How Do Magneto’s Powers Work?

It’s no secret that I’m a lifelong DC and definitely not a Marvel. I enjoy seeing movies and TV shows based on Marvel properties, but my knowledge base is mostly concerned with the characters found in the DC Universe.

So you’ll forgive me when I ask the question posed in the title of this blog post. How do Magneto’s powers work?

It’s something that’s bothered me ever since I saw the first X-Men film back in 2000. Ian McKellen nailed his portrayal of the villainous mutant, but his power set confused me a little.

On the surface, his stage name gives it away: Magneto… One can assume he’s the master of magnetism. Which, one could then infer, means that he can control any metal that is magnetic.

However, in the climactic scene which takes place inside the head of the Statue of Liberty, Magneto is able to immobilize the heroic team of X-Men by bending girders to pin them all to the interior of the statue.

Magneto.gifNow, if you know anything about the Statue of Liberty, you are, I’m sure, aware that it is made of copper. If you weren’t aware of that, Magneto points it out to Cyclops when the leader of the team tells Storm to fry him. “Oh, yes! A bolt of lightning into a huge copper conductor. I thought you lived at a school?”

But if I remember my elementary science classes correctly, copper is not magnetic. I remember because we would try to use the magnet that the teacher gave us on different metallic objects: paper clips, pennies, the legs of our desks. The magnet wouldn’t pick the pennies up.

So, again, I ask… How do Magneto’s powers work?

Who out there has been a true Marvel fan and has dived into the depths of comic book lore? Can you answer this question?

If his powers are to strictly control magnetic metals, then he shouldn’t have been able to manipulate the copper inside the Statue of Liberty. If his powers are to control all metallic objects, then the name Magneto is a little misleading. But I guess the name Metallo was already taken by a villain over in the DC Universe.

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One thought on “How Do Magneto’s Powers Work?

  1. You’d have to go more deep-nerd than I can to fully explain Magneto’s powers, but magnetic fields can affect more than just metals such as iron, if I recall anything from science classes. Mostly, I just prefer not to think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

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