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Magneto has a secret child who's trying to commit patricide

Magneto’s family tree just got a bit more complicated.

Irae and Magneto
Image credit: Marvel Comics
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Magneto #2!!

What’s the difference between the X-Men and the Jerry Springer Show? One of them contains surprise parental reveals alongside dramatic arguments, and the other one was a daytime talk-show hosted by Jerry Springer. The X-Men comics have always been full of secret family plot twists (don’t even get us started on the Scott Summers family tree). That tradition continues this week with the release of Magneto #2 (written by J.M. DeMatteis and penciled by Todd Nauck).

The limited series is set during the period in the late 1980s when Magneto was running Xavier’s school. Magneto is attacked by a young woman named Irae, who believes that the reformed mutant terrorist has lost his way. Irae is a mutant with fire-based powers.

She models herself after Magneto’s Silver Age villain days. She wears a similar outfit, including the helmet. She has also named her group the Sisterhood of Evil Mutants. What is her connection to Magneto? ”I am Irae…Queen of the Wrath. But you may call me daughter,” Irae tells a shocked Magneto.

Is Irae lying? Next issue promises to expand on her backstory, so we will know more then. Since this issue takes place in the past, and Magneto never mentioned Irae during any stories between the 1980s and the present, my guess is she means it in a figurative sense. Maybe it’s her way of saying she followed his example and looked to him as a father.

Magneto’s parental history was a bit convoluted before Irae came along. In X-Men #50 (1968) Magneto claimed to be the father of Lorna Dane, the mutant known as Polaris. It was later revealed that this wasn’t Magneto, but actually a robot impersonating him. Do you see what I meant when I compared the X-Men to Jerry Springer? Years later, Uncanny X-Men #431 (2003) would reveal that Magneto was Polaris’ father all along.

For a time, it looked like Magneto was the father of the Maximoff twins, Pietro (Quicksilver) and Wanda (Scarlet Witch). However, the 2014 storyline AXIS revealed that he wasn’t their father. At the time Marvel was looking to distance Wanda and Pietro from the X-Men, since 20th Century Fox held the film rights to the mutants, and corporate politics got messy. Despite this retcon, Pietro and Wanda still look at Magneto as their father. If I had to place a bet, I would say it’s only a matter of time before some creator writes a story restoring their relationship to Magneto. (Magneto is currently dead in the present day, but that will most likely change as well.)

Jerry Springer is starting to look a little tame, isn’t it? This doesn’t even get into his deceased child Anya, or the various children from other realities. So where does Irae fit into this? Well, she’s already tried to kill him, so if she is his daughter, then she’ll fit in with the rest of the family.

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