Erik Lehnsherr
Dark Phoenix Character Poster 05.jpg
Alias(es) Magneto
Henryk Gurzsky
Appeared in X-Men
X2: X-Men United
X-Men: The Last Stand
X-Men: First Class
The Wolverine
X-Men: Days of Future Past
X-Men: Apocalypse
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Status Deceased (Original Timeline)
Alive (New Timeline)
Actor Ian McKellen
Michael Fassbender
Bill Milner
Brett Morris
"This society won't accept us. We form our own. The humans have played their hand, now we get ready to play ours. Who's with me?"

Erik M. Lehnsherr, also known as Magneto, is a class 4 mutant who can generate and manipulate magnetic fields. He is one of the X-Men's most dangerous foe.

Once dreaming of the conquest of the human race which was the opposite of Charles Xavier, but after the defeat of En Sabah Nur, Erik changed his mind, and he showed friendly cooperation between him and Charles.

Erik has parted ways with the X-Men and formed a sanctuary for mutants on Genosha


X-Men and X-Men: First Class prologue

"Let's just say I'm Frankenstein's Monster... And I'm looking for my creator."
―Erik Lehnsherr[src]

Erik Magnus Lehnsherr was born on January 30th, 1930 in Dusseldorf, Germany, into a middle-class Jewish family of which his father Jakob, a decorated World War I veteran, was patriarch. When the family struggled against discrimination and hardship during the Nazi's rise to power, the Lehnsherrs, Erik age 3, moved to Poland. However, in 1944, he was forcibly separated from his parents by Nazi soldiers in the Auschwitz concentration camp in a German-occupied Poland during WWII. Under this stress, Lehnsherr tried running back to his parents before gates closed. Nazi soldiers began grabbing him to prevent Erik from getting to his parents. He reached his arm out toward a metal gate and his powers began to manifest. Dr. Klaus Schmidt watches outside of his office window after being knocked unconscious. Other soldiers look at the gate he bent and immediately report to Schmidt. When Erik wakes up he finds himself inside a medical room where Dr. Schmidt is checking on him.

Sometime later, he encounters the Nazi collaborator named Dr. Klaus Schmidt (aka, Sebastian Shaw). Shaw, at first tried to make Erik move a small coin in exchange for some chocolate. When Erik couldn't do it, Shaw apologized and had his guards bring in his mother. Shaw then told Erik that if he could move the coin after he counted to three, he would spare his mother. Shaw counted to three and after Erik tried and failed to move the coin, Shaw murdered Erik's mother, thus making Erik angry and able to move and destroy everything metal in the room along with killing the guards by crushing their helmets. When the destruction ended, Erik started crying and Schmidt gave him the Nazi coin that Erik tried to move. Shaw continued to torture him over the next several years in an attempt to draw out the boy's mutant powers through his anger. After the conclusion of the second World War, Erik spent several years trying to find Shaw and exact vengeance, murdering other Nazis and innocent bystanders along the way.

X-Men: First Class

In 1962, Erik was working on looking for Shaw and goes to a bank and asks the banker where Shaw is. When the banker refuses, he starts interrogating him and trying to pull his metal tooth filling out with his powers. The banker eventually tells him that Schmidt is in Argentina.

Erik lehnsherr xmen first class michael fassbender.jpg

After this point, he goes to Argentina looking for Shaw. He arrives at a bar and sees a picture of two Nazis beside him. When Erik is having a beer, he finds the two Nazis and asks them what brings them to Argentina. One replies he is a pig farmer and the other says he's a tailor. They ask Erik what his parents' names were, he replied that their names were taken away by "pig farmers and tailors". He sits down with them and sarcastically toasts them.. When they are drinking they notice the number on his arm, further implying that he was a Jew in Auschvitz. The pig farmer of the two Nazis tries to stab him with a knife that says "Blood and Honor" in German. Erik asks which of the two they would like to shed first. The pig farmer says that they were under orders. Erik then says "blood, then" and then brutally stabs the Nazi's hand. The bartender tells him to freeze, pointing a gun at him, but he uses his powers to make him shoot the tailor Nazi. He magnetically puts the knife through the bartender and back at the pig farmer's hand again. Choked up from tears of pain, the pig farmer asks who is he and Erik responds he's "Frankenstein's monster," and that he is looking for his creator. He picks up the gun and shoots the Nazi, killing him.

He eventually tracked Shaw down to a small boat off the American coast during the height of the Cold War. His attempt at revenge was cut short when he was pummeled by Shaw's cohorts in his Hellfire Club, being no match for their mutant powers. Erik then jumped into the water and tried to crush Shaw's submarine, but Xavier had him stop. It was at this point that he met Charles Xavier and Raven Darkholme, who were present as help in a botched CIA attempt to capture Shaw, wanted for the murder of an American colonel.

Charles and Eric.jpg

Together and with CIA support, Xavier and Erik gathered a team of mutant teenagers to battle the Hellfire Club, who were attempting to start a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States as part of a plot to eradicate non-mutant life on the planet and rule over the new world order. Xavier helped the teens master their powers at his mansion, including Erik. During this time, the two become close friends. However, Erik was still filled with hatred for Shaw and feared a mutant holocaust, despite Xavier's attempts to get him to let go of his hatred. Erik also motivated Mystique to become proud of her appearance, believing her desire to get rid of her blue appearance was wrong. During a mission to Russia, Erik and Xavier captured the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, Emma Frost.

Erik fights Shaw

Ultimately, the team had to jump into action to prevent the Cuban Missile Crisis from causing World War III. The Hellfire Club was also present and attempted to stop the CIA-sanctioned mutant team, but was defeated. During the encounter, Erik confronted Shaw, who attempted to bring Erik to his side with promises of a new, mutant world order. Although he found he agreed with Shaw's goals, Erik refused to forgive him for what he did to his mother. Despite Xavier's pleas for him to be the better man, Erik killed Shaw by slowly sending a coin through his brain.

Lehnsherr acknowledges his ability, declaring himself to be "Magneto".

When the United States and the Soviet Union struck up a quick alliance to destroy the mutants that threatened them, Magneto sent their missiles back at the fleet. Xavier tackled him and the two engaged in a fist fight, which distracted Erik long enough to prevent the missiles from killing those at sea. During a subsequent attempt by a CIA officer to shoot Erik, one of the bullets he deflected struck Xavier in the lower back, permanently crippling him. Horrified at what had transpired, Erik bid farewell to his close friend, departing with Mystique and the remaining Hellfire Club members with the vow of destroying humankind in order to save mutants. He later broke Frost out of prison, declaring himself Magneto and establishing his first Brotherhood of Mutants.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

By 1973, Erik was locked up in a maximum security cell in the Pentagon for allegedly assassinating John F. Kennedy in 1963 by curving the bullet that struck him.

Original Timeline

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Magneto was still imprisoned when Trask was killed by Mystique.

20 Years Before X-Men: The Last Stand

At some point, Magneto was released or escaped from prison. He later rejoined Charles on good terms and visited Jean Grey.


" We are the future, Charles, not them. They no longer matter."

Years later, Magneto attended the senate where they spoke out about mutants and was then approached by his old friend Charles Xavier. They talked about the past and Charles said that he's looking for hope. Erik replied that he'll bring him hope. As he walked away, he says that mutants are the future.

After the attack in Alberta by Sabretooth, Magneto discovered Wolverine's dog tags. When Mystique captured Robert Kelly, Magneto used the mutation machine on him, turning him into a "rubbery" mutant unaware that the machine would cause humans to lose their molecular structure. As a mutant, Kelly tried to escape Magneto's base with his powers and fell into the lake below.

Later, Magneto pursued the mutant Rogue. He found her at a train station and his Brotherhood attacked it. He had a brief fight with Wolverine and successfully captured Rogue by using a dart and puts her unconscious body in a bag. Outside, police gather around him, Toad, and Sabretooth. He lifts up the cars and drops them on others. He also uses his powers to switch the policemen's guns around so they're pointing at them. In one car, Xavier and Jean Grey were watching. Xavier used his telepathy to control the minds of Sabretooth and Toad in order to talk Erik out of his plans. Magneto shot one of the police but held the bullet back as a bargaining chip with Charles. Eventually, Mystique arrived in a helicopter and picked up her team mates.

At Liberty Island, the X-Men (after battling and defeating Mystique and Toad) were locked to the walls by metal strips by Magneto. He forced Wolverine's arms against his chest not knowing that he has a healing factor. Sabretooth arrived and took Cyclops's visor, forcing him to shut his eyes. Magneto was warned of the dangers of the machine by Jean Grey and Storm, and chose not to believe them. He lifted himself out and up to where he was keeping Rogue, ready to give her some of his power so she could use the machine.

From the tower, he saw Sabretooth blasted to the water below. Wolverine was lifted up to the Statue. Wolverine tried to destroy the machine before it could infect the human, Magneto stopped him and started to bend his claws while Rogue started to grow a white streak in her hair from the stress of powering the machine. Cyclops blasted Magneto allowing Wolverine to destroy the machine before it could affect them. Magneto was then captured by the government and was locked up in a plastic prison.

Later, Charles visited Magneto and the old friends played chess and talked about their past and the war between humans and mutants. Before Xavier left, Magneto remarked that "there is a war coming Charles and I intend to fight it."

X2: X-Men United

"The war has begun."

Magneto was still held in his plastic and glass prison six months after his attack in New York. He was brutally interrogated by William Stryker and unwillingly gave him information on the X-Men, X-Mansion, the X-Jet, and Cerebro. Xavier and Cyclops later visited him but it was a trap to capture Charles. Later, when his guard delivered his lunch, he sensed that a strong amount of liquid metal was in his blood and he took the metal and used it to break out of prison.

As the X-Men were flying out of control, Magneto saved them. He and Mystique made a temporary alliance with the X-Men in order to stop Stryker. They broke into Alkali Lake to stop Styker from using Cerebro to kill all of mutant kind. However, he arrived too late as once they reached the door the process had begun so he quickly opened the doors and used Jason to order Charles to attack humans instead.

Magneto, Mystique and Pyro left Alkali Lake after Magneto chained Stryker down so he couldn't escape the flood.

X-Men: The Last Stand

"Charles Xavier did more for mutants than you will ever know. My single greatest regret is that he had to die for our dream to live."

After leaving Alkali Lake, he expanded the Brotherhood of Mutants and recruited many more mutants. He showed genuine grief over Xavier's death, speaking severely to Pyro when the latter stated that he would have killed Xavier himself had Magneto asked it of him. After learning that a major company has produced a cure for the mutant gene from a young mutant known as Leech, he and his Brotherhood attacked the facility, forcing the X-Men to defend it. Wolverine and Beast worked together to inject Magneto with the "cure", which strips him of his powers, and succeeded. Some time after the attack, he extended his hand toward a metal chess piece and was able to move it a tiny bit, suggesting that the cure may not have been permanent and may not have rendered him completely powerless.

The Wolverine

"There are dark forces, Wolverine. Human forces building weapons that could bring about the end of our kind. I want your help."
―Erik Lehnsherr[src]

Sometime later, the effects of the cure wore off. Magneto met up with Logan in an airport. Erik explained that something was wrong and that he needs his help, although Logan doesn't believe him. Magneto knew Wolverine wouldn't trust him so brought a friend. Everyone around them froze and Professor Xavier revealed himself; alive and well, and recruited Logan to aid in a threat that required the reformation of the X-Men.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

"All those years wasted fighting each other Charles. To have a precious few of them back..."
―Magneto's last words to Charles[src]

Magneto was partnered with Charles and the remaining mutants when the dark future began, and survived with them. In 2023, the group arrived in China, meeting with the others at a desolate Chinese monastery. When Kitty Pryde sent Logan's mind back into the past, Magneto observed with the others for a short while. When a horde of Sentinels interfered with the process, Magneto went outside to defend the others, breaking down the X-Jet and sending the pieces flying towards the Sentinels, destroying dozens of them, as well as their carrier ships.

Lehnsherr was critically wounded by a piece of shrapnel. Resigned to his fate, Magneto traveled through a small portal opened by Blink, which sent him into the monastery, where he slowly succumbed to his wounds as the other mutants are killed horrifically by the surviving Sentinels. In his final moments he confessed to his life long friend Xavier, telling him that they spent so much time fighting each other and never seen the real threat.

New Timeline

X-Men: Days of Future Past

Erik is arrested for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and is being held in an underground prison beneath the Pentagon. Requiring Erik's help to change the past, to help prevent an apocalyptic future from being brought about by Mystique killing Bolivar Trask, Wolverine, Xavier, and Hank break him out, with the help of Peter Maximoff, a mutant with superhuman speed.

While on a jet to the Paris summit, the tension is still hot between Xavier and Erik, as the former blames the latter for his inability to walk properly, as well as abandoning him. Erik fires back that Xavier abandoned them, as many of their former allies have since been killed by Trask. Erik's anger almost causes the jet to decompress and nearly crash into the ocean, but he calmed down. As the two play chess, Erik tries to assure Xavier that he did not kill JFK, but was trying to save him, since he claims that JFK was a mutant.

On the day of the summit, the mutants make their way into the building to find Mystique, arriving just in time to stop her. Stryker shoots his taser gun at her, but Erik uses his powers to pull the tasers off and throw them back into Stryker.

As Xavier tries to hold her down, Erik realizes that everything can be prevented if he just kills Mystique. He grabs his gun and aims it at her, but she runs out the window. Erik fires a shot and manipulates the bullet to follow Mystique out the window, striking her in the leg.

Outside, the people in the crowd see Mystique as she falls to the ground wounded. She turns into a regular bystander and tries to flee, but Erik can see her limping, and, with the bullet still in her leg, he is able to pull her toward him. He lifts the bullet out and nearly sends it into her head, until Beast attacks Erik and tackles him into a fountain. Erik manipulates the other metal items near him, including cars, to bring them nearer to him, causing the crowd to flee, which allows Mystique to blend in and escape. Beast holds Erik underwater until Erik uses the metal birds in the fountain to grab Beast and pull him off, allowing Erik to escape.

Later, Erik sneaks into Trask Industries and gains access to blueprints for the Sentinels before hopping on the train that is carrying them. He manipulates the train tracks and inserts them into the Sentinels. As he makes it to DC, he infiltrates the Pentagon with two ball bearings to take out the guards and retrieve his helmet.

On the day of the unveiling of the Sentinels, at the White House, Erik, now re-assuming his role as Magneto, comes down into RFK Stadium and lifts the entire place up, heading toward the White House. The Sentinels begin to activate as Magneto is controlling them with the train track metal. The Sentinels rise in the air to the awe of the crowd, until one of them begins to shoot at police cars, sending everyone into a frenzy. As everyone flees, the Secret Service take Nixon, Trask, and Stryker into the safe room in the White House. Magneto drops the stadium down around the White House, leaving one Sentinel within the area to stand guard.

Wolverine and Beast fight off the lone Sentinel. Beast tears into its fuel lines while Wolverine runs after Magneto. Magneto throws what he can at Wolverine, but he fights his way through. Magneto gets a block with re-bars and wraps it through Wolverine's body, allowing him to throw Wolverine into the Potomac River. He then pulls the safe room out of the White House and turns all the live news cameras toward him. He gives a speech to everybody in the nation to listen, but mainly aimed at the mutants in hiding (this is seen by Quicksilver, Ink, and Toad. He encourages them all to come out of hiding and to join his brotherhood, for it is they who are the future.

Mystique, disguised as Nixon, comes out to stop Magneto. The Sentinel runs toward them after passing Hank (he took the serum to revert to his human form), but Magneto pulls it apart. Mystique shoots and grazes him through the neck with a plastic gun, and then knocks his helmet off to take him down. After Mystique was convinced by Xavier to not kill Trask, Xavier briefly controlled Magneto to lift metal wreckage off him, allowing Hank to help him, before letting him escape. Leaving his helmet behind, Magneto left the scene.

X-Men: Apocalypse

""The world's already begun rebuilding it's arsenals"
"It's human nature, Charles. Why wouldn't they?"
"I still have hope, Erik."
"Ah yes. 'Hope'.
"My faith in Raven proved true. As did my faith in you."
"But what of the rest of the world? Hasn't it ever woke you up in the middle of the night? Knowing that one day they'll come for you? And your children?"
"It does indeed."
"What do you do when you wake up to that?"
"I feel a great swill of pity for the poor soul who comes to my school looking for trouble. Are you sure I can't convince you to stay?"
"You're a psychic, Charles. You could convince me to do anything."
"Goodbye, old friend."
"Good luck, Professor.
―Magneto and Professor X part ways[src]

Sometime after 1973, Erik moved to Poland. It was there that he decided to live among non mutants and lived under the alias of Henryk Gurzsky. He met a woman named Magda whom was the only one in Poland he revealed his true identity and powers to. They later married and had a daughter, Nina. Erik worked in a an everyday normal factory in a small Polish country town.

One night, Erik told Nina what happened to his parents. He told her that his parents had been taken away, then showed her the numbers on his arm from the time he spent in Auschwitz. Nina asked if he would be taken from her, but he said he wouldn't, tucked her in and said good night.

After Erik used his powers to save a factory worker, the entire town discovered that he was a mutant and that he had once been Magneto. Policemen armed with bows and arrows, no metal, confronted him. Nina, worried for her fathers safety, manifested her mutant powers. She could control nature and caused swarms of birds to go wild. A policeman had aimed for a bird but accidentally missed and hit Nina instead. The swarms of the birds stopped and Erik grieved for Nina, as well as Magda, who was impaled with the same arrow since she had been holding Nina. Angered, Erik used the locket he gave Nina to kill all of the policemen. He cradled the dead bodies of his wife and daughter, mourning.

After this, Erik went to the factory and planned to kill his co-workers whom had betrayed him. Just as he was about to, En Sabah Nur appeared with his horsemen: Storm, Psylocke, and Angel. Surprised, Erik asked him who he was. He also told him not to interfere with him killing the men. En Sabah Nur killed all of the factory workers himself, changing the density of the floor beneath them to make them fall into the concrete before solidifying it again, leaving them to suffocate. He then took the disheartened Erik to Auschwitz, where his powers first manifested. En Sabah Nur strengthened Erik's mutant powers, Erik using his newfound power to destroy Auschwitz. He then joined En Sabah Nur's cause as one of his horsemen of the Apocalypse.

At Raven's behest, Xavier reached Erik with Cerebro, but En Sabah Nur entered Xavier's mind through the connection and hacked Cerebro, using it to disarm the entire world of all nuclear weapons. Wanting to use it to locate other mutants to join his cause, Alex Summers destroyed Cerebro before he could use it for any more of his plans. En Sabah Nur and his horsemen teleported into the mansion, where they abducted Xavier. Alex shot a blast, aiming it at En Sabah Nur, but he vanished and so the blast caused an explosion which destroyed the entire mansion. However, Peter Maximoff saved everyone using his super speed, though was not able to save Alex due to his close proximity to the blast.

Later, Magneto and the other horsemen were in Cairo, Egypt. Magneto used a strong magnetic field to guard the pyramid where Xavier was held in as En Sabah Nur began the ritual where he would transfer into his body, so that he could gain his telepathic powers (as his plan to use Cerebro failed). Mystique, Beast, Scott Summers, Jean Grey, Kurt Wagner, and Peter arrived in Cairo after they had stolen Stryker's jet, which Hank and Moira MacTaggert piloted. Mystique and Peter urged Magneto to stop using the field, with Peter almost revealing his true identity of being Erik's son. Kurt saved Xavier, who had lost his hair in the body transfer process. Angel was defeated and killed in battle.

En Sabah Nur was about to kill Peter, whose leg he had broken, when he was stopped by Mystique disguised as Psylocke. The real Psylocke later fled in the midst of the chaos while Magneto and Storm turned on En Sabah Nur. They, along with Scott, held Apocalypse off until Jean managed to incinerate him, giving a foreshadowing of her phoenix powers.

Following this, Erik helped to rebuild Xavier's Mansion with Jean, as Xavier and Moira rekindled their relationship. Peter decides not to tell Erik that he was his son. Erik is offered to teach at the mansion by Charles, but turns down the offer and bids him farewell, leaving on good terms.

Dark Phoenix

""I'm sorry for what she did, But I can't let you go in there."
"You're always sorry, Charles. And there’s always a speech. But nobody cares anymore."
―Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr[src]

In the year of 1992, Erik has had a change of heart and has given up on his ideas on human extermination after having realized that over the years he had murdered individuals because he was trying to eliminate his pain, but realized that his methods were wrong and changed his mind about humans after finally coming to understand that they weren't all evil, he also becomes the leader of an island where mutants go to live alone called Genosha.

However, Jean Grey comes to visit him for help as she had a an incident in which she killed a person, when Erik tells her about how he had tried to control his dark side, Lensherr asked her whose blood was on her dress, making Jean nervous and having no response from her.

Suddenly, a group of soldiers came to the island and Erik hid Jean inside, Lensherr tries to convince the soldiers that Jean was not there and to resolve things without violence, but Jean revealed herself and attempted to kill the soldiers with their own helicopter, but Erik saves them and allows them to successfully escape from Jean.

In response, Jean throws Erik on the ground, angrily asking him if he really is someone who protects mutants, but Lensherr answers that he is helping mutants by protecting them from her, then he banishes her from the island for not only trying to kill innocent soldiers, but also risking the inhabitants' lives.

Later, Hank McCoy comes to the island and Erik questions why he was alone and where the other X-Men, especially Charles, were. Hank asks him to help him stop Jean: not for him, but for Raven, when Erik asks him if Raven sent him, Hank revealed to him that Jean had killed her. Lensherr's shock and devastation turned into anger and sadness for the death of his former love and friend. Erik told Hank that if he found Jean, he will kill her for what she done to Raven and Hank replied that he knew as it was the reason why he asked for his help to avenge Raven.

With Raven's death, Erik also reconciles with Hank, telling him he was sorry for what he did in the past, but notes that they both loved Raven, which Hank agreed, at that moment, the two prepared to go where Jean was and kill her, Lensherr decides to take the helmet he had acquired after killing Sebastian Shaw all those years ago and wear it, accompanied by two of the inhabitants of Genosha, Magneto and Beast arrived in New York where they discovered where Jean was and were prepared to kill her.

There, Magneto was called by his old friend Charles, but he angrily tells him to get out of their way, Xavier tries to reason with him and Hank, telling him that he's sorry for what Jean did in Genosha, but Lensherr replies that Charles was always sorry and there was always a speech accompanying his apologies, but nobody cared anymore, Charles tries to tell them that if they fight each other, people will see them again as monsters and he will lose his home. But Lensherr told him that it will never happen, Xavier pleads with Magneto one more time, but he has firmly made his decision.

A violent fight then started where, during the battle, Magneto makes his way to the palace where Jean is, Scott Summers tries to stop him, but Lensherr defends himself with a block of metal and Beast immobilizes Scott, giving Erik time to arrive inside the palace, There, Magneto tells Jean that he now knows whose blood that was and tries to kill Jean in an attempt to avenge Raven, However, Jean proves she is too powerful now and destroys his helmet and throws Lensherr and the pieces of his destroyed helmet out the window, where he lands on the street unconscious. Charles, Storm, Beast, Scott, Erik, and his two allies are soon taken under arrest from the Mutant Control Unit as they are convinced that they're a threat and outfit them with collars that inhibit their powers.

On the train, Erik awakes and Charles explains to him and Hank that Jean has been manipulated by an alien named Vuk who wants her power to destroy Earth and populate it with her species, Erik suggests that they should let her die, but both him and his allies change their minds when Xavier reveals Vuk's plan to destroy Earth and Scott tells both Erik and Hank that Raven would not want Jean dead. making Erik and Hank understand that Raven's death was indeed an incident, realizing that they had been all manipulated by Vuk into fighting each other so she could rule the world, Erik reconciles with Charles and the X-Men and tries to convince the soldiers to set them free as they are not a threat and can help them fight off aliens who start attacking them right then, despite initially refusing, the soldiers accept and set them free, Together, the X-Men start a battle against the aliens, defeating them with the exception of Vuk, who, having absorbed a fraction of Jean's power, proves to be unstoppable, Erik tells Charles and Scott to go set Jean free as he and the others will give them time.

However, Storm, Beast, Nightcrawler. and the others are all defeated by the powerful alien empress. Fortunately though, when she arrives to the room where Charles, Scott, and Jean are, Erik closes the room with metal and use guns against Vuk sacrificing himself to buy Charles time, despite his defeat by Vuk, he survives and Charles frees Jean, successfully allowing her to knock Vuk away and then taking her declared family to safety.

Jean then uses her powers to fight and kill all the D'Bari. At the end, as she is about to finish off Vuk to ensure her families safety, Jean takes Vuk into space with her and she disappears in an explosion of energy with her, Erik, like his friends, is devastated by Jean's apparent death. After Jean's apparent death and Vuk's permanent defeat, Charles calls the school "Jean's school for Gifted Children", makes Hank the new dean of the school, and retires. Weeks later, Erik finds Charles in Paris and jokingly asks his best friend how his retirement is going. Erik tells him that he is here to repay Charles numerous offers to give him a home by telling him to come to Genosha, which Charles accepts. Finally reconciled, this time for good, they happily start to play chess, unaware that Jean is alive and will come back to Earth when she has learned how to control her powers.

Character traits

Original Timeline

Erik's personality develops throughout the film series. In X-Men; First Class, as a child, he was shown to be very loving towards his mother, since his emotional trauma was enough to first install his magnetic powers. During his experimentation at the hands of Sebastian Shaw, he was nervous and withdrawn and frightened of the man, and genuinely found it difficult to use his powers. Throughout Sebastian's manipulations, he begged to see his mother. When his mother was held at gunpoint, he genuinely tried to use his powers out of desperation, but when he couldn't and his mother was executed, his powers were unleashed with incredible violence out of complete and utter rage. Over the next few years of his life, Erik would become intensely obsessed with killing Sebastian.

This obsession led to unspeakable lengths; he would become sadistic, ruthless, dark and murderous towards others when he couldn't get the information he wanted. He was convinced that his powers were utilized by anger, and this only incensed his obsession and threatened his life on a myriad of occasions, especially when he actually met Sebastian and failed to kill him. When he met Charles Xavier, he reacted with shock at not being the only mutant alive. Throughout the film, although he cooperated with what became known as the X Men, he did so with a single-minded determination to come close to Sebastian and kill him. He repeatedly instilled aggressive thoughts in the members' heads, but he grew very close to Mystique and convinced her that it was alright to look different.

During the battle in Cuba, with his powers fully discovered, Erik - now Magneto - finally took the chance to fight Sebastian. When the two mutants dueled, Magneto went to immense lengths to stay in the fight, when Sebastian managed to convince him that mutants were the superior stage of human evolution - however, even though he believed Sebastian, he still killed the man in a similar fashion to how his mother was killed. After murdering Shaw, Erik became a full-scale vigilante, working to combat all of mankind and set up mutants as the supreme beings of Earth. This idealism set him apart from Charles' beliefs.

However, the two men remained extremely close in their own right, always trying to contradict each others ideas and movements in an epic war. Erik was recognized for being extremely calm and sophisticated, even in brutal or violent situations. He had a delusional belief that human extinction and mutant advancement was necessary, since they racially discriminated mutants on a daily basis. He was also a fully-fledged genius - he was extremely intelligent and unpredictable, and capable of creating extremely elaborate and complicated plans to elude and defeat his enemies. He was also somewhat misanthropic - he treated humans cruelly, like Senator Kelly and William Stryker. He had a very sarcastic wit, which he used infrequently in certain situations. When he captured the X-Jet with his powers, holding it in midair, he remarked "When will these people learn how to fly?".

Erik was abundantly capable of sacrificing thousands of human lives if it meant achieving his goals in the end. Despite his ruthless and callous disregard for others, he had an extremely mutual respect for certain individuals. Despite Charles being his arch-nemesis, he respected and admired his best friend for his intelligence, level of power, charisma, and his shared compassion for mutants. When Charles was killed by Jean Grey, he reacted with utter horror, but also intrigue at the power that Jean had shown in the process. He came extremely close to violence when Charles was scorned, responding by saying that the man had done more for mutants than could be measured, and that his death was truly tragic.

New Timeline

In X-Men: Apocalypse, after the events in Washington D.C, Erik had become understanding and tolerant of humans, even marrying a human woman and having a child, and family with her, however, the death of his wife and daughter quickly drove Erik back to his murderous and vengeful ways as he worked with Apocalypse to end all human life on the entire planet, however, despite this, Erik still proved that his love for his friends and surrogate family, in Charles Xavier and Raven Darkholme trumped over his hate for humanity and he came to their aide once again, by 1992, Erik had seemed to fully abandon his extremist and terroristic ways, finding the mutant homeland of Genosha where mutants can come and live in relative peace.

In Dark Phoenix, when Erik learned from Hank McCoy that Jean Grey had killed Raven, he once again took up his violent ways determined to kill her in revenge for Raven (regardless whether or not she was in control of her actions at the time) however, it wasn't until Charles reminded Erik that Raven would not want him to do this that he again stood by the X-Men to protect Jean from the D'Bari aliens.

Powers and Abilities

Original Timeline


  • Mutant Physiology: Magneto is an extremely powerful mutant who possesses magnetogenesis, magnetokinesis, ferrokinesis, etc. He is also one of the most powerful mutants on the entire planet.
    • Magnetogenesis: Magneto can generate, create and project magnetic fields from both his hands or his entire body.
    • Magnetokinesis: Magneto is capable of controlling and creating magnetic fields, this allows him to perform various and powerful techniques. In X-Men: First Class, he was able to easily manipulate metallic objects, deflecting bullets, and later on being capable of turning a massive satellite dish, lifting an entire submarine, and redirecting multiple missiles. In the original X-Men films Magneto has been shown to easily catch the X-Jet and in X-Men: The Last Stand, he moves the Golden Gate bridge. Being surrounded by, above or below large amounts of metal also enables Magneto to defy gravity. It is revealed in X-Men: First Class that prior to meeting and training with Charles Xavier, Eric used anger to utilize his abilities, and thus couldn't perform to his full potential, however, it should be noted he was able to move a massive anchor and take down an entire ship while still using his ability through anger. Once Charles Xavier helped Eric reach greater potential by finding a point between rage and serenity Magneto took his powers to new heights and was able to move much more metal at much greater distances. He can levitate and achieve limited flight, as he did when he tried to bend a gate at Auschwitz, to magnetically tether himself to Sebastian Shaw's submarine, which dragged him underwater, and send himself flying onto a Trask Industries train.
    • Ferrokinesis: Magneto can manipulate all forms of metal, even non ferrous ones, seemingly by using his powers to make any metal magnetic. This allows him to levitate, move, push, pull, launch, crush and otherwise manipulate metallic objects, no matter the size. This allowed him to telekinetically manipulate metal or metallic objects as small as a bullet or as large as the Golden Gate Bridge. In X2: X-Men United and X-Men: Days of Future Past, he was able to deform and manipulate the hardness of both solid and liquid metals. This allowed him to make liquid iron that was infused into one of his prison guard's bloodstream by Mystique into ball shaped projectiles that could pierce and smash through plastic and flesh with ease. He was also able to cause railroad bars to break apart into strips and fuse into the deactivated Sentinels, which allowed him to control and command them. In addition he can also make himself fly or levitate towards metal or magnetic objects, as he did when he tried to bend a gate at Auschwitz, to magnetically tether himself to Sebastian Shaw's submarine, which dragged him underwater, and send himself flying onto a Trask Industries train.

New Timeline

  • Mutant Physiology: Magneto is an extremely powerful mutant who possesses magnetogenesis, magnetokinesis, ferrokinesis, etc. He is also one of the most powerful mutants on the entire planet.
    • Magnetogenesis: Magneto can generate, create and project magnetic fields from both his hands or his entire body.
    • Magnetokinesis: Magneto can manipulate magnetic fields. In X-Men: Apocalypse; due to Apocalypse's enhancement, he is now able to control metal within the earth itself. His new abilities allow him to control Earths magnetic poles and rip the metallic particles from the earth, which made him capable of destroying whole parts of the planet. He can even create powerful magnetic force fields and barriers that nothing can penetrate.
    • Ferrokinesis: Magneto can manipulate all forms of metal, even non ferrous ones, seemingly by using his powers to make any metal magnetic.


  • Non-Metallic Objects: If Magneto is in an area with no metal, he is almost completely helpless. However, this mostly applies to his older-self, as his younger-self was highly athletic and capable of physically fighting others.


Original Timeline

New Timeline


  • Earth-10005 (7 films)

Behind the scenes

  • Ian McKellen worked with screen writers to make Iceman's reveal to his parents that he is a mutant to appear like a realistic "coming-out" scene.
  • Digital processing was used to make Ian McKellen look younger when visiting a young Jean Grey in X-Men: The Last Stand.
  • The first scene in X-Men involving Magneto's childhood is completely duplicated (including camera angles and mannerisms in the original flashback) and expanded in X-Men: First Class.
  • Michael Fassbender took inspiration for Magneto's way of moving and speaking from Sir Ian McKellen's performances in the original trilogy.
  • Matthew Vaughn decided he wanted Fassbender as Magneto after seeing him in an audition for another movie. Fassbender, who didn't know the X-Men comics, read the character's story and found it interesting enough to portray him in the movie.
  • Fassbender has stated Vaughn instructed him to portray Magneto not as a villain, but as the hero. This is so in a sequel both he and Xavier are justified in their actions, but try to achieve the same end through different means.
  • Terence Stamp, David Hemblen and Christopher Lee were considered for the role in the first X-Men movie.
  • David Hemblen was offered the chance to reprise the role from the Animated Series in the 1990s but had to turn it down due to scheduling conflicts.


  • In the comics, Xavier and Magneto chose different paths after a fight with Wolfgang Von Strucker, in which Xavier prevents Magneto from killing Strucker. In the movie, Strucker is replaced by Sebastian Shaw because Wolfgang Von Strucker's film rights belong to Marvel Studios. In Marvel's Avengers: Age of Ultron Strucker is responsible for the powers of Quicksilver, Magneto's son and his sister.
  • The scene in X-Men: The Last Stand in which Magneto lifts the Goldengate Bridge and uses it as a vessel for his Brotherhood is taken directly from the comics.
  • Magneto was originally going to have a beard in X-Men: The Last Stand but this idea was dismissed. However, on the DVD, there is a deleted scene where Pyro tells Magneto about the cure announcement. There is two versions of this scene. One is the "bearded" version and one is the shaven version.
  • The number tattooed on Magneto's arm at Auschwitz was 214782.
  • In the original X-Men Trilogy, the credits credit him as "Eric Lehnsherr" while in X-Men: First Class, his name is spelled "Erik Lehnsherr".
  • Many fans like to theorize that due to Erik and Charles' psychic link, Erik was unwillingly killed by Charles' first psychic seizure prior to Logan, as well as half the X-Men.


Images in chronological order of the film timeline:

X-Men: First Class

X-Men: Days of Future Past 1973

X-Men: The Last Stand Flashback


X2: X-Men United

X-Men: The Last Stand

The Wolverine

X-Men: Days of Future Past

X-Men: Apocalypse

See Also



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