In X2, Magneto prevents Stryker's attempted genocide of all mutants by using his powers to turn off and open the door to Dark Cerebro before Jason can make Prof. X successfully kill any mutants. Then Magneto rearranges the panels inside of Dark Cerebro so that it would target humans, and Mystique takes on the form of Stryker and orders Jason to make Prof. X kill all humans instead. Magneto, Mystique, and Pyro then use Stryker's helicopter to escape Alkali Lake, leaving the X-men behind.

Was this plan actually supposed to work? That is, did Magneto intend for all humans to die, and did he intend for the X-men to drown when the dam bursts? I know that Magneto is no stranger to killing people, but this goes above and beyond anything he does in any other movie. I'm wondering if he instead expected the X-men to be able to stop Jason, rescue Prof. X, and escape before the dam bursts? That still seems like quite a risk he was putting humanity in, in case the X-men weren't able to stop Jason... so maybe Magneto just didn't care whether he killed all humans or not?

  • It's hard to tell what he really expected to happen, but I doubt he seriously though Prof. would kill every human. Quite possibly it wouldn't be even possible in practice.
    – Mithoron
    Commented Apr 3, 2022 at 0:50

2 Answers 2


From Magneto's perspective, Stryker's actions were indicative and representative of humanity's perspective concerning mutants. As such, he identified humanity's disillusionment of mutants as being genocidal. Therefore, he saw it as only fair that, with him being mutant's "representative", he would reverse the situation against those of Stryker's yolk.

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    Not only fair, but more of a self-defence, of himself and all the mutants. "Us or them" is the central part of his beliefs. Commented May 21, 2015 at 23:10

Magneto looks at (and shows us) his Nazi concentration camp tattoo at least once. We can assume he is constantly reminded about what humanity did to one another, and to him personally, in the past. Now, in the present, humanity, or non-mutant humans specifically, are attempting to do exactly that same thing. That is, destruction of a minority.

The difference now is that he (Magneto) has (potentially) the ability and wherewithal to turn the tables on the aggressor. He unilaterally decided that only those humans without the genetic modifications should be destroyed.

So yes, Magneto intended to destroy humanity by doing what he did. Attempting to thwart Prof. Xavier's students/faculty/friends (the X-men) was a necessary step to get to his intended end-game. He didn't hate the X-men, since they too are mutants, except that they were out to stop him, placing them on the side of humans.

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