Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
X-Men Magneto Testament #2 of 5
Pak, Di Giandomenico & Hollingsworth
This is a story that is not a superhero tale. It’s not an origins story. It’s not anything like any other X-Men story I’ve ever read. It’s a historical account of how Nazi Germany turned its own citizens into the enemy. It took everything they had, beating them along the way, before running them out of their homes and eventually taking their lives. It follows one family in particular. A member of that family happens to become Magneto. Without that last sentence, this comic has nothing to do with the X-Men. It’s an excellent story documenting a horrifying and dark spot on mankind’s history. It’s a powerful story.
The comic begins with Max (Magneto) and his father taking a trip to see Max’s father’s World War I friend, who is still in the military. It’s 1936 and while the writing is certainly on the wall about the Jews and their fate, there is still hope that things will settle down and become more “normal”. With the Olympics in town the Nazis are covering up their “No Jews Allowed” signs and putting their best foot forward. Max and his father find that the hatred still is boiling over. When they return home they are less optimistic than things will ever improve.
The comic pretty much fast forwards to 1938 to the infamous Kristallnacht, where the Nazis coordinated a massive attack against their own Jewish citizens. They took their businesses and those that weren’t outright killed or taken prisoner were left broke and homeless in most cases.
Max and his family manage to stay intact through all of this and they escape Germany. Their destination is Poland and the comic leaves off in 1939. You can pretty much guess things are about to get much worse for Max and his family.
Now the story does more than just show some history through one kid’s eyes. It does help to connect the dots in Max’s eventual transformation into Magneto. He has plenty of breakthrough moments in this comic. He displays extreme intellect and a deep fighting spirit. He also provides some inspiration and leadership for his family.
The artwork is very good. It’s nothing too fancy as it’s trying to keep this story as somber as possible and it’s working well. It has an old feel like it is from the 1930s and it doesn’t ease up when it needs to show the violence.
The comic is telling a deep and meaningful story on a very dark stage. It’s engaging, but extremely sad and depressing at the same time. It will be difficult to ever see Magneto as a villain again by the end of this thing. There are three issues left and it’s going to get grotesquely bad from here. I’m in this series for sure though. I recommend this comic to anyone who is interested in historical stories, especially dealing with the Holocaust.
5 out of 5 geek goggles