As Magneto has control of magnetism, can he create darkness? Light itself is an electromagnetic wave, and eliminating the magnetic part of light might cause it to be “invisible” to the human eye.

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    "eliminating the magnetic part of light might cause it be "invisible" to the human eye" - uh WUT? That is unscientific even in DC physics. Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 16:17
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    Most of the electromagnetic spectrum is invisible to the human eye, the visible part of light is a very small compared to the rest of the spectrum which may include microwaves, x-rays and so on.
    – user15235
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 16:58
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    "Unscientific in DC physics"... I'm just unable to parse this. We must consider the possibility that user23024 is a Marvel comic writer who has come here just to screw with us all.
    – John O
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 1:14
  • And if he can control light, could he single-handedly take over the Illuminati???? Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 23:23

5 Answers 5


First of all, you can't "eliminate the 'magenetic' part of light". That's not how physics works. You can ask on Physics.SE for extended details. Having said that, light is an electromagnetic phenomenon, and as such can be manipulated by Magneto according to canon:

He can also generate electromagnetic pulses of great strength and generate and manipulate electromagnetic energy down to photons. He can turn invisible by warping visible light around his body.[93] - via Wikipedia, with ukltimate source Vision and the Scarlet Witch #4 (February 1983)

  • This answer would be even better with the comic panel from @Valorum 's answer which references the same issue.
    – StarHawk
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 22:38

The short answer is yes. In the comic-book canon, Magneto demonstrates a wide range of powers that aren't seen in the films including a force-field strong enough to block the she-hulk and the ability to fly (whereas he only has the ability to influence metal in the films).

In "Vision and the Scarlet Witch : Vol 1 #4" we see him 'wrapping himself in a cocoon of metal' which he then uses to bend light around him;

Magneto invisible

The same cocoon apparently allows him to 'traverse vast distances of empty space' without a space suit.

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    It's curious that the cloak seems to block sound too, since that's not an electromagnetic phenomenon.
    – Bobson
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:17
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    @Bobson - Pointing out obvious flaws in comics is like shooting fish in a barrel
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 19:46
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    It's true - it just makes you wonder where the line between "I'm using my magnetic powers to become invisible" and "I have a separate power to become perfectly stealthy" is.
    – Bobson
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 21:43
  • @Bobson - If someone walked past me that I couldn't see, I'd be inclined to believe they were invisible, regardless of how they'd achieved it
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 22:16
  • @Bobson Well if he can manipulate electromagnetic force, that's the fundamental force responsible for intermolecular forces. Sound is a pressure wave that is transmitted by intermolecular collisions. It actually kinda works, if you're willing to really stretch to make it work.
    – JMac
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 2:11

Sort of. Maybe.

If we assume some semblance of physics as we currently know it, then Magneto cannot "create darkness", because darkness is not a "thing" one "creates". But he could prevent light from entering some space, which would then appear dark to people inside it. Or he could prevent light from leaving some space, which would then appear dark to people outside. Neither of these is quite the same thing as what you asked, but they might achieve similar purposes.

Then again, we're also talking about comic book superheroes. "Physics as we currently know it" may not be a very safe assumption.


I was looking for the actual Marvel Encyclopedia Entry, but no luck finding it online. However, several sources, from Wikipedia to fan made wiki's to the Marvel Database to a general Comic Book database seem to concur that Eric has an established control over the entire Electromagnetic spectrum.....

enter image description here

As a result of this, Magneto can logically manipulate all forms of energy which fall within that spectrum. These include [and I'm paraphrasing from the original encyclopedia article here] pure electricity, photons, light waves, heat waves, and even radio waves, though he is not as practiced in these forms as he is with pure magnetism.

There are examples of him using these other powers in the comics, but its been so many years and so many issues, I honestly am not sure where to begin searching.

Here's a picture of him generating pure electricity in Avengers: Disassembled ....

enter image description here

Here's one with him basically saying how he can control photons via his electromagnetism...

enter image description here

And here's an official Marvel informational describing some of his auxiliary powers...

enter image description here

Note this section here, highlighted by me. It literally states, flat out, how he can control infrared [basically the higher spectrum of light] energy and heat, as well as magnetism.

enter image description here

I think that pretty conclusively shows that, via his control over the EM spectrum, electricity, light and heat are well within his range of control.

Now, to be fair, this is not the same as "Creating darkness", which is essentially the absence of light. I think what is being asked here is one of 2 things:

  1. Can Magneto create dark matter?
  2. Can Magneto manipulate light to essentially remove all perceptible light from an area, thus shrouding it in darkness.

To which I would postulate..

  1. No. Darkmatter isn't just the "absence of light", but a complete other phenomenon. There has been no evidence to show Magnus has any control over that, but other Marvel characters [one of Galactus Heralds, I can't recall which exactly] does.
  2. Theoretically, yes, he can...though I know of no comics where he has yet. It's simply a matter of pulling all photos to him, or removing all visible light from a specific space.... its essentially the same way in which Sue Richards turns invisible. The difference being he wouldn't be doing it from one object, more so than reorganizing the patterns of waves or photons so that they don't "hit" our eyes, thus creating darkness.

Essentially, Magneto would be creating a similar effect of when there is a New Moon and no stars; because there is no perceivable light for our eyes to absorb bouncing off objects, it appears far darker than usual.

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    Dark matter is not "dark" either. It's matter that we cannot see or interact with.It doesn't block or absorb light. +1 for the rest though! Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 21:43
  • "convert infrared radiation into intense heat" doesn't make a lot of sense. Infrared (and all EM for that matter) is converted into heat by any absorbing body anyway. Would that mean he can make anything that is relatively transparent or reflective into a good absorber (e.g. make the nitrogen and oxygen in the air black to infrared wavelengths)? (I'm asking kinda rhetorically -- I don't think the writer had a strong grasp of real physics, so interpreting it is arguably futile.)
    – Jacob C.
    Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 22:39
  • @LightnessRaceswithMonica Agreed, but I was using it in the sense more of the tangible energy from the Dark Dimension, the stuff that Cloak runs off of in the MNarvel Universe, as well as the actual literal phenomenon. I appreciate the detail add to the answer, though; thank you, friend.
    – Russhiro
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 1:23
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    @Russhiro I see! Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 11:20
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    @Russhiro I realize heat is the primary source of IR (& of all light, really -- the hotter an object, the more incandescence in visible,UV, etc.). But "transmuting" any EM into "pure heat" just means making it get absorbed. (Without matter there'd be nothing to heat, so to make sense we need to discuss a medium/something it's incident upon.) So to be doing anything different than happens already, he'd have to raise opacity of a medium (like N₂ & O₂ which are almost entirely transparent to IR, unlike CO₂) or lower reflectivity of something that's ordinarily a good IR reflector (e.g. aluminum).
    – Jacob C.
    Commented Dec 3, 2019 at 1:08

Just as Magneto can't control electricity, he can't control light. His abilities are strictly to metal. But he can still use metal to reflect the light.

  • being shiny isn't the same as being invisible...inewidea.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/20100423301.jpg
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 19, 2014 at 23:24
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    His abilities relate not to metal, but to magnetism. He's called Magneto. Also light and electricity are like two different things Commented Nov 21, 2019 at 21:41
  • But.... he can control electricity, though. Several comics have shown him channeling raw electricity to increase his power, shutting off the electrical power of everything from weapons to cities, feeding power to Asteroid M, or redirecting Storm's lightning. That pretty much constitutes electrical control, partner. Makes sense; manipulation over the EM spectrum would include raw electricity.
    – Russhiro
    Commented Nov 22, 2019 at 1:46

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