Rhetorical Analysis of Magneto

Hey everyone, I’ve been busy producing a myriad of projects lately, so I figured I’d post a research paper I wrote for class analyzing the reboot of the character Magneto in the comics. Here’s the article in question: http://comicsalliance.com/magneto-cullen-bunn-gabriel-hernandez-walta-jordie-bellaire-review-marvel/ 

The article, “Who is Magneto? Cullen Bunn and Gabriel Hernandez Walta Reestablish an Icon” sets out to explain where previous iterations of Magneto went wrong, and how a compelling character lies within the anti-hero’s origins. Parker points out that in Magneto’s Marvel Now incarnation, his mutant powers are less potent, and thus his convictions and character motivations take precedence. Parker lists what he believes are Magneto’s core components, which according to him are, “the trauma of the Holocaust, the undying need to protect his own kind, and a sense of superiority that defines him as a villain.” Both the author and the comic writers agree that it isn’t the violent actions of Magneto that define him, but rather his core beliefs which are born out of trauma he suffered throughout his touch and historic life.

Parker goes on to state that although Magneto’s actions have reasoning, the authors of the new comic line are correct in still painting his violent and aggressive actions as too far and unjustified. When Parker says, “it was easy to understand his point of view, in light of his history of oppression and loss”, he clearly claims that Magneto’s life trauma made his actions more understandable, and it’s clear to see what shaped him into the anti-hero we see in the present day. He goes on to explain how Bunn’s arc makes Magneto a more down to Earth and less over the top figure, meaning that we have a better chance of sympathizing with where he comes from.

Also in the article, Parker makes the bold claim that the new Magneto arc is superior because it, “redefines an icon and re-establishes Magento as a true villain without wiping away anything that came before.” Both Parker and the Magneto writers claim that it is necessary for the character’s traumatic past to exist, as it allows readers to better understand where the X-Men’s greatest adversary comes from, and what motivates his gritty and violent actions. Parker claims right at the beginning of the article that, “Magneto was ready for a fresh start, and readers probably were as well.”

Most interesting is when Parker claims that not only were the writers of the new series conveying this take on Magneto, but that the artists were as well. He explains how the two artists both examine different aspects of Magneto’s personality. In the article he says, “While Bunn examines Magneto’s interior, Hernandez Walta conducts his own investigation into the exterior, finding a myriad of harrowed nuances in his normally stony expression.” The emphasis on how important the visual style of Magneto reflected the inner pain of the character further shows the deep and complex emotions lying within. The fact that both the written and visual components of the character tie into this modern adaptation of Magneto prove Parker’s claim in the article that the character of Magneto is somebody who has their heart in the right place, but who’s actions are skewed due to horrific and early trauma suffered.









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