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The Beginning of the X-Men
A Movie Worth Watching
How Did it All Begin?
In X-Men: First Class we get the backstory on the various characters from the first round of movies:
Feel Eric (Magneto's) pain when he is thrown into a German concentration camp as a child, his powers begin to manifest themselves, and the evil mutant in charge of Nazi experiments at the camp kills his mother and tortures him in order to study his powers (which initially only work when Eric is angry.) Eric goes on to seek out his tormentors after the war is over. His powers make him a formidable Nazi hunter. He works out his vengeance until he encounters Charles Xavier and learns there are other mutants like himself.
I grew to love Eric as he worked with Charles and Raven (Charles's adopted mutant sister) to locate other mutants and to save them from those humans who would harm them. Each mutant has an internal battle to wage over whether to embrace their mutant identity or try to blend in with humans. Charles takes in the young mutants and teaches them to control their powers. He and Eric argue over whether or not humans can be trusted; Eric, due to his personal experiences, is much more reluctant than Charles to see humans as friends.
In the exciting climax, the X-Men must prevent Sebastian Shaw (killer of Eric's mother and torturer of young Eric) from starting a war (based on the historical Cuban Missile Crisis.) Eric gets sidetracked, however, consumed by his desire to see justice done on the man who took so much from him. The ending explains the divide between the Brotherhood and the X-Men.
I found myself sympathizing with Magneto, though not with all his methods. Humans have not shown themselves to be very trustworthy through recorded history, after all.