Magneto: Issue #16 – The Power of a Symbol


In this issue, Magneto is attempting to establish a safe haven for mutants on Genosha. But the sense of safety is shattered as several mutants are brutally murdered and their blood used to paint a swastika on a wall. It’s quite grisly and reminiscent of something that the Manson clan would have done. The most powerful part of this installment, though, is Magneto’s musings regarding the symbol of the swastika.

In certain parts of the world… the swastika represents life, good fortune, and well-being. In Hinduism, it represents God. In ancient Tibet, it was the symbol of eternity. Navajo used the “whirling logs” in healing rites. For more than 3,000 years, the symbol stood for peace. And then the Nazi party adopted it as the emblem of their hatred and cruelty. Thousands of years as a positive icon… and man’s evil corrupted it… turned it into something most people cringe to look upon. Now, someone has brought the symbol here as the mark of death… the promise that the peace of Genosha will be despoiled once more. And now that I have seen it… the weight of its meaning nearly crushes me.

I like to think of symbols as something transcendent and eternal, but as I read this, I considered how easily humans can alter the meaning of a symbol. In addition, the meanings of symbols can change naturally. But regardless, symbols are objects of power and they can evoke deep emotion. We should always remember to never underestimate the power of a symbol.

Thanks for reading my thoughts. Cheers!


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4 responses to “Magneto: Issue #16 – The Power of a Symbol

  1. I have, myself, often mourn the loss of a beautiful symbol or word meaning – this one, in particular: I read once somewhere, too, that this was an early symbol for equality between the male and female within original Christianity borrowed from even earlier mysticism (I think it was celtic…) which, of course, didn’t last long!
    if the majority in a place take up the new translation, then it will stand. but I will never not make an internal note of its first truth every time I lay my eyes on it. I am stubborn like that. 😉

    I *very much* appreciate you offering that awareness here.

    • Great comment! Thanks so much for your insight. I’m a bit stubborn too, but I know that symbols, like everything else in the universe, are in a constant state of change. I try to be aware of that. Cheers!

  2. oops. I realized later that I got that wrong about the equality – *the equality cross* has all four equal lengths and predates Christianity. 😛