8 Reasons Professor Xavier is a Goddamn Psychopath
Professor Charles Xavier is the respected, benevolent and caring founder and leader of the X-Men, the best selling superhero team in comic history. He’s the kind of character you’d want Patrick Stewart to play on the big screen. He’s strong, but wise. He’s welcoming but steadfast. But, what I’ve learned from reading the original Silver Age run (inspired by the fantastic ‘Rachel and Miles Xplain the X-Men’ podcast) is that Prof X didn’t set up the X-Men to change the world for the better…he did it because he’s a full blown maniac.
8. Random Metal Tentacles
This is a minor one compared to what we will see later in list, but it hints at the darkness to come. On occasion the Prof would make use of a belt device that he invented, that would allow him to walk unaided. Whilst using it to walk down the stairs to meet his students the device failed and Xavier began to fall down the stairs…saved by the giant metal tentacles that sprung out of the wall and caught him. Why did he put those there? How did he anticipate that his gadget would fall there? Are there giant metal tentacles through out the mansion?
Also is there some reason he doesn’t want to share this technology with the rest of the world?
7. His Team Don’t Have Access to Any Resources
Although the X-Men live in the mansion and work for the Professor as his vigilante superhero team (risking their lives in the process) they don’t have any access to his wide resources. Xavier buys private jets, Rolls Royces, helicopters even giant metal tentacles but when they need to launch a rescue mission for Xavier himself they can’t get to Europe. They hit the streets by hitchhiking because they don’t have bus fare to work as construction workers and buskers to raise cash for commercial airline tickets.
6. He Faked His Death and Let the Teenagers in his Care Fend for Themselves
Shortly after humiliating themselves publicly (in addition to the uniforms they wear) to save Xavier, he dies while fighting a one-shot villain named ‘Grotesk’. This would be tragic enough but that wasn’t even Professor X! He’d swapped places with someone else so he could secretly plan to defend against an alien invasion (wait, what?), and decided to let the X-Men think he was dead, go their separate ways, fight Magneto, Juggernaut, The Avengers, The Sentinels and whatever else by themselves while carrying the extra burden of trying to make a living for themselves…you don’t want to let them know you’re alright there, Charles?
Hang on, how did he fake his death?
5. He Let Someone Die in His Place
So there was guy called Kevin Sydney, otherwise known as Changeling, and he could change his appearance. He encountered the X-Men as a member of ‘Factor 3’, an evil organisation. Having seen the error of his ways he came to Professor X, who requests that he take his place for reasons of…no idea. Sure, Xavier snuck off to plan to fight aliens but this was pretty random. Kevin Sydney was the one who died fighting Grotesk and, sure, Prof X was planning a fight with aliens and, sure, Sydney has a terminal illness but XAVIER STILL LET HIM DIE IN HIS PLACE! Did anyone inform his loved ones?
4. He Erased a Man’s Memories for No Reason
The Vanisher was difficult case for the X-Men. He had the ability to immediately teleport. Unlike the better known Nightcrawler he didn’t have to see where he was going or do the bamf, he’d move instantly. When the original five teammates couldn’t keep hold of him, Prof X himself stepped up and…erased his memory of his crimes and his mutant power. Also any gang members hanging around because fuck it, why not? This is an extreme cause of action, essentially deleting this dudes identity. And this was only in the second issue!
3. The Danger Room is a Murder Basement
The Danger Room in the modern X-Men comics is a holographic training facility. They can concoct any setting or scenario they want and train in safety. Not in the old days though. Back then it was towers of fire, crushing machines, bottomless pits, swinging spikes and heat seeking missiles. ‘Danger’ Room wasn’t just a name – this place was going to straight up kill any kid who slips up during their training sessions.
2. He’s in Love With a Teenage Student
During the early years of X-Men, Scott Summers and Jean Grey harboured secret feelings for each other. Being one of the long running couples of comics, we know how it turned out (with Scott making out with one of their enemies while standing on Jean’s grave, or course). It took them a while to get together though, because Scott felt he didn’t deserve happiness due to his devastating power and Jean was confused by his stand-offish attitude. Also Warren (Angel) was trying to score with Jean, creating a rivalry between team-mates.
Also Xavier was in love with Jean. The teenaged student who he has mentored since she was child. Creepy.
This never got brought up again.
1. He Keeps his Brother Chained Up in His Basement
You may not know this but Juggernaut is Xavier’s half brother. The two have never gotten along, with years of dissent culminating in an event during the Korean War when they sheltered in a cave containing a magic crystal, giving Juggernaut his powers. The unstoppable lunatic attacked the mansion early in the series run and was taken down by the X-Men. After being left comatose and under arrest, Xavier took custody of his half-brother to ‘care’ for him. By ‘care’ we mean he literally propped him up in a chair, chained him down and bared the door. He was kept here in secret though…and one wonders how he managed to get him there in the first place.
Isaac Asimov wrote that maintaining the internal logic of a story is essential. How can an audience be expected to accept a fantastic premise if a story is full of contradictions? I found your post interesting?
And that’s not even getting into the fact that he is the absolute worst civil rights leader ever. “Humans don’t like mutants. So the solution, clearly, is to hide away from humans, only appearing while masked to engage in battle with other mutants. That’s sure to change public opinion!”
And then he indoctrinated everyone he recruited into following his same isolationist philosophy.
Yep. Other than Namor or Toad, he’s kind of the person I want LEAST in charge of the mutants.
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