As the leader of the X-Men, Charles "Professor X" Xavier is the main force fighting for peaceful human and mutant co-existence. His ambitions have influenced some of Marvel’s most iconic superheroes and his accomplishments are nothing to laugh at, either. As the antithesis to both human and mutant only forces, Professor X and his X-Men risk their lives to change society for the benefit of everyone.
While this sounds noble, it is also not entirely accurate. Despite his role as protagonist, mentor, and teacher, Professor X has also done some terrible things in his long comics history, even with the best of intentions. With someone like Professor X, the world can’t be seen as simply black and white.
Xavier fights for a great cause, however, more often than not he is forced to make some tough calls. These choices can include making moral decisions that could have a long term impact on himself, his team, and potentially, the entire world. In some rare cases, he is either the victim of someone’s manipulations or he indirectly commits atrocious acts that go against his better nature.
Here are the 15 Worst Things That Professor X Has Ever Done.
15 He Cheated In School
While he was growing up, Xavier always excelled among his peers. He was both a straight A student and a star athlete. With such a track record, it's not surprising that he is admired by his own students as well.
However, the professor’s academic accomplishments are the result of him using his powers to cheat his way through school. Possessing telepathic abilities since birth, Xavier uses them to read the minds of his teachers to get good grades. He even uses his powers to cheat at sports, reading the minds of opposing players to identify their plays and strategies.
Even more shocking is that he does not express remorse for doing this. For someone who is a role model and father figure, you’d think he would set a better example.
14 He Was One Of Apocalypse's Horsemen
Professor X in the series X-Men: Evolution is one of the more ideal representations of the character. He embodies the traditional positive qualities the character is best known for: teacher, role model, and activist for mutant rights.
However, in the final two-part episode "Ascension", Professor X is chosen by Apocalypse to be one of his four horsemen. Apocalypse's mission is to increase the mutant population at the cost of millions of humans lives. To date, this version of Xavier is the only one to be assigned the position of a horseman.
Given the title of Death, his powers are amplified, allowing him to fly, regain mobility in his legs, and create weapons from psychic energy. Though he was manipulated into this role by Apocalypse, he does not make things easy for the X-Men.
13 He Creeped On Jean Grey
Out of all his students, Professor X’s strongest connection is with Jean Grey. As a fellow telepath, Xavier is sensitive to the potential that Jean has as the vessel for the Phoenix Force. He takes her under his wing and teaches her how to control her overwhelming power.
Though he attends to the needs of all his students, Xavier shows clear favoritism towards Jean. It turns out that Xavier’s feelings for Jean go beyond that of a master and pupil. It is revealed in 1964’s X-Men #3, that Professor X has romantic feelings for Jean.
While Jean has been the subject of attention for many of her male comrades, the idea that Xavier is one of them just feels creepy. It gets even worse when you realize that his feelings for her manifest while she is still a student.
12 Responsible For World War Hate
Towards the end of the Avengers vs. X-Men storyline, Cyclops kills Professor X. In the following story arc Uncanny Avengers, readers witness how Red Skull steals the professor’s brain, with the intent of using it to eliminate all mutants.
Red Skull attempts this by making Scarlet Witch warp reality and even incites mass anti-mutant riots. Ultimately, all of his plans fail. Red Skull then decides to use Xavier's brain to start the calamitous event known as “World War Hate."
The villain accomplishes this by using Xavier’s brain to make himself even stronger. The result is the birth of a terrifying menace known as Red Onslaught. Again, Xavier did not willingly perpetrate these events, but he still bears some measure of responsibility. In the aftermath of this conflict, Professor X’s legacy has become one of chaos and destruction.
11 He Broke Magneto Out Of Prison
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, a young Xavier agrees to help Wolverine save the future. However, they also deem it necessary to liberate Magneto, who resides in a prison below The Pentagon.
Their plan is successful, but it becomes clear that Magneto is too unpredictable for them to control. With his powers unavailable to him, Charles attempts to appeal to Magneto through their past friendship to keep him in line.
Xavier’s decision comes back to haunt him, as Magneto turns on them. Not only does Magneto attempt to kill his former ally, Mystique, he also tries to kill the President (again).
Breaking Magneto out of prison exposes Xavier’s arrogance nearly cost everyone their respective future. Fortunately, he learns from his mistake, regains his powers, and puts a stop to Magneto. However, there were several other ways this situation could have been worse.
10 He Was A Negligent Father
Legion, also known as David Haller, is one of the most powerful mutants in existence. In addition to having multiple personalities, he possesses an arsenal of mutant powers, including telekinesis, time travel, reality warping, and telepathy.
Legion is as dangerous as they come, and he also happens to be the illegitimate son of Charles Xavier. Legion was conceived following an unethical relationship between Professor X and one of his patients, Gabrielle Heller. Unfortunately, Professor X is unaware of his son’s existence for most of his life.
Due to his lack of proper parenting, Legion was responsible for numerous incidents that resulted in thousands of casualties. Not only was Professor X a poor father to his son, but he only became interested in him after he learned of the disasters he was responsible for.
9 He Tricked The X-Men Into Thinking He Was Dead
In X-Men #4, following the aftermath of an intense battle, the X-Men witness the death of their beloved professor. However, the real victim was a mutant shapeshifter named Changeling.
After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, Changeling sought to do some good with the time he had left. Changeling eventually makes a deal with Professor X and disguises himself as the leader of the X-Men.
Naturally, after Changeling's death, it makes sense for Xavier to assure his team that he is alive and well. The only problem is that he takes two years to finally reappear. To add further insult to injury, Xavier does not even apologize to his students for the mental pain the experience had caused them.
8 He Manipulated Wolverine
Xavier and Wolverine have a complicated, yet friendly relationship. Wolverine's dynamic with Xavier was one of the most well developed in both the comics and the movies. However, the 29th issue of Wolverine Origins reveals to fans that their entire relationship is built on a subtle manipulation by Professor X.
Before meeting the X-Men, Wolverine was part of the Weapon X experiments and was given a mission to assassinate the professor. After his assassination attempt fails, Professor X fools around with Wolverine’s mind and manipulates him into believing that he is an ally.
It's terrifying to know that Wolverine’s long-standing relationship with the professor and the X-Men is built on a lie. The magnitude of this revelation shows the lengths that Professor X will go to to obtain his goals.
7 He Constantly Endangers His Students
While some of Xavier’s students may be gifted with powerful abilities, they are still just children and teenagers. However, this does not stop him from making them join the X-Men and sending them on dangerous missions.
On more than one occasion, this decision to send teenagers to fight his battles has resulted in their deaths. His reckless endangerment of his students is troubling to say the least. The fact that he is fully aware of the risks does not help his case either.
As one of the worlds strongest telepaths, as well as having access to advanced technology, like Cerebro, the professor is more than capable of handling and detecting threats himself instead of relying on children and teenagers.
6 His Contingency Plan For The X-Men
The X-Men are one of the most powerful superhero groups in the Marvel universe. With mutants like Wolverine, Storm, and Jean Grey among their ranks, the X-Men can put whole armies to shame.
It is thus understandable why villains like Magneto, Bolivar Trask, and even Apocalypse would go to great lengths to eliminate them. Ironically, the one who is best suited to eradicate the X-Men is none other than Professor X himself.
Professor X is responsible for developing emergency protocols for each of the X-Men in the event that they turn evil. However, many of his plans don’t involve neutralizing them, but actually killing them. It’s one thing if he creates plans to subdue the X-Men, but killing his team takes things a little too far. Especially after they constantly risk their lives for him.
5 He Erased Beast's Existence
Beast, aka Hank McCoy, is a long-time friend and confidant of Professor X. However, this does not mean that they have not had their fair share of disagreements.
One of the worst conflicts between the two was when Xavier erases Beast's existence from the minds of the people close to him. Despite his anger, Xavier claims that erasing Beast from the minds of his loved ones would ensure their safety.
However, the love of Beast's life, Jennifer Nyles, continues to pursue Beast despite having forgotten him. They eventually reunite, but Jennifer is severely wounded by Guillaume Courage, confirming the need for Xavier’s actions. Following this incident, Hank reluctantly accepts Xavier’s decision, and forces himself to leave Jennifer behind to keep her safe.
4 He Erased Cyclops' Brother
In addition to the X-Men, Professor X also has another team of powerful mutants under his command. After the X-Men become captives of the living island of Krakoa, Xavier sends his elite students to save them.
Unfortunately, the mission ends up being a disaster, resulting in the deaths of nearly the entire team. The only survivor is the mutant Vulcan, who also happens to be Gabrielle, the younger brother of both Cyclops and Havoc.
Although unaware of his survival, Professor X proceeds to erase everyone’s memories of Vulcan, including his brothers. This ends up blowing in his face when Vulcan returns to confront him, causing a rift between Xavier and Cyclops. This just goes to show that the truth will eventually come out in the open.
3 3. He Attempted Sororicide
Although many consider him a good man, Charles Xavier was not born to the world with a pure soul. Before even being born, the professor is guilty of attempting to kill his twin sister, Cassandra.
Similarly to Charles, Cassandra demonstrated enormous potential for power, but she seemed to have a more sinister purpose. Xavier's powers manifested while he was still in the womb and allowed him to sense his sister’s potential for evil.
Instinctively, Xavier uses his powers to kill his sister and force a miscarriage. However, Cassandra survives and spends the next twenty years gathering power and constructing a new body for her confrontation with her brother. The idea that Professor X could kill anyone is horrifying to hear. However, the fact that he did this before he was born, to his own sister, is simply indescribable.
2 He Killed Captain America
In X-Treme X-Men, there is a version of Professor X who allies himself with Nazi forces. When confronted by the X-Men, the Nazi version of Xavier claims that he is not really an evil individual. He justifies his actions by claiming that he only allied himself with Nazis to protect his people.
Though his intentions may sound noble, Nazi Xavier is really a cold and calculating individual. He is manipulative and does whatever it takes to accomplish his goals. This mindset is what drove Nazi Xavier to murder Captain America, for the sake of his people.
Even if he claims to not be a Nazi, this version of Professor X has proven to be a cunning cutthroat. While this seems like a completely different Xavier, it's still consistent with him going to any lengths to protect his people.
1 He Became Onslaught
The leaders of the X-Men and Brotherhood of Evil Mutants have always been opposites to one another. Magneto, hoping that mutants replace humans as the dominant species, and Xavier, fighting for co-existence between the two. However, despite being mutants, their actions are still driven by their emotion.
After a deadly confrontation with Magneto, Xavier absorbs his negative emotions. Magneto’s emotions prove to be too much for Xavier and he is completely overwhelmed. This breaks Xavier’s morality, creating a paradoxical monster known as Onslaught.
Donning a set of indestructible armor, along with Xavier's unrestrained mental powers, Onslaught was an insanely powerful enemy. Fortunately, the heroes of Earth joined forces and were successful in bringing a stop to his rampage. However, the battle was not without consequence, as Onslaught’s destructive rampage resulted in the deaths of nearly everyone on Earth.
Did we miss any terrible things that Professor X has done?