The Marvel Cinematic Universe is going to have to undergo some changes in the 2020s and one of them will be the introduction of the X-Men. This opens the door to all kinds of new villains, but there is one that everyone wants to see: Magneto. Portrayed in the movies of X-Men from Fox by Sir Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender, Magneto proved to be one of the most popular and intriguing characters in the franchise.
The character, in both the movies and the comics, has walked the gamut between hero and villain, leading to the question: should the MCU portray him as a villain or go more down the antihero path with him? Both approaches have their pros and cons.
10 should be an antihero: it’s a better role for the actor
Magneto is fortunate to have been played by two great actors. The way the role was structured gave them a lot of work, but the character was more complete in the movies of First Class, where he was more of an antihero. Turning him into an antihero gives an actor more work and he has a good chance of landing a better actor for the role.
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Playing Magneto more of a one-dimensional villain, in the style of the MCU, would limit who would want to play him. Playing the character as an antihero would give the actor more chances to work, with more chances of landing a great actor who wants to work that way.
The 9 should be a villain: Anyway, it always leans towards that side of the spectrum
Even in the movies of First Class , Magneto wasn’t exactly the best guy. Sure he helped Xavier fight the Hellfire Club, but he also nearly killed Richard Nixon on TV and allied himself with Apocalypse. In the comics, whenever Magneto is on the side of the angels for some time, he always turns in the opposite direction at some point.
Magneto was created as a villain and, when push comes to shove, he’s a better fit there. Making him a villain puts him in opposition to Professor X, turning him into the opposite villain that the MCU loves to portray in the origin movies.
8 He should be an antihero – his hatred is justified
Magneto’s hatred of humans doesn’t come from a mysterious place, it’s actually quite rational. He grew up in one of the most harrowing situations in the modern world and saw his neighbors turn against him and his community, massacring them. It is difficult to argue against his reasoning: he has terrible, terrible evidence.
Most people, when Magneto explains why he believes the way he does, would fully understand why he is who he is and would not blame him. He wants to protect his people in the only way he knows how, with violence. He is a perfect antihero.
7 should be a villain: he’s too stubborn to change
Whether in the movies or in the comics, one thing Magneto resists mightily is change, and this always leads him back down the road of the villains. Magneto is a stubborn man and even when he’s ostensibly a “nice guy,” his years of old grudges come to light, and he usually ends up slaughtering a lot of people.
This is what would make him such a compelling villain. It would basically be a new Killmonger. Killmonger was apparently right, but his life prevented him from changing his violent ways. Magneto would work the same way for the same reasons.
The 6 should be an antihero – it could mean MCU fans are going to get Krakoan status
Right now in the comics, the X-Men are going through something of a renaissance. Taken from school and placed on the island of Krakoa, they have started a new nation, which has given mutants more power than ever. This new status quo is the most interesting of the X-Men in years.
Magneto is one of the island’s leaders, so having him as an anti-hero may mean the MCU is going to lead the X-Men in this bold new direction. That would be amazing and something that could go a long way towards erasing the legacy of Fox’s films from the minds of the general public.
5 Should Be a Villain: Opens the Door to Character Development
In thefilms the X-Men, Magneto went from being a complete villain to something more, a man who struggles to know who he was, what happened to him and what he is going to do about it. This opened the character to a development that he would not have had had he started out as a more heroic version of the character.
The MCU plays long-term, so introducing Magneto as a villain allows them to do more with the character, opening him up to the kind of development that makes him so interesting. Starting with him as an antihero limits his growth because the only direction he has to go is down.
4 should be an antihero: There are no antiheroes in the MCU and they need one
Antiheroes have been an important part of superhero stories since the 1970s, when they entered the public consciousness thanks to the movies of dirty Harry . Characters like the Punisher, Deadpool, and the early Wolverines have shown just how good antiheroes can be in comics. The MCU has long claimed comic book accuracy as a feature, yet they haven’t gone the anti-hero route at all.
It’s time to change that and the best possible way can be with Magneto. Sure, Wolverine will almost certainly debut shortly, but the only reason he’s an antihero is carnage and rudeness. Magneto is a much more interesting example of a morally gray hero.
3 should be a villain: he’s powerful enough to threaten anyone in the MCU
Although the MCU has rarely crossed villains, someone like Magneto is the perfect villain to start doing that kind of thing. Magneto is one of the most powerful beings on the planet; You can tear apart human civilization with little more than a thought anytime you feel like it. At his worst, Magneto is too much for any team.
Magneto as a villain opens him up to be used not only in the X-Men movies but other Marvel movies as he fights for the cause of mutant supremacy against other heroes. Villain crossovers are the next step in the MCU and Magneto can open the door for them.
2 I should be an antihero: The MCU fails its villains constantly and no one wants an inferior Magneto
The number of great villains in the MCU can be counted on one hand and even then, sometimes they are wasted. Killmonger is the MCU’s best villain of all, almost more compelling than the hero he fought and got killed. Thanos received a massive amount of meat but his plan was assassin at best and made him look silly. Loki is basically a hero today and no one has seen the Vulture in years.
The MCU has a lousy track record with villains. For whatever reason, they don’t do a great job with them and no one wants them to do the same with Magneto, one of the best Marvel characters ever created. Making him an antihero is a much safer option.
1 should be a villain: he was the first enemy of the X-Men
The accuracy of the MCU comics can – and should – be questioned, but since they claim it so much, they should put their money where their mouth is and make Magneto a villain. Magneto was the first villain the X-Men fought, so turning him into a villain makes perfect sense.
He fits the mold of a debut MCU villain perfectly; He’s the ideological opposite of heroes, and having him fight the team first is a nice throwback from the comics. Furthermore, even with all his justifications, Magneto is still a monster, a terrorist who would kill all humans to protect a mutant.