Magneto is a mutant.
As a child, Erik Lehnsherr was taken captive for having mutant abilities and was saved by Logan and Captain America. Magneto stole Operation: Rebirth from S.H.I.E.L.D., using his powers to break it out and using the chamber to begin restoring his health when Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Rogue came after him, the three having been able to find him due to Rogue's prior touching of him during the Angel incident. Nightcrawler got closer to him than the others and Magneto insisted that he needed it to survive, questioning if he was that similar to his mother Mystique to where he would want him to die. Nightcrawler declined terminating the device, though after Magneto was restored, he was rendered unconscious and pulled out of the device by Wolverine who destroyed it by pulling the pin that Nightcrawler had been so reluctant to do so himself. After he awakened, following the explosion of Operation: Rebirth, Magneto shouted Wolverine's name in outrage and began using his powers against the group of X-Men, notably subduing Rogue right before she could touch him a second time. After pinning all three down, Magneto remarked that it seemed he had them at his mercy, though made it a point to mention that Nightcrawler had spared his life and for this reason he had opted to do the same for them. He then used his powers to create an opening for them in the base and told Wolverine that "a small boy in Poland" owed him that much.