Only a few years removed from Michael Fassbender's portrayal of Max "Erik Lehnsherr/Magnus" Eisenhardt in "X-Men First Class," the take on Magneto that begins in "Infamous" is clearly inspired by the vigilante interrogator portion of that film. Replace the former Nazis with Mutant-killers, and you've got comic book gold as the recently-reduced-in-power Magneto coldly hunts down those who would hurt his race on a small scale. In effect, it turns Magneto into an anti-hero who is Punisheresque with a lot fewer cliches and a lot more history.
What makes Max/Erik/Magnus stand out is that since Chris Claremont's landmark story "I, Magneto" he's been a stronger character than he has been a strong villain. The question of whether or not he's really evil* creates a compelling narrative that for the most part has been relatively unexplored. What happens if he decides to walk the Earth "Kung Fu"-style attempting to write perceived wrongs?
You get an awesome comic. That's what happens.
Magneto has an advantage over the other recently-reduced-in-power X-Men in that even with only a fraction of the control he once had he is still incredibly dangerous. Cyclops with weaker eye-beams or Emma without her psychic powers end up with a lesser total package instead of an enhanced one. Magneto, on the other hand, doesn't need to lift a bridge or a stadium to mess someone up. If anything, with him, it becomes more personal. Cullen Bunn's first trick is having Magneto remove a man's fillings and replace them with road sign posts. That last point is also an example of how cold-blooded the character remains.
But any Magneto fan should be over the moon that this series is happening, that it's happening this way, and that it's as high of a quality as it is. Magneto can keep this up for years for all I care. But I have the sneaking suspicion it's only a matter of time until I'm reading an issue where he's fully re-powered and moving entire bridges with a snap of his fingers.
Not like that's a bad thing either.
Rating(s): 9/10 ("Infamous,") 7.5/10 ("Reversals")
*The concensus is despite good intentions, he's mostly evil.