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Avengers VS X-Men

Avengers Vs. X-Men: Fatality

Brian Michael Bendis discusses the death of a Marvel icon in AvX #11!

Avengers Vs. X-Men #11 cover by Jim Cheung


By Ben Morse

A large part of the dream has died.

In AVENGERS VS. X-MEN #11—on sale now—X-Men leader Cyclops, driven to extremes by the Phoenix Force, ended the life of his mentor, teacher and surrogate father, Charles Xavier. A Marvel Universe institution since debuting in 1963’s UNCANNY X-MEN #1, Professor X founded the X-Men to further his vision of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants and has served as a beacon for his own students as well as other heroic individuals and organizations.

We spoke with Brian Michael Bendis, writer of the issue, about how this tragedy came to pass, what it means for the conclusion of AvX, and the long-lasting ramifications moving into Marvel NOW!

Marvel.com: What brought us to this point? Why did this story lead to Professor X's death?

Brian Michael Bendis: When I joined the X-Men office I was quite surprised what a polarizing figure Charles Xavier had become among the editors, creators, and readers. Maybe it's because he's bald but I never have a problem with him. Analyzing it, it is clear that the franchise just simply outgrew him. All of the characters had moved on to a place where Charles himself wasn't really needed anymore. I don't think anyone did it on purpose; it was just one of those organic storytelling things.  

I spent a lot of time championing his place in Avengers Vs. X-Men only to find that I was really one of the only [people] who cared how he felt about the whole thing. After one of our retreat days a small group of us got together and the question was brought up that maybe he would be more interesting dead post-AvX than he was in life pre-AvX.

Avengers Vs. X-Men #11 art by Olivier Coipel

Knowing what my plans were post AvX [with ALL-NEW X-MEN], the death of Charles Xavier made every scene I have coming up for the next year more passionate, more interesting and more controversial. I was very happy that we voted to whack the man.

A small group of us getting together to decide to murder Charles Xavier is all sounding very Godfather-ish. [Laughs]

Marvel.com: What are the immediate consequences of this moment?

Brian Michael Bendis: Charles Xavier is a founding father of the pro-mutant movement. If there is a mutant living by that manifesto, he or she is living a manifesto invented by Charles Xavier. The other mutants all around the Marvel Universe will have very strong feelings about his death. Some will try to carry on his message, others will decide that the dream is dead, and others will never forget Scott Summers for what he has done and will do everything in their power to make every day of his life a nightmare.

Marvel.com: Who does this hit the hardest?

Brian Michael Bendis: The list of X-Men that this hits hard is very long; and not many people are going to deal with it in the same way.

Marvel.com: What does this mean for Cyclops? Can he come back from this and find redemption?

Brian Michael Bendis: I really don't know but that sounds like an awfully good hook for an X-Men comic book [Laughs]. That sure is a book I would like to write.

Marvel.com: Which Marvel NOW! titles will explore the ramifications of Professor X’s death?

Brian Michael Bendis: I think you will find this is the subtext and backbone of all of the X-Men books going forward and a big part of UNCANNY AVENGERS.

Avengers Vs. X-Men #11 art by Olivier Coipel

Marvel.com: What was it like to write this moment, both as a professional and somebody who is a longtime X-Men fan?

Brian Michael Bendis: It felt very Shakespearean. I don't always write in a very Shakespearean way but as I was putting the final touches on the scene and then when I saw the pencils I was quite surprised how large the tragedy truly felt. Not only does Cyclops, who is arguably not in control of his own actions, [to] murder his father, for lack of a better word, but he does it in front of every major player in the Marvel Universe. This isn't some rumor that's been spread around. Everyone saw him do it. Scott knows what he has done.

And then I was struck with the feeling that as the new writer of X-Men I was walking into the franchise as the man who murdered Charles Xavier, gave Wolverine his memories back, and decimated the mutant population without even being on an X-Men book. And then I thought I may need to unplug my computer once and for all. [Laughs]

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It would be interesting to see how Legion responds to all of this...


Will the Capt America answer for his responsibility? Reed was right. It did not go bad until the Avengers started attacking them. They caused it to begin with by splitting the Phoenix force.


how could u men charles was the founder of the x-men he was one of my fav im still in shock like in the 90 age of apocalypse but dude again how could u i loved the character i was hoping he would use one of the gems to pound some sense to scoot but was done its done i hope cyclops gets what he deserves


I am totally shocked, but maybe Charles has lived long enough. I mean he should be what, 100 yrs old? LoL And same goes for Magneto if he is still alive.