Image via Marvel Entertainment
There have been some glimpses of the X Men throughout the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Disney acquired 20th Century Fox in 2019 and, consequently, the rights to the mutant franchise. Though Marvel Comics fans have long coveted the crossover of Magneto, Professor X and the gang with the MCU’s intricate web of characters, there’s an understandable general anxiety about how Kevin Feige plans to make it all happen.
Despite the provocation of Evan Peters in Wanda Vision, Sir Patrick Stewart’s surprise cameo appearance in Doctor Strange in The Multiverse of Madness, and the reveal that Ms. Marvel’s Kamala Khan is actually a mutant, there’s little word on whether or not fans should expect the return of the original cast of the series. X Men. live-action franchise, or prepare for a selective or complete recast. Regardless of who will play whom, the biggest request from fans is that everyone’s backstories be portrayed with respect.
One particularly sensitive character origin is that of Magneto, played by Sir Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender in previous iterations of the character. As a survivor of the Holocaust, Magneto’s backstory is one of the most compelling, but also the most important in the Marvel Universe, which has fans reasonably concerned about the MCU messing it all up.
An X-Men fan took to Reddit to share his feelings, saying “if they destroy Magneto’s backstory, I’ll sink into a pit of disappointment and despair for the future of the world.” User morphius183 then goes on to explain how crucial it is for the MCU to maintain Magneto’s Jewish roots and explains how the writers could deviate from age-related storytelling issues.
A different post also explains this age issue as making Magneto a Holocaust survivor, in a linear narrative, would make him almost 90 years old in the MCU present and could be used as an excuse to erase that aspect of his childhood.
“There are a million ways Marvel could tie the MCU Magneto story to the Holocaust without an ‘age issue,’” user pachakutiqoulson argues. “Magneto could be young and have no connection to the Holocaust other than as a source of anger”, he is one, or maybe he could be “son or even grandson of a Holocaust survivor”. Magneto could even be powered “by a different Jewish tragedy” or simply have access to “slow-aging technology”.
These are just some of the solutions being offered by Magneto fans, who believe that altering or completely erasing the character’s ties to anti-Semitic violence would be “extremely insensitive” and a “huge mistake”. Some have already concocted stories for Magneto that perfectly incorporate his WWII past, so detailed any Marvel writer would be jealous.
As the X-Men’s official debut in the MCU remains an event set in an unknown future, fans will have to cling to theories for a while, but at least that means they can avoid potential disappointments for a while longer.