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By Marc Strom
Some sins just don't stay buried.
"Original Sin," a five-part crossover between X-MEN: LEGACY and WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, delves into the history between Professor X and Logan beginning with X-MEN: ORIGINAL SIN #1 on October 1.
Co-written by LEGACY and ORIGINS scribes Mike Carey and Daniel Way, the one-shot kicks off when Wolverine comes to Xavier asking for help with his amnesiac son, Daken.
According to Way, Logan hopes the Professor can help Daken by doing "the same thing he did for Wolverine, all those years ago."
While Way set up the circumstances which will bring the two mutants together, Carey says the story also plays very well into the larger story of LEGACY, which follows Xavier as he attempts to reconstruct the memories he lost as a result of the climax to "Messiah CompleX."
"The main thing from Professor X's point of view is the sense of obligation he feels towards Logan—of the two of them having unfinished business," Carey notes. "There's a sense in which he feels he let Logan down very badly, very early on in their relationship, and now he's impelled to revisit that old ground and see if he can put things right.
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"There's also a pretty fascinating parallel you can draw between Xavier and Wolverine that makes it cool to bring them together. The Professor is now in the situation that Wolverine has been in for years, of having only random and disconnected glimpses of his past with massive blind spots. Which of course means that his reading of the situation may not be exactly the same as Logan's: he can only rely on his memories up to a point."
Now that Wolverine's regained all his lost memories, however, Way promises that fans will begin to see Logan's relationship with the Professor in an all-new light.
"Most importantly, I'm trying to show that Professor X is no more or less flawed than anyone else—with the possible exception of Wolverine," the ORIGINS writer explains.
"I think there's a very strong bond between the two of them, based on the fact that Xavier trusted Wolverine at a time when his feral nature was closer to the surface than it is now," Carey elaborates. "Wolverine has never held Xavier in awe, as some of the other early X-Men did, but I think there's always been a real respect and affection all the same.
"But as we'll discover in the course of 'Original Sin,' we don't know the full truth about how they came to meet and how Wolverine was inducted into the X-Men. There were clashing agendas right from the start—and there still are, as Wolverine wants a favor from the Professor that Xavier is very, very reluctant to give: something that goes right against the grain of his current goals."
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Thus far, Xavier hasn't had much of a presence in WOLVERINE: ORIGINS. Given the series' mission statement, though—to explore Logan's shadowy past—Way says bringing the Professor into the mix had to happen eventually:
"It was always something that I wanted to explore in ORIGINS and, as luck would have it, the opportunity to not only do it, but do it in conjunction with LEGACY—giving readers a '360' view of what happens—presented itself at just the right moment. But I think, also, that the theme of fatherhood was taking us down this road, regardless. Logan's son needs his father's help, but Wolverine's never really been a father. The closest thing he himself has had is Professor X. So…kinda makes sense, doesn't it?"
The effects of "Original Sin" will have a considerable impact on Xavier's ongoing quest in the pages of LEGACY, bringing yet more self-revelations for the X-Men's former leader.
"['Original Sin'] marks a turning point in Xavier's coming to terms with his past actions, because the things he learns here force him to re-interpret his relationship with Wolverine and his past actions towards him," Carey foretells. "It's a bit like one of those puzzle pictures where you can see a set of shapes that seem to make up into a picture, but when you move your head slightly it comes together to make a different picture entirely. Prof. X has pieced together most of the facts about those early days of the X-Men, but it's still a question of interpretation—and maybe his interpretation has been wrong on some key points."
As for WOLVERINE: ORIGINS, the crossover will help propel the series towards a confrontation between Logan and the man responsible for many of his current troubles, Romulus.
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"'Original Sin' sets us up for a two-part story titled 'The Family Business' which then, in turn, drives us into a story that I'm sure will raise some eyebrows: 'Weapon XI,'" Way teases. "Romulus is soon to show his hand—and his face—and the ultimate showdown is now visible on the horizon. And, as readers will see at the end of 'Original Sin,' from here on out, there's no going back."
Just as Wolverine's quest will soon come to a climax, Xavier's story also races towards a major turning point after the upcoming crossover.
"We've got a very cool one-off following 'Original Sin,' which has Professor X meeting up with his step-brother, Cain Marco, aka the Juggernaut, for the first time since he was shot," Carey informs us. "It's a big change of pace: a quieter story, in a lot of ways, but I think it still packs a huge emotional punch.
"Then we go into what I've glibly been calling 'the Rogue story arc,' although it's a lot of other things too. The climax of Xavier's quest, in a lot of ways, and the point where he stops looking to the past and makes some key decisions about his future. LEGACY will come out of that story on a very different trajectory."
One lingering question remains, however: Just who perpetrated the titular original sin? According to Way, the answer to that might not be so simple:
"That's really up to the reader to decide, once they've read the story in its entirety."
X-MEN: ORIGINAL SIN #1, with art from Mike Deodato and Scot Eaton, launches the X-over of the fall on October 1. To get caught up with WOLVERINE: ORIGINS and X-MEN: LEGACY, head over to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited!