I’ve already written that Doctor Doom is my all-time favorite Marvel villain, but Magneto is easily in the top five.
Few Marvel villains have featured the nobility and malleability of Magneto, as he has progressed from irredeemable supervillain to misunderstood empathetic hero and back again.
I may be overlooking something, but Chris Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men #200, “The Trial of Magneto,” is the first time in Marvel history when a villain “broke good” for a sustained number of years. Magneto’s a trailblazer in that regard, and although it was only a matter of time before Eric entered the 90’s and succumbed to Jim Lee’s awesome evil art, Magneto’s complexity has remained essential.
Magneto Comics Reading Order
Magneto Origins and Early Comics Reading Order
Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico bring Magneto’s tragic childhood to life, showing his Jewish family’s suffering in Nazi Germany.
Collects: X-Men (1963) 1-23
The Jack Kirby and Stan Lee Uncanny X-Men kick off with a bang, and Magneto as the X-Men’s archnemesis right out of the gate!
Magneto appearances in order:
Uncanny X-Men #1
Uncanny X-Men #4
Uncanny X-Men #5
Uncanny X-Men #6
Uncanny X-Men #7
Uncanny X-Men #11
Uncanny X-Men #17
Uncanny X-Men #18
Uncanny X-Men #21
Collects: X-Men (1963) 24-45; Avengers (1963) 45
Uncanny X-Men #43 “The Power of Magneto”
Collects: Avengers (1963) 41-56, Annual (1967) 1-2; X-Men (1963) 45
Avengers #47 to #49 features a showdown between Magneto and the Avengers.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men (1963) #54-66
Uncanny X-Men #63, “The Triumph of Magneto,” with excellent Neal Adams art!
Collects: Fantastic Four #102 To #104
Some of the first issues after Jack Kirby left Fantastic Four feature Magneto attacking New York City, and proving his bonafides as a Marvel Universe villain.
Collects: #15 To #16
Surprisingly important developments in the relationship between Professor X and Magneto that will come up during the Claremont run on Uncanny X-Men.
Chris Claremont Uncanny X-Men & Magneto
Collects: Giant-Size X-Men #1; X-Men #94-131
Len Wein, Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, and John Byrne ressurect the X-Men, as well as Magneto, elevating Marvel’s merry mutants to the most popular comic in the universe.
For the full X-Men experience during this time, I recommend Comic Book Herald’s complete Claremont X-Men reading order.
Claremont Magneto Reading Order Before Secret Wars:
Uncanny X-Men #103
Uncanny X-Men #104
Uncanny X-Men #107
Uncanny X-Men #112
Uncanny X-Men #113
Uncanny X-Men #124
Uncanny X-Men #125
Uncanny X-Men #148
Uncanny X-Men #150
Collects: Super-Villain Team-Up #14
Magneto battles Doctor Doom, who would otherwise take over the world.
Collects: X-Men (1963) 132-141, Annual (1970) 4-5; The Uncanny X-Men (1981) 142-153; Avengers Annual (1967) 10; Marvel Fanfare (1982) 1-4; Marvel Treasury Edition (1974) 26-27; Marvel Team-Up (1972) 100; Bizarre Adventures (1981) 27; Phoenix: The Untold Story (1984) 1
Uncanny Men #148 to #150 are the essential Magneto focused comics from this period of time, with #150 marking both a true turning point and one of the more frequently referenced moments in Magneto’s history.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men (1981) 154-175, X-Men Annual (1971) 6-7, Marvel Graphic Novel (1982) 5, Wolverine (1982) 1-4, Special Edition X-Men (1983) 1, Magik (1983) 1-4
Includes, X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, my favorite X-Men graphic novel includes some of Claremont’s best characterized Magneto, as he finds common ground with the X-Men for a time.
Collects: West Coast Avengers (1985) 1-9, Vision & The Scarlet Witch (1985) #1 To #4
If you want to see Magneto yell at a Bovine midwife (and who doesn’t), boy is this the comic for you.
Secret Wars (1985)
The original 1985 Secret Wars are particularly telling for Magneto, as Marvel writer and editor-in-chief Jim Shooter draws on Magneto’s inherent nobility and aligns him with the heroes.
Plus, if you’ve ever wanted to see Magneto lay some serious game on the Wasp, this is your comic.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men #180-198; Annual #8; & X-Men/Alpha Flight #1-2
It’s around this time in Uncanny X-Men history that Magneto’s timeline becomes intertwined with Claremont’s concurrent ongoing run on New Mutants. I’d recommend at this stage that you view the Claremont X-Men reading order for the absolutely complete guide to all the comics from this time period. For Magneto, you essentially want to keep tabs on Uncanny X-Men #188, New Mutants #24, New Mutants #29, and Uncanny X-Men #196, and #200 to #202.
Collects: New Mutants #18-25 And Annual #1
Collects: Uncanny X-Men #199 To #209
Uncanny X-Men is “The Trial of Magneto!”
Collects: New Mutants (1983) #26-34
Collects: New Mutants Special Edition, Uncanny X-Men Annual #9 And New Mutants (1983) #35-40
Magneto, headmaster of the New Mutants! These issues overlap with Secret Wars II, and while I wouldn’t wish reading the entire slog on my worst enemy, there are some important New Mutants tie-ins that will make Magneto’s turn as hero-mentor all the more difficult.
Collects: New Mutants (1983) #41-47 And Annual #2, And X-Men Annual (1970) #10
Collects: X-Men Vs. The Avengers #1 To #4
Not to be confused with the 2012 Marvel event, Avengers vs. X-Men.
Collects: New Mutants (1983) #48-54 And Annual #3
Collects: X-Factor #24 to #25, Power Pack #35, Captain America #339, X-Factor #26, Uncanny X-Men #225 to #226, Incredible Hulk #340, Uncanny X-Men #227, New Mutants #59 to #61 – Daredevil 252, Fantastic Four #312
Fall of the Mutants hits Magneto particularly hard, as the culmination of his somewhat atrocious leadership of the New Mutants really takes a dark turn.
Collects: New Mutants #71 To #73
The New Mutants discover Magneto’s relationship with the Hellfire Club. I’d recommend reading the New Mutants tie-ins as part of the Inferno reading order within the Claremont guide! New Mutants, and Illyana in particular, play a crucial role to Inferno.
Collects: Captain America #367 to #368
Magneto vs. the Red Skull!
Magneto, Villain of the 1990’s
Collects: Uncanny X-Men (1963) 273-280; X-Factor (1986) 63-70; :X-Men (1991) 1-9, 10-11 (A Stories); Ghost Rider (1990 26 To #27
Magneto returns to full on villainy in Uncanny X-Men #274 to #275, and X-Men #1 to #3
Collects: Uncanny X-Men (1981) 298-300, 303-304, 315; X-Factor (1986) 92; X-Force (1991) 25; X-Men Unlimited (1993) 2; X-Men (1991) 25
Perhaps the most violent battle between the X-Men and Magneto. The ramifications of this showdown are felt through the 1990’s.
Fatal Attractions Issue Reading Order:
Uncanny X-Men #304
Uncanny X-Men Annual #17
Collects: Avengers (1963) #368-369, X-Men (1991) #26, Avengers West Coast #101, Uncanny X-Men (1963) #307
Collects: The complete Age of Apocalypse saga.
The Age of Apocalypse epic is likely my favorite Marvel alternate reality, and my favorite Magneto comic of the 90’s. For the full experience of Magneto in the AoA, try Comic Book Herald’s complete Age of Apocalypse reading order.
Collects: The complete Onslaught saga.
Coming back out of the Age of Apocalypse and into Earth-616 proper, the ramifications of Fatal Attractions are felt in a brand new X-Villain, Onslaught! The most powerful Marvel big bad of them all can be found in Comic Book Herald’s complete Onslaught reading order.
Collects: X-Men: Magneto War One-Shot, X-Men #85-87, Uncanny X-Men #366-367, Magneto Rex #1 To #3
Magneto War undoes the Joseph years of the 90’s and restores Magneto.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men #391-393 And X-Men #111-113
Wolverine gets revenge on Magneto.
Magneto in New X-Men Through House of M
Collects: New X-Men #142 To #154
Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely’s run on X-Men from 2001 to 2004 will make more sense taken as a whole, but these are the primary Magneto issues.
Collects: Excalibur #1-4
Claremont returns to Excalibur for a new series featuring Professor X and Magneto.
Collects: Excalibur #5-10
Collects: Excalibur #11-14
Magneto’s relationship with Scarlet Witch takes center stage, as Marvel sets up the House of M.
Collects: House Of M #1 To #8
Magneto rules the world! What could go wrong?
Read through the entire event in Comic Book Herald’s House of M reading order.
Collects: Civil War: House Of M #1-5
Good House of M tie-in that really dives into Magento’s role as leader of the House of M universe.
Collects: Son of M #1-6
Quicksilver and Magneto throw down. More of a Quicksilver (and even Inhumans) comic certainly, but the titular M is involved.
Collects: New Avengers #16-20
Fallout from the House of M. Part of the Brian Michael Bendis run on New Avengers.
Collects: Ultimate Fantastic Four 21-23, 30-32; Marvel Zombies 1-5; Marvel Zombies: Dead Days 1; Black Panther (2005) 28-30; Material From Marvel Spotlight: Marvel Zombies
Magneto, hero of the Marvel Zombie-verse!
Magneto, X-Man! (Mid Through late 2000’s)
Collects: X-Men: Legacy #208-212
Magneto seeks to aid Professor X in the wake of Messiah CompleX.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men (1963) 500-511; Uncanny X-Men Annual (2006) 2; Material From X-Men Unlimited (2004) 9, X-Men : Divided We Stand 1
Magneto returns to a familiar role as mega villain of the X-Men.
Collects: X-Men Legacy #219-225
Collects: Uncanny X-Men #512 To #519, Utopia
Collects: Uncanny X-Men (1963) 520-522, Uncanny X-Men: The Heroic Age 1, Material From Uncanny X-Men (1963) 526-534
Magneto surprises the X-Men with a new kind of proposition.
Collects: X-Men Legacy #231 to #234, X-Men Necrosha one-shot
Collects: X-Men: Second Coming (2010) #1-2, Uncanny X-Men (1963) #523-525, New Mutants (2009) #12-14, X-Men: Legacy (2008) #235-237, X-Force (2008) #26-28
Magneto’s role is largely tied to his place as the father of the Scarlet Witch.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men #534.1 And #535-539
Magneto the official X-man.
Collects: X-Men Legacy #238-241
Collects: X-Men Legacy #242 to #244, #248 to #249
Collects: Age Of X Alpha, X-Men Legacy #245-247, New Mutants (2009) #22-24, Age Of X Universe #1-2
Collects: Uncanny X-Men #540-544
You can see any and all context in Comic Book Herald’s Fear Itself reading order.
Collects: Uncanny X-Force 1-19, 5.1; Wolverine: Road To Hell 1; All-New Wolverine Saga; X-Men Spotlight
Uncanny X-Force #9 is a great one-off Wolverine and Magneto story.
Collects: X-Men Legacy #250 to #253
Magneto Regenesis Through Avengers Vs. X-Men
Collects: X-Men: Schism 1-5, X-Men: Regenesis 1
Collects: X-Men Legacy #254 to #260
Collects: Magneto : Not A Hero 1-4
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 1-4
Kieron Gillen’s run on Uncanny X-Men leading up to Avengers vs. X-Men
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 5-10
Collects: Full event.
Avengers vs. X-Men has major ramifications for Magneto, both for his place with the X-Men and his abilities.
Comic Book Herald’s complete Avengers vs. X-Men reading order.
Collects: Avengers vs. X-Men: Consequences #1 to #5
Marvel NOW! Magneto
Collects: All -New X-Men 1-5
Marvel NOW! sets a new status quo for the mutants, including the master of magnetism himself.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 1-5
Man I love this all-white Magneto costume.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 6-11
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 14, 15, Inh, 16-18
Collects: Magneto 1-6
Magneto’s excellent Marvel NOW! solo series by writer Cullen Bunn. One of the best Magneto reads and starting places for new readers.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 26-31
Collects: Magneto 7-12
Collects: Magneto 13-17
Collects: Magneto 18-21
More than just about any series, Magneto’s “Last Days’ before 2015’s Secret Wars maintain the excellence of the series to date.
Collects: Secret Wars tie-ins
A tie-in return to the House of M universe, with a focus from Magneto’s point of view.
All-New All-Different Magneto Through Inhumans vs. X-Men
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 1-5
Following the conclusion of Secret Wars, Marvel launches an All-New All-Different universe in which Magneto leads the Uncanny X-Men ongoing.
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 6-10
Collects: Uncanny X-Men 11-15
Collects: Civil War II: X-Men #1 To #4
Comic Book Herald’s complete Civil War 2 reading order.