Variant Cover Depicting Holocaust Survivor Magneto as HYDRA Agent Released
What causes a Holocaust survivor to join a group commonly associated with Nazi’s? That’s what fans are wondering after the villain variant cover for Marvel’s “Secret Empire” #5 was released, depicting Magneto as one of the “Villains of Hydra.”
Magneto’s backstory involves the brutal killing of his Jewish family, before Magneto himself was sent to Auschwitz, the Nazi prison camp.
So it is odd that Magneto, who gets his distaste for humans from his experience with Nazi’s, would turn around and now join the neo-Nazi group HYDRA. Though Marvel seems to be distancing HYDRA from actual Nazi’s as of late, you can’t deny that the similarities are still there.
Though this variant cover was created by artist Dan Mora, this is the second time that Marvel writer Nick Spencer has been connected to beloved characters becoming HYDRA agents.
The Nazi-punching Captain America, created by Jewish cartoonists Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, briefly became a Nazi back in May 2016, receiving a flurry of backlash. Though Spencer seemed generally unconcerned with the controversy, by the time the next issue of “Captain America: Steve Rogers” hit shelves, the story had changed.
Steve Rogers’ brain had been implanted with false memories, and he wasn’t actually a member of HYDRA after all. But it seemed like less of a cool twist, and more of Spencer and Marvel using anti-Semitism to sell comic books. They were obviously successful, and more popular characters are joining the bad guys.
However, this is a dangerous line to toe, especially with the recent wave of anti-Semitism in the United States, putting many Jewish people in danger. This is a time where our classic stories about fighting Nazi’s should be celebrated. We should not be using Nazism as a plot point for Magneto, whose background is inherently against such as narrative.
Spencer was recently under fire for comments against the January punching of Richard Spencer, a known white nationalist. Spencer tweeted that “Today is difficult, but cheering violence against speech, even of the most detestable, disgusting variety, is not a look that will age well.”
This is ironically directly in opposition to Captain America’s known stance on punching Nazi’s, and continues to disrespect Simon and Kirby.
Marvel isn’t exactly helping either, stating that “Hydra’s grip is tightening around the Marvel Universe,” according to a press release. You have to wonder how many more characters are also going to go this route.
However, this artwork is a variant cover, which often has little to do with the actual story inside of the comic, so we can hope that a HYDRA Magneto narrative doesn’t come to fruition. Either way, you can’t deny how tasteless of a move this was, by Marvel as whole.
What do you think of the variant cover featuring a HYDRA Magneto? Let us know @GeeksofColor.