GENOSHA: Revenge of the Acolytes
Little is known about the early life of Erik Lensherr. Born into a German Jewish family at a time of widespread antisemitism, much of Erik’s early life was surrounded by prejudice and bigotry. It isn’t clear where or when he was born, but it is known he spent much of his early life in Poland. Not much is known about his parents other than his father was a dishonorably discharged soldier who instilled taught his son to be a fighter early on. Any records of what young Erik’s life was like and what his family was like were lost when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in 1939.
Like so many others, Erik and his family were unable to escape. His father, being the fighter he was, attempted to protect his family from the Nazis. He was swiftly slain by German soldiers and for his defiance, they went onto torture and kill Erik’s mother and older sister right before the young boys eyes. He attempted to fight back, but the Nazis spared him. Instead of killing him with his family, they let him watch as they tossed his family into a mass grave and then shipped him off to a concentration camp. It was in these bleak, inhumane conditions that Erik Lensherr spent most of World War II. With no family to protect him, he was forced to rely on the fighting instinct his father instilled in him. It allowed him to survive through the atrocities of the holocaust until the camp was liberated by Allied forces. It was during this raid when his powers first manifested. He had been cornered and was used as a human shield by German soldiers. Yet in his desire to fight, he generated his first magnetic fields that forcibly disarmed the soldier and opened the gate for others to escape.
Now free, young Erik sought to rebuild his life.He disappeared for a time in the Balkans and no records exist of his activities of that period. When he emerged, he was in his twenties and full of renewed energy. Aggressive and ambitious, he took his family savings that had been kept in a Swiss bank account during the war and enrolled in Oxford. Here he demonstrated an uncanny intelligence, attaining near genius level IQ scores and participating in advanced research in both engineering and biology. During this time he became immersed in the study of mutant genetics, namely his own. He also became fascinated by war and conflict. He remained isolated from most of his peers and none know of his mutant status since mutants are not well-known at the time. He attained several degrees in record time, and with them traveled and lectured, studying mutation and how it relates to human conflict.
For years Lensherr traveled and drifted into obscurity, only emerging again when his paths cross with Charles Xavier, a graduate student at Princeton who shared his passion for uncovering the mysteries of mutation and human conflict. The two became fast friends and Charles began traveling with him into areas ravaged by war. They developed reputations as humanitarians and Erik gained a great deal of insight into humanity through Charles.
As Charles helped him break out of his shell, he met and fell in love with a woman named Magda Maximoff. She began traveling with him and eventually became pregnant with twins. Then one day while traveling in the Balkans, a group of rebels stormed a village that Erik and Charles worked in. Many were killed and the destruction was great. While Charles and Erik tried to help as many as they can, a group of soldiers eventually found the pregnant Magda.Erick arrived to find the soldiers beating Magda senseless and flew in a rage, using his magnetic powers to slaughter the soldiers and end the raid in an overwhelming storm of metal that horrified both Charles and the surviving villagers. Confused, the villagers chased Erik, Charles, and the wounded Magda out. They managed to get away, but Magda’s fate was sealed. By the time Erik got her to a hospital, she was in critical condition. She was able to give birth to the twins, but she did not survive.
The death of Magda wore heavily on Erik. Charles tried to console him, but the damage had been done. Once the twins, Wanda and Pietro, were deemed healthy enough to leave Erik took them and left Charles to his travels. The two men started growing apart from that day forward as Erik’s outlook became increasingly grim and dark. He returned to obscurity. A family friend of the Maximoffs helped raise Wanda and Pietro as Erik became increasingly disillusioned with humanity. When he emerged years later, going by the new title Magneto, the master of magnetism. He began a crusade of militant mutant supremacy, actively opposing Charles every step of the way and clashing with him on many occasions.
As Charles Xavier re-focused his efforts and formed the Xavier Institute, the wedge between the two men became even greater. Erik quickly became one of the X-men’s chief foes, opposing them and everything they stood for. He has since convinced himself that humanity is sick and the future belongs to the mutant race. Erik used his diplomatic contact and humanitarian image to become appointed the Sovereign Ruler of Genosha – a small island off the coast of southern Africa. On Genosha, Erik banished all humans and declared the island a sanctuary for Homo Superior. He founded his own unit of gifted individuals, the Brotherhood of Mutants. Protected by diplomatic immunity, Lensherr sent the Brotherhood on countless missions to rescue captured mutants of attack sensitive targets of the humans and governments.
magneto’s campaign to liberate mutantkind came to a crashing halt when Senator Kelly convinced the U.S. government to launch a full-scale attack on Genosha. The resulting massacre was a declaration of war – a declaration the battered survivors of Genosha are all to willing to answer.