James Howlett/Logan (Weapon X)

weaponxfilmLast character appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse was a much awaited one for sure, even if he’s not exactly a new one. In the flashbacks from X2: X-Men United and in X-Men Origins: WolverineWolverine‘s origin story was pretty fast: he was experimented on in Alkali Lake by William Stryker, and as soon as the Adamantium was bonded to his skeleton he escaped and rebelled against his creators. In Apocalypse, thanks to the continuity reset, things are a bit different, and Logan doesn’t escape from Stryker after the experiments…so he can become Weapon X, the mutant bio-weapon Stryker had been looking for in his work. Weapon X is found and freed by Jean Grey in Alkali Lake, and after he goes on a berserker frenzy (finally!) on Stryker’s men, his mind is healed by Jean’s telepathy, hinting at their future connection. Logan’s uniform as the mindless killer is stunningly similar to the comics one, and his behavior as well…now, let’s take a look at the original.

In his long semi-immortal life James Howlett, the mutant known as Logan first and Wolverine later, had many roles and jobs. In 1961 he was working for the CIA as an operative, but being a mutant he was reassigned to Team X, a black ops team composed of mutants only, designed to be the military wing of Weapon X Project, in turn part of Weapon Plus Program (a government’s secret program aimed to weaponize humans, the same which had given birth to Captain America aka Weapon I). In order to join Team X, Wolverine and his teammates (Silverfox, SabretoothMaverickMastodon and Kestrel) had their memories wiped out and replaced with false implants, so that Logan forgot most of his past life, except for a brief period in Japan: he also forgot about his enmity with Sabretooth, and the two were able to work together. Each time Team X succesfully completed a mission, their memory got erased once again, so that they could not remember nor reveal any top secret detail about what they were doing in certain areas. Wolverine’s healing factor was duplicated and transmitted to the other members of weaponxcomics1the team, but it was also slowed down with Carbonadium, so that the Weapon Plus officers could kill him if the situation required it: as a side effect, however, he regained part of his memory, not that this gave much to him, as Sabretooth discovered this and killed the one who was helping him, double agent Janice Hollenbeck. As a result, Logan was brainwashed once again and assigned to cruel and sadistic missions, so that the government could be sure they had regained their perfectly obedient killing machine (during this time, he was sent to Vietnam, where he brutally tortured and brainwashed top soldier Frank Simpson, damaging his brain for good). With time, however, the inner tensions in Weapon X, mostly caused by Sabretooth’s brutality, brought the team to conflict, and eventually it disbanded. Logan walked away without regaining his memory, and joined Department K, a secret Canadian agency…what he did not know, was that Department K in turn had ties with Weapon Plus, and that all his moves had been forseen and guided since he “left” Team X.

Logan, in fact, was the one agent among all the members of Team X that the scientists in Weapon Plus had found suitable for their tenth project, the creation of Weapon X. He was tested again, this time working in conjuction with CIA agents Nick Fury and Richard and Mary Parker, and with spy Carol Danvers, even managing to foil a plan from the secret organization Hellfire Club. When Wolverine tried to retire, however, Weapon Plus intervened directly, and some operatives sedated him and kidnapped him. When he woke up, he was in a containment tank, studied by Dr. Abraham Cornelius and Dr. Carol Hines. The two scientists learnt everything they could about the mutant’s healing factor, and thanks to their experiments they succesfully bonded his skeleton and bone-claws with the indestructible metal Adamantium, in an excruciatingly painful process. During the entire process, while still in the tank, Logan was submitted to his most intensive brainwash yet, with all his memories being erased; plus, he was repeatedly hypnotized, and convinced that he was not a man, that he hated being human, and that he was but an weaponxcomics2animal, part of a pack: individuality only led to pain and death, and he had to free himself of it. When the process ended, Logan’s past and personality were buried deep into what remained of his mind, and he was but a savage animal, with no sense of self, obedient to every order he was given: he was now Weapon X, and nothing more. As a final test, Cornelius ordered Weapon X to attack Roanoke, a small town in Virginia, and to kill all the inhabitants: the creature did as he was told, and he slaughtered everyone, men, women and children, leaving nobody alive. Weapon Plus had finally the perfect bio-weapon they were looking for, and Weapon X accomplished a number of missions…until Logan’s healing factor started messing up with his mind-control, and hypnosis became less and less effective. With the possibility that the so-well-trained dog now began biting the hand that had been feeding it, Weapon Plus had more than a good reason to fear its own creation.

The man who once was Logan is nowhere to be found in Weapon X: a mindless animal, he kills on command, and does it brutally. He possesses a remarkable healing factor that allows him to sustain virtually any wound, and which significantly slows his aging; his skeleton and natural bone-claws have been bonded with indestructible adamantium, making him nearly impervious to any kind of damage; his high-tech helmet and visor enhance his already unnatural senses, and keep him under constant control from Weapon Plus. None of his weapon or martial arts expertise survived to the brainwash, but he has no need of it: unleashed, savage, Weapon X fights like a wild animal, with no restraint, no mercy, no boundaries. He’s an infallible killing machine, a remorseless killer…with a wounded but still strong personality struggling to emerge from layers and layers of hypnosis and brainwash.

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Kevin MacTaggert (Proteus)

proteusfilmAlmost at the end of the characters appearing in X-Men: Apocalypse, we find one of the juiciest cameos of the movie. When Charles Xavier finally visits Moira MacTaggert in her office, we see behind her desk a series of pictures portraying her with her son, a nice kid with blonde hair, whose father is now Moira’s ex-husband (much to Xavier’s relief). The kid, portrayed by a yet unknown actor, is Kevin MacTaggert, and he’s not as innocent and harmless as he looks. The character’s name appeared along with many others on William Stryker‘s computer in X2: X-Men United, and it had all the rights to be there, as in the comics Kevin is one of the most powerful mutants on the planet, whose unstable and limitless abilities make him justly feared by anyone, parents included. Let’s see together who one of the most monstrous and unpredictable foes of the X-Men is in the comics.

Kevin MacTaggert’s life was marked by violence since his very conception: when the politician Joseph MacTaggert, drunk, beat and raped his wife, the geneticist Moira Kinross, the woman got pregnant with his child. When she found out she was expecting a baby, Moira left Joseph, and didn’t tell him of her pregnancy, wanting to protect the baby from his father. Kevin grew up with his mother on Muir Island, in Scotland, where Moira ran a research facility on mutants. Ironically, when the boy grew up he started manifesting incredible powers, and a growing hunger for energy: he was a mutant as well. Unfortunately, Kevin was both extremely powerful, and extremely unbalanced, and he just couldn’t control his reality-warping abilities, thus being an unprecedented threat to both himself and other people around him. Moira had no other choice than to lock him up in a special containment room specifically designed for him on Muir Island, studying him so that she would have been able to help him contain his powers in the future; in order not to let anyone of her colleagues know of her relation with proteuscomics1Kevin, she started calling him Mutant X, and so he was known by everyone. In his isolation, Kevin was constantly fed with isoteric energy fields, so that his own body wasn’t burnt out by his powers, but loneliness made him go increasingly unbalanced, and eventually he became completely mad. From the Greek myths that his mother read to him to keep him company, Kevin created a new identity, and started calling himself Proteus; he developed quite a grudge against his parents, blaming indiscriminately his mother and father for his imprisonment. Finally the day of freedom arrived, even if in an unexpected form: the mutant superheroes X-Men were fighting against their nemesis Magneto, and the battle brought them to Muir Island. The facility was heavily damaged, and even Kevin’s cell was inadvertently destroyed. This caused what remained of Kevin’s body to burn out, and the boy found himself free, but in an unstable energy form that needed a host not to be dispersed. Luckily enough, an anti-mutant activist named Angus MacWhirter was on the island, trying to destroy the lab: Proteus possessed him, and as soon as the situation was calm enough, he left Muir Island unseen. He was free at last.

MacWhirter, however, was just a human, his body was too weak to contain his energy form, and he was burning it at a worrying speed: Proteus realized that he needed a stronger body to be able to be truly free, and started checking other candidates among the current residents on Muir Island. The best option seemed to be the powerful telepath known as the Phoenix, one of the X-Men: he started stalking her day and night, waiting for a moment in which the mutant was alone to assault her and to take control of her body. When the moment came, however, too much time had passed, and Proteus was weak: Phoenix easily cast him away with a psionic attack, and Kevin found himself without a host, rapidly dispersing his energy form. As a temporary solution, he possessed another human body, and then another, and another one again: humans didn’t last long, so he resumed his original plan to possess a mutant body, but he failed to possess Polaris as well. He managed to take over the body of one of Multiple Man‘s copies, but this forced him to reveal himself: alerted, the X-Men started a manhunt to bring him back to his cell. proteuscomics2He hid himself into another human, Fergie Duncan, but one of the X-Men, Wolverine, managed to identify him with his superhuman senses, and he engaged him in battle along with Nightcrawler: Proteus tried to possess Wolverine, but was repelled by the Adamantium in his skeleton (in his energy form he was vulnerable to metals). Weakened, Proteus distorted the space around his two foes and incapacitated them, but was later confronted by Storm: he defeated her as well, but when he was about to claim her body as his new one Moira arrived, threatening him with special bullets designed to destroy him. Forced to flee, Proteus hid himself into yet another host, and finally found something of interest to him: an electoral poster featuring his father, Joseph MacTaggert. Needing a host, Proteus decided he would have taken his father’s body, the perfect revenged for the man who had disowned him: on the road to Edinburgh, the mutant left a path of burnt out bodies on his wake, eager to finally avenge his many years of solitude and isolation. In quite an ironic way, no less.

Kevin MacTaggert (sometimes mispelled MacTaggart) is a completely insane young man: years of solitude nurturing his own grudge against his parents brought him to total madness, and he’s now fueled with an uncontrollable rage and folly. As Proteus, he’s a psionic being entirely composed of energy, without any physical shape, but nonetheless extremely powerful: he needs to constantly consume energy to sustain himself, and thus he possesses the physical bodies of hosts who inevitably die after a while (mutants are more resistant than humans, usually), with each victim making him stronger. He can manipulate reality itself in a limited area around himself, molding space, time, energy and matter with a simple thought; he’s also invulnerable to pretty much everything, apart to metals, which can disrupt his energy fields (that’s why he’s unable to possess the metal-boned Wolverine, or he’s been defeated by the steel-man Colossus). Just as powerful as he is deranged, Proteus is a constant menace to everyone around him, and sometimes to the universe itself: with his power constantly growing, there’s no potential limit to what he’ll be capable of doing.

Christopher Summers (Corsair)

corsairfilmAnother secondary character in X-Men: Apocalypse had quite a bigger role in the comics…and it’s unlikely that the movie version will follow the original one’s footsteps. When Alex goes to check his younger brother Scott, who has just manifested his mutant powers, we get a look at the boys’ parents, with Mr. Summers being portrayed by Ryan Hollyman. We only see him in this single sequence, worried for Scott and later letting him go to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters with Alex. In the comics, Christopher Summers is Scott’s and Alex’s father, of course, but his story is quite wider, and he eventually becomes a superhero in his own right. Let’s see together who this renowned space pirate is.

Not much is known about Christopher Summer’s early life: he was the son of Philip Summers, a pilot, and of his wife Deborah. Philip passed down his passion to his son, and even when an accident forced him to stop flying, Chris didn’t give up to his dream of following his father’s footsteps, and when he came of age he joined US Air Force. Summers became one of the best pilots of the Air Force, and rose to the ranks of Major; since his true passion was flying rather than air fighting, he joined NASA as a test pilot, putting his skills to the test with experimental planes. In his free time, Chris worked on a de Havilland Mosquito, an old plane he was rebuilding from scraps. Still a young officer, Christopher met Katherine, a girl he fell in love with, and who soon became his wife; he had two sons from her, Scott and Alex. Chris worked a lot with NASA, and often had to stay away from his family: finally, he and Kate decided to have some family time, and when his vintage plane was completed, he made himself and his family a gift, organizing a trip for everyone. During the flight, however, something unexpected happened: a spaceship attacked the plane, and damaged it enough to make it crash. Before the Mosquito fell, Kate managed to make Scott and Alex jump with the only parachute at disposal, preparing to die with her husband…but the aliens who had attacked the plane had other plans, and kidnapped both Chris and his wife. The aliens were corsaircomics1Shi’ar, and they were scouting Earth in search for usable goods…and they had found exotic slaves. Once on Chandilar, the empire’s throne world, Chris and Kate got separated, as the woman was sold as a concubine to the empire’s Majestor, the cruel D’Ken Neramani. The pilot managed to escape from his captors, and reached his wife in the imperial palace…just in time, as D’Ken was trying to rape her. Enraged and unable to think straight, Chris attacked D’Ken, trying to kill him, but he was stopped by the guards: the Majestor, vengeful, decided to commutate his penalty, since killing him would have been too soft for him. The tyrant stabbed Kate right in front of Chris’ eyes, ripping their unborn child from her whomb with a knife: after that atrocity, he condemned Christopher to live with that image forever printed in his mind.

Distraught, alone with his grief and his rage, Christopher Summers was locked into the Pits, forced to work in the mines until he died of exhaustion. Full of resources and still not bent, Chris met other prisoners who had committed various crimes against the Shi’ar: a beautiful Mephitisoid whom he nicknamed Hepzibah (since her true name was unpronounceable), a massive Saurid named C’hod, the Lupin (a squirrel-like alien) Cr’reee and a Shi’ar cyborg, Raza Longknife. As different as they could be one from the other, the prisoners shared a deep grudge against D’Ken and the Shi’ar Empire in general, and Summers, who had regained his self-confidence and his will to fight after saving Hepzibah from a guard’s abuses, managed to organize them all into an efficient team: together, using each one’s unique abilities, they managed to escape the Pits and to steal a spaceship, the Starjammer, which they used to abandon Chandilar. Renaming themselves the Starjammers after their own ship, Christopher and his new friends started an asymmetric war against the Shi’ar Empire, attacking isolated ships and damaging D’Ken’s affairs throughout the galaxy, committing several acts of piracy and becoming the most wanted criminals in the empire. Taking inspiration from his world’s stories of pirates and buccaneers, Chris renamed himself Corsair, and started wearing a costume that gave reason to his own identity: in a matter of a few years, he became a living legend, a symbol for everyone who opposed D’Ken’s tyrannical rule. The Starjammers were hated by the government, who corsaircomics2considered them outlaws and pirates, but they gained popularity among the population, as they opposed abuses and prevarication from the Shi’ars and were always careful not to cause victims among innocent bystanders or peaceful travelers. Plus, after being long together and sharing many adventures, Corsair and Hepzibah grew close to each other, and they eventually became lovers. Quite unexpectedly, Corsair met other humans in the Shi’ar Empire as the X-Men arrived in space to repair a M’Kraan Crystal in their possession. X-Men and Starjammers united forces against the Imperial Guard, and Corsair was stunned in recognizing in the heroes’ leader, Cyclops, his long-lost son Scott; he however asked to the telepath Jean Grey not to tell his son who he really was: he would have had to explain much, and that was not the time for a family reunion. It was time for war.

Christopher Summers is a brave adventurer and a man of honor, who lives to oppose a powerful tyrant and to avenge his beloved wife and his unborn son. As Corsair, he’s an extremely skilled pilot, just as formidable with a normal plane as with a spaceship; he’s also a trained tactician and combatant, a proficient swordsman and a precise marksman; with pocket dimensions hidden in the gems on his gauntlets, he has always along an arsenal of Shi’ar weapons, from his trademark saber to a couple of blasters. A courageous pirate who lives outside the law to fight injustice, Corsair is a symbol of hope and righteousness throughout the Shi’ar Empire, a living legend bent on a personal crusade against Majestor D’Ken.

Katherine Ann Summers

katherinesummersfilmAnother new entry in X-Men: Apocalypse is a secondary character, who appears briefly in a sequence only: Mrs. Summers, portrayed by Joanne Boland. The woman only appears in the movie while speaking with her elder son Alex about the younger one, Scott, who had some problems in school…after blasting away a bully with laser beams bursting from his eyes. She then allows Alex to bring Scott to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and she’s not seen anymore. Her story is pretty much different from the comics one, especially considering that the original Katherine Summers doesn’t live much, and she mainly appears in flashbacks showing her death. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Katherine Ann‘s early life, not even her maiden name. She was most likely born somewhere in Nebraska, but nothing is known about her family or even her parents. Anyway, at a certain point in her life Kate met Christopher Summers, a US Air Force Major who was also a test pilot for the Army: the two of them fell in love, and they eventually got married. Kate became pregnant soon after, and she gave birth to a boy, Scott. A few years later, when Scott was still a baby, Kate had a second son, Alex: the two boys grew up together, and despite some obvious and normal rivalry they were pretty close one to the other. The first years of the Summers family are not recorded in any way, and we can assume they were pretty normal and happy ones, with Chris often absent because of his work and Kate taking care of her children in the bases they moved to live in. Finally, when Alex was little more than a kid and Scott little less than a teenager, the Summers decided to take some time just for themselves, and Chris chose to take his entire family on vacation, katherinesummerscomics1using his own private vintage plane. The family trip started the best of ways, with Chris piloting the plane and Kate playing with her children, but then something quite unexpected happened: an alien spaceship appeared from nowhere, and attacked the plane setting it ablaze with its superior firepower. With the small de Havilland Mosquito about to crash, Kate thought of her children first, and gave the only available parachute to Scott, tying Alex to him and pushing them out of the plane, instructing her elder boy to take care of his younger brother. Then, she prepared to face death with her husband.

Things again didn’t go as planned, and nor Kate nor Chris died in the crash: the same aliens who had attacked the ship, who belonged to the avian race of the Shi’ar, kidnapped them both and brought them to open space, wanting to sell them as exotic slaves on their homeplanet. Husband and wife stayed together for all the time of the trip, trying not to get separated, but once they arrived on Chandilar, the capital world of the Shi’ar Empire, the slavers brought them into two different directions. A beautiful woman, Katherine was brought to a sex slave market to become a concubine, and because of her unsual features and of her appearance she was immediately recognised as one of the most beautiful “wares” of the day. She was bought by a functionary who worked in the imperial palace, and brought to the centre of the city to enter the harem of Emperor D’Ken Neramani, the cruel tyrant who ruled over the Empire. In the meanwhile, Kate had also found out she was pregnant for a third time. When D’Ken first saw his new concubine, he was smitten by her beauty, and he immediately assaulted her, trying to force her into sleeping with him; in the meanwhile, however, Chris had managed to free himself from the slavers, and he had tracked his wife down to the imperial palace. Upon seeing the Emperor trying to rape Kate, he intervened and attacked D’Ken, but failed to do anything else but to enrage him. katherinesummerscomics2Understanding that a bond linked his assailant and his new purchase, D’Ken killed Kate in retaliation right in front of Christopher’s eyes, then, knowing that the woman was pregnant, he ripped the baby out of her belly with a knife, making Chris believe he had lost both his wife and his unborn child (the baby, in reality, was given to the slavers to be incubated and artificially matured to adulthood, to be later sold as a gladiator). So much for a family trip.

Katherine Summers is a normal woman, thrown from a moment to another into a very abnormal situation. She’s a loving mother for her children, and she’s ready to sacrifice her own life for her boys; she also loves deeply her husband Chris, and just for the sake of being with him she embraces quite a difficult lifestyle. A brave and selfless woman, Kate has faced in a matter of days enough traumas to fill a lifetime.

Marya Maximoff

maryamaximofffilmWell, this one isn’t exactly a new entry from X-Men Apocalypse, since she already appeared in X-Men: Days of Future Past, but now we can be pretty positive about who she is. We’re talking about Ms. Makimoff, the mother of Quicksilver and of a yet unnamed little girl (possibly the Fox version of Scarlet Witch, but that’s still to be confirmed). With Magda being properly introduced in Apocalypse, this leaves “Ms. Maximoff” to be identified with Marya Maximoff, the other mother figure for Magneto‘s children, namely their adoptive mother (even if in the movie continuity she’s actually Quicksilver’s biological mother). In the comics she doesn’t have much of a role, but she’s worth mentioning nevertheless: let’s see together.

Not much is known about Marya’s early life, not even her maiden name. She was part of a group of Romany travelers, and she grew up moving mostly in the area of Transia. Only the Romanys dared to live in the woods area at the feet of Wundagore Mountain, which was said to be cursed and full of black magic (and that claim had actually its parts of truth, as the Elder God Chthon had been imprisoned under the mountain eons before, soaking the land with his magic, and the High Evolutionary had his secret citadel and lab built atop the mountain, so the place was crowded with his human-animal hybrids). When she became of age, Marya got married with Django Maximoff, a doll-maker from her same tribe; Django was also a renowned magic user from the tribe, since the wood he used for his dolls was taken from the trees that fed on Chthon’s magic. Not that this upset Marya in any way: she was a sorceress herself, member of an ancient Romany coven. Still young, Marya became pregnant, and soon gave birth to two twins, Ana and Mateo. The woman was truly happy with her family, but then something horrible happened, and her children died: it’s still unspecified what precisely happened to Ana and Mateo, if some maryamaximoffcomics1kind of child disease or, according to some accounts, a wolf attack on the Romany camp; being it a way or another, the newborns were dead, and Marya’s family was distraught. With nothing else to do but to mourn their lost children, Marya and Django resumed their traveling in Transia, but when they approached Wundagore Mountain they found themselves face to face with an unexpected guest: the High Evolutionary himself, who had learnt of their loss. The superhuman geneticist had two children with him, Wanda and Pietro, the children of a powerful mutant, Erik Lehnsherr, and of his wife Magda: he entrusted the babies to the Maximoffs, asking them to raise them as if they were their own. Marya happily accepted.

Magda had abandoned her children to protect them from their father, who had become a murderous monster and didn’t know of their existence yet: to respect the last will of the children’s mother, Marya decided to keep for the twins the names Magda had chosen for them. She and Django raised the babies as if they were their own, and Marya truly loved them like she loved Ana and Mateo, giving to them all the love and the care she didn’t have the chance to give her children. The tribe managed to settle into a single land thanks to Django, who assured the tribe’s work to a miller in exchange of a large plot of land in his property. In this period, Wanda became old enough to be introduced to the coven, and Marya brought her to Lilia Calderu, the mother witch: at the presence of the entire coven, Marya included, Wanda was introduced for the first time to the secrets of the black magic known only to the Gypsy women of their tribe. From that moment, however, things became complicated: Pietro and Wanda started manifesting their mutant powers, and this increased the suspicion and the grudge from the rest of the population; the miller kicked the Romanys out of his land, and in every place they tried to settle sooner or later they received the same treatment. Plus, Django was quite concerned of letting Wanda learn the tribe’s secrets, since she was not their daughter, not a Romany as well, while Marya defended her right, even if it wasn’t a birthright (one of these conversations was maryamaximoffcomics2overheard by the twins, who were obviously quite shocked in learning they were adopted). Pietro, wanting to help his family now that Django couldn’t find any job, used his super speed to steal from some villagers, but he only got scolded by Django, and disappeared for three days: Marya, anguished, looked for him along with Wanda, and when they finally found him they were able to re-conciliate…but the villagers had found out about the thefts, and they angrily attacked the Romanys, setting their camp afire. The twins managed to save themselves, but Marya was trapped into her caravan and burnt alive: she was however happy to know that her beloved children at least were still alive…

Marya Maximoff is a loving and caring woman, who happily accepts two babies abandoned by their mother as if they were her own. She’s an initiate in the local Gypsy coven, and she can use black magic to an unknown extent (anyway in a lesser form than her daughter Wanda or even her husband Django). A loving mother and a loyal wife, Marya is one of the pillars of her tribe and community, and one of the few bright memories left for the Maximoff twins.

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.

Magda Eisenhardt

magdalehnsherrfilmBack to X-Men: Apocalypse we meet the first new entry: when we see Magneto again, he’s in Polland, hiding from the authorities, and he goes by the false name Henryk Gurzsky. He also has a family, and his wife is Magda, a woman who doesn’t seem entirely unaware of her husband’s true nature and past. Magada is portrayed by Carolina Bartczak, and her presence confirms that the Mrs. Romanoff we’ve seen in Days of Future Past (and in Apocalypse as well) is not the movie version of Magda Lehnsherr. Magda doesn’t live much through the movie, and she has a much smaller impact on the overall story than her comicbook counterpart: let’s see together who the wife of the Master of Magnetism is.

Magda was a Romany girl, the daughter of a woman named Anya. Traveling with her mother, she arrived in NurembergGermany, in the 1930s, and she found a job as a janitor in a local school. The girl tried to avoid as much attention as she could, as the public opinion in Germany was beginning to turn against her people as well, besides the Jews, but beautiful as she was this was quite impossible, and a boy from the city, Max Eisenhardt, was smitten by her, and did everything he could to gain her attention. Magda was quite intrigued by her suitor, but things ended abruptly: in 1936 the Gypsies were all taken to Marzahn, a detention camp from which they were sorted to other camps. Magda and her mother Anya weren’t lucky, and they ended up in Auschwitz, where the older woman was almost immediately sent to the gas chambers. Left alone, in Auschwitz Magda met Max again: the boy had become a member of the Sonderkommando, and he did everything he could to keep her alive, giving her food secretly and protecting her from the officers’ attentions. When the Nazis decided to exterminate all the Romanys in the camp (the Zigeuernacht), Max managed to take Magda away from Auschwitz, to Buchenwald, where he himself had magdalehnsherrcomics1been transferred. Magda faced many risks nevertheless, and she was saved from a violent guard by Max, who hid her under a pile of corpses that the Sonderkommando was ordered to burn, and then sheltering her in his squad’s bungalow, again protecting her from his own coworkers. When a rebellion started in the death camp, Magda and Max used the opportunity to make their escape, and not trusting the advancing Russian Army (they knew that the Russians, wanting to erase any trace of the extremination camps, often killed the prisoners as well) they ran to the Carpathian Mountains, where they somehow survived for months despite their weakened and famished state. Day after day they recovered, and when they believed enough time had passed since their escape, they decided to move south: they stopped in a village, where Max found a job, and Magda could finally marry her man.

Finally, life smiled again on the two escapees, and they soon had a daughter, who Magda decided to call as her mother, Anya. In the meanwhile, Max was helped by a local to create a new identity for himself and his family, and he changed his name to Erik Lensherr, adopting the one of a deceased Gypsy: this way, he could live better among his wife’s people. Together, Magda, Erik and Anya moved to Vinnitsa, a city in Ukraine, wanting to start anew. Bad luck, however, was still haunting them: the family found a place to stay in an inn, and Max/Erik found a job as a carpenter, while Magda stayed with the baby. The woman had left the mountains just for her husband’s love, but she didn’t like it in the city, and she was disturbed by the way people kept staring at her. After just some days they had arrived in Vinnitsa, Magda went shopping, and when she returned to the inn she found it on fire…with Anya still inside. She rushed in, trying to climb the burning stairs to save her daughter, but to no avail: finally, Erik arrived, and he manifested his powers for the first time, protecting himself and Magda and bringing his wife to safety. Anya, however, was still in her room: Erik wanted to magdalehnsherrcomics2use again his newfound powers to save their baby girl, but in that moment the police arrived, led by Erik’s employer who had denounced him for being a mutant. The police attacked Erik, who couldn’t focus enough to save Anya, and the girl burnt alive in front of her parents. Magda was understandably shocked, but what came after was the final straw for her: Erik, enraged, unleashed all his power for the first time in his life, and slaughtered the policemen and his employer, wanting to avenge Anya’s death. Terrified by what her husband had become, Magda fled, and spent the following months on the run in Eastern Europe, trying to hide from Erik; in that time, she also found out she was pregnant again. Finally, near the end of her pregnancy, she found asylum in the Citadel of Science, a secret town on Wundagore Mountain inhabited by the High Evolutionary and his anthropomorphic animals: Bova the Midwife took care of her and helped her deliver two baby twins, Pietro and Wanda. Magda, however, knew that as long as she was alive, Erik (or rather the monster he had become) could find their children: she had to leave again, and this time for good, in order to protect her children from their father…

Magda Eisenhardt (later Magda Lehnsherr, maiden name unknown) is a good-hearted and peaceful woman, who only seeks a normal and tranquil life with the man she loves and her children. Her tragic life didn’t make her belief in love and kindness fade away, and she still wants peace with all her heart…and that’s why she doesn’t recognize as her husband the mutant mass-murderer Magneto.