Dark Reign

Dark X-Men Dossiers: Professor X

Why would Professor X join Norman Osborn's Dark X-Men? Writer Matt Fraction drops some hints

Share:

Comments:

By Marc Strom With the release of DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA #1 on June 24, writer Matt Fraction and legendary X-artist Marc Silvestri begin one of the most eagerly anticipated stories of the summer. As Norman Osborn continues to extend his Dark Reign, he assembles a group of Dark X-Men loyal only to him. This week, Marvel.com presents the Dark X-Men Dossiers, bios on each of the team's members straight from Cyclops' personal files, along with writer Matt Fraction's thoughts and exclusive art from Terry Dodson.
 
Still Searching For Peace Given Norman Osborn's checkered and super villainous past, many X-fans may wonder what could possibly bring Charles Xavier to join the Dark X-Men. However,

according to "Utopia" writer Matt Fraction, the two characters ultimately both want the same thing. "Professor X wants what he always wants, which is peaceful coexistence [between humans and mutants]," he explains. "It's the same thing that Osborn wants, it's the same thing that Osborn's putting together by putting these mutant heroes [the Dark X-Men] out there." Put in this light, Osborn's team actually represents an ideology very much at odds with the driving purpose behind Cyclops' X-Men. "Scott Summers has taken his team in this kind of extreme direction," notes Fraction. "They're holed up in this military bunker and they're building an army, and I don't think it needs to be like that. Peaceful coexistence is a possibility. That's what makes Osborn so enticing, is that it's hard to disagree with that message, and Professor X just backs him up [by] saying who Scott is and what Scott has become. Scott is certainly dreaming his own dreams, and he no longer has Xavier's dream. Professor X is there to back Osborn's philosophy up, and [to say] that peaceful coexistence is a reality and it doesn't need to be a militant tolerance of one another."

While Xavier's participation in Norman's X-Men may raise a few questions amongst readers, for the citizens of the Marvel Universe, Professor X aligning himself with Osborn wouldn't seem too incongruous with his heroic past. "It's another one of those things where you have to remember we as readers know more about Osborn than the rest of the world knows," Fraction elaborates. "Right now, Osborn's the guy that won the war [with the Skrulls], and now, in the moment where there's an extreme instance of human and mutant hostility, Osborn has come in saying 'listen, there's a third way, there's a peaceful way where we can all live together happily and not hurt each other, not have to be afraid.' "And Osborn is very seductive. He's saying, 'these people [the Dark X-Men], this is the face of law and order.' 'Dark' X-Men, that's our label as readers, he's not

calling them that. There's a whole lot of subterfuge going on. We know there's a time bomb under the kitchen table, but the people eating at the table don't. That's where the tension—I hope that's where some of the tension comes from. So, that Professor X is there backing Norman up, that's a huge—I mean, if you were an X-Man, what would you do? It's a huge thing. It really causes a lot of eyebrows to be raised [in attention] and questions to be asked." Whether or not Xavier still has the same level of influence within the mutant community that he once had remains an open-ended question, but at the very least his presence on Norman's team lends a large degree of credibility to Osborn's message in the eyes of many mutants. "I don't know, that's a really big question," comments Fraction, pondering whether the mutant community as a whole still sees Xavier as a leader. "I don't know that there's a simple answer, I would suspect that there's a hundred-some different answers for a hundred-some different mutants. He's unquestionably a visionary, but [the question of] is he fit to lead in this day and age is a more complicated issue."

Cyclops' Strike File: Professor X Due to Professor X's somewhat strained relationship with the X-Men these days, it can no longer be taken for granted that the two sides will always work towards the same goal. Charles' mindset and philosophy became outdated with the M-Day Event. Working towards a peaceful coexistence with mankind took a back seat to survival the day the mutant population became decimated, and with it ended Xavier's tenure as the X-Men's leader. Given his history, Charles' desire to seek equilibrium between mutant and human should come as no surprise. His time as a soldier demonstrated to him the ineffectiveness and senseless brutality of war. For years, he and Magneto stood on opposite sides of an ideological divide now made moot by a lack of mutants to help Magnus reach his goal of dominating the humans. Nonetheless, Xavier's long lasting status as a mutant community leader means that, for many mutants, he still holds a unique position of power. With current events potentially destabilizing the mutant community's standing in San Francisco, and

UNCANNY
X-MEN #513
cover by
Terry Dodson

with threats approaching us from all sides, it would be an error to ignore the symbolic power that Professor X potentially wields. While Xavier would not prove much of a physical threat if the X-Men were to ever find themselves in direct opposition to him, he could present a very real danger in an ideological or perception-based battle as his credibility as one of the world's foremost experts on mutant kind would cause the world to lend a very attentive ear to what he has to say.
DARK AVENGERS/UNCANNY X-MEN: UTOPIA #1 launches one of the biggest events of the summer on June 24, but be sure you check back here tomorrow for our final Dark X-Men Dossier on Emma Frost! Not a subscriber to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited yet? Join now! Check out the official Marvel Shop for your favorite Marvel Heroes! Download episodes of "X-Men: Evolution" and "Wolverine and the X-Men" now on iTunes!

MORE IN Dark Reign See All

MORE IN Dark X-Men Dossiers See All

MORE IN Comics See All

Comments

8 comments
BlackSamurai
BlackSamurai

...I assumed taking Xavier on a cover at face value to be a misdirect, and now that we know it was Mystique (not so surprising after all) we can all get back to enjoying the parts of Utopia we didn't have to speculate on, rather just simply sit back and enjoy. It'd be another not so big surprise if Emma's role in all this is partially backed (or revealed to have been to assist Scott from the get go... maybe without Scott's full knowledge of the details, but supporting their agenda as a couple looking out for mutant interests together)

BlackSamurai
BlackSamurai

Can't care totally what's being said here as justification, no one should expect us to believe Xavier wouldn't know Osborn to have at least had a villainous past and shady business dealings.Then there are the psychic powers. To align oneself with a known (let's be generous: suspected and/or reformed) villain, I am certain the invasion of thoughts rule has a clause. I more think Prof knows exactly who he is dealing with but is not going to have as much personal dealings with Os himself throughout the book, foregoing the psychic issue, or there'd be an in-story reason for him not to (have/want to) try. Legacy isn't really saying Xavier is now dark[er] at all, and if it was meant to, it fell short. If anything it had been mostly about him atoning for the darker or misguided things of his past as a reset person. The 'minimal dealing' is likely since Marvel has been sensible with the treatment of Osborn, he will appoint some people some places, carry his name there, but only really be rolling full-time with HAMMER work and the 'Avengers.' (What kind of security head could run around with 2+ super-teams anyway?)Now, Xavier has had reasons to work alongside perceived villains for the good of mutantkind. I more so think Fraction (who I respect as a writer) should have stuck with an explanation in that vein here, since Xavier would not have been in a position to oppose the forming of an Osborn X-Team (like the New Avengers are/did), since Os is essentially the most powerfully positioned man on the planet. The mere chance of legitimacy to the X-Team name and image, public support of mutants in light of the political policies that have often been attempted (and passed) against them (even a current issue in X-Men comics), and a chance to lead a team not associated with Scott so as to get back in the position of activist (look at it as quality vs. quantity this time, since the decimation supposedly made his and Magneto's points moot and fueled Scott's current stance).With all of that, I still think it won't simply be all as appears (or is said)... 'cause why would we want to give away everything about the book beforehand? I wouldn't say having it be an impostor Xavier is necessary, but at the end of the day Osborn's inclusion of Xavier would be for his image as a mutant activist. Chuck's shady things aren't all that shady in the long run, are not as big to hide by Os, and are not such a tool for Scott to (even want to) wave over Prof. X's head (especially not to affect Normie, that's an easy fix for him to distance from.I doubt there'd be much successful mind reading of Os though, since it'd give away the Cabal too early (unless this is a lead up to the fall - doubt it), Emma and Namor would be implicated so there'd be a rift with Xavier who worked alongside Namor in the Illuminati, so such issues are not the outcomes and issues of this book.

kreemarvel
kreemarvel

[color=seagreen] Hello?When it's for the greater good (or even survival, as in Cyke's team's case), not only Charles, but other X-Men have formed uneasy alliances before.Remember Ororo and Magnus as the White King of the Hellfire Club? Only way to protect themselves from the Marauders.Charles may have seen this is benefitial for mutants (hey, the original post says that clearly).Why people would think this is bad or that Charles is going "dark" or that it is not him at all is strange.[/color]

rabid_gamer
rabid_gamer

Oh, it him all right, X-men Legacy hints at Chuck being all dark now since he died and was brought back wrong and then was almost taken over by Mr. Sinister.Remeber Emma is the one who check him out and said no trace of Sinister could be found.Don't believe her. :magneto: say "Why can't I be a Dark X-man?

johnnysword
johnnysword

Watch this whole thing with Xavier be a fake-out to get people reading Dark X-Men. Then six issues later they reveal that it's not Charles at all, it's Mystique working for Norman Osborn. They did it with Scarlet Witch in Mighty Avengers.

perdid
perdid

Did I miss something here!!!"While Xavier would not prove much of a physical threat"!!!!!That comment seem very presomptious of cyke!!Xavier is the most powerfull psy on earth...to me , he is the most dangerous of the Dark x-men!!!He could defeat Cyclop team in a blink of an eye!!With Emma as well on the dark team side, who is going to protect cyclop team against xavier???, Virtually no psy screen can protect them against xavier powers(and with emma on his side!!!) don't think the newly returned Psylock is near powerfull enough!!!

anotherdeadhero74
anotherdeadhero74

I imagine that Chuck has read Normans mind and in some way ultimately wants to play the big hero when the Dark Reign wraps up. Maybe bump Normy once his Iron Patriot Act is in place!

rabid_gamer
rabid_gamer

I though this Xavier would be that Ink guy from Young X-men, but regular Charles isn't very nice any more anywayI hope the team doesn't call them selves the Dark X-men, that would be a clue of Norman's intentons. Of course all Chuck has to do is scan Norman's messy mind and in 2 second he would know he was working for the bad guys. But plot wise that would be boring right? :professorx: says "I don't read people's mind without permission, and that leads to all kinds of problems!