By Tim Stevens
In life, there might be moments where it feels as though all your sins have come back to haunt you. For Professor Charles Xavier, that time has arrived. On April 15, it all comes to a head in X-MEN: LEGACY #223, written by Mike Carey and drawn by Scot Eaton, when Danger reveals her plan for revenge.
Those expecting a simple attempt on the Professor's life, however, should prepare themselves for something much darker, more frightening, and, of course, dangerous.
"[Danger's plan is] something more complex and more sadistic—and something relating to Rogue, of course, since she's chosen to intersect Xavier's journey at the point where he's seeking Rogue out," reveals Carey.
Danger's attack comes at a critical time for Xavier, a period where it appears that he finally might be regaining a sense of control and direction in his life.
"He's come through the dark night of the soul and he's groping towards a new sense of himself—a new resolution," Carey explains. "In a sense, this entire process of paying old debts and revisiting past sins has been both a catharsis and a catalyst. He's atoned as far as he can for many of his worst mistakes and excesses, and, as he himself is about to say in a very significant context, it's time to start living in the present again."
Some may feel that the Professor still has a long way to travel towards redeeming himself and Carey understands that everyone has to decide on their own whether or not Xavier can put his past misdeeds behind him.
"I think that's a judgment that every reader has to make for him or herself," the writer acknowledges. "My own take on it is this: Xavier was always guided by a very strong moral sense, even when he did things that seemed from the outside to be indefensible. He's never done anything venal, selfish or cruel. He has sometimes made the wrong call in agonizingly difficult situations."
A large part of Xavier's journey concerns Danger, the sentient technological entity Xavier in many ways enslaved, and Carey views #223 as an important part of helping fans better understand how that situation came to be.
"We finally get that story [of Danger's origin] told from Professor X's perspective," he says. "In [ASTONISHING X-MEN], when he was confronted with the enormity of what he'd done to Danger, he offered no defense, but that wasn't because there was no defense to make. It was because he condemned himself as much as any of the X-Men could condemn him. But there was more going on than simple callousness or ruthless pragmatism which have never been Xavier's hallmarks, after all. This arc tilts the glass a little, and casts light on some of the things that have been left out of the picture up to now. And without revealing too much of what happens in the story itself, it's not just a case of the greater good: there were other factors involved in what Xavier did, which made his decision a choice between different evils."
Regardless of how readers receive the information, all signs point towards Xavier's quest for redemption in the pages of LEGACY drawing to a close, which leaves some wondering where the Professor and the book go from here.
"Professor X will pop up right at the center of things again," Carey discloses. "He's spent his time in the wilderness, and he's coming back into the melee, into the world of mutant/human affairs—but not from the angle you might expect.
"LEGACY is going to undergo another metamorphosis while still retaining a single central character and still reserving the right to use anyone and everyone as supporting cast, which has always been one of the coolest things about writing it. I don't want to say who the new protagonist is, but I will say that nobody who knows me is going to be surprised."
To witness Xavier's confrontation with Danger and his past, pick up X-MEN: LEGACY #223 on April 13. For more LEGACY, visit Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited.
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