The setup for Logan is a bleak one: The X-Men are gone, Wolverine and Professor X are old and on the run, and the appearance of a Wolverine clone, Laura, is yet another problem for them to deal with. Logan (Hugh Jackman) and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) could really use some backup, even if it’s in the form of a former adversary. So, where the hell is Magneto (Ian McKellen) — Charles’s ultra-powerful, lifelong frenemy — in all of this?
This post contains spoilers for Logan.
Magneto has been a staple throughout 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise. He’s not only the primary villain but also a frequent ally to the X-Men due to his respect for Charles and the history they have.
While Logan introduces the world to a time when the X-Men are gone and being a mutant seems to only bring pain, the events in the movie are still something Erik Lehnsherr, aka Magneto, would undoubtedly want to be involved with.
But, in all honesty, he’s probably dead.
There’s no outright explanation for what happened to all the mutants in Logan. Audiences just know that they’re “gone.” Charles makes mumbling references to “the Westchester incident,” which clearly sits heavy in his heart — presumably, he had an episode similar to the seizures he has in the film and ended up killing some of the X-Men, who equate to his family. He admits this to Wolverine’s evil clone, X-24, right before he gets stabbed in the chest. Charles remembers what he did, and he knows Logan is always trying to hide the pain of that from him. It’s Logan’s way of protecting him.
But it doesn’t seem like Magneto would have gotten caught up in Charles’s meltdown. Days of Future Past reset the X-Men timeline that Logan takes place in, so it’s doubtful Charles and Erik were hanging out on weekends in their golden years. Most likely, Magneto just died of old age.
Erik was, after all, a Holocaust survivor. Time reported in 2016 that there were about 100,000 Holocaust survivors left in the world. Going off that, it’s easy to imagine that Erik would have passed by 2029 when Logan takes place.
The positive side of that is that, hopefully, he went peacefully, unlike his friend Charles.
Logan is now in theaters.