GothamGal is a devoted comic fan. Reading comics from an early age (TinTin, Archie, Katie Keene and much more), she has recently revisited her old interest and is branching out into the streets of unread comics and graphic novels! While she favors DC Comics, Marvel is slowly winning her over—but Vertigo, Image and IDW have so many new things to offer, she might just say she’s a comic fan—with no labels. She fights for literature, education and the right for ALL to read comics!

GothamGal reviews a book she picked up from WonderCon 2015 that may just change the way you feel about a longtime villain in the Marvel Universe.

Literature and, specifically comic books, allow people the opportunity to learn about historical events with a unique perspective—thanks to the melding of words and art. I jumped at the chance to get a copy of X-Men Magneto: Testament when I saw author Greg Pak at WonderCon 2015.

Testament tells the story of Max Eisenhardt, a boy who grows up to be whom Marvel fans know as Magneto. He had a crush on Magda, a gypsy girl whom helps clean his school. A simple boy-meets-girl story is complicated further by the events leading up to and during World War II. Max is Jewish—a trait not looked upon favorably by HItler and his party from ‘35 to ‘45. Max and his family scramble to survive, with Max ending up in Auschwitz-Birkenau, when he reconnects with Magda in an attempt to save her. However, will Max be able to survive in order to save her?

First off, Magneto’s powers are not shown in this graphic novel, which is different than fans of the movies may remember. This is, instead, a touching and emotionally-charged origin story that will bring tears to nearly any reader’s eyes.

Writer Greg Pak’s words are set to Carmine Di Giandomenico’s art in a style that’s part comic, but mostly historical. The words and art come together to create a heart-wrenching tale of familiar love and first love, but set against a truly evil villain.

Magneto is one of those characters that, upon further examination, isn’t the villain we (Xavier fans) want him to be. Magneto was made. And, his pro-mutant platform is in part because of his treatment during the War.. He has seen, firsthand, how the classification of people on a basis of their blood (Jewish, mutant, etc.) can go hideously and horribly wrong. Reading Testament makes it hard for a reader to throw an angry stone in his direction.

In fact, Testament represents one of those  pieces of literature up there with Diary of a Young Girl or Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars. An emergent and essential piece of literature, teaching guides are included in the graphic novel, as well as a bonus comic about the life of survivor Dina Babbitt—she was able to save her mother and herself through her own artistic talent.

Testament is, like V for Vendetta, a heavy but essential piece of literature for learning about, and enriching the understanding of the Holocaust, in a format that is likely to snag the attention of people whom may not otherwise be open to the exploration. It is terrible to think that history could repeat itself, and by arming ourselves with knowledge from books like Testament.

Pick up a copy for yourself, or anyone you think would provide a good conversation about this from your favorite (comics) retailer today, in physical or eformat.

Author: gothamgal

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