Giant-Sized X-Men: Magneto #1
Magneto has been sent on a mission by the White Queen. Can he convince the King of the Ocean to give him an island?
These Giant-Sized books are about two things: showcasing (occasionally magnificent) art and putting the pieces in place for future stories. As such, the plots raise far more questions than answers (and are therefore always going to be at least a little unsatisfying) even as you’re enchanted by the imagery.
This issue had more focus on character than the unfortunate Nightcrawler issue. The story would not have worked with anyone but Magneto in the lead role. His stoicism, patience, and cunning were central to the action. Neither would the story have worked without Namor being his usual impatient, arrogant self. Magneto solved the mystery of the Kraken in a way that only he could. So even though this story was clearly merely set-up for two upcoming plots (I’m guessing that the key Magneto pocketed, in particular, will be vital to X of Swords) it was still an entertaining read.
Mag’s careful analysis of the metal in the Kraken Door made me pay particular attention to the fact that he lifted a glass champagne bottle early on in the issue. Since that scene was so prominent, I had to figure that it wasn’t a mistake. So if this issue did nothing else, it made me learn the metal content of green glass. It turns out that green glass has a high iron content. So now you know that Magneto could, theoretically, levitate a bottle. And you also know that I’m the kind of person who would research something like that. Oh, and also he’s probably going to have to do something significant with glass in the near future.
As for the art: as I’ve mentioned, it was spectacular. Magneto doesn’t have a preternaturally smooth Plasticine face, for one thing, he looks like a Hale and hearty old man. But that’s secondary to the lovely vistas we were treated to in these pages. Desolate islands, crystal citadels, deep-sea chambers: there were landscapes galore, and all of them glorious. Ramon Perez and David Curiel had fun with the lines and colors. There’s a solemn joy to these pages which would have been fulfilling even if the rest of the story were dry as evaporated wine.
This story is composed of lovely art, wrapped around a mystery. What more could you want?
Giant-Sized X-Men: Magneto #1: King, Queen, Key
Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 9.5/109.5/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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