I am Magneto, and I would like to register a complaint. Frankly, all of these new mutants are terrible.

I was thrilled when I heard that there was a whole class of people who had been recently endowed, they thought, by the coronavirus vaccine with magnetic powers they could not explain. Things stuck to them, they claimed, that had not stuck to them previously. Coins. Silverware. Even the occasional key — which was so encouraging to me because keys are made of brass, and thus suggested a level of power and control that went beyond simple magnetism.

Sherri Tenpenny, an osteopath, testified in Ohio that, “I’m sure you’ve seen the pictures all over the Internet of people who have had these shots and now they’re magnetized. They can put a key on their forehead. It sticks. They can put spoons and forks all over them and they can stick.” When I heard this, I was more excited than I have been in years. People who could control metal! Magnetic people! I felt full of hope for mutantkind. These new mutants were appearing in state legislature after state legislature, testifying to the development of these new powers, and I said to myself, “Finally everything is coming up Magneto!” I was so excited.

I put on my newest, most purple helmet and my best cape, and I manipulated the Earth’s magnetic field to fly myself to Ohio as fast as I could. I was so excited to recruit new members for the Brotherhood of Mutants and to stand together against the scourge of petty, small-minded humanity using our combined powers. We would start small with forks and cake servers and gradually work up until we were lifting cars. I would guide and teach them. Maybe among their number was an Omega Class mutant! The next time I wanted to move the Golden Gate Bridge, I would not be alone in the effort. I would have a whole army of comrades equipped with the same abilities.

And let me tell you, I was pretty let down.

I met the people who were saying that metal objects now stuck to them because of their vaccines and gave them a whole recruitment speech about how they were the next stage in evolution, but once I said the word “evolution,” they looked at me doubtfully. Then I asked them to show off their abilities, and — I hate to say this but, have you ever been at a friend’s amateur magic show, where the magic show is not going quite as was hoped, and there’s a lot of saying “hold on” and “wait, hang on” and “sorry” as they fail several times running to identify your card, and then a dead bird falls unprompted out of someone’s hat? Frankly, that would have been an improvement.

Nobody, as far as I could tell, was magnetic at all. They also said they would be able to do something involving 5G, but if they could, they never explained what it was, or did it. One nurse who was testifying in Ohio put a key and a bobby pin on herself and they both fell off immediately. “Explain this,” she said, which I could — the surface tension between a flat metallic object and the body’s surface oils that can sometimes hold objects on the body had failed her.

It was a bigger waste of time than trying to get mutants and human beings to see eye to eye (which will never happen). These were just people who had been misinformed, who had no powers whatsoever. It made me so upset that I unstapled everything in the room, just to be petty. I drew myself up in a huff (using magnetism) and prepared to depart.

Professor X had also arrived, I noticed, animated by the same hope that had first motivated me, and he watched the proceedings with the same growing disdain.

I said, “Chuck, maybe you can do something with them?” but Professor X said he had seen what was in their minds and would pass.

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