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When Iron Man Fought Magneto, Who Actually Won?


Iron Man and Magneto made a fan debate come true when they finally fought in Marvel’s
Avengers vs. X-Men
comic event. But who won?
Tony Stark gave himself a chance with a non-magnetic armor made from carbon nanotubes, but his other magnetic attacks miss the mark.
Magneto turns every magnetic attack against Tony, before a distraction gives Iron Man the opening to win the fight. Declaring a winner, but with one massive catch.

Who would win in a fight between Iron Man and the X-Men‘s Magneto? It’s the question every Marvel fan has to ask, once they realize Tony Stark’s biggest weakness could be exploited by a mutant with mastery over metal. And thankfully, there is an answer, since Iron Man actually fought Magneto in one of the most spectacular battles of 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men.

The event sees the X-Men and the Avengers collide over the fate of the world, with the cosmic Phoenix Force coming to Earth; mutants believing it to promise salvation, while the Avengers fear it will be the end of the world. Fortunately, Tony Stark has been preparing for this battle. Not only does Iron Man figure out how to beat psychics, neutralizing Emma Frost before she can shut down his fellow Avengers, but when Iron Man faces Magneto in Avengers vs. X-Men #2, he stands against the one man who could safely be expected to beat him.


Magneto is Back From The Dead, And Teaming Up With Iron Man (Yes, Really)

Magneto returns to the land of the living, and in a shocking twist, the Master of Magnetism will team-up with Iron Man to take on the Stark Sentinels.

Iron Man Creates a Magneto-Proof Suit of Armor

Tony Stark makes a “multi-billion dollar armor” out of carbon nanotubes instead of metal

As his fans would expect, Iron Man comes prepared, having constructed a special suit of armor fashioned from carbon nanotubes rather than metal, designed to protect himself from Magneto. Despite being the crux of any argument stating ‘Magneto could easily beat Iron Man’ (just as easily as Wolverine, whose skeleton is literally covered in metal), the solution is equally straightforward. Magneto is capable of crushing Tony Stark in his armor in seconds? Then Tony would create a suit out of a non-magnetic, non-metallic substance that is just as strong and durable.

The theory and science are sound, with modern carbon nanotubes proven to be many times stronger than steel or alloys. And resistant to magnetism, meaning this Iron Man armor would make Tony immune to Magneto’s mutation. The moment gives the ‘underdog’ a legitimate victory, and the most Magneto can do is rattle the fillings in Tony Stark’s teeth. Unfortunately, Tony neglected to take account of one simple fact: he may be immune to Magneto, but he is still confronting him on an island made of metal. And when crushed beneath a concrete and steel tower, the materials in one’s body armor are of little consequence.

While the fight between Iron Man and Magneto technically begins in
Avengers Vs X-Men
#2 (by Jason Aaron, John Romita Jr., Scott Hanna, and Laura Martin), the action is shown in the parallel series
AvX: Vs
#1 (by Jason Aaron, Adam Kubert, and Morry Hollowell).

Iron Man Tries To Beat Magneto With A Magnet Swarm

Tony Stark’s neodymium assault shows his knowledge of magnetism can’t match Magneto

A brilliant inventor and scientific mind, Tony Stark mistakenly believes he can out-think a mutant’s biological mastery of their own innate mutation (and Magneto’s refined skillset, at that). Things don’t go well from there.

Once surviving the opening attack, Iron Man quickly moves on to the offensive, unleashing a swarm of “two million neodymium high-grade magnets,” presumably hoping to disrupt Magneto’s powers. Tony is stunned by the contemptuous ease with which Magneto disrupts this magnet “swarm,” and it is here where Iron Man’s shortcomings are truly exposed. A brilliant inventor and scientific mind, Tony Stark mistakenly believes he can out-think a mutant’s biological mastery of their own innate mutation (and Magneto’s refined skillset, at that). Things don’t go well from there.

Deploying magnets to distract, confuse, or in any way interfere with someone who wields magnetism with unconscious thought, Iron Man reveals a new layer to this long-debated battle. This is not just a matching of powers, but the battle of two of Marvel’s greatest egos, clashing between the power of the mind and the body. With the magnets a total bust, Tony moves on to his most advanced strategy, abandoning over a thousand others he now figures are doomed to failure. Harnessing the forces of another planet, Iron Man takes another title: Marvel’s new Master of Magnetism.

Magneto Creates His Own Suit of ‘Iron Man’ Armor

Assembling armor from destroyed Stark satellites, Magneto loses due to being distracted

Magneto Punches Iron Man in His Own Suit of Armor in AvX Vs #1

Unlike the opening two rounds of this battle, the ‘science’ behind Tony’s final weapon is far more dubious. As Magneto discovers, Tony previously placed a chain of satellites around Jupiter in order to tap into the gas giant’s magnetic field, which is ten times stronger than Earth’s. Activating these satellites, Tony is able to “siphon off some of that energy,” transmit it several hundred million miles to Earth, and use it to unlock a new power level for his Iron Man armor. Boldly proclaiming himself the new Master of Magnetism, Iron Man channels his new magnetic power-up into a direct hit on Magneto.

Iron Man Mysterium Armor and Wolverine yelling Related

Iron Man’s New Form of Armor Just Crushed Wolverine’s Unbreakable Claws

Iron Man #15 sees Stark debut his epic mysterium armor, testing it in the field with an X-Sentinel, and proving the metal is stronger than Adamantium.

Fans can interpret exactly what is being achieved by ‘harnessing a magnetic field’ for themselves, but again, Tony’s plan relies on overwhelming Magneto with magnetic power. Predictably and unfortunately for Iron Man, he is only able to get in one shot before Magneto recognizes the energy he has turned against him. In seconds, Magneto shreds the satellites and assembles them into his own suit of Iron Man-inspired armor. From there, the punches start flying.

Iron Man vs Magneto Winner: Iron Man (With a Catch)

Tony Stark is able to claim victory, but even he doesn’t realize it isn’t a clean finish

Close up images of Iron Man's helmet and Magneto's face in Marvel Comics art by Ross and Land Custom Image by Andrew Dyce (from Ross & Land)

Magneto proceeds to reach out across the cosmos, “channeling more power from every planet within reach,” and striking Iron Man with punches that would have staggered Thor. Before Magneto can drain Iron Man of power and will entirely, Magneto senses a disruption in magnetic fields that can only mean an entire world has been destroyed by the Phoenix Force. With his confidence suddenly drained, Magneto stops fighting and is beaten by Iron Man, allowing him to land some punches of his own before claiming victory.

The battle comes to a definitive end with the Master of Magnetism officially beaten by Iron Man, left conscious and floating in space, trying to advise the Avenger on his next move. The winner between Iron Man and Magneto is undisputable. But considering the external factors in Magneto’s submission, and how deftly he countered Iron Man’s most brilliant strategies, there is more than enough cause to call for a rematch.

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