Let’s Talk about Erik Lehnsherr

Now as you know he’s mostly the antagonist of the x-men led by Professor Charles Xavier. He’s a holocaust survivor and he believes that mankind is inferior. He believes that they will never accept mutants and I feel he fears that they’ll do the same to mutants as what the Germans did to the Jewish people.

In the movies Erik draws parallels to what happened in Germany to what the government is trying to do with the mutants.

He believes that the solution is to fight back, to squash the humans and to take over because they’re the better people, the next step in evolution.

Now I haven’t read all the comics (yet) so if I don’t know something or I’m missing something please (respectfully) let me know.

So I disagree with Erik’s methods and his conclusion. I feel that in a way he is becoming what he hates. In his efforts to help mutants he hurts them. I mean he hurts mutants who oppose him and it’s like “Erik really? You’re just doing the government’s job for them.” Also his absolute hatred for humans even though there are good humans out there is like the anti-mutant humans’ hatred for mutants.

He’s becoming what he hates.

However I was thinking, can we blame him?

Think of his background and his early life. It’s horrendous what his character went through. I mean if he was a real person we would be thinking of the trauma and how it scarred him. In the comic book/cartoon/film world I feel that is not explored much.

I mean take First Class. They don’t address the fact that Erik’s mother was killed in front of him because he couldn’t move a flipping coin. And Charles expected Erik to forgive Shaw for that? It takes more than kind words to get someone to forgive.

In First Class Erik has lived a life only of vengeance. He had no friends and knew no mutants. This is different from the comics and it’s worse. Can you imagine living such a life? He’s filled with hurt, pain and anger until he meets Charles.

To Charles credit he does begin to open Erik’s heart but it’s not enough. Shaw was his abuser, a Nazi and an evil man. To get Erik to forgive him was a near impossible task.

I mean forgiveness can happen but it takes time, therapy and time and they had none of that. Also why didn’t they offer Erik some other form of justice? There are ways to gain justice without death. But again Shaw’s death had been his life goal for a very long time and it would have taken a long time to undo that way of thinking.

In the comics Erik’s origin is a different but he’s still a holocaust survivor. When he meets Charles he hides his abilities and so does Charles. They both suffer at the hands of humans and Charles chooses to forgive and to try to live amongst them whilst peacefully fighting for mutant rights and Erik does the opposite.

In the comics too I think it’s because of Erik’s background. If he’s been shown the worst of humanity how can he believe that good exists within them? If they constantly attack mutants how can he believe that eventually humans will accept them?

He doesn’t believe in them and he’s tired of hiding and of feeling like he’s bad when he’s not (my thoughts) and so he decides he’s not going to take crap from humans any more.

So whilst I don’t agree with his methods I feel there is more to him than “he’s just the bad guy”. If you were in his shoes could you forgive humanity? Would you have made different choices?

Having said that I would really love it if Magneto changed. I mean I would like it if just once he meets a human who shows him that not all humans are trash. I would also like it if he’s challenged for harming mutants when they don’t agree with him and how that’s wrong. If you fight every mutant that opposes you who will be left?

One of the sad parts of The Last Stand was the way Magneto just dismissed Mystique when she “got” the “cure”. I mean she was his ride or die. The betrayal she felt… and I felt. But then again The Last Stand had a lot of things wrong with it.

So yeah I would like Magneto to have growth of character, to develop and for him and Charles to eventually find a middle ground. Charles and Erik represent the opposing views of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X but even they changed as humans. We grow, we learn and we evolve. To leave Charles and Erik in the same place just feels wrong.

There are plenty of other villains in the X-Men universe so it’s not like we even need him to be a villain.


Anyway that is all…

Phew I had a lot to say…

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