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12 September 2011 @ 07:13 pm
Yes, But Why?  
While I worked on the next installment of Human Nature (readings?what school readings?), a friend of mine commandeered my DVD player and watched X-Men: First Class. Toward the end of the film I drifted over and watched the last few minutes. It was in watching it again that I realized the most important question that I hadn't asked before.


Exactly WHY is Magneto wearing a cape at the end? I mean, NOTHING about Erik Lehnsherr's personality suggested he cared at all about how he dressed or that he bothered with artifice. The helmet I get but why the cape? Did someone suggest to him that now as head of the Brotherhood he should get himself a cape to look all the more imposing? Because that really backfired as the cape just robs him of the little dignity that ridiculous helmet left him. Granted, it's not as ridiculous as the headgear featured in Thor but still. The cape does not help.
 
 
 
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: BBT_NerdDance!guardian_chaos on September 13th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
Uhhhmmmm. That is a very good question. Why does any character of questionable manners choose to wear a cape, for that matter? My first thought is that, perhaps, he was making a statement towards creating a distinction between who he was, Erik, and who he now considers himself to be, Magneto. Even at the end of the film, Emma calls him Erik, to which he immediately corrects, "I prefer Magneto."

I feel like I should consider this further, though, since you're right, a cape doesn't seem to fit Erik all that well... Hmm. Well, a cape offers a place to hide, a bigger shadow and general broadening of size (going from the perspective: strength is equivalent to size, and thereby making him appear more formidable as an opponent), and a nice, flappy, distracting thing for his enemies to stare at instead of noticing whatever else he is doing.

Perhaps he was just using it to define himself as different, which could assist him in being a noticeable figure among the mutants he tries to win over to his side?? Though the helmet could also do that. Or perhaps it's practical? He can fly, and maybe the cape helps him with that. Balancing and gathering wind updrafts and etc....or maybe there's wire threading throughout it, though since he gathered that cape rather quickly towards the end of the film, I doubt he had the time to contact a tailor about that particular request.

URG, I WANT THERE TO BE SENSE, BUT ALL I CAN THINK IS THAT IT'S JUST CONTINUITY AND THERE IS NO PURPOSE. XD
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 13th, 2011 02:49 am (UTC)
I think your last statement is the most accurate in terms of what went on in the director's head. There is no purpose other than to shove the prequel to match the earlier X-Men films. I would have been significantly happier had we gotten Erik, or rather Magneto, starting to wear the Magneto colors in his more every day wear as he went to spring Emma rather than the full on costume.

Because all I could think was, "Did you have to custom order that or did you make it yourself? Either way, did you delay in getting Emma out b/c you were too busy putting your outfit together??"

Although, your point about Erik preferring to go by Magneto at the end of the movie brings up the interesting point of the fragmenting of his identity. I apologize ahead of time b/c I just read chunks of articles on the defensive mechanism of splitting for one of my courses and it all leaped to mind.

It's interesting to me that Magneto encompasses all the characteristics that Erik probably wanted when he was a child and at the mercy of the Nazis. Magneto is strong, skillful, and perhaps most importantly for Erik extremely ruthless with little emotional hang ups. He's in all ways the perfect Ubermensch that Erik aspires to be b/c it frees him from subjugation as well as emotional pain.

So in that way he's split his identity off in order to function toward an ideal he carries inside that he probably couldn't do if he actually integrated himself full as both Magneto and Erik. The latter, which still exists somewhere deep in there if only because he continues to let Charles call him "Erik" in the earlier films (later in the time line).

Wow, okay, mini-essay of rambles DONE.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: Sherlock_Heart+Mindguardian_chaos on September 13th, 2011 04:08 am (UTC)
Ha! Unfortunately for clever plotline's sake, I think my last point really is the biggest reason. Not that I'm judging the movie for it, mind you, because as you well know, the movie is thoroughly adored by me! The movie is Great Things Oh SO Great Things, and just so happens to have A Character Wearing A Silly Cape At The End. *G*

I have this thought, and I'll have to watch the movie again to see if it has any credibility, but maybe Magneto took the cape from someone he didn't like, and is wearing it sort of like a badge of honor. His helmet serves practical purposes, obviously, but wearing it is also a little like mounting the skull of his enemy on a pike in his front yard. I doubt he can always look at it without thinking of what he did to Shore (or...Shaw? Oh dear, I don't remember his name right now. Gah!!!), after all. And he's a smart, world-traveling sort of guy. If he wanted another telepath-blocking helmet, he probably could have found one somewhere. Though he did claim the helmet, in a sense, by choosing to paint it instead of letting it stay the way it was when he got it.

Because all I could think was, "Did you have to custom order that or did you make it yourself? Either way, did you delay in getting Emma out b/c you were too busy putting your outfit together??"

Ha! That was my thought, too! I had this niggling little voice in the back of my head saying, "Um. I see that you put effort into that outfit, Erik, and I don't know when you got the time for it, but you obviously did put time into making it, so how can you be wearing it so proudly when it looks so utterly ridiculous? Clearly, you cut a few corners somewhere."

Perhaps the colors were simply the last remaining sheets of fabric the store had available at a discount price. So Erik was like, FINE THEN, WHATEVER, I WILL TAKE THIS RED AND PURPLE MESS AND SWATHE MYSELF IN IT, THOUGH I DON'T HAVE TO LIKE IT, DO I!? I WANTED TO WEAR LONG BLACK ROBES WITH GOLDEN WRISTBANDS AND A GIANT BATTERY LOGO ON THE CHEST, BUT SINCE YOU DON'T HAVE THAT, I WILL JUST PUT UP WITH THIS HORRIBLENESS. And then the red and purple just became A Thing and he couldn't change it at that point anymore. Poor, sad, tragic Erik and his fallen model-clothes value.

I apologize ahead of time b/c I just read chunks of articles on the defensive mechanism of splitting for one of my courses and it all leaped to mind.

Ha! Hey, no apologies necessary for that! I love attributing scholarly knowledge to characters. About an hour ago, I was reading about "rule creating moral entrepreneurs" (as opposed to rule enforcers) in one of my textbooks, and it was a lot easier to remember the details because Erik fits right into that category. In fact, some amazing stories could probably be made for him, given some of the information I've read about tonight in that textbook... especially about what happens to that type of character when a goal fails to work right... or, sometimes worse, when it does work right. I'm tempted to discuss this with you later, when there is less homework in my immediate future.

You raise very good points about how Magneto is pretty much the epitome of everything Erik might have wanted to be as a child, and probably to a large extent as an adult, too. Sort of like a perfect, imaginary friend, only Erik actually has the ability to become that perfect person he's envisioned up for himself. And I do also love this idea that the character who is still Erik still probably exists in there, though perhaps buried increasingly deeper as the years progress.

After a while, maybe only Charles gets to still know Magneto on that level of "Erik". And maybe Mystique, but to a much lesser extent... though I suppose that can be argued. The sad thing is, Charles probably always views Magneto as Erik, no matter "who" Magneto is in the moments they'll interact later on.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 13th, 2011 04:18 am (UTC)
After a while, maybe only Charles gets to still know Magneto on that level of "Erik". And maybe Mystique, but to a much lesser extent... though I suppose that can be argued. The sad thing is, Charles probably always views Magneto as Erik, no matter "who" Magneto is in the moments they'll interact later on.

To continue on with my crazy psycho-analytic flavor of interpretation, I think Magneto is a well-developed split off part of Erik, who has shut away that part of himself that can feel sadness, vulnerability and pain. But as Charles said, he knows Erik is more than just pain and anger. He also said he knows "everything" about Erik after taking a peek into his mind. And while, yes, that feels like a hyperbole, I think Charles is possibly the only one who sees the whole person Erik can be and should be. And quite possible even was for those few days he was at the Westchester mansion before all hell went down in Cuba.

Charles was so the therapist who tried to get Erik to integrate all parts of himself until he was one man who could be strong and powerful, but also feel pain without letting it consume him. Sadly, that didn't really work.
Astoundingly fond of avocados and rainy weather.: SPN_HurricaneSkyguardian_chaos on September 13th, 2011 04:29 am (UTC)
To continue on with my crazy psycho-analytic flavor of interpretation...

Ohh! I'm all ears. :D

...I think Magneto is a well-developed split off part of Erik, who has shut away that part of himself that can feel sadness, vulnerability and pain.

Y'know, this is such an interesting topic to me. For Magneto, there's this and there's also that whole issue about how some victims can grow up to be victimizers as a result of their experiences, and Magneto...well. He adds much to the thinky-parts of those ideas. As Magneto, he not only represents himself as Magneto, but also, yes, as a man (Erik) who he may never fully be again. And that's sad. With the breaking of his friendship with Charles, so much else broke away, too.

I'm scared and thrilled to see what he's like in the next film. I want to know if there's anything gentle still inside that metal helmet, or if it's all washed away for self-preservation's sake.

Charles was so the therapist who tried to get Erik to integrate all parts of himself until he was one man who could be strong and powerful, but also feel pain without letting it consume him. Sadly, that didn't really work.

Yes! Yes! Perfect description. Charles is definitely a therapist-type figure. I'd like to know that there are more than just a few people like Charles in the real world. Erm, I mean in terms of the sympathetic, "urging people in compassionate ways to be the best they can be way" if not the psychic way. Though I suppose the psychic thing isn't so problematic for someone who has that personality. *blinks* ...yes.

XD

katarzi on September 13th, 2011 01:10 am (UTC)
It's the traditional Magneto costume - slightly adapted so there's no godawful spandex.



:| I wish they would have just tossed that whole adhering to comic costume nonsense and gone with the classier greys and maroons from the first three X-Men movies.

As for in-character - I really just think Mystique and Emma dressed him. For the lulz.
formerly lifeinsomniacjoonscribble on September 13th, 2011 02:40 am (UTC)
I feel like it was a bit too jarring to go from Lehnsherr in his usual turtlenecks to suddenly sporting a freaking cape. The movie overall seemed to work so hard to pull you away from the costumes made famous by the comics that suddenly inserting one at the end felt a bit out of character.
katarzi on September 13th, 2011 02:55 am (UTC)
Well to be fair, they actually brought the costumes back to the original ones compared to the other movies - hence the blue/yellow suits as opposed to the black/greys favoured in the others. But yeah, it's totally a jarring and OOC thing to have Erik suddenly dressed like that - if they continue it in the next movie I'll be frankly shocked (it would definitely affect his ability to be taken seriously as a villain/anti-hero/Charles' frenemy/whatever). But I admit I'd like to see the original Mystique costume back, though considering the movie's preference for her traipsing about naked, I doubt it...