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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Professor Xavier Is A Jerk!

You tell ‘em, Kitty.

Here’s a look at a few of Professor Xavier’s more prominent dick moves, in a career surprisingly littered with them for someone who’s made achieving tolerance and peaceful coexistence the life mission of himself and dozens and dozens of young men and women. And I'm not even counting the approximately 1,526 times Professor Xavier has been possessed by an evil power or temporarily turned evil.

"Ha ha! Fooled You!"

Throughout most the X-Men’s original run back in the sixties, Xavier was, for the most part, a dick. He was stern and authoritarian, brooking no sass mouth from his students, unafraid to alter a memory here or a impose his will on someone there, and nursing a creepy crush on Jean Grey. The zenith of his Silver Age dickery (an era that was a Golden Age of superhero dickery) came when, after learning of an incoming alien invasion, Xavier must go underground to prepare a defense against these invaders. For some reason, this must be done secretly, so he asks recently reformed shapeshifting villain Changeling to take his place and imbues him with a portion of his mental powers (hopefully, Xavier won’t need his full strength to defeat the aliens) so better maintain the ruse. The switch is made, and no one, not even his X-Men (except for Jean Grey) is told the truth. Kind of a dick move, especially when the Changeling gets himself killed, and the X-Men not only mourn his loss, but break up and go their separate ways for awhile (Jean Grey, sworn to secrecy, keeps quiet, using, I assume, her friends and teammates very real grief as a template for a very reasonable facsimile thereof), all while the real Xavier stays hidden in his underground bunker. Of course, once Xavier does pop out, saying “surprise, I’m not really dead!” the X-Men are too relieved at not being alien love slaves that they don’t give him the bitch-slapping he deserves.

And with that third mention of Changeling in as many posts, this blog has devoted more space to the 60s X-Men since that lewd Marvel Girl/Bernard the Poet fanfic site was taken down.

“She’s not just any stewardess…she’s a ten.”

For a bald guy in a wheel chair, Xavier always managed to get around, if you catch my drift. But while many were the ladies that he loved, far fewer were the ladies who could tear him away from his students and his dream. But when badly injured and dying, Xavier entrusts the well being of his school and his mission to a trying-to-be-a-better-guy Magneto. Moments later, Xavier’s alien girlfriend, hanging with the Starjammers, pops up, citing the advanced medicine aboard her ship as being the only thing that can save his life. All well and good for the short term, but when it becomes less convenient for the Starjammers to get Xavier back to earth, he figures “eh, what the hell. I deserve some time off. I’m sure Magneto’ll handle everything fine.”Of course, this stuck in the craw of some of Xavier’s older students, many of whom Magneto had been trying to kill since before they had zits and whom still greeted Magneto’s recent reformation with a certain amount of skepticism. But rather than help smooth over these rough edges, Xavier decided he’d rather hangout in space getting alien tail. Way to pull a Rod Belding, Chuck.

“I’m not your Baby-Daddy!”

Remember all those ladies I mentioned? Well, one of them was a woman named Gabriel Haller, a patient at a hospital in Israel specializing in helping Holocaust victims. Xavier worked there alongside Magneto for a time before founding the X-Men (real ethical, Chuck, sleeping with one of your patients). Well, the two did what recovering mental patients and their bald quasi-doctors are prone to do, but before you can say “honey, I’m late” Gabriel was kidnapped by Hydra, led by Baron Von Strucker, and Xavier and Magneto had to rescue her. Magneto left with some Nazi gold to jumpstart his evil plans and Xavier returned to America, parting amicably with Gaby but still ignorant of his love child, who happened to be an autistic mutant with multiple personality disorder. Only later, after Haller took her son to Moira MacTaggert (another old flame of Xavier’s) and Moira realized she was in over her head and called in Xavier, did he learn that he had a son named David (aka Legion). At which point he promptly promised to always be there for his son, except…he wasn’t.

Instead he left Legion in the care of Moira on Muir Island, where he was subsequently possessed by an old nemesis of Xavier, the Shadow King, whose defeat led to Legion entering a catatonic state. Rather than using his awesome mental powers to help the boy, Xavier instead decided to ignore him until Legion recovered on his own, more powerful and insane than ever, and subsequently went back in time to kill Magneto so that Xavier would have more time to spend with his son. Of course, Legion missed, killing Xavier instead, wiping himself from existence and creating a timeline in which Apocalypse ruled North America instead. Nice parenting there. Xavier should write a book.

“O Brother Where Art Thou?”

So remember when the original X-Men were captured by the living mutant island (don’t ask) Krakoa, and Professor Xavier recruited a new team of older, more international X-Men, including Storm, Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler, to rescue the originals? Of course you do. Well, it turns out that second team was actually the third team he sent to rescue his original charges. Before turning to the likes of Banshee and Sunfire, Xavier called upon a group of four young mutants receiving tutelage from Moira MacTaggert on Muir Island, including Cyclops and Havok’s long lost brother. Of course, Moira wasn’t training her students for combat like Xavier did with his X-Men, but desperate, Chuck used his mental powers to “download” the necessary fighting abilities into Moira’s charges and sent them on their merry way. Of course, they failed miserably and were all believed dead-though they did manage to free Cyclops from Krakoa’s island-y clutches, who returned to lead Xavier’s second group of replacement X-Men, this time a group of more experienced individuals, in successfully rescuing the surviving original X-Men. Moria’s students? Still dead.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Xavier decided that the X-Men were so traumatized by the deaths that he wiped all knowledge of the events from their memories, so that as far as they were concerned, there was only one, successful, rescue attempt. And I’m sure Xavier did it for their own good, not just to cover up the fact that he was a giant dick who sent poorly trained students on a rescue mission that led to their deaths. Needless to say, when Cyclops's not-as-dead-as-they-thought but now-criminally-insane brother showed up and spilled the beans, Cyclops kicked Xavier out of the mansion and off the team.

At the time, Xavier was powerless, so he couldn’t just make everyone forget again. Otherwise, I’m pretty sure he would have.


  1. You know, that Nazi gold must be some cheap, unpure stuff if Magneto can levitate it with magnetism.

  2. Wow that last one in particular is a pretty big dick move. One for sending in non-combat trained rookies into a situation that veterans couldn't handle and then again for the mind wiping aspect of it.

    The whole mind wiping thing seemed to take a jump after that Identity Crisis thing with Dr. Light came out. After that it seemed like everybody had something happen to them in the past that they couldn't remember for some reason. Gotta love cheep story telling devices.

  3. "Hey Identity Crisis sold big! It had mind wiping in it. The kids must love it! Mind wiping in all our books now!"

    Although to be fair to the X-Men writers, Professor X has been wiping people's minds since long before we were born. I'd argue it was the single most used aspect of his power back in the 60s...

    As for the gold, well, I have two explanations:

    1. There was a slab of metal upon which the gold rested (after all, the Nazis had to drag it around somehow) and Magneto was levitating that.
    2. As far as Marvel is concerned, metal=magnetic. Let's try not to bog things down with your talk of "non-magnetic" metals, Professor Science.

    Personally, my vote goes for #2.

  4. So who is going to be the uber geek and whip out their copy of The Official Handbook To The Marvel Universe to see just how Magneto's power really works?

  5. Also he blocked Wolverine's memories! Good job Prof X!

  6. Lot of bad writing and bad stories Xavier was involved in, especially the last one.

    Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the coolest thing in the Danger Room for the X-Men, but it makes Xavier ruthless for training teens in a room which could cause their possible death. It leads to writers writing to the character in Xavier to do those things to teens plus bad line by Stan Lee of loving Jean.

    Side note: Kitty Pride should have joined the New Mutants. She would have probably been the leader and she had the hots for Doug Ramsey (who joined the team later).

  7. @Samuel: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the coolest thing in the Danger Room for the X-Men, but it makes Xavier ruthless for training teens in a room which could cause their possible death.

    John Byrne apparently felt the same way, and it's something we'll discuss in the post examining issue #122, I believe.

    Kitty Pride should have joined the New Mutants.

    I always liked that Kitty argued that she had been through too much as an X-Man to join the New Mutants (who were never supposed to be combat ready). It may not be logical, but I tend to agree with her.


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