I am going to do a character analysis on Magneto. However, I will only be analyzing the version of Magneto from X-Men: First Class. I have focused my time on the following clip. Sit back, relax and watch some mutant action before reading my comments!
The clip above is the climax of X-men: First Class. The team has just defeated the villain, Sebastian Shaw, who had been terrorizing Eric Lehnsherr (Magneto) since he was a boy. Eric is a survivor of the Holocaust. In the camps, Shaw killed Eric’s mother in an attempt to get Eric to use his powers. Eric never forgave him or the countless other’s that treated him so badly during that time.
So you’d imagine after killing the enemy the team would be full of smiles and cheers. That’s not the case, however. The film quickly introduces a new villain: Magneto… or so it seems.
“The real enemy is out there…” Eric quickly points out, “Their metal targeting us. Americans, soviets, humans…”
Eric turns the tables with his ability to control metal. Then its his metal targeting them. Is it wrong for Magneto to defend himself? In today’s United States, the Stand Your Ground law might say it’s his right. According criminal.findlaw.com, the law generally allows “people to stand their ground instead of retreating if they reasonably believe doing so will “prevent death or great bodily harm.” Learn more about that at http://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-law-basics/states-that-have-stand-your-ground-laws.html
In an attempt to calm Magneto down, Charles Xavier mentions that all the men Magneto was targeting are good, honest men, who are just following orders.
“I’ve been at the mercy of men just following orders…” Magneto responds, “Never again.”
With those few words, Magneto’s perspective and intentions are made very clear. He has been through one traumatic event. He was tortured in containment camps because of who he was. People were ordered to hurt him and his family. He will never let that happen again. From his perspective, he feels that the human race will repeat history. This time, locking up and killing mutants solely because they are different. The Americans and Soviets in the ships have, in his eyes, proved his point. Is there any reason for Magneto to believe anything different?
That brings me back to my original question. Is it wrong for Magneto to defend himself? He believes by standing his ground and using lethal force, he is preventing the death of himself, and his fellow mutants, as well as bodily harm.
What do you think?