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In the X-Men 2 (2003) Magneto escapes from his plastic prison by extracting the metal that Mystique injected into a security guard.

Why was this necessary? Why can he not control all humans? Let me explain.

In one of the episodes of the Avatar: The Last Airbender animated series, the gang ends up in a swamp like place where they meet a woman who can waterbend. But not only that, she can also manipulate things made of water, like plants and if I recall correctly, people.

Anyway, the human body contains metals such as copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and even aluminum and mercury, which are metals present in the human body.

So, why is it that Magneto cannot do what the waterbender was doing and take advantage of the fact that human bodies contain materials he can manipulate?

Update: as stated in X-Men Wiki article about Magneto, he CAN in fact manipulate at a sub atomic level

Matter Manipulation: Magneto is able to manipulate matter even to the subatomic level for a number of purposes. This might explain why he is not limited to objects with metallic properties and is able to manipulate objects with non-metallic properties like wood, stone, plastics, etc. to such a degree. This is due to the electromagnetic force which exits between atoms and other subatomic particles.

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swamp lady? When does she come in X-men film. – Ankit Sharma Jan 23 '14 at 6:43
He probably needed more than the trace amounts found naturally occurring in the human body. It's doubtful that we have enough metal to do that amount of damage and to create the platform he rides out of the chamber. – Meat Trademark Jan 23 '14 at 6:47
@AnkitSharma He's speaking about another movie/series. – Napoleon Wilson Jan 23 '14 at 8:33
@NapoleonWilson Ohh that avatar thing. Then its a cross universe example which doesn't have much of significance. – Ankit Sharma Jan 23 '14 at 8:51
You are using a source that describes any abilities that magneto has demonstrated in any comic it is not a description of his abilities in the movies. I think based on his actions and descriptions of his powers in the movies he cannot de this. – hmmmm Jan 23 '14 at 16:55
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Because X-Men is not The Last Airbender?

Because the amounts of these metals in the body is far to small, remember the security guard had been injected with a lot of iron (this is about one of the most ridiculous scenes I have ever seen!).

Also because the metals that you list are not magnetic (they only generate a tiny magnetic field)

With respect to the comments below, where there was a discussion on what Magneto's powers were in the movies, I would use the most recent film Days of Future Past as more evidence for Magneto only being able to control metal. Whilst the continuity of this film is slightly dubious, it seems to still all be in the same timeline. Now there is a scene

where Magneto adds metal to the sentinels in order to control them.

I think it's clear that if he could control things that were not metal then there would have been no need for this to be done.

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Magneto can manipulate metal, not necessarily iron or an iron derivative. Think of what he did to Wolverine, who has Adamantium super skeleton ... I assume that is not an iron derivative? You have a huge flaw in your answer. – ᴘᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 23 '14 at 11:53
@Paulster2 Source? His abilities are always listed as being able to manipulate magnetic fields, for example wikipedia – hmmmm Jan 23 '14 at 12:44
Even in your wiki example it says, "The primary application of his power is control over magnetism and the manipulation of ferrous and nonferrous metal." Need I say more? This is located under Powers and Abilities section, second line. So I ask you, where is your proof I'm wrong? Yes, it says Adamantium is supposedly a ferrous derivative, so I was uninformed on that point, but still does not invalidate my point. – ᴘᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Jan 23 '14 at 13:10
@Paulster2 Indeed in some story-arcs Magneto can effect even non-ferrous metals however this is achieved through his manipulation of the electromagnetic force between the protons and electrons at the atomic level, in certain arcs he has the power to do a great many things (such as turn invisible and manipulate organic matter). However as this question is about the films it would seem reasonable to assume that the answer to the question should be based on the characters abilities in the film where he is described as having control over magnetism, hence my answer. – hmmmm Jan 23 '14 at 14:16
@Paulster2 "Too much iron in your blood"-Magneto X-men. Probably not that much of an assumption really is it? – hmmmm Jan 23 '14 at 15:36

Probably for the same reason that humans are not really magnetic to start with: The amount of various metals in a human is actually quite small. I checked out this Wikipedia entry on the composition of the human body, took the metals you mentioned and checked to see how much all those metals together weigh. The total amount of all those metals in the average human body weigh roughly 24 grams. Put another way, it's .05 pounds of total metal. That's 5/100ths of a pound of metal. If you take a look at the metal balls (I saw at least 3 that Magneto had pulled out of the guard), each one of those had to weigh significantly more than that. According to this website, ONE lead ball would weigh nearly 40 times as much as what Magneto could pull out of a human. And although in theory Magneto could simply yank the metal out of every human in the area to get enough metal, his prison was designed specifically to prevent him from being able to manipulate any metals outside the large room he was in. So every guard in the prison would have to walk up to Magneto for him to be able to pull all the trace metals out of everyone to do the same thing.

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I think one of the main problems is also that most of these metals are not considered to be magnetic. This may cause a few problems for the master of magnetism! – hmmmm Jan 23 '14 at 11:22
And, judging by the same article, water is a whooping 53% of a human body, so the parallel with a waterbender is really not justified. Btw, it'd be nice if you split your answer in paragraphs. – Vedran Šego Jan 23 '14 at 14:34
Actually he CAN manipulate at a subatomic level as stated here: – DustinDavis Jan 23 '14 at 16:27
@DustinDavis this is not demonstrated or stated in the movies. – hmmmm Jan 23 '14 at 16:52
@hmmmm But my question was why was he not more powerful in the movie – DustinDavis Jan 23 '14 at 17:02

Magneto in comics is a near god , it's actually very hard to believe the xmen winning fights with him, I think the film producers deliberately weakend him to give the heroes some chance against him. Even so magneto in the films still displays incredible power, like lifting submarines and entire bridges, which he has done in the books.

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