Professor Charles Xavier
Art by Aaron Lopresti
|First appearance||The X-Men #1 (September 1963)|
|Created by||Stan Lee
|Alter ego||Charles Francis Xavier|
Brotherhood of Mutants
|Notable aliases||Onslaught, Consort-Royal, Founder, Doctor X, Warlord, Entity, Prisoner M-13|
Professor Charles Francis Xavier (also known as Professor X) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics and is the founder and leader of the X-Men. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963).
Xavier is a member of a subspecies of humans known as mutants who are born with superhuman abilities. The founder of the X-Men, he himself is an exceptionally powerful telepath who can read and control minds of others. While running a private school in upstate New York in order to both shelter and train mutants from around the globe, Xavier also fights to serve the greater good by promoting peaceful coexistence and equality between humans and mutants in a world where often zealous anti-mutant bigotry is widespread.
Throughout much of the character's history in comics, Xavier is a paraplegic variously confined to either a wheelchair or a form of personal hovercraft. One of the world's most powerful telepathic mutant minds, Xavier is also something of a scientific genius, having earned Ph.Ds in genetics, biophysics, psychology, and anthropology, as well as an M.D. in psychiatry. He's put his combined talents to use by serving as a leading authority on genetics, mutations, and psionic powers. Furthermore, he has shown noteworthy talents in devising equipment to greatly enhance psionic powers. Xavier is perhaps best known in this regard for the creation of a device called Cerebro, a technology that serves to detect and track those individuals possessing the mutant gene, at the same time greatly expanding the gifts of those with existing psionic abilities.
Although quite at odds with his consistent use of the X-Men to fight threats of evil by engaging in purely physical battle, from a social policy and philosophical perspective Xavier has been shown to deeply resent the violent methods of those like his former close friend and occasional arch enemy, the supervillain Magneto. Instead, he's presented his platform as espousing uncompromising pacifism in order to see his dream to fruition - one that seeks to live harmoniously alongside humanity, just the same as it desires full-fledged civil rights and equality for all of mutantkind. Xavier's actions and goals in life have therefore quite often been compared to those of Martin Luther King, Jr. for his involvement with the American civil rights struggle, whereas Magneto is often compared with the more militant civil rights activist Malcolm X.
Indeed, the character's creation and development occurred simultaneously with the civil rights struggle, taking place as it did in the 1960s, while Xavier's first appearance dates to 1963. The fictionalized plight on paper of a mutantkind faced with exceptional intolerance, prejudice and blind hatred was done in large part to better illustrate to audiences of the day what was transpiring across the United States, just the same as it also served to further promote ideals of tolerance and equality for all.
Patrick Stewart portrayed the character in five films of the X-Men film series and in various video games, while James McAvoy portrayed a younger version of the character in the 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class, with both actors reprising the role in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past.
Creation and influences
Stan Lee has stated that the physical inspiration of Professor Xavier was from Academy Award–winning actor Yul Brynner. Professor Xavier's character development has been inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Writer Scott Lobdell established Xavier's middle name to be Francis in Uncanny X-Men #328 (January 1996).
Xavier’s goals are to promote the peaceful affirmation of mutant rights, to mediate the co-existence of mutants and humans, to protect mutants from violent humans and to protect society from antagonistic mutants, including his old friend, Magneto. To achieve these aims, he founded Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters (later named the Xavier Institute) to teach mutants to explore and control their powers. Its first group of students was the original X-Men (Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Angel, and Beast). Xavier's students consider him a visionary and often refer to their mission as "Xavier's dream". He is highly regarded by others in the Marvel Universe, respected by various governments and trusted by several other superhero teams, including the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. However, he also has a manipulative streak which has resulted in several significant fallings-out with allies and students.
He often acts as a public advocate for mutant rights and is the authority most of the Marvel superhero community turns to for advice on mutants. Despite this, his status as a mutant himself and originator of the X-Men only became public during the 2001 story "E Is for Extinction". He also appears in almost all of the X-Men animated series and in many video games, although usually as a non-playable character because of his disability. Patrick Stewart plays him in the 2000s film series, as well as providing his voice in some of the X-Men videogames (including some not connected to the film series).
In a number of comics, Xavier is shown to have a dark side, a part of himself that he struggles to suppress. Perhaps the most notable appearance of this character element is in the Onslaught storyline, in which the crossover event's antagonist is a physical manifestation of that dark side. Also, Onslaught is created in the most violent act Xavier claims to have done: erasing the mind of Magneto. In X-Men #106 (August 1977), the new X-Men fight images of the original team, which have been created by what Xavier says is his "evil self ... who would use his powers for personal gain and conquest", which he says he is normally able to keep in check. In the 1984 four-part series titled The X-Men and the Micronauts, Xavier's dark desires manifest themselves as the Entity and threaten to destroy the Micronauts' universe.
In other instances, Xavier is shown to be secretive and manipulative. During the Onslaught storyline, the X-Men find Xavier's files, the "Xavier Protocols", which detail how to kill many of the characters, including Xavier himself, should the need ever arise, such as if they went rogue. Astonishing X-Men vol. 3, #12 (August 2005) reveals that when Xavier realizes that the Danger Room has become sentient, he keeps it trapped and experiments on it for years, an act that Cyclops calls "the oppression of a new life" and equates to humanity's treatment of mutants (however, X-Men Legacy #220 - 224 reveals that Xavier did not intend for the Danger Room to become sentient: it was an accident, and Xavier sought a way to free Danger, but was unable to find a way to accomplish this without deleting her sentience as well).
Fictional character biography
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Charles Francis Xavier was born in New York City to the wealthy Brian Xavier, a well-respected nuclear scientist, and Sharon Xavier. After Brian dies in an accident, his science partner Kurt Marko comforts and then marries the grieving Sharon. When Xavier's telepathic mutant powers emerge, he discovers Marko cares only about his mother's money.
After the wedding, Kurt moves in with the Xaviers, bringing with him his son Cain. Kurt quickly grows neglectful of Sharon, driving her to alcoholism, and abuses both Charles and Cain. Cain takes out his frustrations and insecurities on his stepbrother. Charles uses his telepathic powers to read Cain's mind and explore the extent of his psychological damage, which only leads to Cain becoming more aggressive toward him and the young Xavier feeling Cain's pain firsthand.
Sharon dies soon after, and a fight erupts between Cain and Charles that causes some of Kurt's lab equipment to explode. Mortally wounded, Kurt drags the two children out before dying, and admits he was partly responsible for Brian's death.
With help from his powers and his natural genius, Xavier becomes an excellent student and athlete, though he gives up the latter, believing his powers give him an unfair advantage. Due to his powers, by the time he graduates from high school, Charles loses all of his hair. He graduates with honors at the age of 16 from Harvard University. In graduate studies, he receives Ph.D.s in Genetics, Biophysics, Psychology, and Anthropology with a two-year residence at Pembroke College, Oxford University. He also receives an M.D. in Psychiatry while spending several years in London. He is later appointed Adjunct Professor at Columbia University. Origins of Marvel Comics: X-Men #1 (2010) presents a different version of events, suggesting a scholarship to Oxford University rescued him from his abusive home, after which he "never looked back", suggesting he began his academic career as a very young man at Oxford. His stepbrother is resentful of him.[volume & issue needed]
At graduate school, he meets a Scottish girl named Moira Kinross, a fellow genetics student with whom he falls in love. The two agree to get married, but soon, Xavier is drafted into the Korean War. He carves himself a niche as a soldier in search and rescue missions alongside Shadowcat's father, Carmen Pryde, and witnesses Cain's transformation into Juggernaut when he touches a ruby with an inscription on it in an underground temple. During the war, he receives a letter from Moira telling him that she is breaking up with him. He later discovers that Moira married her old boyfriend Joseph MacTaggert, who abuses her.
Deeply depressed when Moira broke off their engagement without explanation, Xavier began traveling around the world as an adventurer after leaving the army. In Cairo, he meets a young girl named Ororo Munroe (later known as Storm), who is a pickpocket, and the Shadow King, a powerful mutant who is posing as Egyptian crime lord Amahl Farouk. Xavier defeats the Shadow King, barely escaping with his life. This encounter leads to Xavier's decision to devote his life to protecting humanity from evil mutants and safeguarding innocent mutants from human oppression.
Xavier visits his friend Daniel Shomron, who runs a clinic for traumatized Holocaust victims in Haifa, Israel. There, he meets a man going by the name of Magnus (who would later become Magneto), a Holocaust survivor who works as a volunteer in the clinic, and Gabrielle Haller, a woman driven into a catatonic coma by the trauma she experienced. Xavier uses his mental powers to break her out of her catatonia and the two fall in love. Xavier and Magneto become good friends, although neither immediately reveals to the other that he is a mutant. The two hold lengthy debates hypothesizing what will happen if humanity is faced with a new super-powered race of humans. While Xavier is optimistic, Magneto's experiences in the Holocaust lead him to believe that humanity will ultimately oppress the new race of humans as they have done with other minorities. The two friends reveal their powers to each other when they fight Nazi Baron Wolfgang von Strucker and his Hydra agents, who kidnap Gabrielle because she knows the location of their secret cache of gold. Magneto attempts to kill Strucker but Xavier stops him. Realizing that his and Xavier's views on mutant-human relations are incompatible, Magneto leaves with the gold. Charles stays in Israel for some time, but he and Gabrielle separate on good terms, neither knowing that she is pregnant with his son, who grows up to become the mutant Legion.
In a strange town near the Himalayas, Xavier encounters an alien calling himself Lucifer, the advance scout for an invasion by his race, and foils his plans. In retaliation, Lucifer drops a huge stone block on Xavier, crippling his legs. After Lucifer leaves, a young woman named Sage hears Xavier's telepathic cries for help and rescues him, bringing him to safety, beginning a long alliance between the two.
In a hospital in India he is brought to an American nurse, Amelia Voght, who looks after him and, as she sees to his recovery, they fall in love. When he is released from the hospital, the two moved into an apartment in Bombay together. Amelia is troubled to find Charles studying mutation, as she is a mutant and unsettled by it, though she calms when he reveals himself to be a mutant as well. They eventually move to the United States, living on Xavier's family estate. But the night Scott Summers moves into Xavier's mansion, Amelia leaves him, believing Charles would have changed his view and that mutants should lie low. Yet he is recruiting them to what she believes is a lost cause. Charles tries to force her to stay with his mental powers, but immediately ashamed by this, lets her go. She later becomes a disciple of Magneto.
Over the years, Charles makes a name for himself as geneticist and psychologist, apparently renowned enough that the Greys were referred to him when no other expert could help their catatonic daughter, Jean. Xavier trains her in the use of her telekinesis, while inhibiting her telepathic abilities until she matures. Around this time, he also starts working with fellow mutation expert, Karl Lykos, as well as Moira MacTaggert again, who built a mutant research station on Muir Island. Apparently, Charles had gotten over Moira in his travels to the Greek island of Kirinos. Xavier discusses his candidates for recruitment to his personal strike force, the X-Men, with Moira, including those he passes over, which are Kurt Wagner, Piotr Rasputin, Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, and Ororo Munroe. Xavier also trains Tessa in order to spy on Sebastian Shaw.
Xavier founded Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, which provides a safe haven for mutants and teaches them to master their abilities. In addition, he seeks to foster mutant-human relations by providing his superhero team, the X-Men, as an example of mutants acting in good faith, as he told FBI agent Fred Duncan. With his inherited fortune, he uses his ancestral mansion at 1407 Graymalkin Lane in Salem Center, Westchester County, New York as a base of operations with technologically advanced facilities, including the Danger Room - later, Fantomex mentions that Xavier is a billionaire with a net worth of $3.5 billion. Presenting the image of a stern teacher, Xavier makes his students endure a rigorous training regime.
Xavier's first five students are Marvel Girl, Cyclops, Beast, Iceman, and Angel, who become the original X-Men. After he completes recruiting the original team of X-Men, he sends them into battle with Magneto.
Throughout most of his time with the team, Xavier uses his telepathic powers to keep in constant contact with his students and provides instructions and advice when needed. In addition, he uses a special machine called Cerebro, which enhances his ability to detect mutants and to allow the team to find new students in need of the school.
Among the obstacles Xavier faces is his old friend, Magneto, who has grown into an advocate of mutant superiority since their last encounter and who believes the only solution to mutant persecution is domination over humanity.
When anthropologist Bolivar Trask resurfaces the "mutant problem", Xavier counters him in a televised debate, however, he appears arrogant and Trask sends his mutant-hunting robot Sentinels to terrorize mutants. The X-Men dispatch them, but Trask sees the error in his ways too late as he is killed by his creations.
At one point, Xavier seemingly dies during the X-Men's battle with the sub-human Grotesk, but it is later revealed that Xavier arranged for a reformed former villain named Changeling to impersonate him while he went into hiding to plan a defense against an invasion by the extraterrestrial Z'Nox, imparting a portion of his telepathic abilities to the Changeling to complete the disguise.
When the X-Men are captured by the sentient island Krakoa, Xavier assembles a new team to rescue them, including Cyclops' and Havok's long-lost brother, Vulcan, along with Darwin, Petra, and Sway. This new team, composed of students of Dr. Moira MacTaggert, was sent to rescue the original X-Men from Krakoa. However, after rescuing Cyclops, McTaggert's former students were seemingly killed. Upon Cyclops' return, Xavier removed Cyclops' memories of the death of Vulcan and his teammates, and began assembling yet another team of X-Men.
Xavier's subsequent rescue team consists of Banshee, Colossus, Sunfire, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine, and Thunderbird. After the mission, the older team of X-Men, except for Cyclops, leave the school, believing they no longer belong there, and Xavier mentors the new X-Men.
Xavier forms a psychic bond across galaxies with Princess Lilandra from the Shi'ar Empire. When they finally meet, it is love at first sight. She implores the professor to stop her mad brother, Shi'ar Emperor D'Ken, and he instantly aids her by deploying his X-Men. When Jean Grey returns from the Savage Land to tell him that all the X-Men are dead, he shuts down the school and travels with Lilandra to her kingdom, where she is crowned Empress and he is treated like a child or a trophy husband.
Xavier senses the changes taking place in Jean Grey, and returns to Earth to help and resume leadership of the X-Men. Shortly thereafter he battles his pupil after she becomes Dark Phoenix and destroys a populated planet in the Shi'ar Empire. It hurts Xavier to be on the opposite side of Lilandra, but he has no other choice but to challenge the Shi'ar Imperial Guard to a duel over the fate of the Phoenix. Xavier would have lost against the greater power of the Dark Phoenix, but thanks to the help Jean Grey gives him (fighting her Phoenix persona), Xavier emerges victorious; she later commits suicide in order to prevent herself from endangering more innocent lives.
When the X-Men fight members of the extraterrestrial race known as the Brood, Xavier is captured by them, and implanted with a Brood egg, which places Xavier under the Brood's control. During this time, Xavier assembles a team of younger mutants called the New Mutants, secretly intended to be prime hosts for reproduction of the aliens. The X-Men discover this and return to free Xavier, but they are too late to prevent his body from being destroyed with a Brood Queen in its place; however, his soul remains intact. The X-Men and Starjammers subdue this monstrous creature containing Xavier's essence, but the only way to restore him is to clone a new body using tissue samples he donated to the Starjammers and transfer his consciousness into the clone body. This new body possesses functional legs, though the psychosomatic pain Xavier experienced after living so long as a paraplegic takes some time to subside. Subsequently, he even joins the X-Men in the field, but later decides not to continue this practice after realizing that his place is at the school, as the teacher of the New Mutants.
After taking a teaching position at Columbia University in Uncanny X-Men #192, Xavier is severely injured and left for dead as the victim of a hate crime. Callisto and her Morlocks, a group of underground-dwelling mutants, get him to safety. One of the Morlocks partially restores Xavier's health, but Callisto warns Xavier that he is not fully healed and that he must spend more time recuperating and restrain himself from exerting his full strength or powers, or his health might fail again. Xavier hides his injuries from the others and resumes his life.
Charles meets with former lover Gabrielle Haller on Muir Isle and discovers that they had a child. The boy, David, is autistic and suffers from multiple personality disorder and has vast psionic powers like his father. After helping him and his team to escape from David's mind, Xavier promises he will always be there for him.
A reformed Magneto is arrested and put on trial. Xavier attends the trial to defend his friend. Andrea and Andreas Strucker, the children of presumed dead Baron von Strucker, crash the courtroom to attack Magneto and Xavier. Xavier is seriously injured. Dying, he asks a shocked Magneto to look after the X-Men for him. Lilandra, who has a psychic bond with Xavier, feels that he is in great danger and heads to Earth. There, she and Corsair take Xavier with them so Shi'ar advanced technology can heal him.
Xavier leaves Magneto in charge of the school, but some of the X-Men are unwilling to forgive their former enemy. Cyclops loses a duel for the leadership of the X-Men against Storm, then leaves them and joins the other four original X-Men to form a new team called X-Factor.
In the meantime, Charles becomes stranded in space with the Starjammers, but he is reunited with his lover Lilandra and relishes his carefree lifestyle. He serves as a member of the Starjammers aboard the starship Starjammer, mobile in the Shi'ar Galaxy. He becomes consort to the Princess-Majestrix Lilandra while in exile, and when she later resumes her throne he takes up residence with her in the Imperial palace on the Shi'ar homeworld. Xavier joins Lilandra in her cause to overthrow her sister Deathbird, taking on the powers of Phoenix temporarily wherein he is named Bald Phoenix, but sees that he must return to help the X-Men.
Xavier eventually becomes imprisoned by the Skrulls during their attempted invasion of the Shi'ar Empire. Xavier breaks free from imprisonment by Warskrull Prime, and is reunited with the X-Men. A healthy Xavier returns from the Shi'ar Empire and is reunited with both the current and original X-Men teams, and resumes his leadership responsibilities of the united teams. In a battle with his old foe, the Shadow King, in the "Muir Island Saga", Xavier's spine is shattered, returning him to his former paraplegic state, while his son David is seemingly killed. In the following months, Xavier rebuilds the mansion, which previously was rebuilt with Shi'ar technology, and restructures the X-Men into two teams.
While holding a mutant rights speech, Xavier is nearly assassinated by Stryfe in the guise of Cable, being infected with a fatal techno-organic virus. For reasons of his own, the villain Apocalypse saves him. As a temporary side-effect he gains full use of his legs and devotes his precious time to the youngest recruit on his team, Jubilee.
With all his students now highly trained adults, Professor Xavier renames his school the Xavier Institute For Higher Learning. Also, he assumes control of a private institution, the Massachusetts Academy, making it a new School for Gifted Youngsters. Another group of young mutants is trained here, Generation X, with Banshee and Emma Frost as headmaster and headmistress, respectively.
Professor X is for a time the unknowing host of the evil psionic entity Onslaught, the result of a previous battle with Magneto. In that battle, Magneto uses his powers to rip out the adamantium bonded to Wolverine's skeleton, and a furious Xavier wipes Magneto's mind, leaving him in a coma. From the psychic trauma of Xavier using his powers so violently and the mixing of Magneto's and Xavier's repressed anger, Onslaught is born. Onslaught wreaks havoc, destroying much of Manhattan, until many of Marvel's superheroes—including the Avengers, the Fantastic Four and the Hulk—destroy him. Xavier is left without his telepathy and, overcome with guilt, leaves the X-Men and is incarcerated for his actions. He later returns to the X-Men after Operation: Zero Tolerance, in which he is shocked by the cruel act of being turned over to the mutant-hating Bastion, following a clash with the sentient Cerebro and a team of impostor X-Men.
Xavier questions his dream again and Magneto shortly thereafter is confronted by the X-Men. After the battle, the UN concedes Genosha to Magnus, and Wolverine is angered by Xavier stopping him from getting his revenge on Magneto. Charles and Logan are later trapped in a dimension with different laws of physics, wherein they have to coordinate their moves together and, in the process, gain a better understanding of the other's views.
Apocalypse kidnaps the fabled "Twelve" special mutants (Xavier included) whose combined energies would grant him omnipotence. After Apocalypse's defeat with the help of Skrull mutants, Xavier goes with the young Skrulls known as Cadre K to train them and free them from their oppressors, and eventually returns to aid in Legacy Virus research.
Mystique and her Brotherhood start a deadly assault on Muir Isle by releasing an altered form of the Legacy Virus, all in retaliation against the election campaign of Robert Kelly, a seeming mutant-hater. Mystique blows up Moira MacTaggert's laboratory complex, fatally wounding her. Charles goes to the astral plane to meet with her and retrieve information on the cure to the Legacy Virus, but after gathering the information does not want to leave her alone. If not for Jean pulling him back, the professor would have died with his first love, who states she has no regrets.
As Beast cures the Legacy Virus, many infected Genoshan mutants recover overnight, providing Magneto, current ruler of Genosha, with an army to start the third World War. He demands Earth's governments to accept him as their leader, and abducts and crucifies Xavier in Magda Square for all to see. A loyal member of Magneto's Acolytes, Amelia Voght, can't stand to see her former lover punished in such a manner and sets him free. Jean Grey and rather untrained newcomers, as most of the team are elsewhere, distract Magneto and Wolverine guts him. Xavier is too late to intervene.
Xavier's evil twin Cassandra Nova, whom Xavier attempted to kill while they were both in their mother's womb, orders a group of rogue Sentinels to destroy the independent mutant nation of Genosha. Magneto, who is Genosha's leader, appears to die along with the vast majority of the nation's inhabitants. Nova then takes over Xavier's body. Posing as Xavier, she reveals his mutation to the world, something he needed to do but did not want to sully his reputation over, before going into space and crippling the Shi'ar Empire. The X-Men restore Xavier, but Lilandra, believing that too much disaster has come from the Shi'ar's involvement with the X-Men, annuls her marriage to Xavier. Lilandra previously had gone insane and tried to assassinate Charles on a trip to Mumbai. During this period, a mutant named Xorn joins the X-Men. Xorn uses his healing power to restore Xavier's use of his legs.
When the X-Men receive a distress call from a Scottish island, they are surprised to find Juggernaut with nowhere to go, as the island was destroyed by his further-mutated partner in crime, Black Tom Cassidy, who died. Xavier reaches out to his stepbrother and offers him a place in his mansion, with Cain reluctantly accepting. The Juggernaut redeems himself over the next few weeks and joins the X-Men. Xavier finds out that Cain's father preferred him to his own flesh and blood and that they both thought they deserved the abuse they incurred by Kurt; Cain believed this because his father loved someone else's child more than him, and Charles felt guilty about getting in the way. That it is why neither of them stopped Kurt Marko with their powers.
Now outed as a mutant, Xavier makes speeches to the public about mutant tolerance. He also founds the X-Corporation, or X-Corp (not to be confused with the X-Corps), with offices all over the world. The purpose of the X-Corp is to watch over mutant rights and help mutants in need. As a result of being outed, the school no longer hides the fact that it is a school for mutants and it opens its doors for more mutant (and even human) students to come in. A student named Quentin Quire and members of his gang start a riot at the Xavier Institute during an open house at the school. As a result, Quire and two other students are killed. Uncertain about his dream's validity, Xavier announces that he will step down as headmaster and be succeeded by Jean Grey. Afterwards, Xorn reveals himself to be Magneto, having apparently not died in the Sentinel raid on Genosha. Magneto undoes the restoration of Xavier's ability to walk, kidnaps him, and destroys the X-Mansion (killing several of the students). Then Xorn/Magneto assaults New York, where Cyclops, Fantomex and a few students confront him. After the rest of the X-Men arrive, Xorn/Magneto kills Jean Grey with an electromagnetically induced stroke, and Wolverine decapitates him. With Jean dead, Xavier leaves the school to Cyclops and Emma Frost, to bury Xorn/Magneto in Genosha. In a retcon of Grant Morrison's storyline, there Xavier meets the "real" Magneto, who mysteriously survived Cassandra Nova's assault. The two resolve their differences and attempt to restore their friendship, leading a team of mutants, the Genoshan Excalibur, to rebuild and restore order to the destroyed island nation.
At the mansion, the Danger Room (the X-Men’s simulated reality training chamber) gains sentience, christens itself "Danger", assumes a humanoid form, and attacks the X-Men before leaving to kill Xavier. With Magneto's help, Xavier holds off Danger until the X-Men arrive. Danger flees, but not before revealing to Colossus that Xavier has known it to be sentient ever since he upgraded it. Colossus is especially offended by this because he had been held captive and experimented upon by Danger's ally, Ord of the Breakworld. Ashamed, Xavier tries to explain to them that by the time he realized what was happening, he could see no other course. The disgusted X-Men leave.
In a prelude to House of M, Magneto's daughter Scarlet Witch suffers a mental breakdown and causes the death of several Avengers. Magneto brings her to Xavier and asks him to use his mental powers to help her. Although aided by Doctor Strange and the appearance of Cassandra Nova, Xavier is unsuccessful. Xavier orders a meeting of the X-Men and Avengers to decide Wanda's fate. Her brother Quicksilver, believing the heroes plan to kill her, speeds off to Genosha and convinces Wanda that she could right the wrongs she inflicted by using her powers to alter reality.
Quicksilver somehow forces a tearful Wanda to reveal to him her heart's desires of Magneto, the assembled New Avengers, and the X-Men, and then uses her powers to make them all real. Thanks to Magneto, though, this re-imagined world is a place where a much more numerous mutant-kind are the dominant species, humans a disenfranchised and oppressed 'silent majority', and Magneto himself rules supreme. In this reality, the only proof that Charles Xavier ever existed is a secret monument in Magneto's palace garden, with the engraved message "He died so Genosha could live".
After mutant Layla Miller restores the memories of some of the X-Men and Avengers, they head to Genosha where they discover that Magneto has erected a memorial garden for Xavier commemorating his death. Emma is horrified until Cloak fades into the grave and discovers there is no body inside. After a battle, Scarlet Witch again uses her powers to restore reality and, as a slight against her father, causes a large majority mutants to lose their powers, leaving the mutant race on the brink of extinction and causing the lost powers to become an energy mass, the Collective. With reality restored, Xavier is still missing and the X-Men are unable to detect him with Cerebro.
Xavier returns when Cyclops' and Havok's long-lost brother, Vulcan, is revived by the Collective energy released as a result of the "House of M" incident. Vulcan then attacks the X-Men. Xavier, now depowered but able to walk in the wake of "House of M", reveals that he had gathered and trained another team of X-Men (this one composed of students of Dr. Moira MacTaggert) sometime between the original team and the new X-Men team introduced in Giant Size X-Men #1. This team included Vulcan as a member. Like the "Giant Size" X-Men team, McTaggert's former students were sent to rescue the original X-Men from Krakoa, the living island. However, after rescuing Cyclops, McTaggert's former students were seemingly killed. Upon Cyclops' return, Xavier removed Cyclops' memories of the death of Vulcan and his teammates, and began assembling the "Giant Size" X-Men. Vulcan skirmishes with the X-Men and eventually flees into space.
In spite of Cyclops' feelings, Xavier forms a new team including Havok and Darwin, the lone other survivor of Moira's students. Xavier seeks to confront Vulcan before he can enact his vengeance against the Shi'ar empire, which killed Vulcan's mother. While en route to the Shi'ar home world, Xavier is abducted and is later thrown into the M'Kraan Crystal by Vulcan. Darwin follows Xavier into the crystal and pulls Xavier out. This somehow restores Xavier's lost telepathy. With help from his longtime lover, Lilandra, Xavier escapes back to Earth with several of his X-Men.
Upon Xavier's return to Earth as seen in the World War Hulk storyline, he begins to search for lost mutants such as Magneto. Charles' search for more mutants is interrupted by the Hulk, who was sent into extraterrestal exile by the Illuminati, a group of powerful superbeings to which Xavier belongs. Xavier had no part in (and did not know of) the Hulk exile decision, but Xavier admits to Hulk that he would have concurred to a temporary exile so Bruce Banner could be cured of transforming into the Hulk. However, he also tells the Hulk he would not have agreed to permanent exile. Xavier attempts to surrender to the Hulk, but after viewing the X-Mansion's large graveyard dedicated to post-M-Day mutant deaths, The Hulk concludes the mutants have suffered enough, and leaves the Mansion grounds on his own accord. While the X-Men tend to the wounded, Cyclops finally forgives Professor X.
While using Cerebra and talking to Beast during the Messiah Complex storyline, Charles detects a new mutant so powerful it fries Cerebra's system. He asks Cyclops to send out a team to find out about the mutant. Once the team have come back empty handed, he argues with Scott for not telling him about the team he deployed to find former Acolytes. Scott tells him outright that he doesn't need him to run the X-Men anymore. This upsets Charles and annoys him later on when he overhears Cyclops briefing X-Factor on the situation.[volume & issue needed] He also approaches the New X-Men in an attempt to help them figure out a non-violent way to help against the Purifiers, but is quickly rebuked by Surge, who questions where he was when they were getting attacked the first time, and that they didn't need to learn from him. Charles questions Cyclops' decision to send X-Force to hunt down his own son, Cable, in front of the students. Cyclops then tells Xavier that he is a distraction that will keep getting in the way and that he must leave the mansion. Xavier is contacted by Cable, who lost the mutant newborn to the traitorous actions of Bishop, who in turn lost the child to the Marauders, and tells him that he is the only one who can help Cable save the future. In the final fight, Xavier is accidentally shot in the head by Bishop. Immediately afterward Xavier's body disappears and Cyclops declares that there are no more X-Men.
Professor Xavier survives Bishop's gunshot but falls into a coma. Xavier is kidnapped by Exodus, Tempo, and Karima Shapandar. Exodus tries to heal Xavier, Xavier mentally fights Exodus. Exodus finally approaches Magneto, who is apparently still depowered, for help. Magneto and Karima Shapandar are able to stir Xavier's memories and coax him out of his coma, though Xavier remains slightly confused and partly amnesiac. Later, Exodus confronts Magneto about Joanna Cargill's injury (Magneto was forced to shoot a laser through her eyeball in order to prevent her attempted assassination of Xavier). Exodus nearly kills Magneto, and Xavier drags Exodus onto the Astral Plane, putting Xavier's own newly restored mind at stake. Xavier defeats Exodus after a harrowing psionic battle, and Exodus reveals the reason he abducted Xavier and to restore his mind: Exodus wants Xavier to lead the Acolytes and find the mutant messiah child (now under the guardianship of Cable) in order to indoctrinate the child into their cause. Xavier refuses. Emma Frost's telepathy picks up on the psychic fight, and Emma informs Cyclops that Xavier is alive. Xavier parts company with Magneto and Karima to try to regain his lost memories by visiting people from his past.
The first person Charles visits is Carter Ryking, who had gone insane after losing his powers. Charles reads Carter's memories and discovers that when the two were children they were used as test subjects by Nathan Milbury of the Black Womb Project, with the approval of Charles' father, Doctor Brian Xavier. Xavier makes the connection Milbury and X-Men villain, Mister Sinister, who has apparently long been manipulating Charles' life in addition to other X-Men. Afterwards, he discovers he has been targeted by assassins.
Charles eventually discovers Mister Sinister had set up Charles, Sebastian Shaw, Juggernaut, and Ryking as potential new hosts for Sinister's mind. Bleeding slowly to death, he apparently gives in to Sinister becoming the new Mister Sinister. But in reality, Xavier is still battling Sinister for control of his body. As Sebastian Shaw and Gambit destroy Sinister's Cronus Machine, the device that he used to transfer his consciousness into new hosts, Xavier drives Sinister out of his body permanently. Xavier thanks Shaw and Gambit for their help and declares he must go and see Cyclops immediately. Professor X returns to the X-Mansion to find it destroyed after recent events. Afterwards, Xavier leaves the ruins of the X-Mansion to secretly meet up Cyclops by psychically coercing his former student for the visit. Xavier explains to Cyclops about the recent events with Mr. Sinister and tries to explain to Cyclops how Sinister has been manipulating Scott's and Jean's lives since when they were children. Xavier attempts to have Scott give him permission to scan Scott's mind for traces of Sinister's influences, but instead Scott turns the tables on Xavier by revealing that he has secretly invited Emma Frost into their entire meeting and also into Xavier's mind. While in his mind, Emma forces Xavier to relive each of his morally ambiguous decisions under altruistic pretenses. As the issue continues, Charles realizes his human arrogance and that while some of his decisions were morally wrong, he must move forward with his life and deal with the consequences. Emma ends her incursion into Xavier's mind by reminding him of Moira MacTaggert's last words. As he reflects on Moira's words, Xavier gives Cyclops his blessing to lead the X-Men and leaves to find his own path. Following his encounter with Wolverine (in the "Original Sin" Arc) Professor Xavier seeks out his step brother, the unstoppable Juggernaut in an attempt to reform him. After a conversation about the meaning of the word "Juggernaut" and a review of Juggernaut and Xavier's shared history Xavier offers Cain an empty box as a gift. Confused by Xavier's gift Cain attempts to kill the Professor bringing an entire sports bar down over their heads in the process. Later Cain battles the X-Men in his full Juggernaut armor and conquers the planet. Just as everything appears to be under the Juggernaut's control Xavier reappears and informs him that everything that has just taken place except for Juggernaut destroying the bar took place in Cain's mind. A baffled Cain demands to know how Xavier managed to overcome his psychically shielded helmet to which the Professor replies that he decided to visit Cain in his sleep. Professor Xavier then informs him that he now understands Cain as a person and that he will not attempt to get in his way or reform him again. But Xavier also warns Cain that if he gets in the way of the Professor's path to redemption Xavier will stop him permanently. Following his encounter with Cain it has been revealed that Xavier is now searching for Rogue.
After his bruising encounter with Cyclops and Emma Frost, Professor X is forced to revisit the biggest challenge and the biggest failure of his career, Wolverine, when the feral mutant asks for Charles' help in freeing his son from the clutches of the Hellfire Club. As the two search for Daken, Wolverine reveals that when he first joined the X-Men he attempted to assassinate Xavier due to some unknown programming. In response, the Professor broke Logan's mind and rebuilt it so that any and all programming he received was forgotten. Logan also revealed that the real reason Xavier asked him to join the X-Men was that Charles "needed a weapon". Eventually Professor Xavier and Wolverine locate Sebastian Shaw's mansion and attack his minions, just as they are about to enter a bomb explodes from within catching them both off guard. From the wreckage emerges an angry Sebastian who immobilizes Wolverine. Meanwhile, Miss Sinister knocks Daken unconscious and has him taken to the medlab in the mansion's basement. As Shaw prepares to deliver a killing blow to Xavier, Wolverine recovers and stops him telling Xavier to rescue his son. Professor Xavier locates the medlab and after a quick psychic battle with Miss Sinister enters Daken's fractured mind. While in Daken's mind Xavier discovers Romulus's psychic tampering and comments that Daken's mind is even more broken than Wolverine's was. Before Xavier can heal Daken a psychic bomb explodes causing Xavier to become comatose and Daken to wake up. Miss Sinister arrives and attempts to manipulate Daken who reveals that the psychic bomb in his head restored his memories and stabs Miss Sinister in the chest. Meanwhile, Wolverine defeats Shaw and enters the mansion to find Daken standing over an unconscious Xavier preparing to kill him. Wolverine tells Daken that he won't let him hurt Xavier and the two fight. Overcome with guilt over what happened to Daken and Itsu, Wolverine allows himself to be beaten. Just as Daken appears to have won Xavier pulls both of them onto the astral plane revealing that the psychic bomb had little effect on him because his psyche was already shattered. Xavier then explains to Wolverine and Daken that Romulus is solely responsible for Itsu's death and that he lied to Daken about everything because he wanted Wolverine to become his weapon. As the three converse Daken returns to the physical plane and prevents Shaw from killing Xavier. With the truth revealed Wolverine and Daken decide to kill Romulus. As the two depart Wolverine tells Xavier that he forgives him for all of the dark moments in their history. Wolverine acknowledges that Professor Xavier allowed him to become a hero. Wolverine then tells the Professor that he hopes he will one day be able to forgive him for choosing to kill Romulus.
Professor Xavier recruits Gambit to go with him to Australia to find and help Rogue who is currently staying at the X-Men's old base in the outback; unaware Danger is using Rogue as a conduit for her revenge against him.
In a prelude to the "Secret Invasion" storyline, Professor X was at the meeting of the Illuminati when it came to the discussion about the Skrulls planning an invasion by taking out Earth's heroes and posing as them. He claims he was unable to distinguish that Black Bolt had been replaced by a Skrull, and his powers were bested quickly by the Black Bolt Skrull. Professor X leaves after learning even he can no longer trust the others, yet appears to have severely restricted the number of people he informs of the forthcoming alien invasion, as the X-Men were not prepared for the Skrulls, at least at first. Xavier is not seen again during the events of Secret Invasion, though his X-Men in San Francisco are successful at repelling the invaders there through the use of the modified Legacy Virus.
During the Dark Reign storyline, Professor X convinces Exodus to disband the Acolytes. A H.A.M.M.E.R. helicopter arrives and from inside appears Norman Osborn, who wants to talk to him. During the Dark Avengers' arrival in San Francisco to enforce martial law and squelch the anti-mutant riots occurring in the city, Xavier appears (back in his wheelchair) in the company of Norman Osborn and publicly denounces Cyclops' actions and urges him to turn himself in. However, this Xavier was revealed to be Mystique who Osborn recruited to impersonate Xavier in public. The real Xavier is shown in prison on Alcatraz and slowly being stripped of his telepathic powers while in psionic contact with Beast, who was arrested earlier for his part in the anti-mutant riots. It was also revealed by Emma Frost that she and Professor X are both Omega Class Telepaths when she manages to detect the real Professor X. Professor X helps Emma Frost enter Sentry's mind. However, as Emma frees him of the Void's influence, a minute sliver of the entity itself remains in her mind. Xavier quickly tells her to remain in her diamond armor state to prevent the Void from gaining access to her psi-powers. Professor X is later seen with Emma Frost where Beast is recuperating.
After the events of Utopia, Xavier has come to live on the risen Asteroid M, rechristened Utopia, along with the rest of the X-Men, X-Club, and mutant refugees and is also allowed to join the Utopia lead council (Cyclops, Storm, Namor, Iceman, Beast, Wolverine and Emma Frost). While he no longer continues to openly question every move that Cyclops makes, he is still concerned about some of his leadership decisions. Xavier had wanted to return to the mainland in order to clear his name, but in the aftermath of Osborn declaring Utopia as a mutant detention area, Cyclops refused to let him leave, stating that it would be a tactical advantage to have him as an ace in the hole in case the need arose. To that end, he has kept Xavier out of the field and instead relied on Emma Frost, Psylocke and the Stepford Cuckoos respectively for their own psionic talents. While attending the funeral of Yuriko Takiguchi, Magneto arrives at Utopia, apparently under peaceful motives. Xavier does not believe it, and attacks Magneto telepathically, causing Cyclops to force him to stand down. He later apologizes to Magneto for acting out of his old passions from their complicated relationship, which Magneto accepts.
During the Second Coming storyline, Professor Xavier is seen on Utopia delivering a eulogy at Nightcrawler's funeral. Like the other X-Men he is deeply saddened by Kurt's death and anxious about the arrival of Cable and Hope. Xavier is seen using his powers to help his son Legion control his many personalities and battle the Nimrods. At the conclusion of Second Coming Professor X is seen surveying the aftermath of the battle from a helicopter. As Hope descends to the ground and cradles Cable's lifeless arm, Xavier reflects on everything that has transpired and states that, while he feels that Hope has indeed come to save mutantkind and revive his dream, she is still only a young woman and will have a long and difficult journey before she can truly achieve her potential.
During the "Avengers vs. X-Men" storyline, the Phoenix Force is split into five pieces and bonded with Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Colossus and Magik (who become known as the Phoenix Five). Eventually, Cyclops and Frost come to possess the full Phoenix Force, and Professor X is instrumental in confronting them both, and dies in the ensuring battle with Cyclops. The Phoenix Force is subsequently forced to abandon Cyclops as a host by the efforts of the Hope Summers and the Scarlet Witch.
Xavier's body is later stolen by the Red Skull's S-Men where the group also captures Rogue and Scarlet Witch. Xavier's brain is removed and fused to the brain of the Red Skull. After Rogue and Scarlet Witch snapped out of the fight they were in, they find the lobotomized body of Professor X. Red Skull uses the new powers conferred upon him by Professor X's brain to provoke anti-mutant riots. His plans are foiled by the Avengers and the X-Men, and the Skull escapes.
Professor X's spirit is later seen in the Heaven dimension along with Nightcrawler's spirit at the time when Azazel invades Heaven.
During the AXIS storyline, a fragment of Professor X's psyche (which had escaped the scrubbing of his memories) still existed in Red Skull's mind preventing him from unleashing the full potential of Professor X's powers. During a fight with the Stark Sentinels, Doctor Strange and Scarlet Witch attempt to cast a spell to invert the axis of Red Skull's brain and bring out the fragment of Professor X to defeat Onslaught. Doctor Strange was targeted and captured by the Sentinels before they could cast the spell. When Magneto arrived with his supervillain allies, Doctor Doom and Scarlet Witch attempted to cast the inversion spell again and Red Onslaught was knocked unconscious and reverted to his Red Skull form. Although they did not know whether Professor X was now in control, the Avengers decided to be cautious and take Red Skull to Stark Tower. It was later revealed that the spell had actually caused all the heroes and villains present to undergo a "moral inversion" rather than simply bringing out Professor X in the Skull, with the result that the Skull and other villains became heroic while the Avengers and X-Men present became villainous. Eventually, the inversion was undone.
Powers and abilities
Professor X is a mutant who possesses vast telepathic powers, and is among the strongest and most powerful telepaths in the Marvel Universe. He is able to perceive the thoughts of others or project his own thoughts within a radius of approximately 250 miles (400 km). Xavier's telepathy once covered the entire world but Magneto altered the Earth's electromagnetic field to restrict Xavier's telepathic range. While not on Earth, Xavier's natural telepathic abilities have reached across space to make universal mental contact with multiple alien races. With extreme effort, he can greatly extend the range of his telepathy. He can learn foreign languages by reading the language centers of the brain of someone adept, and alternately "teach" languages to others in the same manner; Xavier once trained a new group of mutants mentally, subjectively making them experience months of training together, while only hours passed in the real world.
Xavier's vast psionic powers enable him to manipulate the minds of others, warp perceptions to make himself seem invisible, project mental illusions, cause loss of particular memories or total amnesia, and induce pain or temporary mental and/or physical paralysis in others. Within close range, he can manipulate almost any number of minds for such simple feats. However, he can only take full possession of one other mind at a time, and must strictly be within that person's physical presence. He is one of the few telepaths skilled enough to communicate with animals and even share their perceptions. He can also telepathically take away or control people's natural bodily functions and senses, such as sight, hearing, smell, taste, or even mutant powers. A side effect of his telepathy is that he has an eidetic memory. He has displayed telepathic prowess sufficient to confront Ego the Living Planet, while aided by Cadre K as well as narrowly defeat Exodus. However, he cannot permanently "reprogram" human minds to believe what he might want them to believe even if he wanted to do so, explaining that the mind is an organism that would always recall the steps necessary for it to reach the present and thus 'rewrite' itself to its original setting if he tried to change it. However, his initial reprogramming of Wolverine lasted several years, despite Wolverine overcoming the reprogramming much faster than an ordinary human because of his healing factor.
He is able to project from his mind 'bolts' composed of psychic energy, enabling him to stun the mind of another person into unconsciousness, inflict mental trauma, or even cause death. These 'bolts' inflict damage only upon other minds, having a negligible effect on non-mental beings, if any. The manner in which Xavier's powers function indicates that his telepathy is physical in some way, as it can be enhanced by physical means (for example, Cerebro) and can be disrupted by physical means (for example, Magneto's alteration of the Earth's magnetic field).
Xavier can perceive the distinct mental presence/brain waves of other superhuman mutants within a small radius of himself. To detect mutants to a wider area beyond this radius, he must amplify his powers through Cerebro and subsequently Cerebra, computer devices of his own design which are sensitive to the psychic/physical energies produced by the mind.
Professor X can project his astral form into a psychic dimension known as the astral plane. There, he can use his powers to create objects, control his surroundings, and even control and destroy the astral forms of others. He cannot project this form over long distances.
Uncanny X-Men writer Ed Brubaker has claimed that, after being de-powered by the Scarlet Witch, and then re-powered by the M'Kraan Crystal, Charles' telepathy is more powerful than was previously known. However, the extent of this enhancement is unknown.
Charles is a genius with multiple doctorates. He is a world-renowned geneticist, a leading expert in mutation, possesses considerable knowledge of various life sciences, and is the inventor of Cerebro. He possesses Ph.D.s in Genetics, Biophysics, Psychology, and Anthropology, and an M.D. in Psychiatry. He is highly talented in devising equipment for utilizing and enhancing psionic powers. He is also a great tactician and strategist, effectively evaluating situations and devising swift responses.
During his travels in Asia, Xavier learned martial arts, acquiring "refined combat skills" according to Magneto. When these skills are coordinated in tandem with his telepathic abilities, Xavier is a dangerous unarmed combatant, capable of sensing the intentions of others and countering them with superhuman efficiency. He also has extensive knowledge of pressure points.
Charles Xavier was also given possession of the Mind Infinity Gem. It allows the user to boost mental power and access the thoughts and dreams of other beings. Backed by the Power Gem, it is possible to access all minds in existence simultaneously. Like all other former Illuminati members, Xavier has sworn to never use the gem and to keep its location hidden.
The Xavier Protocols are a set of doomsday plans created by Professor X. The Protocols detail the best way to kill many powerful mutant characters, including the X-Men and Xavier himself, should they become too large of a danger. The Xavier Protocols are first mentioned during the "Onslaught" crossover and first seen in Excalibur #100 in Moira MacTaggert's lab. Charles Xavier compiled a list of the Earth's most powerful mutants and plans on how to defeat them if they become a threat to the world. They are first used after Onslaught grows too powerful. Only parts of the actual Protocols are ever shown. In the "Operation: Zero Tolerance" crossover Bastion obtains an encrypted copy of the Protocols, intending to use them against the X-Men. However, Cable infiltrates the X-Mansion and secures all encrypted files before Bastion has a chance to decrypt them. Due to the tampering of Bastion and his Sentinels, the X-Mansion computer system Cerebro gains autonomy and seeks to destroy the X-Men by employing its knowledge of the Xavier Protocols. In a virtual environment created by Professor X Cerebro executes the Xavier Protocols against the X-Men.
Each Protocol is activated by the presence of a different combination of X-Men and were written by Xavier himself:
- Code 0-0-0 (Charles Xavier): This file is both an entry on Charles Xavier, as well as an introduction to the Xavier Protocols. It contained a holographic image of Charles Xavier, reading the following message: "Moira, Scott, Jean; if you three are seeing these images, then I have become a mortal threat to my X-Men. In this instance, I must be stopped by any means necessary. Some years ago, I made a study of various forms of possible defense against my own psychic abilities. The image next to me is that of an anti-psionic armor. The wearer should be protected from my talent. When I finish speaking, a blueprint for this armor will be downloaded." (Activated by Moira MacTaggert, Cyclops, and Jean Grey)
- Code 0-2-1 (Wolverine): Activated by Archangel, Cyclops, and Jean Grey
- Code 1-3-9 (Cable): Activated by Cyclops, Jean Grey, and Cannonball
In other media
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