In X-Men 2 (2003) Magneto flies by standing over a piece of metal, something that leads me to believe he couldn't actually fly in that version of the X-Men universe. In the previous movie, he flew when facing Wolverine, but it could be he was repelling the metal in the subway train or something.

But in X-Men: First Class he flies when standing over nothing. Does this mean he is actually magnetizing some metal parts on his suit and or / his helmet, (it wouldn't be so comfortable to be suspended by the helmet I guess) or does he have flying powers unrelated to magnetism?

  • 4
    It seems that almost everything will fly if the magnetic field is strong enough: science.org/content/article/floating-frogs. Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 16:05
  • I had assumed that Magneto had steel insoles in his boots. They're pretty cheap.
    – Sam Azon
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 16:53
  • 3
    He wears metal-soled shoes in X-Men. Presumably he's doing the same in First Class.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 18:29
  • 5
    In Uncanny X-Men 188, he's said to be wearing a suit laced with metal; i.sstatic.net/URWAx.png
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 18:40
  • 4
    Oh, I'm sure he can fly in first class :P
    – einpoklum
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 0:22

2 Answers 2


I can't find any official confirmation that this is the method in the films, but Magneto has flown many times in the comics, sometimes explicitly by employing magnetism on his metal suit, and sometimes by stating that he's employing Earth's magnetic fields to lift his body because organic material is very faintly diamagnetic, so it can be lifted via very strong magnetic fields.

  • 1
    I believe OP is interested in the film version of Magneto
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 7, 2022 at 23:53
  • 6
    It's notable that he isn't apparently (in the films at least) capable of levitating any other people - except for Wolverine because of his adamantium skeleton, which happens far too often, to the point where you wonder why they always send the one person with this vulnerability to try and take him down rather than literally anybody else... Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 15:23
  • youtu.be/KlJsVqc0ywM video of floating frogs Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 17:15
  • 2
    This answer doesn't explain why he can't fly when he's in his various plastic prisons
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 18:03
  • 2
    {nods} And it could be that he can levitate himself just fine, but he doesn't do it in the films because it means is that he's floating in his plastic bubble, and probably has to deal with picking all of the tranquilizers darts out of his flesh every time he tries it.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 18:55

Although I couldn't officially find the exact explanation, after doing a short search, I came across this Sideshow article about Magneto's powers:

How exactly does Magneto accomplish [flight]? Several different X-men and Marvel comics have offered various explanations. One of the more frequent explanations is that he uses his powers to interact with the Earth’s gravity field to glide and[/]or repulse him in whichever direction he designs. This was apparently confirmed independently each by Apocalypse, Beast and Sinister when Apocalypse had influenced Mystique to be one of his horsemen. Apocalypse was attempting to replicate Magneto’s power in other mutants.

Some fans have surmised that Magneto achieves flight just by controlling the metal present in his armour, thus making him fly in the same way we humans drive a car. This was heavily implied by the visuals in the X-men films although never officially confirmed.

I will try to find the exact issue that specifies/refers to this argument and add it here when I find it.

  • 3
    Interact with the Earth’s gravity field??? So he can interact with all four fundamental forces of nature separately? (Electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear, and gravity.) Or all fundamental forces as one unified thing? Many physicists would be very interested in a unified theory that combines gravity and the other 3.... en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_field_theory Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 16:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.