What makes Cullen Bunn's MAGNETO book work so well is that Magneto is an older character who has experienced so much in his life, from World War II to the mutant massacre on Genosha. He has years upon years of life experience that come into play as the story moves along. Every event currently happening to Magneto, in this book, has a connection to his past in one way or another.
It's hard to root for the bad guy, even when he's doing a lot of terrible things, but Bunn has a way of really making the reader feel for the character. During the issue, Magneto tries to find the source of the proto-sentinels and while he finds out some shocking truths, it cuts back to his time on Genosha, when 16 million mutants were killed by sentinels. It's this wonderful back and forth moment that truly humanizes this character who many believe to be a monster. We see his motivation and why he's willing to go to great lengths to save his people. We don't have to agree with him or his methods, but we have to understand them.
This issue isn't as violent or menacing as the past two issues, but it's still incredibly dark and demented. As soon as the reader starts to side with Magneto, he does something awful. Folks will continue to read this not just because it's incredibly well-written and compelling, but because they want to see what he's going to do next.
This book wouldn't work as well as it does without Gabriel Hernandez Walta's art and Jordie Bellaire's colors. Anything more realistic and the book would come off too dark. Anything lighter and it would have too much of a comical feel. Walta and Bellaire are the perfect match to the tone of this story.
The problem with this issue is that it wraps up a bit too cleanly and doesn't leave much to the imagination for future issues. While, sure, there are more enemies to fight and more people for Magneto to hunt down, others involved in the proto-sentinel project, it could easily end here. There's a void that the final pages of this issue doesn't fill.
It's hard to pick a book from these new Marvel #1s to call "my favorite," but MAGNETO is up there. It has a look and feel that distinctly sets it apart from the rest of the Marvel universe with a compelling character involved in an intriguing detective story with a bit of brutal violence thrown into the mix. This is a series more people should jump on. It's haunting and mesmerizing. Go buy it, now.