto. This book broke my heart. As a fan of Magneto I always wanted his thought process, why he was how he was Magneto has always been my favorite character in the X-Men universe. He was always so intriguing to me and his backstory always interested me. In the comics, it's confusing as to Magneto's backstory besides knowing he was Jewish and went to Auschwitz. This really cleared a lot up and the writers worked to make sure that the story stayed consistent with the previous comic's stories of Magneto. This book broke my heart. As a fan of Magneto I always wanted his thought process, why he was how he was. This really answered that question for me and made me love and feel for him even more. It's clear that the writers and artist did a lot of research and looked at a lot of stories to shape magneto's backstory. It doesn't start with him in the camp, it leads up to it and the scene with his family absolutely broke my heart. I had to put the book down I was crying so hard. This book is a hard one to read, they aren't afraid to hold back on the atrocities that happened and it really added to the story. It doesn't cover anything up and is true to the large story it's telling. Magneto in this interested me. It was interesting to see him as a boy who was actually really loving and caring and loved his family and how his experience with the Holocaust shaped him. This comic made me understand Magneto more and I appreciate the writers for giving that. If you love Magneto or even just the X-Men universe, I would read this because not only is Magneto's story important but the bigger story they tell in it is as well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Eli Seibert

    I've seen trailers for movies that say something along the lines of "enter a world that defies imagination", and shows lot of bright colors and kaleidoscope shapes. I never understood that; it exists, therefor it was imagined. To me, what really defies imagination is what happened to the millions of people during the second world war. The inhumanity of it all is just too much to get my brain around. How could this of happened? Why did anyone let it get that far? The horrors those poor people had I've seen trailers for movies that say something along the lines of "enter a world that defies imagination", and shows lot of bright colors and kaleidoscope shapes. I never understood that; it exists, therefor it was imagined. To me, what really defies imagination is what happened to the millions of people during the second world war. The inhumanity of it all is just too much to get my brain around. How could this of happened? Why did anyone let it get that far? The horrors those poor people had to endure is what defies imagination for me. And their resilience and perseverance defies inspiration. Even though this story revolves around a fictional character, the story itself is very rooted in fact, and gives little snippets of information at certain points, which helped me understand the scale of what was happening. If you want to read this in the hopes that a young Magneto will just get fed up, and use his rage and powers to tear down the Nazi regime by himself, this is the wrong book for you. This book only hints at his powers once or twice, and the ending isn't a happy one. This book simply shows that horrors of the holocaust, and gives insight into the life of the young man who would one day be the X-Men's greatest "villain". But honestly, after what he went through, is he really so wrong to hate humanity?

  20. 5 out of 5

    Etienne

    Not what I was expecting at all! It's a good comic book about the Holocaust, covering all those terrible events, and I was expecting that to be a part of the series, maybe he first issue, but it's all that. Magneto never become Magneto in this series, he is just a boy in the horrible WWII period of times. As an historical comic it was well done, as an X-Men one it was horrible...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Himanshu Karmacharya

    Beautiful and tragic, Greg Park delivers a powerful origin story of the master of magnetism which I would recommend not only to X-Men fans but to any person who wants to have a unforgettable reading experience. The plot is supported by beautiful artwork from Carmine Di Giandomenico.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Redwan Orittro

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What a wonderful wonderful read. This book is set before Magneto even discovered his mutant powers. Set in Europe, when the Nazis were systematically massacring Jews, this story explores the tragic origins of the boy who will grow up to be the leader of Brotherhood of Mutants.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Stuff I Read – Magneto Testament So I will preface this by saying that continuity is a strange thing. There are some things that one must accept about the premise of this story for it to make any sort of sense in continuity. For Eric Lensherr to become Max Eisenhardt one has to just sort of look the other way when it comes to the greater Marvel universe. Not that that detracts from the story itself, but it makes where it fits into the Marvel meta-narrative a bit murky. Because Magneto always had Stuff I Read – Magneto Testament So I will preface this by saying that continuity is a strange thing. There are some things that one must accept about the premise of this story for it to make any sort of sense in continuity. For Eric Lensherr to become Max Eisenhardt one has to just sort of look the other way when it comes to the greater Marvel universe. Not that that detracts from the story itself, but it makes where it fits into the Marvel meta-narrative a bit murky. Because Magneto always had white hair, and some of the work done in the past with Magneto during WWII seem to contradict this version. But besides the white hair thing, which I assume was changed to make this a bit more realistic (because even though even baby Magneto had white hair, it would be a very odd bit to have in Nazi Germany). The story itself is a familiar, if very effective, narrative of a Jewish youth during WWII. The same elements that are in every Jewish tale from the time: the ghettos, the moving, the trains, the lying about age, the atrocities. These are very real, but at the same time part of me is a bit desensitized to these particular elements as they are well trod ground from movies, books, and even other comics of the time. That said, the story does contain enough new (if that is even the right word) insights into the time as to make it stand out a bit, and especially because Magneto works as a Sonderkommando and takes part in many of the historical goings on in Auschwitz,. And the writing is perfect for the story, and pays proper respect to the Holocaust and the horrors of that time. It is emotionally sound and well researched, full of moments of stunning captions that describe events while the story stays on Max and his personal struggles. What I feel is missing is the Magneto in all of this. Perhaps it sounds insensitive but for a story billed as X-Men: Magneto Testament, there is no X-Men and the Magneto presented doesn’t quite add up to the Magneto of Marvel fame. Perhaps this is because these are his formative years, but at this point he seems very committed and hopeful, not the extremely angry and proactive man he becomes. When he is proactive he is forced to be. He seems to learn the lesson about the nail that stands out gets the hammer by playing it as safe as possible. Which is necessary for him to survive, but still does not mesh with the man Magneto will become. All said, though, it was excellent storytelling. In the end I only had the slightest problem that this was not really a story about Magneto. It was, instead, a story about the Holocaust and the pain and trials of someone who survived had to go through. It wasn’t over the top or disrespectful. It was appropriate and well done, and earns a 9/10.

  24. 4 out of 5

    James Mourgos

    X-Men: Magneto, Testament As a collector of comics I know that most comics are not for kids and often have adult themes that make you think, that make you contemplate or are just plain fun and enjoyable. Though not enjoyable in that sense, this compilation gives a true account of Max Eisenhart's (Magneto, enemy of the X-Men) experiences as a Jew growing up in 1930s/1940s Nazi Germany and Poland. After reading this, anyone who thinks comics are for kids or Holocaust deniers really need to wake up X-Men: Magneto, Testament As a collector of comics I know that most comics are not for kids and often have adult themes that make you think, that make you contemplate or are just plain fun and enjoyable. Though not enjoyable in that sense, this compilation gives a true account of Max Eisenhart's (Magneto, enemy of the X-Men) experiences as a Jew growing up in 1930s/1940s Nazi Germany and Poland. After reading this, anyone who thinks comics are for kids or Holocaust deniers really need to wake up and smell the blood – the book is visceral, based on historic facts and explain a lot about Max and his dedication to his family and his deadening of feelings towards death and sacrifice. Impressive art by Di Giandomenico was at times hard to take – the extermination of the Jews, the cruelty of their Nazi "masters" and the apathy and unbelievability of what was happening – really hits you in the gut in its realism and imagination. Max's magnetic powers come to play in a javelin-throwing contest where he beats the Aryan competitors. He is called a cheating Jew and beat up for his trouble. The Berlin Games where African American Jesse Owens wins a few gold medals and the Nazi response is also telling. To call the story a slam against racism and against prejudice is obvious and trite. It's about a boy who grows up quickly, protects his family and builds a center of hate. Pak writes a story much different than the origins of Magneto in the X-Men films or the earlier comics, so don't expect a lot of super-heroics – although heroism is another theme explored. The end of the book has some references the writer gleaned from and even a Teacher's Guide for this book is also meant to be an educational tool. Finally, an article about a Jewish artist who, at the time of publication, is demanding her art work back from a Polish museum who have refused to do it – Dina Babbitt, who was forced to paint pictures of gypsies by Mengele himself. Art by Joe Kubert and others, and an essay on the atrocity by Stan Lee. Dina passed away after publication, so I don't know if she ever got her art back! A pity! Bottom Line: Excellent piece of work – more for those who want to get a personal history of what went on at Auschwitz and other camps, or teachers who want to get a close, real look on the Jewish struggle to their young students – and even for X-Men fans! An honest and at times hard to read, but necessary to tell, tale. Recommended.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Fans of the X-Men know that Eric Lensherr, the man known as the evil mutant Magneto, was a German Jew who survived the concentration camps. Few know that his name was really named Max Eisenhardt. X-Men Origins told the story of Logan/Wolverine and was turned into a great movie. Magneto Testament was written for a different reason. Readers learn more about Magneto's youth and why he became Magneto, but the real story is the horror of the Holocaust. The tale starts in 1935, Max is mistreated at sch Fans of the X-Men know that Eric Lensherr, the man known as the evil mutant Magneto, was a German Jew who survived the concentration camps. Few know that his name was really named Max Eisenhardt. X-Men Origins told the story of Logan/Wolverine and was turned into a great movie. Magneto Testament was written for a different reason. Readers learn more about Magneto's youth and why he became Magneto, but the real story is the horror of the Holocaust. The tale starts in 1935, Max is mistreated at school and in his community because he is a Jew, but it is just a minor precursor to the horrors he will see as the Nazi regime comes into full force. The Nazis invade Poland and increase there actions against the Jewish population. Before long, Max finds himself in Auschwitz. Through it all, he finds strength in the strong men around him. His father and his Uncle Erich disagree about whether it is better to resist the Nazis or to "behave," and a former teacher does everything he can to protect Max once he is alone on the camp. In fact, the teacher does such a good job that Max finds ways to get some perks for himself. He doesn't just use his connections to help himself, though. A gypsy girl named Magda, whom he has always had strong feelings for also turns up in the camp, and Max decides to do whatever he can to help her survive. The story is incredibly moving and the story and the art really capture the grim reality of those being dehumanized and killed in the concentration camps and throughout the Holocaust. This is not a story about people with superpowers, but it is a story about people rising up and fighting to survive against the ultimate evil. After the primary story is completed, there is also a brief comic that tells the tale of a woman who worked at Marvel who was a true hero of the Holocaust. There is also a great set of classroom activities and curriculum support for teachers who would like to include this book and story as a part of the curriculum. It would be a really great way to reach reluctant readers. The suggestions are designed in a way that would support rubrics and curriculum requirements common in many states.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jeice

    I have to be honest, this is not a great Magneto origin story. There is not much in here that reveals new or compelling truths about who Magneto is, and no real insight into why he became what he has become. There is little in Max Eisenhardt (for that apparently is his original name, not Erik Lensherr as basically every other story states) that connects him to the Master of Magnetism besides being Jewish in Germany and a slight penchant for finding metal trinkets. As a Magneto origin story, I'd I have to be honest, this is not a great Magneto origin story. There is not much in here that reveals new or compelling truths about who Magneto is, and no real insight into why he became what he has become. There is little in Max Eisenhardt (for that apparently is his original name, not Erik Lensherr as basically every other story states) that connects him to the Master of Magnetism besides being Jewish in Germany and a slight penchant for finding metal trinkets. As a Magneto origin story, I'd give this a two.  Why then did I give it four stars? Because this book does a fantastic and honorable job of telling a story set in the tragedy of the Holocaust. The tension of experiencing the rising oppression and impending sense of doom through Max's families' eyes is masterfully executed. The story itself is not a unique telling of Holocaust survival, but handles all of the tropes well enough to be moving and engaging. It's also filled with historical facts, and presents them at such times and with such starkness that it was chilling.  It could have been very difficult to make an impactful Magneto origin story while treating the context -- The Holocaust -- with respect. Greg Pak does this by removing most of the Magneto from the equation and keeping the story mostly grounded in realism. This could have just been named Testament, left exactly as is, and people would probably laud it as a poignant historical fiction with just the slightest bit of fantasy, and have no clue that this is supposed to be about a superhero/villain. The art is also a different style than what is common in superhero comics. It's slightly cartoonish in a way that makes it seem more earnest and adult, like paintings from an artist.  The fact that I don't care that this technically fails to be what it set out to be is a testament (see what I did there?) to the quality of the work. If you are a fan of historical fiction, dramatic stories, or just enjoy quality storytelling in any form you'll probably think this book is Mag-Neato! (See? I did it again! Don't worry, I'll stop now. I think I've Pakked these puns to the Max.)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Guillermo

    "Sometimes in this life, you get a moment, a time when everything lines up. When anything is possible. When suddenly you can make things happen. God help us if we take that moment. And God forgive us if we don't." Those are the words we deserved to hear on the big screen, instead we got X-Men: First Class. Not that I'm comparing standing up against the S.S. men during the holocaust to a mediocre movie. It's nothing like that. As a fan of the X-Men franchise, I feel we deserved something better. S "Sometimes in this life, you get a moment, a time when everything lines up. When anything is possible. When suddenly you can make things happen. God help us if we take that moment. And God forgive us if we don't." Those are the words we deserved to hear on the big screen, instead we got X-Men: First Class. Not that I'm comparing standing up against the S.S. men during the holocaust to a mediocre movie. It's nothing like that. As a fan of the X-Men franchise, I feel we deserved something better. Something that helped us understand Magneto's anger. After reading Greg Pak's story in X-Men: Magneto Testament, I say that we finally have it. However, the miniseries was overlooked. It still deserves a adaptation of its own. Maybe not for the big screen, but for the small screen. A direct-to-DVD animated film. Something to think about. The five-part miniseries that chronicles Max Esienhardt's life during the most horrific time in human history. From being mistreated because he was a Jew in an all Aryan school to witnessing the murder of his family to finally taking a stand against the monsters who stole his childhood away from him. Di Giandomenico's art work captures emotions - though, at some points, it's hard to decipher one character from the next, even Max's love interest, Magda, looks similar to Max. That aside, the story and art play off each other when it comes to the emotions. Even in the happier panels in the first chapter are dreary and dark. There is little room for happiness in this story. And the grains that we received are treasured. The graphic novel also includes historical notes and pointers, even adding a section to use the story as a text book. It's more than just a comic book, I should say.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Erikka

    Wow. Just wow. When Marvel decided they were going to create the definitive back story of the man who would be Magneto, they went all out. The historical accuracy blew me away, as is verified by the endnotes for each section. The feeling and emotion that were lovingly poured into every illustration are almost palpable. His mutant powers are hinted at, but don't really come to light in the story; this is not a story of Magneto, but of a boy in one of the most horrific times in history who comes o Wow. Just wow. When Marvel decided they were going to create the definitive back story of the man who would be Magneto, they went all out. The historical accuracy blew me away, as is verified by the endnotes for each section. The feeling and emotion that were lovingly poured into every illustration are almost palpable. His mutant powers are hinted at, but don't really come to light in the story; this is not a story of Magneto, but of a boy in one of the most horrific times in history who comes out of it a changed young man, an angry young man, a man who will use his broken life to become a force to be reckoned with. The coloration is perfection, the faces are haunting, and the choice to leave certain cells black was ingenious--it requires you to bring to mind all of the atrocities you've seen from the Holocaust, and fill in the horrors in a way comic art can't perfectly express. I also enjoyed the additional comic about Dina Babbitt, an artist who was forced to paint pictures for the horrid Mengele. When she attempted to regain her surviving paintings from the Auschwitz museum, she was refused on the grounds that "they are more important for education than they are as belongings of one woman." Dina still has not regained her artwork, which is an atrocity in itself. Finally, the teacher guide at the end is flawless. This could easily be used in almost any classroom, and I think would spark the interest of even the most distant of students. I love the cross-connections between subjects and the connections to more modern Holocaust-like atrocities. I would absolutely have this in my library.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Praxedes

    This is a beautifully researched graphic novel, reminiscent of the Pulitzer-winning "Maus". X-men nemesis Magneto recounts his life as a Holocaust survivor, with glorious drawings and illustrations to match. The artwork is as memorable as the story, using tints and tones expertly. I keep recommending it to educators teaching Nazi-era death camps, since the novel is beautifully researched.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jedhua

    Book Info: This collection contains X-Men: Magneto Testament issues #1-5. ABSOLUTE RATING: {3+/5 stars} STANDARDIZED RATING: <3/5 stars> Spanning the mid 1930's to the mid 1940's, Magneto Testament follows the late childhood and adolescent experiences of Max Eisenhardt – who we now know as the infamous Magneto – and his family living as Jews in Nazi Germany. Other than Max himself, the Eisenhardt family consists of his mother, his sister (Ruthie), his veteran father (Jakob), and his headstr Book Info: This collection contains X-Men: Magneto Testament issues #1-5. ABSOLUTE RATING: {3+/5 stars} STANDARDIZED RATING: <3/5 stars> Spanning the mid 1930's to the mid 1940's, Magneto Testament follows the late childhood and adolescent experiences of Max Eisenhardt – who we now know as the infamous Magneto – and his family living as Jews in Nazi Germany. Other than Max himself, the Eisenhardt family consists of his mother, his sister (Ruthie), his veteran father (Jakob), and his headstrong and sarcastic uncle (Erich). It's really a nice little family, whose closeness provides the resilience to remain positive and somewhat optimistic in the face of their increasingly unfortunate circumstances. The first issue also introduces Kalb – Max's protective schoolteacher – and Magda – a fellow Jew and Max's childhood sweetheart. For a while, things are going relatively well for the family, but, not surprisingly, this doesn't last. Following Erich's public beating and humiliation when accused of romantically "shaming" a German woman, as well as Max's expulsion from his school after he embarrassed his headmaster by outperforming his Aryan classmates, things quickly go downhill for the Eisenhardts, and life soon becomes little more than a daily struggle to survive. For the most part, I think Pak did a fairly decent job with the cast. Not including Max, characters Jakob, Erich, and Kalb were of particular note; each had a unique personality, and influenced Max's world in a different way. However, while Pak's initial characterization worked for a short while, it began to suffer as the story advanced. As I said earlier, circumstances progressively deteriorate for Max and his family following issue one. But strangely, none of the Eisenhardts really show much evolution as characters throughout the story. As the main character, it would be expected that Max would show the greatest degree of growth compared to anyone else featured here, and while this is indeed the case, he doesn't outshine the others nearly as much as he should. From beginning to end – excluding some pretty minor changes – Max remains essentially the same kid he's always been. Sure, he grows slightly more sullen, assertive, and street-smart over time, but this is to be expected with age, and the change is not stark enough to reflect all that he had seen and been through over the years. Furthermore, there is little to distinguish Max as the iconic Marvel villain Magneto, and he just seems like any old nice Jewish kid. The connection between the horrors he witnessed as a Jewish child and the adversity he faces as an adult mutant is clear, and seems to put his actions and mission in context, making them at least partially justifiable or worthy of sympathy. This simple character background provides the foundation for a potentially compelling tale, and it disappointed me that Pak wasn't able to use this more effectively. As an adult, we all know Magneto to be unflinching and ruthless in his war against humanity, and supremely confident in both the righteousness of his cause, as well as his own ability to change the global status quo. The story doesn't really allow readers to intimately see how each tragedy in his life pushed him further away from the nice kid he started out as, and more towards the dangerous and controversial character he is today. One of the biggest aspects of the Jewish plight that interested me in this book had to do with the fact that mere survival dictated that Jews had to learn to be proficient bystanders and keep as low a profile as possible. The depth of the abuse and suffering surrounding this group was nearly unthinkable, and I can only imagine the fear and inner conflict residing in these individuals after they decided it was best to keep to themselves and survive long enough to witness freedom – even as distant as the notion must have seemed. Had Pak better capitalized on this part of the story, I think it would have given Max's character more depth, and done more justice to the subject matter. Without coming close to crossing the boundaries into Marvel MAX territory, I honestly think this should have been less cautious and watered-down. Fortunately, Giandomenico's art picked up the slack a bit as far as emotional potency was concerned. I think his style captured the humanity behind the suffering, and hinted at a sliver of hope. It's expressive and unique in a way I feel is particularly suited for a story of this kind. But, as I may have already implied, there was only so much he could do to pull this story up by himself. And even though I found the covers to be very impressive, they had a hand to play in the degree of my ultimate disappointment; what's within these five issues didn't reflect (quality-wise) that which was portrayed on their exterior. It struck me as kind of strange that most of the best parts of the book were those that outlined the factual events that took place in Europe during that time period. I mean, it's not like I'm uninterested in any of that stuff, but I wouldn't have expected Pak's storytelling to be quite so uninspired that peripheral historical material could challenge the main narrative. That's just very rare for me. Although it doesn't do much for the main character, X-Men: Magneto Testament is a mostly decent WWII story. It's quite an educational read for a comic book, and that's a big part of it's saving grace. Still, if you're drawn to this miniseries due to it's historical insight and educational value, you'd be much better off skimming it (look out for the gray narrative boxes) or reading an actual book on the subject.

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