This post originally appeared on Quora March 19, 2017.
I’m not too much of a this or that person. There’s a lot of gray area in life and ambiguity, and I’ve learned to hold it in a fitful embrace.
To me, they’re both right, and they’re both wrong.
Professor X strives for peaceful coexistence, but we see, repeatedly, that doesn’t work too well. The sentinels, Magneto himself, the Brotherhood, etc. are all forces they have to deal with on a regular basis and they defend themselves using force. Is he wrong to believe that humans and mutants will ever peacefully coexist? Yep. People on both sides are—unsurprisingly—douchebags (I’m looking at you, Graydon Creed). But where he is right, to me, in his striving for that coexistence rather than just saying ‘fuck it, let’s rule the world and abuse our powers.’
He’s not perfect at it, either. That’s why I love Charles. He fucks up, repeatedly and royally. But he tries, and that’s what makes him right.
Magneto, on the other hand, has already said, ‘fuck it, let’s use our powers to rule the world.’
Being a Holocaust survivor, he has seen the ugliest that humanity has to offer. So, having been on that roller coaster before, his reaction to use force is understandable. But he is wrong any time he calls for the wholesale slaughter of non-mutants (which he has done in several versions, including the Xorn-Magneto-Xorn thing which was a cheap way of Marvel trying to get out of making Magneto into a full-blown genocidal maniac). Of course, when he ran Genosha … never mind. That’s a whole other beehive I’m not into poking today. Suffice it to say Genosha wasn’t the mutant utopia he’d hoped it would be.
I love Erik, still, though, because I sympathize with his anger and hatred, based on the fear that it could all happen again so easily. A few laws here, a few restrictions there, and the snowball effect could lead “his people” into death once more.
Magneto is right when he prepares for war in most cases, because douchebags like Graydon Creed and Bolivar Trask are all too happy to make war with mutants, and eliminate them from existence. There comes a time to fight and defend oneself.
So they’re both right, and they’re both wrong.