I don’t often post news here, or even posts that aren’t long diatribes, but I have to do this one. Can I get another “Aww, yeah”?
I love Matt Fraction to death now. Magneto being depowered was one of the saddest moments of comics to me because I consider him to be one of the greatest villains of all time. He’s charismatic, he’s not 100% evil, and he’s a Jew – he’s me with a red helmet on! Ever since Brubaker did Messiah CompleX, I’ve been getting back into X-Men big time, and ever since Fraction joined and took over, the series has been through the roof phenomenal. While I’m not a huge fan of Utopia, I trust that Fraction has a bigger goal at the end. So what is that goal? We’re bringing back Magneto!
Magneto first appeared with his powers again right before Utopia, having been given his God-give abilities back through work with the High Evolutionary. Since that one page of him laying on the floor cackling his return, I’ve been on pins and needles waiting for news of him to come back. Magneto is one of those characters who can be the greatest hero or greatest villain, so what I’m wondering is which will he be now? Fraction has been laying little bits and pieces for this “event” for a while now, and at SDCC it was finally revealed to some degree what the future plans will be with Nation X:
X-fans of the world, get ready to join a new nation this September when writer Matt Fraction begins an all-new, all-different era in mutant history with Nation X, the next step in the evolution of X-Men stories.
“It’s not so much a storyline as a status quo update – a mandate dictated by the way things are coming out of Utopia and DARK REIGN: THE LIST – UNCANNY X-Men,” explains Fraction. “Things change in a very big, very real and very different way. You’ve never seen the mutants in the position they’re in at the end of DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN, and Nation X speaks to and of that change.”
Fraction remains silent over the exact details of Nation X, as the storyline follows the direct consequence of events currently ongoing in both DARK AVENGERS and UNCANNY X-MEN. However, the writer reveals that Nation X acts a definite, seeable change within the X-Men franchise and puts the merry mutants in a position different from any they’ve ever been in before.
“For 30, 40, 50 years, the X-Men have been stuck in this sort of dichotomy between Professor X’s dream and Magneto’s vision,” says Fraction. “It’s become this sort of black-white, yes-no state. Now, between that dream and that vision, Scott has come up with a plan. There’s a third way, and that’s what we’re exploring. What happens when Scott gets to sit at the big boy table, and what is Scott’s plan for his people as framed by his faith in Hope, the mutant baby off of CABLE?”
Nation X also features the return of the X-Men’s oldest foe and sometime ally, Magneto. After having appeared only occasionally the course of the past two years, the enigmatic Master of Magnetism-once again fully powered thanks to the actions of the High Evolutionary-returns as a “very specific response” to the conclusion of the Utopia crossover. Magneto’s return brings to fruition a chain of events Fraction started piecing together when he first began writing UNCANNY X-MEN.
“It’s pretty great and pretty weird and pretty spooky all at the same time,” admits Fraction. “I always sort of forget where I am, and what has come out and what hasn’t come out because it’s this really complex, slow plan. It’s like, ‘Oh right. The Magneto thing. We can finally talk about that now because it’s finally being published.’ But it’s been happening in my head for two and a half years. It’s weird. It’s like what time travel should be like.”Continued below
As for how he personally sees the character of Magneto, Fraction says that while he finds the character’s actions rather repugnant at times, the events of the past few years may have had an impact on how the one-time Brotherhood of Evil Mutants leader sees himself and the actions he often takes to achieve his goals.
“He is a person unafraid of extremes and who has no moral equivocation when it comes to using violence as a tool for persuasion,” says Fraction. “Personally, I’m repulsed by that, but I can put myself in his shoes and pretend I’m not repulsed by that. Magneto is a guy who looks at violence and who looks at terror and sees them as a means to an end. Or at least, he did…
“What if it was Magneto who articulated that ‘Scott has found a third way’ notion? Stay tuned. Or stay subscribed.”
So you can color me overly excited. As I’ve said, Fraction has done all his best work in X-Men. I love his Invincible Iron Man work (congrats on the Eisner) as well as work he’s done on titles like Immortal Iron Fist, but when I recommend people Matt Fraction I tell them to pick up any recent issue of X-Men (especially the last issue right before Utopia where Beast and the X-Club go back in time). Nation X, right off the bat with the title alone, brings up the image of Planet X from Morrison’s run, and I can’t help but wonder if Fraction is going to pull off a stunt like that – something so twisted that Marvel decides to quickly retcon it. I doubt it, but it could happen. Either way, here’s to Matt Fraction and the return of Magneto!