For other uses of Magneto, see Magneto (disambiguation)

"I did not shoot your President, but I know who did, and you'll never find her. She has a way of hiding in plain sight."

Magneto (Erik Lehnsherr) is a mutant, leader and founder of the Brotherhood of Mutants. He has the ability to manipulate magnetic force fields and magnetic flight.


X-Men Prologue

In 1944, Erik Lehnsherr is forcibly separated from his parents by Nazi soldiers in German-occupied Poland, specifically at the Auschwitz concentration camp. Under this stress, Lehnsherr's powers began to manifest and in his panic, twisted open the metal fence separating him from his parents before being knocked unconscious.

X-Men: First Class

While at Auschwitz, he first encounters a Nazi collaborator named Sebastian Shaw (under the alias Dr. Klaus Schmidt). Shaw murders Erik's mother and tortures him in an attempt to draw out his mutant powers through his anger.

Following the end of World War II in 1945, Erik spends the next 17 years trying to find Shaw and exact vengeance, murdering other surviving Nazis connected to Shaw along the way. He eventually tracks him down to a small boat off the American coast. His attempt at revenge fails when he is defeated by Shaw's Hellfire Club cohorts, being no match for their mutant powers. It was at this point that he meets Charles Xavier, Raven Darkholme and Moira MacTaggert, who were present as part of a botched CIA attempt to capture Shaw. Together and with CIA support, Xavier and Lehnsherr gather a team of mutant teenagers to battle the Hellfire Club, who are attempting to ignite a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States as part of a plot to eradicate non-mutant life on the planet and rule over a mutant new world order. Xavier helps the teens master their powers at his mansion, including Erik. During this time, the two become close friends. However, Erik is still filled with hatred for Shaw and fears a mutant holocaust, despite Xavier's attempts to convince him to let go of his hatred. Erik also motivates Mystique to become proud of her natural appearance, believing her desire to get rid of it is wrong. During a CIA mission within the Soviet Union, Erik and Xavier capture the White Queen of the Hellfire Club, and extract information from her pertaining to Shaw's plans. Ultimately, the team decides to jump into action to prevent the Cuban Missile Crisis from causing World War III. The Hellfire Club attempts to stop the CIA-sanctioned mutant team, but is defeated. During the encounter, Erik confronts Shaw, who attempts to bring him to his side with promises of a new, mutant world order. Although he agrees with Shaw's goals, Erik refuses to forgive him for murdering his mother. Despite Xavier's pleads to be the better man, Erik kills Shaw by magnetically pushing a coin through his brain.

When the United States and the Soviet Union strike up an impromtu alliance to destroy the mutants, Erik magnetically deflects the missiles back towards the fleets. Xavier tackles him and the two engage in a fist fight, which distracts Erik long enough to prevent the missiles from killing those at sea. During a subsequent attempt by Moria MacTaggert to shoot Erik, one of the bullets he deflects strikes Xavier in the lower back, permanently crippling him. Horrified at what had transpired, Erik bids farewell to his close friend, departing with Mystique and the remaining Hellfire Club members with the vow of destroying humankind in order to save mutants. He later frees the White Queen, declares himself "Magneto", and establishes his first Brotherhood of Mutants

X-Men: Days of Future Past

In 1963, Magneto killed John F. Kennedy and was imprisoned.

On Friday, February 4, 1964, a trial was held against Lehnsherr where President Johnson noted in a closed-door meeting with the Warren Commission that their prime suspect - Lehnsherr - was in custody.

His private trial began the next week. Recently declassified court records indicate that Lehnsherr could not refute being at Dealy Plaza's grassy knoll but he insisted that he did not assassinate the President.

As the court ordered him to prove his mutant abilities, Lehnsherr bend a metal crow bar. It took the court five minutes to settle down.

Lehnsherr told the court that he did know who killed the President and that he knows who she is and she is hiding in plain sight.

The court found Lehnsherr guilty of first-degree murder and conspiring to assassinate Kennedy. He was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences in a federal correctional facility with no possibility of parole. Throughtout the 60's Lensherr had destroyed three holding cells until 1971 when Trask Industries built an escape proof cell that kept him imprisoned.


Years later, Magneto and Mystique are in charge of the Brotherhood of Mutants and, using a high-tech machine, attempt to mutate the world's leaders, unaware that it would cause humans to lose their molecular structure (as seen in Senator Kelly). Magneto sends Mystique to lure Rogue into capture in order to use her for his machine. Mystique shape-shifts in Iceman and convinces her to leave. Rogue does so, which eventually leads to her capture by the Brotherhood.

When warned of the dangers of the machine by Jean Grey and Storm, Magneto refuses to believe them and proceeds to use the machine. However, it is destroyed by Wolverine and Cyclops before it could affect the humans on Ellis Island. Following this, Magneto is captured by the government and is locked up in a plastic prison.

X2: X-Men United

Magneto is kept in his plastic prison with his own security guard, Mitchell Laurio. Colonel William Stryker, while on a visit, brainwashes Magneto, forcing him to divulge informatioin about Cerebro and the X-Mansion. Later on, Magento is able to escape from prison using iron particles extracted from Laurio's bloodstream, which were previously injected by Mystique. He proceeds to kill the other guards before finally escaping. After saving the X-Men from crashing the X-Jet, he and Mystique form a temporary alliance with them in order to stop Stryker from killing all of the world's mutants, with Stryker using his own version of Cerebro at Alkali Lake to accomplish the task. In order to use his version of Cerebro, Stryker uses his son Mastermind to manipulate Xavier (now Stryker's hostage) to kill all of the world's mutants. Magneto stops this, but instead has Xavier, through Mastermind, trying to kill all of the humans.  He then leaves Alkali Lake in a helicopter. The X-Men intervene in time and prevent Magneto's re-programming from being fully carried out.

X-Men: The Last Stand

After leaving Alkali Lake, Magneto attempts to expand the Brotherhood of Mutants in order to combat the new mutant "cure" produced by Worthington Labs. He attends a mutant meeting with Pyro, convincing many of the mutants present to join him.

When Xavier dies at the hands of Phoenix, he shows genuine grief over his death, even severely reprimanding Pyro when the latter states that he would have killed Xavier himself had Magneto asked it of him.

After learning that the cure is now being utilized as an offensive weapon, he and the Brotherhood decide to attack the Worthington facility on Alcatraz Island, where the cure is being manufactured using DNA from a young mutant known as Leech. Magneto's objective is to kill Leech so that the cure will not be reproduced. The X-Men, working with the armed forces stationed on Alcatraz, defend the facility from the Brotherhood. During the battle, Wolverine and Beast work together and inject Magneto with the "cure", stripping him of his powers. He then withdraws from Alcatraz with the other mutants and humans when Phoenix goes on a rampage, unleashing her powers.

Some time after the attack, Magneto, now deprived of his immense powers, is seen sitting in a San Francisco park, in front of a metal chess game. He extends his hand toward a metal chess piece and was able to move it a tiny bit, suggesting that the cure may not be permanent and/or may not have rendered him completely powerless.

The Wolverine

In a mid-credits scene - years after the events of X-Men: The Last Stand - Magneto confronts Logan at an airport and has fully regained his mutant powers. He restrains Logan and solicits his help against dark forces seeking to destroy mutant-kind. When Logan asks Magneto why he should trust him, Charles Xavier arrives to assure him.

X-Men: Days of Future Past

To be added

Powers, Abilities, & Weaknesses


  • Magnetokinesis - Magneto has comprehensive control over all forms of magnetism and utilizes that control to manipulate ferrous metals and achieve a variety of effects. During the events of X-Men: The Last Stand, Magneto was able to lift the entire Golden Gate Bridge.
    • Organic Iron Manipulation - He is able to manipulate the metal within a person's blood.
    • Magnetic Flight - Magneto can fly by gliding on the Earth's EM field.


  • Excellent Strategist - Magneto is an excellent strategist, tactician, and skilled leader.
  • Multilingual - As shown in X-Men: First Class, Magneto is fluent in several languages - including English, French, German, and Spanish.
  • Indomitable Will - Magneto will strive to complete his tasks, no matter what it takes.


  • Physical Condition - Magneto's ability to wield his superhuman powers effectively is dependent upon his physical condition. When severely injured, his body is unable to withstand the strain of manipulating magnetic energy. When his powers are not at their peak, he also appears to have greater difficulty utilizing his magnetism for great feats. He is also susceptible to physical and mental fatigue that can ultimately affect his ability to adequately use his powers, especially if he overuses or extends them in a short amount of time. This is most apparent in X-Men.
  • Arrogance - Magneto has displayed a degree of arrogance that has caused him to underestimate the circumstances and individuals in various situations. In X-Men, when Jean Grey and Storm attempted to warn him about the hazards posed by his conversion machine, he refused to believe them, still holding to the notion that his machine will covert the humans rather than kill them. Another notable example was in X-Men: The Last Stand, when Professor X and Callisto warned him on separate occasions that Phoenix's power was too unstable to control. Again, he disregarded their opinions, believing that he could control her.


Friends and Family



  • In the Marvel comics continuity, Magneto's birth name is Max Eisenhardt. At the time first movie was being developed, the Erik Lehnsherr name was being used to give the character a Gypsy heritage, to avoid "demonizing" Jewish holocaust survivor community. Marvel editors later changed their minds and claimed the character used the name merely as a cover identity. The name has yet to appear in an X-Men film.
  • The number tattooed on Magneto's arm from the Nazi concentration camp is 214782. The tattoo was originally seen in Uncanny X-Men #150, written by Chris Claremont and drawn by Dave Cockrum in 1981. After the release of the Bryan Singer films, which put greater emphasis on Magneto's heritage and motivation stemming his experiences at the camps, Claremont decided to retcon the number in 2004. It was changed to 24005, a more historically accurate number that would have been used on the first group of Jews to be tattooed at Auschwitz. 24005 made its debut in Excalibur #2. Interestingly, other new elements from comics introduced after the Singer films, such has Wolverine's fully revealed origin and the character of Azazel, were introduced into the movies almost immediately.
  • In the comics, Xavier and Magneto chose different paths after a fight with Wolfgang Von Strucker, in which Xavier prevents Magneto from killing Strucker. In the movie, Strucker is replaced by Sebastian Shaw because Wolfgang Von Strucker's film rights belong to Marvel Studios.
  • The scene in X-Men: The Last Stand in which Magneto lifts the Goldengate Bridge and uses it as a vessel for his Brotherhood is taken directly from the comics.
  • Magneto was supposed to have a beard in X-Men: The Last Stand but this idea was quickly dismissed. However, on the DVD, there is a deleted scenes where Pyro tells Magneto about the cure announcement. There is two versions of this scene. One is the "bearded" version and one is the shaven version.

External links

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+