Marvelous Magnetic Super Villains
While we at Apex strive to only use our magnetic powers for good, the same cannot be said of everyone. In a previous blog, we discussed some of our favorite ways superheroes have used or encountered magnetism, and while most of us are familiar with Magneto, there are many more malevolent magnetic masterminds.
Again, we must clarify that magnets should never be used for evil! Doing so will surely result in defeat at the hands of multiple superheroes.
The Magnetic Telescope
This short animated film features Superman combating a comet plummeting toward Earth. After developing the titular magnetic telescope, a mad scientist accidentally attracts a small meteor that falls on Metropolis, causing quite a bit of damage. The police implore the scientist to stop his experiments, but to no avail. The mad scientist locks himself in his laboratory where he attracts a larger comet doomed to wipe out the city! The police finally storm in, but wind up jamming the giant magnet!
Superman comes to the rescue! After several unsuccessful attempts to knock the comet off course, our hero finally decides to use his own body as a conductor for the magnetic gizmo (comic book logic) while Lois Lane switches the polarity of the magnet, sending the comet back into the far reaches of outer space. Watch the entire episode here.
Dr. Polaris vs. The Green Lantern
The awful 2011 feature film notwithstanding, the premise of the Green Lantern series is pretty cool. Hal Jordan is just one of many Green Lanterns, all part of an intergalactic police agency roaming the galaxy and fighting crime.
One of Green Lantern’s most nefarious foes is Dr. Polaris. This super villain possess the ability to manipulate magnetic fields and energy as well as any iron-based materials. While this power is somewhat of a trope in comic books, Dr. Polaris is still a pretty sinister character. In fact, unlike other characters who simply don alter egos, the personalities of Dr. Polaris and Neal Emerson battle for control over the same body! Neal Emerson became obsessed with magnets (who isn’t?) in college and devoted all his research to their capabilities. Unfortunately, this research consumed him and the Jekyll and Hyde effect took over.
We love magnets, of course, but Dr. Polaris reminds us that all things are good in moderation.
Marvel Comics’ Electro
Like Dr. Polaris, Electro has the ability to control magnetic fields and harness electricity. His backstory is a bit tired: Mild-mannered Maxwell Dillon is an electrical engineer consumed by his work. One fateful day while working on powerlines, he is struck by lightning and becomes Electro. While his powers were initially weak, he was able to increase his abilities by stealing electrical equipment from Stark Industries. He was later approached by Magneto to join his band of evil mutants.
Since his first appearance in 1964, Electro has been everywhere in the Marvel universe. He’s had run-ins with Spider-Man, the X-Men, Iron Man, and Daredevil. Electro made his big screen debut in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and was played by Jamie Foxx.
Whether it’s used for good or evil, there’s something about the power of magnetism that has endured in the world of comic books for almost a century. Perhaps it stems from its mysteriousness or its great force. Whatever the case, magnetic powers are certainly entertaining!
Read about more magnetic pop culture on our blog!