Comic book readers may already be aware that Professor Xavier is back among the living again after being resurrected in December. However, Astonishing X-Men #7 suggests that Xavier may not be the kind, selfless man fans are familiar with. As Old Man Logan points out in the story, death can change a person, and in Xavier’s case, the change may not be for the best, especially considering that Xavier had no problem with letting an X-Man sacrifice himself so that Xavier could live.
Professor Xavier was a casualty of 2012’s Avengers vs. X-Men, a major crossover event that pitted Captain America and the Avengers against Cyclops and the X-Men over the life of Hope Summers, a young mutant destined to be the next host of the Phoenix Force. After becoming Dark Phoenix, Cyclops apparently killed Xavier. As it turned out, Xavier didn’t die in Avengers vs. X-Men after all. Being a powerful telepath, Xavier’s mind fled to the Astral Plane where he encountered an old enemy: the Shadow King. Xavier was able to leave the Astral Plane by possessing the body of Fantomex.
Now decades younger and calling himself ‘X,’ Xavier had a lot of explaining to do in Astonishing X-Men #7, since the X-Men had no idea what he was doing in Fantomex’s body. According to Xavier, Fantomex “welcomed” the opportunity to trade his life for Xavier’s. The sacrifice was necessary in order to bring Xavier back. The X-Men remained unconvinced until Psylocke traveled to the Astral Plane to speak with Fantomex personally. Fantomex insisted that staying in the Astral Plane was his own choice, and that making the sacrifice gave his life purpose.
Xavier spent most of the comic giving out “gifts” to people in need. Xavier helped Archangel regain control of his body and tried to put an end to a psychic plague. After gathering the infection from the victims’ minds and putting it all together, the energy formed a giant green orb that eventually exploded. Emerging from the orb of green energy was Proteus, one of the X-Men’s most powerful villains.
Despite Xavier’s “gifts,” the character’s return has so far served to be nothing but problematic for the X-Men. It’s also worth noting that Xavier’s behavior seems out of character, not only to fans, but to the X-Men as well, who were shocked when they learned about his life-for-a-life trade with Fantomex. Would the old Xavier really be willing to strand someone in the Astral Plane, just so that he could leave? Old Man Logan reflected that he had died countless times, but had never once come back the same, which suggests that the same could be true for Xavier.
Xavier’s less than heroic behavior is certainly suspicious, and fans will have to wait and see what the character decides to do with his new lease on life.
Astonishing X-Men #7 is on sale now.
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