Magneto is a fantastic character. His methods for trying to bring about liberation and revolution to help his people and avoid repeating the horrors that he saw in the holocaust, and noble and reasonable.
But he is framed as…
Welp, Magneto is clearly a bad guy and all that, no disagreement from me on that front.
I do think the original poster is on to something about villains versus heroes though. Complicated villains that think they are the good guys usually want to disrupt the status quo and fix society in some sort of drastic way (not aways genocide). Heroes are usually protecting the status quo from this villain even though they’ll often admit that their status quo sucks.
Solidus and Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2 are really good examples of this. Solidus wants to shut down all digital communication in New York using an EMP wave in order to save the world from the Patriots. Raiden knows the Patriots control everything and thinks that sucks, but he isn’t willing to completely destroy the global economy in order to disrupt their plans.
Every time I play Final Fantasy VII, I’m a little disappointed that Sakaguchi & co didn’t explore the fact that the main characters start the game AS TERRORISTS. It was a bold move, one that I don’t think anyone would take in a post 9/11 world. However, the characters only seem to mention in passing that AVALANCE is killing innocents as part of its missions. FF7 could’ve focused the entire game on the AVALANCHE vs Shinra conflict and really explored the issue, but hey, aliens and Sephiroth showed up.