April 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #387: Joseph

Someone cloned Magneto once, and the best name they could give him was "Joseph". Just "Joseph". Not even Joey Magnets? Cripes.

Every so often, if you read superhero comics long enough, you’re bound to find some storyline that promises it will be killing a character off.  It’s usually in a team book, there’s a promise things will not be the same afterwards, and yeah, it isn’t that shocking when the dead character comes back later.  But it also isn’t impossible to guess which character may die.  Does a character on the team have a book of his own?  Was it canceled recently?  Do any of the characters have storylines still in progress that need some sort of resolution?  Are any of these characters expendable?

I mean, I basically knew Joseph was doomed one time when the X-Men did that.

Joseph–and that is pretty much the only name he ever got–first appeared in X-Men #46 in November of 1995, but initially, the series played him off as someone who had been around much longer.  When the evil mutant Holocaust, who came from an alternate timeline, attacked Magento’s Asteroid M haven of Avalon, he made short work of most of Magneto’s Acolytes and nearly did in Magento himself.  The place fell apart, and as the portion with Magento started to fall to Earth, sometime X-Man and current Acolyte Colossus shielded Magento with his metallic body and both men survived the fall to Earth.  Granted, Magento wasn’t there when Colossus woke up, but he did turn up later, so I’d say that counts.

Meanwhile, a man with long, white hair named “Joseph” was working at an orphanage in Guatemala.  He’d been found sick, and when he was nursed back to health, one of the nuns in charge suspected he was Magneto despite the fact he was decades younger.

Granted, his hair was still white, and most comic book artists can’t always draw distinctive faces, so I had to take their word for it that he looked much younger than Magneto.

Turns out Joseph had magnetic powers too, and when he used them to protect the kids from criminals, because this is the world of Marvel mutants, the kids now feared and hated the man they had loved until that point.  The nun in charge suggested he go to America and find the X-Men.  That he did, where he joined the team, had some kind of bond going with Rogue, and had everyone, including him at a certain point, thinking he was somehow Magneto back and much younger for some reason.  Joseph would leave for a while, but then when the actual Magneto came back, he returned.

That would be when his real origins came about.  See, he was a clone made by some mutant named Astra.  Astra had been recruited by Magento as a member of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, but he was maybe abusive to her or something (I’m not sure), so she created Joseph to fight Magneto, win, and take the Master of Magnetism’s place.  It didn’t quite work out that way.

Granted, what I recall from then was Joseph heard where he came from and assumed he was a clone, but then Astra would say he was something else, but the way I see it, dude was a clone.

See? Clone.

Anyway, Joseph returned to the X-Men just in time to battle Magneto, and yeah, that was how I knew he was doomed.  Some minor character returns after a long absence just in time for a character to die?  Yeah, that’s a good sign.  Anyway, Joseph died to save the world.

But this is comics, and the X-Men these days are all about resurrection!  Surely he came back!

He sure did!  As a villain!

Astra decided that a reformed Magneto was no good, so she brought Joseph back to frame Magneto for various crimes.  He did so with flawed clones of the original Brotherhood.  Joseph and Astra were captured and the rest were killed by Magneto himself.  After a release, Joseph met his end when the Juggernaut, helping Joseph out, realized the clone of the Magnet Man wasn’t actually trying to help mutants, and while Juggernaut and Cyclops tried to interrogate him, he was killed by another mutant with an ax to grind.

So, that was Joseph, a man without an identity of his own or even a full name.