Marvel Crisis Protocol Lore: Who is Professor X?

The X-Men are one of the most iconic teams in all of American pop culture. And like any good super-team, they had to be brought together by a visionary leader. For the X-Men, this is Charles Xavier (Professor X). He is a giant in Marvel comics, and is essential to most stories involving his X-Men. But who is the telepathic headmaster, really?


Charles Francis Xavier was born to wealthy parents in New York City who live in a mansion in Westchester County. While Xavier was still in high school, his father Brian Xavier (a successful nuclear researcher) died, and Charles’s mother, Sharon Xavier, married Brian’s research partner Kurt Marko, who then moved in with the Xaviers along with his son, Cain. Kurt then became neglectful of Sharon, which pushed her to become an alcoholic, and Kurt became abusive towards both Charles and Cain. Kurt died in a lab fire, but not before admitting he had a part in Brian Xavier’s death.

Because of his natural genius and mutant power of telepathy, Charles excelled in school and makes his way to Oxford University, where he met and fell in love with Moira Kinross. Xavier also got drafted into the Korean War. During the war, he saw his step-brother Cain become Juggernaut after touching a ruby, and received a letter informing him that Moira no longer planned to marry him.

After he left the army, Charles traveled the world. In Cairo, he met a young mutant named Ororo Munroe (you may know her as Storm), who was pickpocketing to survive. He would also battle the Shadow King, then posing as the Egyptian crime lord Amahl Farouk, and barely defeat him. After that battle, Charles decided that he needed to devote his life to protecting humans from evil mutants and protecting mutants from human oppression.  While visiting his friend Daniel Shomron (who was running a clinic for traumatized Holocaust victims), Xavier met a man named Magnus working as a volunteer at the clinic.  Magnus would later become one of the X-Men’s greatest villains, Magneto. Charles also fell in love with Gabrielle Haller, who he broke out of a catatonic coma. He and Magnus joined forces to battle Baron Strucker and his Hydra agents, and then part ways when it became clear their views on mutant-human relations were diametrically opposed. He also ended his relationship with Gabrielle on good terms, but didn’t know she was pregnant with his son David, who grew up to be the Omega-level mutant threat Legion.

Xavier eventually returned to his family’s estate in New York with his new wife, Amelia Voght. She would later leave him to become a follower of Magneto. He founded his School for Gifted Youngsters at his mansion and recruited the first class of X-Men: Beast (Hank McCoy), Cyclops (Scott Summers), Iceman (Bobby Drake), Angel (Warren Worthington III), and Marvel Girl (Jean Grey). The rest of Xavier’s history is so intertwined with the X-Men, that it will be covered in more detail with their lore articles.

Publication History/MCU History

Professor X was created by legendary duo Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and made his debut in X-Men #1 on September 1, 1963.  As the leader of the X-Men, he has been present in all of their major storylines, and has been written by some of the biggest names in Marvel Comics history, including: Stan Lee, Chris Claremont, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Louise Simonson, Jonathan Hickman, and Grant Morrison.  Professor X is also a key character in X-Men: The Animated Series (voiced by Cedric Smith) and in the Disney+ series X-Men ‘97 (voiced by Ross Marquand). He has also been an essential part of the FOX X-Men movies (portrayed by Sir Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy), and Stewart’s portrayal of Xavier was seen in the Marvel Studios 2022 film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.

Recommended Runs

X-Men #1 (Stan Lee, Jack Kirby): This is the one that started it all. Stan Lee establishes who Charles Xavier is, what he believes in, and the framework for what would become one of the most popular and influential works of not just comic books, but American pop culture in general. Read it, read it, read it.

X-Men #12 (Lee, Kirby): Stan Lee introduces the iconic X-Men villain Juggernaut in this issue. Additionally, we get Xavier’s origin story.

The New Mutants #26 (Chris Claremont, Bill SIenkiewicz): Xavier’s son David is introduced by legendary X-Men Writer Chris Claremont in this issue.  This adds a new layer to Xavier, and complicates our view of him as a reader.

Uncanny X-Men #161 (Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum): Xavier’s relationship with X-Men villain Magneto has always been an interesting aspect of his character to me, and this issue dives head first into that relationship and its roots.  

New X-Men #121 (Grant Morrison, Frank Quitely): A legendary comics writer, and an equally legendary villain. Morrison gave the Marvel universe Cassandra Nova, an incredibly twisted inversion of Charles Xavier. 

Does the Model Miss the Mark?

Art by Chuck Pavoni, copyright Marvel and AMG

Professor X is the third leader available to the X-Men affiliation, and I am a big fan of his leadership. It has no range or LOS limit, and you’re going to be using superpowers anyway, so allies might as well get power from it. I also like how they have represented his physical frailty with his low defense in everything BUT mystic, and he gets to use that defense when he’s attacked unless your opponent pays two power. You probably don’t want him in the middle mixing it up anyway, so that doesn’t feel like a real problem for his playstyle.  His playstyle is definitely more of “lead from the rear, support the rest of the team” between his attacks and related tactics card, which I believe is a really good job of AMG translating the comic character to the table, even though Charles has become more active from the frontlines in more recent storylines.

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