12:40pm PT by Graeme McMillan
The Complicated Comic Book Family Tree of 'X-Men' Villain Magneto
One character development that isn't a secret in the upcoming X-Men: Apocalypse is the revelation that Quicksilver (Evan Peters) is revealed to be the son of Michael Fassbender's Magneto. Not only isn't it a mystery, it's actually revealed in the final trailer for the movie.
Quicksilver is far from Magneto's only offspring, however; in Marvel's comic book mythology, the self-styled Master of Magnetism has been revealed to be the father of multiple children — with some of them later explained away as misdirection, outright lies or somewhere in between. Here are the results of Magneto's comic book paternity tests to date.
The most straightforward of Magneto's comic book offspring, Anya was Magneto's first child born at some point immediately following the Second World War, when Magneto — who was already by this point on his second name, having gone from Max Eisenhardt to Magnus Eisenhardt — and his childhood Magda were released from Auschwitz and attempted to start a new life in the Ukraine. This didn't go too well: scared when Magnus demonstrated his powers, a mob attacked his family and burned down his house, with Anya still inside.
This was, unsurprisingly, one of the earliest events to push Magneto towards his war on humanity. More surprisingly given the otherwise complicated comic book mythology surrounding the X-Men, Anya has never been revived in any meaningful way, nor been retroactively revealed to be a mutant/not Magneto's child/a combination of the two.
The parentage of Lorna Dane (AKA the superhero Polaris) is a strange and complicated thing. When the character was first introduced in 1968's Uncanny X-Men No. 49, it was part of a storyline that would reveal that she was Magneto's daughter, thereby explaining her own magnetic powers. That same storyline, however, would later that idea to be untrue, with Iceman telling her in Uncanny X-Men No. 52, "Your parents were killed in a plane crash only weeks after you were born… Magneto spotted your mutant powers, and when he sniffed out your true story, he set out to convince you that you were his daughter! I've got affidavits to support it all!" Well, you can't argue with an affidavit.
Except, it seems, you can. Forty years later, 2008's Uncanny X-Men No. 431 revealed that Lorna had a blood test performed to confirm her paternity, and Magneto was her father after all. Somehow. Probably. Because blood test results could never be faked in a world filled with evil genius scientists. (It would ultimately be revealed in 2012's X-Factor No. 243 that Lorna's mother had an affair with Magneto, and it was an argument between the two of them that caused her mother and step-father's deaths.)
Wanda and Pietro Maximoff
Of course, even Polaris's paternal history is simple compared with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. The two characters debuted in the 4th issue of Uncanny X-Men back in 1964 as part of Magneto's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and definitely not his children — something that doubtlessly made it easier for them to renounce the villain and become heroes in their own right as members of the Avengers. It was in Giant-Size Avengers No. 1 (1974) that things began to get complicated, when it was revealed that the two sibling heroes were not, in fact, the children of two Eastern European villagers called Django and Marya Maximoff as they'd believed, but were actually the offspring of WWII-era superheroes the Whizzer and Miss America:
So, that means that superhero-ing was in their genes, right…? Well, perhaps not: Five years later, Avengers No. 186 retconned that revelation so that the Whizzer's children were stillborn, and he was instead offered the chance to raise Wanda and Pietro as his own because their own mother, Magda, had disappeared. Somehow, the Whizzer had become confused and believed they were actually his children. The Magda/Magneto connection, however, was not officially made until 1983, when Magneto stepped forward to announce the fact:
For the next thirty years, that was the status quo — Magneto was the father of the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver, with entire storylines and comic book series built around the relationship. And then, 2014's Avengers & X-Men: Axis No. 7 established, via an evil Scarlet Witch and comic book magic, that Magneto shared no blood relation to either Wanda or Pietro — with the following year's Uncanny Avengers Vol. 2 No. 4 establishing that their true parents all along were actually… Django and Marya Maximoff, after all.
Bad news for Evan Peter's Quicksilver, perhaps, although it does provide potential storyline fodder should the character return in any X-Men: Apocalypse follow-up. Could the onscreen Quicksilver end up matching the number of parents of his comic book original incarnation?
X-Men: Apocalypse opens in theaters May 27.