Nicolai Kovac (though there were those that simply called him Nick), also known as Magneto, was an immigrated U.S. citizen and pro-mutant activist. Born in Transia and raised in the United States, Nicolai was of Romani heritage and, as such, lived most of his life the way the Romani did - under constant persecution. He suffered the deaths of both of his parents and extended family before he was an adult, and constant persecution not only for his background, but for his status as an American immigrant and a mutant, which drove him to form the Brotherhood of Mutants and lead a pro-mutant revolution against the world. He was considered one of the most powerful beings on Earth.
Nicolai was born and spent the first several years of his life in Transia, before his parents managed to muster enough funds to emigrate him to America with the promise to follow him when they had the money. When Nicolai arrived in America, it was discovered that his immigration paperwork had been lost, and he spent several days on a waiting list before he was finally cleared for restricted citizenship, due to his age and lack of a guardian. As such, he was placed under the care of a local orphanage, and put under strict watch. He grew up feeling like a prisoner and inferior to those around him, in a constant environment of persecution and feeling like a caged animal.
Before he was even a teenager, Nicolai witnessed over the news the death of his parents. One morning he caught information from a television broadcast of a terrorist operation lead by a Transian death squad which burned a municipal building in his home country. Among the names that were released among the dead were Nicolai's own two parents. The pain struck him hard, and carried with him over the years, until he was a young teenager. News came to him that his paperwork had finally been reprocessed and that he had family that he would be assigned to. However, before the process could finish, he received news that his extended family, of which he was only days away from meeting, were dead. With no one to turn to, Nicolai found comfort only in his solitude.
Formation of a FriendshipEdit
It was at about the same time that Nicolai's intellect began to show. He knew he was smarter than the other boys, and he dared to even consider himself smarter than anyone he knew. This gained him both negative and positive recognition, however, and the young teen found an outlet for his frustrations in chess. He became fond of the game, and developed a strategic mind studying it relentlessly. As he became a young man, Nicolai was able to attend a local chess tournament, where he first met Jarlan Xander. It was the first time he had encountered someone who did not judge him, and the two quickly became friends.
By the time Nicolai graduated and was released from the orphanage (as he called it), he had grown bitter and resentful toward humanity, and openly admitted to hating every moment of his life since he came to America, with the sole exception of the time he spent with Jarlan. By now, Nicolai's powers were apparent, and the young man was facing more persecution for being a mutant. Regardless of the continued oppression, he managed to land a full ride at Harvard and began his extensive studies.
During his time studying various fields of engineering and science, he maintained constant contact with his old friend Jarlan. The two constantly talked about making the world a better place for mutants everywhere, and when they finished with their stories, the two began their individual paths to fight for the rights of mutants. Jarlan opted to learn, while Nicolai decided to build. Like his friend, he invested wisely, and used his investments to further his own searches for those that shared his goals.
The two remained in touch and often collaborated with each other on their endeavors. They were both interested in finding other mutants. Over time, however, it became apparent that they were interested in vastly different aspects of their research into mutations. His colleague wished to study mutants and discover what made them different from humans, while Nicolai was far more interested in how to make humans and mutants one and the same. It was at this point in time that he and Jarlan had their first argument about the future of mutants and humans. While Jarlan wished to cooperate, Nicolai had no intention of letting the countless humans who persecuted him as not only a mutant, but a Romani and foreigner, get away with what they did to him and his family. It was these differences that formed a rivalry between him and his friend.
This came to a head when Jarlan discovered that Nicolai was researching into how to turn homo sapiens into homo superiors. Jarlan was greatly disturbed about this revelation and attempted to find a way to stop his friend from what he perceived to be a grave mistake. He opted to send a colleague to Nicolai's lab, a decision which resulted in the entire place going up in flames, along with all of his research.
The fire caused Nicolai to sever contact with his old friend, after coming to learn that he had a hand in the destruction of his research. Angered, he disappeared from the public scene, and during the following months he met and married a mutant named Claire. Claire helped Nicolai begin to put his prejudices behind him, showing him that not all humans were as bad as the ones he had met in his time. She also helped him forget about his research, and even for a time Nicolai considered seeking Jarlan out and joining him.
Rise of the BrotherhoodEdit
At about the same time that Jarlan founded the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning, Nicolai, who had other methods on his mind, founded the Brotherhood of Mutants, to which he was able to actively recruit several members to his cause. Both in honor of his predecessor and as a moniker for his surname, he opted to take on the public identity of Magneto for the first time. It was not long until others began to label him as a terrorist, and his reputation as one began to climb, despite his intentions. Yet, the Brotherhood grew.
Magneto used his Brotherhood to find ways to fund and progress his research once more. He had to start from scratch and his memory, but within a few years he had already made significant progress, and was on the verge of picking up where he had left off before the fire that destroyed his original research.
Magneto possessed the superhuman power to channel and manipulate magnetic fields that existed naturally or artificially. His power was, for all practical purposes, limitless. Magneto could maintain total control of an entire planet's electromagnetic field and manipulate it accordingly. He was able to harness magnetism to stop armies, raise islands from ocean floors, move mountains, change the course of rivers, and threaten to devastate the world with apocalyptic floods and continent shaking earthquakes. He could also blanket the entire globe with a self-generated electromagnetic pulse that would cause widespread devastation. Moreover, he could use his magnetic powers in more than one way simultaneously. He could completely assemble a complicated machine within seconds through his powers. It was unclear, however, whether he must draw magnetic force from outside himself (if so, then he could do so over vast distances), or whether he could also generate magnetic force from within himself. Nor was it clear whether Magneto's power was psionic or purely physiological in nature.
Magneto usually protected himself with a personal force field that he could quickly expand to protect large areas. His force field was able to withstand the effects of multiple nuclear weapons, volcanic eruptions, the depths of space and attacks from multiple Avengers or X-Men, including Phoenix, Thor, and even Galactus. Magneto was also capable of sustaining flight for very long distances and at varying speeds. He had several means by which he achieved flight, one of which was by gliding along the planet's natural magnetic lines of force, another by simply creating a repulsive force between himself and the planet, propelling himself thus. By using his magnetic powers, Magneto could virtually travel at trans-light speeds; however, in order to travel in space, Magneto also required his force field to breathe.
Magneto was able to manipulate matter even to the subatomic level for a number of purposes. This might explain why he was not limited to objects with metallic properties and was able to manipulate objects with non metallic properties like wood, stone, plastics etc. to such a degree. By concentrating, Magneto could perceive the world around himself as patterns of magnetic and electrical energy. He could also perceive the natural magnetic auras surrounding living beings.
Magneto could control the traces of iron within organic matter, which allowed him to have full control over an opponent's body. He could manipulate the iron-enriched blood-flow to one's brain to induce aneurysms or unconsciousness, alter thoughts and perceptions, or blank a person's mind completely. He could even remove ferrous compounds from the bloodstream entirely through a person's skin. Magneto could use his magnetic abilities to extract the Adamantium bonded to Wolverine's biomolecular skeletal structure.
Magneto was tied very closely to Earth's EM Field. As was it effected, so was he. He knew instinctively all that happened to it, and with this link, was granted an odd sort of immortality. Earth lent him strength by its simple existence. He drew on it all unconsciously.
Under normal conditions, Magneto possessed the physical strength of a well conditioned athlete. However, he could channel vast amounts of magnetic energy through his body for the purpose of granting himself vast superhuman strength which limits were unknown. Whatever those limits might be, he was ultimately able to lift far in excess of 100 tons with ease. As a result of increasing his strength, he dramatically increased the overall efficiency of his musculature. While magnetically enhanced, his muscles produced considerably less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of a normal human. Magneto could exert himself physically for up to at least a few days before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood started to impair him. Magneto normally possessed the physical durability of a well conditioned athlete. However, he could channel vast amounts of magnetic energy through his body for the purpose of granting himself vast superhuman durability, to the point he could shrug off punches to the face from super humans such as Namor and Colossus while weakened and remain unharmed. He naturally possessed enhanced reflexes. He could further enhance these reflexes with magnetic energy, to the point he could pluck out of the air with his hand, superhumans as swift and fast as the likes of Northstar with ease. It was unknown how fast Magneto could go, but it was known that he could not go as fast as the original Quicksilver.
Although Magneto's primary power was magnetism, he had some ability to project or manipulate any form of energy that was related to the electromagnetic spectrum. He could fire and absorb bolts of electricity and magnetic force, reverse lasers and other forms of radiation or energy, create enough intense heat as infrared radiation to level a city, manipulate gravity, and become invisible by deflecting visible light around his body. Infrared radiation was part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which also included visible light, radio waves, ultraviolet light, gamma rays and x-rays - Magneto could project any of these. Magneto has demonstrated the capacity to produce a wormhole, and to safely teleport himself and others by means of the wormhole.
Magneto had occasionally been said to be able to manifest an astral projection of himself.
Magneto trained himself extensively for fighting telepaths, and was resistant to telepathic attack. This training was similar to that given to the X-Men and New Mutants by Professor X, although the effects were further augmented with the aid of his helmet (see below). Additionally, Magneto possessed a strong will, which also aided him in resisting telepathic assaults.
A mastermind, Magneto was a genius within various scientific fields. He was an expert on genetic engineering and mutation, with knowledge far beyond that of contemporary science. He could mutate humans in order to give them superhuman powers, instill genetic mind-control, create adult clones of human beings, and then manipulate the genetic structures of these clones during their development. He designed magnetically-powered aircraft and spacecraft, complex robots and computers, and magnetically-powered generators and created artificial living beings, space stations said to possess technology even Paul Matthews would envy, and machines capable of nullifying mutant powers within a radius of several miles.
Magneto was also an excellent strategist and possessed more than a rudimentary knowledge of hand-to-hand combat. He was skilled both in actual battles and games of chess. He was also a known multilingual, fluent in English, Romanian, French, Polish, Russian, Hebrew, Arabic, Ukrainian, German, and Yiddish.
Magneto's ability to wield his superhuman powers effectively was dependent upon his physical condition. When severely injured, his body was unable to withstand the strain of manipulating great amounts of energy. When his powers were not at their peak, he also appeared to have greater difficulty controlling forces other than magnetism. There was a possibility that Magneto simply had a genetic predisposition to magnetism that simply made it easy for him to manipulate it. Magneto also was limited by the fact that he needed food, water and oxygen in order to survive. He was also susceptible to physical and mental fatigue that could ultimately affect his ability to adequately use his powers.
Magneto's helmet was designed to prevent telepathic intrusion or psionic attacks. Magneto designed such creations as magnetically-powered craft, complex robots and computers, and magnetically-powered generators.