The Uncanny X-Men #327
Marvel (December, 1995)
“Whispers On The Wind”
WRITER: Scott Lobdell
PENCILER: Roger Cruz
INKERS: Tim Townsend & Al Milgrom
COLORING: Steve Buccellato & Electric Crayon
LETTERING: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
EDITOR: Bob Harras
I don’t know the events that led up to Magneto ending up in I think Mexico or South America, possibly the latter. The story begins with Magneto being found by a group of orphans living in a Church orphanage. Sister Maria takes in the amnesiac and one of the kids names him Joseph. Over time “Joseph” bonds with the children and Sister Maria (who is a nun and therefore friend is as close as he’s going to get). However, their government aid is actually working for bad people, and kidnaps Sister Maria and the children to force him to work for his employers. Instead he forced the man to reveal where the kids are, and although he rescues them, he had to brutally slaughter the kidnappers, a vision that the children are frightened by, and become scared of Joseph. Deciding it’s best he leave, Joseph sneaks away in the morning, with Maria giving him an old magazine with a story about someone who may be able to help him…the X-Men! She later confides to the priest that she figured out that he is Magneto but the priest is hopefully this is path to redemption.
(Too bad Magneto’s path to redemption, and path back to villainy, is based on the mood of the current writer or editor and they can’t make up their minds. Also, we’re ignoring the stupid clone retcon of Joseph for the purposes of this review and sticking with what I believe was the original intention, or at least what was pointed to at the time.)
What they got right: Magneto is a mutant with a hard past, his powers keeping him alive well after he should be. He suffered the Nazis and that is alluded to at one point. Joseph’s relation to the kids and Sister Maria are believable and I do feel sorry for him. While I’m usually the advocate of “let villains be villains”, Magneto is someone whose heart is in the right place, but his methods are cruel and wicked, which still peeks out in the violent way he gets rid of the kidnappers.
What they got wrong: Darn it, 90s, why does your art look so bad? I’ve seen way worse but the kids have just freakish faces and sometimes so do the adults. I can’t even tell if Sister Maria is intended to be Asian or not, but she sure looks it for someone with a Spanish name and current address.
Recommendation: Actually a pretty good Magneto story, but I like redemption tales so this works for me. It’s worth checking out, which considering it’s a Scott Lobdell story is even more surprising when you factor in that I’m not much of an X-fan.