As you all are probably aware, Marvel is, even as we type, finally dealing with Magneto's backstory... definatively.
Joe Quesada, the ED in Chief, has publically announced on his blog "My Cup O'Joe" that while SOME issues of Marvel Knights are out of canon and continuity , ie: basically alternate universes or what ifs, that MAGNETO Testament IS, indeed, IN CANON AND CONTINUITY.
He is saying that what Claremont showed us of the background of Magneto is a true background and backstory and it is showing us the makings of all the conflicting emotions and issues that make Magneto such a monumental, brilliant and interesting character. And this was all due to CHRIS CLAREMONT!!! The X Men writer emeritus! The one who created the X Empire that lesser writers have been playing in, trying to change and tear down for their own self glorification or their hidden agendas.
As you know... I am very opinionated in my defense of Chris, whom I know personally and love dearly, as did Dave, of course.
I am appalled at the treatment he has had at Marvel... from the Hardass years until the very present! He has been routinely shoved aside, had characters and even series peremporily yanked from him for NO good reason... in fact, even flying in the face of reason when as the writer of Uncanny, he had the series yanked when he had taken it from eleventh place to ninth and thence to seventh place in the ratings. Having been in the industry myself, and having understood the economics of it and the rules of it's survival in a time when other forms of entertainment beckon to the young, I can tell you that when a book isRISING in the ratings... towards number one ...you DO NOT change the writer or the artist team FOR ANY REASON...except that they want to do other things... a reason I KNOW for a fact that didn't exist on either that book or the Excalibur book which Chris was using to definately establish his Magneto as the real one... after the debacle caused by morrison with Planet X. He was trying to clean up a mess. He was actually doing that, establishing new characters...interesting characters which people were liking and following... getting his fan base back. Certain elements at Marvel couldn't stand that and moved against him to strike him where it would hurt the most... his devotion to Magneto, his literary masterpiece... and that it surely IS!
Now, I am sure you are wondering why I started a TESTAMENT thread with the avove. And this is why. Chris did a monumental thing when he gave Magneto... a nothing character until then, used mainly as a foil for any superhero who needed a mindless villain to fight when the writer was up against a deadline and couldn't come up with something better...a backstory that was carefully researched, not only as to historical reality, but as to Magneto's own published appearances from his inception in XMen #1 To the date of Chris's decision to make him more than just a one dimensional character.
He chose dramatic themes dear to his own heart and viable within a real timeline. Back when Chris started this transformation, the horrors of the Holocaust were still fresh and there were not as many who denied it ever happened... basically because it DID happen and was a powerful catylist for Magneto's actions.
With the TESTAMENT series... and I just read chapter three...of five... We see, as my friend Rivka, has said for years ...the "boy who will become the man". We see his love of family, his meeting and falling in love with Magda, the things that happened in Germany during the late 30s and early 40s...the story of his family's flight and subsequent doom...a doom that Claremont gave us in minescule doses of nightmares, flashbacks and moments of memory... many times. In the savage land... in the submarine with the skeletons of the crew...under the torture of Zaladane...many times throuhghout the years. This series is validating everything Claremont showed us of Magneto's history that over ten years of bad writers and editors with agendas... some of them blatantly anti semetic...have tried to destroy.
THANK YOU, JOE QUESADA!!!
this story was too important not to tell and to cement in stone so solidly that people with purile agendas could never refute it. Oh, they may try... but if they do, it will be a blatant and unmistakable sign of who and WHAT they are.
Joe told me about this series while it was still under wraps... being planned, researched...with, by the way, help from Rivka, who sent them volumes of her own immaculate research not only into Holocaust history, but into Magneto's canon and how it fitted into historical data... because, you know something? Chris actually DID his research when he first started this character development!!!
Rivka did the research long years ago in her fight to get Hardass to get it right....and also for her own reasons, since she IS a serious Holocaust scholar and researcher. She, over the years, has told me things I never knew of the Holocaust...of the customs and social actions and situations of that time...and all of the things she told me over years of discussing with her how what Charemont wrote fitted into KNOWN and documented historical fact could actually apply. and now, all that research is part of that TESTAMENT series, validating the backstory of Magneto, his ethnic heritage, the times and their horrors, and how it fits in whith how it affected the young boy and what relationship it has to the saner, more driven man Magneto is today.
Now, we take time out for the development of his power and how it would drive him mad, backing up in him because of the genetic blockage which Moira McTaggart removed to allow him to use his powers without them overwhelming his sanity.
That's another story.
But Claremont built that story on CANON too... cuz we never saw hat happened to the infant Magneto after he was de-aged... until he appeared again as a grown man, wielding his powers, younger and saner than he had been before. All neatly tied up with canon, continuity and the foundation laid down by other writers which came before.
Marvel's rep was always built on it's care of continuity and the development of characters based on it's own canon. Today's writers simply don't want to know the characters and their thirty or forty years of REAL TIME canon... which in MARVEL UNIVERSE TIME is approximately only about a tenth of REAL time, even though the backgrounds and technology change to keep a touch of that real time in the visuals. Fans get so caught up in this year or that year not realizing that only three or four years MARVEL time have passed during the thirty or forty years REAL time. Storm, introduced in seventy five as a mature adult...possibly mid twenties...is not now fifty years old!!! Just as Batman, introduced as an adult, possibly thirty years old or so... in the thirties is not now eighty!!!...no... he is still thirty. Storm is still twenty something or possibly early thirty something. With superdoops, actual timelines make little difference if you get right down to it... except with people who say that real time IS Marvel Universe time... which it is NOT.
So, the TESTAMENT storyline has real bearings on the Magneto of today...even though the historical data it is tied to actuallyhappened sixty or seventy years ago. the time of history doesn't matter if we learn from it... the FACTS of history DO matter if we are not to stupidly repeat the lesson.
I got an email the other day from a friend...not rRvka, whom I must send it along to... that had in it pictures taken by soldiers in the forties, who came into the horrors of the death camps ... and under the direction of General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who said "take as many pictures of these horrors as you can... because sometime in the future people will try to deny this ever happened!" the pictures were brutal... horrible. But Ike was right, too! Neo Nazism is on the rise...so this series is particularly relevent. and it shows the horrors, the reality of man's inhumanity to man in detail that is not so graphic to be as gory as it really was... but to put it into a context as seen through the eyes of a youngster who suffered it and who grew up to become the powerful mutant Magneto.
It is apparent that Joe Quesada wanted Marvel to get this right. .. and so far, he has done that not only with the history but with fitting our Mags into it. Kudoes to the Editor, Mr Simons, to Greg Pak, the writer, to Mr. Giandomenico, the artist, to the colorist and all the other people who have made this series so historically accurate both real time and marvel mythos. You are doing a masterful and important thing here, people!
There are those, including some at Marvel, with agendas themselves, who don't want this to be in canon so they can brush it away... brush away one of the most brilliant literary creations in the histry of comic book literature...brush away seventeen years of coherent and interesting storywriting that was Chris Claremont's contribution to the bulging coffers of marvel...as well as the comic literature he enhanced and in some cases, even developed. they post voluminously in their own blogs that it is NOT canon and they will make it so when Quesada goes away as EiC...
But this is an historic series. As important in it's own way as the Marvel series that first dared to print without the comics code stamp simply because teen drug addiction and abuse was too important a REALITY to be ignored!!!
The brouhaha about Magneto's backstory... an important piece of literary brilliance...had to be quashed. The nay sayers who didn't want Magnus to be Jewish or have suffered the Holocaust horrors... who want him to be a rat bastard who hates his familyand everyone else except himself can no longer stand. With this affirmation of his young history, we can see what formed him, what fires tempered him... what drove him to cling to mutantking as his "new family" and try to protect them from the horrors he knew humans to be capable of. It gives basis to his reasoning that the only safety is in being powerful and bargaining with humanity for you existance through power is an accurate position to take...rather than hoping for acceptance through service and a friendly facade... which never works... ask the European Jews... if you can find any...
So I guess the purpose of this thread is to discuss this monumental series... the first three issues of which are on the stands now. Rivka can, from her voluminous research, tell us the particulars of the scenes we saw in each of these books if we are interested to know them, I am sure.
That this is a ssstark and dramatic series is an understatement. That this is an important series both in REAL history AND in MARVEL UNIVERSE history is the understatement of the century!!!
If you can love horror and pathos and suffering of someone you love... in this case, Magneto as a boy... I do love this series. As a comment on humanity, it is horrifying, electrfying and documentarily true and needs to be said over and over... or we simply will sweep it under the rug of time and say it didn't happen just to soothe our souls... to tell ourselves the lie that humans couldn't be this bad.
Well... yes we can. Magneto is right! It is happening all over the world every day...today! and not just in other countries, either. the Native Americans are victims in our own country of planned and enacted genocide. HERE ! in America... this very year, month, week, day!!! It is ongoing bigotry against anyone who is not like YOU! Obama faced bigotry against blacks and still became president elect. Kennedy faced bigotry against Catholics and became president. We can change... we can let go of bigotry and hatred... but we all aren't there yet...we've come a long way... especially in America... but it's still a long haul for Homo Sapiens.
So there you have my take on this monumental and historic series... what's yours? You like? you don't like? why? why not?
Just waiting for the next two issues...