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At the end of the movie X-Men: First Class, Magneto leaves Charles Xavier and the X-Men to go start the Brotherhood of Mutants. Between the end of X-Men: First Class and the beginning of X-Men: Days of Future Past, Magneto is imprisoned because he is falsely accused of assassinating John F. Kennedy. Chronologically, the next time we see Magneto in the original timeline is the flashback scene shown in the beginning of the movie X-Men: The Last Stand, where in the 1980’s Magneto helps Charles Xavier recruit Jean Gray as a girl into the X-Men.

My question is, how did Magneto go from Charles’ adversary in the 1970’s to being part of the X-Men again in the 1980’s? And how did he go from being part of the X-Men in the 1980’s back to being Charles’ adversary at the time of the original X-Men movie?

Is this just a continuity error, or is there some in-Universe explanation for this? Do DVD commentaries, interviews, etc. shed any light on what happened in the original timeline between the 1970’s and the 1980’s, and between the 1980’s and the time of X-Men?

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    It happened in the comics multiple times, when the goals of both parties coincided. I don't think this was ever properly explained in the films.
    – Joachim
    Commented Dec 17, 2022 at 13:07
  • I note from Magneto's origin story that he was not a committed villain. On the other hand, he was, in a very definite sense, a racist -- pro-mutant and anti-human. Perhaps, being an intelligent man, he eventually came around philosophically and saw the error in such an extreme position.
    – releseabe
    Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 7:07
  • @releseabe I mean, if he saw the error in his position between the 1960’s and the 1980’s, then he apparently fell into error again sometime between the 1980’s and the 2000’s (or whenever the “not too distant future” of the original X-Men movie takes place). Commented Dec 18, 2022 at 7:15
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    Incidentally, racism is the belief that another race or ethnicity is inferior, Magneto displays speciesism, the belief that you are superior to another species as his belief is that mutants are a superior species to humans via evolutionary progress. Race does not play a part in his belief. See this link for info on speciesism livekindly.com/speciesism-animal-rights-issue
    – shigginpit
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 2:13
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    I mean this explanation wouldn’t fit in the movie, since Kittie Pride wasn’t even born between the time of X-Men: Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse. Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 15:06

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