Anya Lehnsherr

anyalehnsherrfilmMagneto‘s new family still counts another member in X-Men: Apocalypse: little Nina, portrayed by T.J. McGibbon. In the movie, Nina is a mutant with the power to communicate with animals, and possibly control them, albeit she’s still inexperienced and activates her abilities only unconsciously (and that’s the reason she gets her family in trouble by calling a flock of ravens, hawks and other birds against the police). Also in the comics Magneto had a daughter, her name being Anya rather than Nina, and she wasn’t a mutant…at least not yet, since most mutations only manifest themselves during puberty, and the girl was far too young for that the last time we saw her. There’s not much to say about Anya, since she’s a very short-lived character…but being Magneto’s firstborn, she deserves a place for herself nevertheless. Let’s see together.

Anya was born the daughter of Max Eisenhardt and his then girlfriend Magda, a Jew and a Romany who had escaped a Nazi concentration camp and had found a shelter on the Carpatian Mountains. She was named after Magda’s mother, who had been killed in Auschwitz. When Anya was born, her parents were still somewhat on the run, but they found a new home in a small village south from their original position, thus giving the baby girl a proper house for growing up in. They also got married, and Anya lived with her family in the village for the first years of her life. When she was still a baby, Max changes his name into Erik Lehnsherr, and his wife and daughter changed their surname accordingly: this way, they believed they were more protected from anyone who could still be looking for them. Anya grew up knowing nothing but the small village on the mountains, and the Romany anyalehnsherrcomics1inhabitants that had befriended her family and helped her father to change identity and to hide his past. Despite both Anya and Magda were happy in the village with the simple life they lived, Erik dreamed of something more, something different: he wanted to get a place in a University, to find a better job and to ensure his family a better future; after convincing Magda, Erik brought his family to Ukraine, moving in the city of Vinnitsa.

Vinnitsa wasn’t exactly a metropolis, but for Anya it was as big as an entire new world, and everything for her was new and fascinating. Her mother wasn’t exactly happy of moving in the city, as she soon realised that people still didn’t see Gypsies well, despite the Nazis had been defeated years before, but Anya didn’t notice anything of this, and her mother’s concerns didn’t affect her. She was, on the opposite, quite enthusiastic, much to her father’s joy. The Lenhnsherrs found a temporary home in an inn in the city’s outskirts, and Erik soon found a new job as a carpenter (again a temporary solution, waiting for something better to come). Anya spent her days with Magda, and explored much of her new world…but that wasn’t meant to last long. One day, while Erik’s anger against an unfair employer caused his powers to trigger, Anya was sleeping in the inn, and Magda was out shopping: while the girl slept, the inn caught fire, most likely incidentally. When the girl woke up, the lower floor of the inn was already engulfed into flames, and she was blocked on the higher one, in her room: when Magda came back, she desperately tried to reach her daughter, but she was unable to climb the burning stairs. Erik arrived soon after, and using his newfound powers he was able to save his wife, still in the burning house: when he returned to save Anya as anyalehnsherrcomics2well, however, he was attacked by the local police, sent by the dishonest employer who had denounced him. Without her father’s help, Anya was unable to escape a horrible fate, and she burnt alive in her own room: her screams of agony triggered something in Erik, and he unleashed all his fury slaughtering the policemen, and then collapsing from exhaustion. When he woke up, the best part of him had died with Anya, and he was ready to become something else.

Anya Lehnsherr (born Anya Eisenhardt) is a normal girl her age, who’s still exploring a world in which everything is new to her, and in which the most important things in her life are still her mother and father. With her tragic and untimely death, Anya is the unwilling and indirect responsible of the birth of one of the greatest threats the world will never know: the mutant terrorist Magneto.

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