Avengers Spoiled Magneto’s X-Men: Days of Future Past Scheme Years Before

While Magneto has effectively redeemed himself in the current state of X-Men continuity, he spent the majority of his Marvel Comics career as a hardened villain who had a sympathetic cause but an incredibly questionable way of achieving his goals–and one of those morally ambiguous tactics was used against two high-profile Avengers in a manner that was eerily similar to a scheme Magneto pulled in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past.

X-Men: Days of Future Past is the second installment of the X-Men prequel saga and the fifth overall installment of the X-Men franchise (not counting the Wolverine spin-offs). In the movie, Magneto is freed from a special cell the United States government built beneath the Pentagon for max security, essentially burying Magneto under a mountain of concrete with other measures in place to ensure he couldn’t use his mutant abilities. Once freed, Magneto learned of the Sentinel Program that was being discussed by governments around the world–a program designed to target and exterminate mutants using giant robots called Sentinels. To give humanity a taste of its own medicine, Magneto boarded a train carrying some prototype Sentinels and weaved metal through them, thereby activating the deadly androids and giving him full control over them. Later in the film, fans see that Magneto’s plan worked beautifully, and he was able to control the Sentinels to attack humans in a display of fear-inducing mutant superiority.


In Avengers #47 by Roy Thomas and John Buscema, Magneto is back on Earth after escaping from his off-world imprisonment. Upon his return, Magneto sought to reestablish the Brotherhood of Mutants, starting with two of his former subordinates who became Avengers in his absence: Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. When Magneto approached them to rejoin the team, the Maximoff siblings quickly refused, though Magneto was prepared for that possibility. Knowing that they might reject him, Magneto had in place a number of giant suits of armor that he controlled through his power of metal manipulation–effectively using his ability to control Sentinel-like weapons to attack his enemies.

The methods Magneto used in this issue are very similar to what he did in X-Men: Days of Future Past. In both instances, Magneto used his god-tier power to control mindless, robot-like minions to do the fighting for him–though there is one notable difference between these two scenarios: the outcome. In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Magneto was thwarted after getting shot in the neck by Mystique, and while he was able to fly away and not go back to prison, he still failed his larger mission as his ‘unstoppable power’ was undermined in a matter of minutes. In this Avengers issue, however, Magneto’s actions did lead to Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch rejoining the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, so his plan was unexpectedly successful.

Despite the minor differences between the two scenarios, the larger point here is that Magneto used his mutant ability to manipulate giant metal soldiers–or soldiers with metal in them–for his own villainous purposes, and in both instances, he did so to perfection. While these methods were practically identical, Magneto did it in an Avengers comic prior to even his first live-action debut let alone his second incarnation in the prequel saga–suggesting that Avengers spoiled Magneto’s X-Men: Days of Future Past scheme years before the X-Men film’s release.

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