You’ve probably heard or read this phrase somewhere on the Internet, or at least a parody of it. So what does it mean exactly? Magneto was right about what? Certainly not about wearing his underwear on top of his pants.
At some point in his long lived life, Magneto was given an island by the United Nations to rule after threatening the world, something about controlling the magnetosphere. Genosha, an island inhabited by humans and mutants alike, was devastated by years of civil war between the two species. Surprisingly, Magneto was able to turn the country into a prosperous nation and a safe haven for mutants.
The peace was short lived, however, when the island was attacked by Sentinels. Over 16 million died from the attack, and at that time, it seemed Magneto was among those who perished. With such a huge loss of life, mutants everywhere began echoing Magneto’s belief that mutant coexistence with humans is impossible, and that Professor Xavier’s dream of pacifism has no place in the current world. Magneto became an icon among the mutant community, a martyr for the mutant cause. As testament to his new found popularity, Magneto’s image and the motto attributed to him began appearing on posters and even t-shirts. Quentin Quire, a rebellious teenage mutant attending Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, even wore one during his stay at the mansion.
Not only did it spawn t-shirts that real life geeks would willingly buy, but it also became a running joke in the Marvel universe. Anytime someone needed an in your face rebuttal after being proven right, they always muse about having a t-shirt made. A good example would be the recent case with Cyclops. Imagine this: Wolverine opens up a school for the world’s few remaining mutants, goes against Cyclops in the recent war between the X-men and the Avengers, and almost ruined everyone’s day by trying to kill the very mutant that made the rebirth of the mutants possible. Cyclops, incarcerated but believing himself vindicated with the return of mutant births, had this to say:
If you’re still staring at the t-shirt drawing and thinking it’s familiar, it’s probably because it was inspired by another popular t-shirt design. An individual martyred for a cause, whose death only enhanced his stature. A stoic and unrelenting stare in the horizon. Where have I seen that before?
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