‘Magneto And Titanium Man’ is the fifth song on Wings’ Venus And Mars album.

The lyrics refer to the Marvel Comics characters Magneto, Titanium Man, and Crimson Dynamo. Magneto was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, and the others were by Lee and Don Heck. McCartney discovered the characters in comics bought on a Jamaican holiday in 1975.

Yes, that’s about Marvel Comics. When we were on holiday in Jamaica, we’d go into the supermarket every Saturday, when they got a new stock of comics in. I didn’t use to read comics from eleven onwards, I thought I’d grown out of them, but I came back to them a couple of years ago. The drawings are great. I think you’ll find that in twenty years time some of the guys drawing them were little Picassos. I think it’s very clever how they do it. I love the names, I love the whole comic book thing.
Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney In His Own Words, Paul Gambaccini

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Magneto And Titanium Man

In 1975, around the time I wrote ‘Magneto And Titanium Man’, I was reading and looking at a lot of comic books, and as far as I was concerned, that was real art. It took some skill – not to mention perspective and imagination – to pull off these illustrations. So, I decided it would be nice to bring these two comic book characters into a song. Magneto is the archrival of the X-Men. Michael Fassbender has been playing him in the recent Marvel films. Titanium Man is one of Iron Man’s enemies. And the Crimson Dynamo turns up as well; he’s a bad guy too. So we have three baddies, and I made up a story that could have been in one of these comic books.

‘Magneto And Titanium Man’ was recorded on 27 January 1975, with overdubs following on 14 and 17 February. The sessions took place at Allen Toussaint’s Sea Saint Studios in New Orleans.

Wings performed the song during their Wings Over The World Tour in 1975-6. While playing it, images of the comic book characters were projected onto the stage backdrop.

The image of Magneto was from X-Men #43 (April 1968), by George Tuska and John Tartaglione; Titanium Man was from Iron Man #22 (February 1970) by Tuska and Mike Esposito; and Crimson Dynamo was from Avengers #130 (April 1968) by Sal Buscema and Joe Staton.

Instead of a band just standing on the stage and simply playing their instruments, we were moving into a period when shows were using theatrical lighting and various stage effects. Bands like Pink Floyd were putting on big, spectacular shows. So when we did this onstage, we had big illustrations of the comic book characters Magneto and Titanium Man on the screens behind us.

A performance of ‘Magneto And Titanium Man’ from 22 May 1976 at the Boston Garden appears on that year’s live album Wings Over America.

The McCartneys met Magneto co-creator Jack Kirby on 22 June 1976 when the Wings Over The World Tour reached Los Angeles, and gave him front row seats and backstage passes for Wings’ performance at the LA Forum. In exchange Kirby gave them an 11×17″ drawing he did of the band fleeing Magneto’s clutches.

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