X-Men 97: Magneto's Backstory In Animated Series Explained

27 years after he was last seen in X-Men: The Animated Series, X-Men "97 heralds the return of one of the mutant team"s greatest adversaries - Magneto.
The backstory for Erik Lehnsherr (aka Magneto) has been depicted in various ways over the years, from the character"s first appearance in The X-Men #1 to Ian McKellan and Michael Fassbender"s live-action portrayals of the character. 
As with many of its story arcs, X-Men: The Animated Series stuck closely to Marvel comics for its depiction of Magneto and his backstory sets up an interesting arc for the character in X-Men "97.
What is Magneto"s Backstory in X-Men: The Animated Series? MarvelThere are many core elements from Magneto"s characterisation in Marvel comics that X-Men: The Animated Series adopted. Two of these key events are Erik"s experiences with the Holocaust and his friendship with Charles Xavier. 
Magneto"s origin story is a tragic one, beginning when his Jewish family were taken captive and killed by the Germans in World War II. A survivor of these attacks, Erik began working at a hospital where he met a young Charles Xavier. 
When remaining Nazi soldiers attacked this hospital, the duo was able to use their powers to save the patients, but Erik"s past experiences led him to want to murder the Nazis, while Charles" compassion urged him to spare them. This was the beginning of the rift between the friends and also established their opposing ideologies. 
Years later, Magneto reappeared in his full supervillain form in Season 1, Episode 3 of X-Men: The Animated Series, where his new mission was clear: mutant power and preservation, at the expense of humans. 
So began the trading of blows between Magneto and Professor X and his X-Men in the animated series. 
At points during the five-season run, Magneto allied himself with the mutants to defeat certain mutual enemies, such as the Sentinels and Mr. Sinister. At other times he attempts to recruit wayward mutants for his cause, including members of the X-Men team.
The final episodes of X-Men: The Animated Series saw Magneto with an army of rebellious mutants at his side, ready to go to war. But after learning of Professor X"s downfall, he halted his efforts out of respect and to say goodbye to his old friend.
[ Disney+ Reveals Magneto"s Major Role in Marvel"s X-Men "97 ]
How Magneto"s Origins Impact X-Men "97 MarvelWarning - the rest of this article contains spoilers for Episodes 1 and 2 of X-Men "97.
With Charles Xavier out of the picture in X-Men "97, the door is wide open for Magneto to take a larger role. As the first couple of episodes of the new Disney+ series suggest, that is exactly what is going to happen with Magneto inheriting Professor X"s assets and stepping up to lead the X-Men.  
However, Magneto"s past digressions do come back to haunt him as X-Men "97 adopts a similar storyline to Uncanny X-Men #200, which sees the UN Commission of Superhuman Activities call on the mutant to stand trial for his crimes.
Standing before the human panel, Magneto has a callback to his origins, saying:
"As a boy my people’s homes were burned to ash because we dared to call God by another name. Then my people hunted me with those who once hunted them. I was a freak, born a mutant, an abomination to their misnamed gods."
MarvelWhile an old version of Magneto would have seen the character take ownership of the X-Men and lead them to war against the humans, it appears that X-Men "97 is more interested in seeing the antihero undergo an arc of change. He warns the UN panel after sparing their lives in Episode 2, "I am trying to be better. Please do not make me let you down."
The question is whether Magneto can continue to walk this new path and maintain Professor X"s legacy over the remaining eight episodes of X-Men "97.
Episodes 1 and 2 of X-Men "97 are streaming now on Disney+.
Read more about X-Men "97:
Marvel Studios Releases Its First-Ever Wolverine Poster for X-Men "97 (Official)
X-Men "97 Cast: 12 Main Actors & Characters Confirmed for Disney+ Reboot
Disney+ X-Men Reboot: First Look at 8 Main Superhero Logos


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