Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
X-Men Magneto Testament #5 of 5
Pak, Di Giandomenico & Hollingsworth
The mini series ends in this issue with the escape of Max from Auschwitz. It might be the most historically imbedded issue in the series. The interesting thing about this issue (and the character) is that Max never shows his mutant ability. This series has been about the holocaust and has had nothing to do with the X-Men or super heroes in general. It was a refreshing change of pace and a very good read.
Max spends much of the issue trying to save Magda from the gypsy camp. Being in the Sonderkommando provides Max with a lot of insight into which areas are getting liquidated next. Perhaps the most stunning part of this story is the utter indifference they all seem to feel about the killing and their role in it. They have just been numbed to the worst extreme and appear to be robotic with their daily tasks. It’s amazing they even attempt a revolt.
As was the case in real life, the Sonderkommando tries a revolt in the fall of 1944. There are two separate crematorium groups, one that plans it and the other that follows along. Max is part of the one that follows along. This was probably the only part of the comic I wasn’t thrilled with. I would have liked to have seen the ins and outs of the planning of the revolt from someone on the inside. Being from the crematorium that follows the other group allows us to see what a difficult time that crew had with their struggle to understand the delays and the ‘signal’ for the revolt.
Eventually, Max and company escape. The comic provides an account of what happened in the revolt and the aftermath of most of those involved. We do not get an update on Max, as his story most likely picks up in the super hero mythos.
The art provides the same gritty details that we’ve seen in this series. Its dark toned and shows the defeat on the faces of all involved. The art seems to have more color in this issue perhaps showing the hope of those that survived. This comic doesn’t have nearly the same level of death as the previous ones, as it’s more suggestive in its depiction. To thumb through this comic you know it’s not a regular old story.
The finale of this story caps off what has been a tremendous account of the holocaust from a single character’s point of view. Max proves to be both lucky and crafty. It seems his ability to find gold was his biggest contributor to staying alive. However, the realism used in this story almost makes the character involved here kind of irrelevant. I think this story would have been just as good without the X-Men tag or Magneto as the central character. The issue discusses what kind of extras will be included in the collected edition and it makes this story worth picking up in trade if you missed the mini series. This was a terrific mini series.
4 out of 5 geek goggles