The mutant who would one day be known as Joseph, had been created by the mutant teleporter Astra as a means of revenge on Magneto. She had kidnapped the mind-wiped Magneto after the destruction of Avalon by Holocaust
. She restored his memories (by an unknown method), and created Joseph from his DNA with the important alterations of correcting the instabilities in Magneto's nervous system that caused him to go mad when he wielded too much power. Astra also removed Joseph's instinct for self-preservation, thus making Joseph far more reckless and powerful than his unwitting progenitor.
However, Magneto proved in the ensuing battle that youth and power was no match for experience and guile. While surely Joseph was more powerful and gave Magneto quite the fight, Magneto quickly separated him from his creator
and once alone he knocked Joseph on the back of the head with an engine block at 500 mph and escaped. Joseph fell into the jungles of South America with no memory of who or what he was.
Joseph was created by Scott Lobdell, Andy Kubert and Joe Madureira and first appeared in a cameo in X-Men Vol.1 issue 46 (1995) before appearing fully a month later in Uncanny X-men Issue 327. However until the revelation of him being a clone of the original magneto by Alan Davis in he was believed to be the original Magneto made in some way amnesic and younger.
Major Story Arcs
A new Man
Joseph was found, unconscious and sick with fever, by small children who belonged to the Holy Sepulcher Orphanage in Guatemala. Sister Maria de la Joya of the orphanage nursed him back to health, but he proved to have no memory of his past. One of the orphans who had found him, Migdalia, gave him the name Joseph. Over the following months Joseph displayed the superhuman ability to manipulate magnetic forces. Sister Maria suspected he might be the mutant terrorist Magneto, despite the fact that Joseph seemed to be in his twenties making him younger than Magneto had been when he recently vanished. However, given Joseph's good nature, she was willing to give him a second chance in life.
At one point criminals from the local drug cartel captured Sister Maria and the children in order to force Joseph to aid them in fighting law enforcement agencies. In rescuing the hostages, Joseph slaughtered their captors. The children, who had grown to love Joseph, were horrified, and he knew he had to leave. Sister Maria told him about the team of mutant adventurers called the X-Men, suggesting that they could help him. Joseph left to seek them out.
The journey and joining the X-men
Before contacting the X-Men, Joseph infiltrated a paramilitary anti-mutant group called "Humanity's Last Stand". When the group captured Rogue, Joseph helped free her. Rogue was reluctant to reveal to Joseph who she thought he was, and the two traveled onto. They arrived just as Onslaught was attacking the city, and helped fight it. In the course of the battle, Joseph encountered Magneto's children: Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. Both of them were shocked my their father's apparent transformation and his gentle and generous nature. When Onslaught was defeated, with the apparent sacrifice of the Scarlet Witch among many other heroes, Joseph remained with the X-Men.
The X-Men believed Joseph to be an amnesiac Magneto, but nonetheless allowed him to join their team, only revealing to him that Magneto had been an evil criminal madman (they neglected to mention the time Magneto spent with the X-Men and New Mutants to him).
A subsequent encounter with the Acolytes convinced him that he had indeed been Magneto, though Joseph gained a greater understanding of the events that shaped the mutant terrorist. At one point, Joseph began experiencing Magneto's memories, which greatly worried the team members around him but Jospeh was a loyal member of the team saving their lives on several opportunities. Despite her constant wavering between Joseph and Gambit, and repeated failure to live up to her promises to talk to Joseph about "the man he once was", Joseph fell in love with Rogue. However, she eventually chose Gambit, leaving Joseph at loose ends still questioning who and what he was.
Who am I?
He accepted an offer from Sabra to uncover the truth, and in scientific testing revealed that Joseph was not Magneto, but a "copy": A clone that had been genetically altered. Joseph was subsequently kidnapped from the Israeli base where he was being tested, by his creator Astra. Astra revealed that she was a former associate of Magneto's that had parted ways with him over his idealism prior to the Brotherhood Of Evil Mutants going public. She then revealed to him is origins.
Death of an X-Man
He was then mind controlled by sabra into attacking Magneto in cruel revenge and after she let loose the energies he had sought to control, Joseph and Magneto faced off again. This time the world was in peril and Joseph stepped up as the only X-Man present who had a chance of saving them. With Astra removed from the scene and Magneto battling the X-Men, he took control of Earth's magnetic energy and carefully re-released it into the atmosphere. Tragically, in the process of saving the world, his cloned DNA 'burnt out' and he rapidly aged to the point of an old man, surpassing Magneto's own age. With his dying breath, he thanked Charles Xavier for all he had taught him and, using the last of his power he destroyed Magneto's machine, and became one with Earth's magnetosphere.
His most notable posthumous appearance to date has been his funeral, which was held at the Xavier Institute, with Professor Xavier giving a speech on how his death allowed their dream of peaceful co-existence with mankind to live on. He has also appeared in a series of Rogue's flashbacks that reflected on those who had been able to touch her (without being subject to her power siphoning abilities).
Magneto: Not a hero
Joseph returns at an anti-mutant rally killing all present and framing Magneto. It is revealed that Joseph is the true perpetrator of the crime when Erik asks Emma for help going into his mind through the "magnetosphere" (similar to cerebra but using electromagnetic impulses to make a map of people with his abilities). In his mind he finds that Joseph has returned, and he's "not alone".
It was revealed that Astra had reconstituted Joseph after his "death", captured him and reimplanted the copy of Magneto's mind she had originally implanted within him, causing him to think like the former villainous Magneto. During a confrontation with Joseph and his cloned versions of the Brotherhood, Magneto was able to defeat his duplicate, and Joseph was taken into SHIELD custody.
Powers and Abilities
See Magneto for a run down of his powers. Joseph has less skill and finesse as his counterpart though he has more raw power.
- Height: 6' 2"
- Weight: 190 lbs
- Eyes: Blue/Grey
- Hair: Silver