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Marvel Fans Have Some Concerns About Magneto's MCU Debut

Of all the scene-stealing superpowered beings in the world of "X-Men '97," Magneto is the MVP, mainly because of his totally understandable motivations. As a Holocaust survivor (delicately referred to via Magneto's number tattoo in "X-Men '97"), the master of magnetism's origin story is as much a part of his DNA as the powers that make him an Omega-level mutant. It's also one of the biggest concerns fans have for the character whenever he makes his live-action entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Over on r/marvelstudios, u/didntmakeausername brought up the issue, asking, "How would Magneto fit in the present-day MCU if he was a Holocaust survivor?" Expanding on the head-scratcher, they said, "Am I thinking about this correctly? It worked back then cuz of the time frame, but if the 'X-Men' reboot took place in the present day, he would have to be insanely old or something." It was 1981 when Magneto's entire backstory was explained in the comics, making the math of Erik Lensherr's experiences as a Holocaust survivor feasible and allowing it to line up just right when, at 61 years old, Ian McKellen brought the character to life in the 2000 "X-Men" movie. It also made Michael Fassbender's stint as the X-Men villain digestible when "X-Men: First Class" took us back to the '60s, highlighting his first encounter with Charles Xavier (James McAvoy replacing Patrick Stewart).In the case of the MCU, though, fans have already figured out some workarounds — but they could also impact other characters.

Magneto is going to need some plot armor in the MCU

In the MCU, time is a cruel mistress. Whether it's sorcerers twisting it to their whim or heroes being put on ice to miss a few decades, what has happened in the past could help Magneto's future. One suggestion by u/icorrectpettydetails was to "Freeze him like Steve and Bucky. He gets sent to the camps, reveals his mutant powers, and draws the attention of an unnamed Hydra scientist, strongly implied to be Mister Sinister, who runs tests on him. Decades later, he escapes, meets up with Charles Xavier, but realizes that prejudice and bigotry are still rife in the future and nothing will change until they take radical action." It's here, though, where we come to another age issue regarding Erik's frenemy, because whatever explanation is applied to Magneto must also affect Charles.

Another fan, u/Intelligent_Sail_896, highlighted the concern, saying, "But he and Charles are supposed to be around the same age, right? Then how would a 90-year-old Charles work?" It's a detail that would need to be handled with much care, but the consensus on the Reddit board was that simply mentioning Magneto's powers slowing his age covers what is an unavoidable issue, and for Charles as well. Thankfully, fans don't need to fret, as it turns out the comics and cartoons have it covered already.

Magneto has more than one explanation for his age issue

Fans might have ideas about how to slow Magneto down, but comics and cartoons might already have it covered. It was as early as 1974 in "Defenders" #16, for example, when Magneto got de-aged at the hands of Alpha, the Ultimate Mutant, who reverted Erik to a child. He stayed like that for three years before being turned back into an adult in "X-Men" #104, shaving off years. Additionally, "X-Men: Evolution," Season 2, Episode 10 – "Operation: Rebirth" (one of the best Marvel cartoons to watch after "X-Men '97") had Magneto using the same tech employed to create Captain America to slow his aging, which would be just as permissible in this case, as well. However, one other bit of comic book science could save Magneto, Xavier, and any other character that might need their age addressing – the Resurrection Protocol.

Created in the mutant nation of Krakoa, the Resurrection Protocol allowed mutants to be resurrected should they ever die, ultimately delaying their aging process. Admittedly, Erik eventually opted out of the perk, but there's no reason the MCU version couldn't use a similar method to keep him youthful since WWII, along with Xavier and other mutants. Ultimately, there are many options to keep Erik alive and kicking whenever he makes his MCU debut. It's just a matter of which one is drawn to him first.