This, my dear reader, is the most beautiful man in the world. Michael Fassbender is actually my husband (his acceptance to my proposal is still pending), so any excuse to do a research project on his lovely, lovely face is alright in my book.
But alas, these things do not always work.
PROBLEM #1: SIR IAN MCKELLAN > FASSY :((
The problem with X-Men: First Class, the title that I originally wanted to analyze Magneto’s representation and ideology in, is that it is too recent a movie to have any actual analysis yet. Yes, the film was released in 2011, which makes it five years old , but that makes it only five years old. And yes, that is plenty of time to get some research in about it, but I’m not pointing fingers.
Thus, much of my research (example) actually pertains to X-Men, the 2000 film that is actually a part of the same series. First Class is the first of the prequels that detail the formation of the X-Men rather than jumping straight into the Xavier Institute and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Magneto’s very creatively named team). Other than the issue that Michael Fassbender is not in this movie, there’s not much to complain about that. There is a fair amount of analysis about this movie. I admire Sir Ian McKellen as much as the next LoTR geek. This movie and First Class tell different variations of Magneto’s story, yet his history as a Holocaust survivor and a separatist are universal. Really, X-Men is probably a better film to analyze because you can see more of his mutant ideology in it. Maybe it’d be a better idea to look at X1-X3? That’s a lot of commitment, though.
tl;dr: I just really really wish that I could analyze Fassbender’s movie, but that’s not going to happen. 😦
PROBLEM #2: COMIC BOOKS??????
Yes, I have read some of the X-Men comics. No, I have not read every variation and every issue because look how many there are. Has anyone?
Another issue I’m having is that Magneto began as a comic villain, and though the film adaptations of his story are relatively true to his character, there are always things lost in translation. This is why I originally wanted to only focus on his movie portrayal and given history, as that would narrow my research. However, a majority of my research freely references both the movie adaptation and the comic original, such as all of these articles and more.
I could reframe my topic to simply include all of the variants of Magneto. However, that is risky, because have you seen how many there are?
So. Do I include comic interpretations? Perhaps. All Magnetos share a relatively similar backstory, and all Magnetos have the same ideology, even if they exist in different universes. If the analysis of Comic-neto aligns with Movie-neto, then I do not see why it would be an issue. However, deciding if they do reference the same character will be difficult. Magneto is complex and varied, and so is this topic.
PROBLEM #3: HE IS LITERALLY ALL THE MOVEMENTS
Black Power? Yup.
LGBTQ+ rights and representation? Yup.
Jewish Rights? Yeah.
Ultra Nationalism? Heck yes.
Magneto represents so many political figures and movements that it’s really easy to get lost in his symbolism. My research is a reflection of that; I am finding what I need, but I am also finding information for various other issues that Magneto can be compared to. And it’s fascinating. I want to keep falling into these rabbit holes, so to speak, but I can’t because they don’t have anything to do with war and so I cannot pursue these interests.
Because maybe there is a connection between these political figures and his post-war ideology? There is something to be explored about the explosion of civil rights and war. These analogies to political figures are not accidental, and perhaps there is something connected to war imbedded in the entire argument. Maybe I should explore that thread?
So many options.