Sunday, January 4, 2009

X-Men: Magneto Testament by Greg Pak and Carmine Di Giandomenico

Review by Brian Morgans

The Marvel Knights mini series always puts forth a story that pulls at our emotions and forces us to touch on thoughts, feelings and beliefs we might not have visited in some time. In short, they make you think and feel. These are pure gold in my opinion, deserving to be read as they are excellent.

X-Men's villain, or more specifically the foe of Charles Xavier is Magneto. This is Magneto's story of what events shaped him in his childhood. He grew up as a Jew in Germany during the thirties and forties. Magneto (or Max as his birth name is given) witnesses the slow constriction on the Jewish population within Germany and the surrounding countries. He sees firsthand how the Third Reich is taking everything from them, one thing at a time. Their belongings, their livelihood, their friends and families and even their identities. This is a horrific situation most of us can not even begin to imagine or understand. Greg Pak puts us in the midst of it all in as accurate a portrayal as is possible where we can get a glimmer of these authorities during this period of history. Carmine Di Giandomenico puts forth the artwork, completing the story wonderfully with emotion-filled visuals.

This story of which I've read the first three issues of five, has my mind and heart racing. I look at my friends and family and think about what would happen should the same thing occur here. One particular event of note is the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. The Nazi Government removed the "Jews not welcome" signs just before the games began and promptly replaced them upon the completion of the last ceremony. I think to Beijing where they did a similar thing with their ban on cars to try and clean up their air for the games, only to recede the ban the second after the torch has gone out. History does indeed repeat itself to some degree. Governments and their propaganda never seem to change. This brief scene does show the darker side of humanity as Jesse Owens devastates Germany's best athletes in the Olympic Track and Field Events and then goes on to show how some of the German citizens take out their anger and frustration.

This story has been done with respect and does a service to those who have endured what no one should be subjected. I give deep thanks for my life and put into perspective my problems. It is remarkable that three comic books can evoke so many thoughts and emotions. The next two should be just as well done.

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