Review: AXIS Magneto 11 & 12 by Bunn, Walta, Bellaire, Boschiand Loughridge | Fanboys Anonymous

Review: AXIS Magneto 11 & 12 by Bunn, Walta, Bellaire, Boschiand Loughridge

Posted by Sean Hamilton Saturday, November 29, 2014
Magneto and the merry marvel posse
Magneto 11 cover by David Yardin
It's been some time since we looked at the Master of Magnetism, so a combined review of Magneto #11 and #12 seemed more appropriate. To catch us up to speed, let's recap some events from AXIS, as both issues tie in to this Marvel event.

Magneto has been busy since issue #10. While trying to kill the Red Skull and finally put a stop to his genocidal tendenciesc, Magneto unwittingly unleashed Red Onslaught and his worldwide reign of hate. The battle ensued on Genosha, the island formerly ruled by Magneto, that drew in so many Marvel heroes. It was dire, the heroes were outgunned, as a pair of Tony Stark–designed hero hunting sentinels quickly decimated their ranks. In a final act of despair, with the MGH effect wearing off, and desperate against such overwhelming failure to counter the Red Onslaught, Magneto fled the harrowing battle.

As the grisly scene is recounted in the first few pages of Magneto #11 we have some overlap with the events in AXIS, but this is necessary. At this point we continue to see why Cullen Bunn deserves so much praise for his work in Magneto. Bunn explores the deep sense of guilt and responsibility Magneto feels not only the Red Onslaught but also for the havoc he has wrought upon his fellow mutants. This psychological examination is superlative for the tone and edge to this series, which simply cannot be given page space in an event like AXIS.

Briar Raleigh convinces Magneto to keep fighting
Magneto's haunting past spurs him on...
The art in Magneto 11 by Garbriel Hernandez Walta is just as gripping and crucial to the dark toned narrative as Bunn's script. Walta encapsulates the dramatic nuances that cannot be drawn out from the dialogue, such as the cruel emotional tension of Briar Raleigh and Magneto as the latter is convinced why he needs to keep fighting on. The way that Walta draws the characters' facial expressions, with particular focus on their eyes, makes for some very fine art. This pivotal scene carries the whole of issue #11.

While the traumatic scares of the indiscretions and fatal mistake from the past will always haunt Magneto, Bunn delivers a great twist as he sets Raleigh to bringing Magneto out of his funk and back to the proactive master manipulator we know. Ultimately Magneto #11 shows us how the "villains/anti-heroes" come to arrive on Genosha at the pivotal moment to help stop the Red Onslaught.

Magneto #12 dives straight into a more action-packed issue. Having gathered his group of non-do-gooders, Magneto proceeds to lead them back to battle Red Onslaught. This issue of Magneto coincides with the events of AXIS 3.

Marvel faces the Red Onslaught
Magneto 12 cover by David Yardin
Once again it is the character exposition that is what makes Magneto #12 a good read. It has more depth than AXIS 3 and draws in the reader much more as a result. While the first half of the issue complements the story of AXIS, it is the second half of the book that is more interesting. Here Bunn examines the effects of the inversion spell on Magneto, who is confronted by a ghostly reminder of Charles Xavier. As the pair try to find renewed meaning for Magneto's role in all these events, a twist in the final two pages certainly is intriguing enough to want the next issue now.

Magneto #12 brings in artist Roland Boschi and colorist Lee Loughridge. Both are very capable and try to emulate the existing style and tone of the series. Given that Magneto has a very distinct approach, a change in artists is noticeable, yet it is not jarring here. Loughridge uses a suitable palette of colors but the doesn't have the same harsh quality Jordie Bellaire provided in issue #11. This could also be as a result of Boschi's pencils and inks, which aren't as gritty as Walta's. By no means does this bring down the art, it is simply a slightly different approach. A nice sense of continuity between the issues is provided by Cory Petit's lettering.

Magneto, Dr Doom and Loki take on the Red Onslaught
Magneto strikes back.
While the events of AXIS have probably thrown-out Bunn's plan for Magneto, there are great opportunities here to explore the titular character's role in the larger Marvel universe and how he has evolved since the death of Charles Xavier. We are seeing the next steps of Magneto as a leader in the mutant community, the actions of which are spilling over into other series such as Uncanny X-Men.

As an X-Men solo series, Magneto has a great sense of stick-ability about it. Bunn has provided a great run so far on this series and seems to have some long-reaching plans to build around Magneto, the top of which is uncovering the role of Raleigh.

Let us know what you have enjoyed so far from the series. What are the highs and lows? What do you hope to see next from Bunn? Make sure you leave your mark below, or follow us on Facebook and post a comment there.

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