No, seriously, this REALLY pisses me off.
Marvel is launching a five issue mini series in August by Christos Gage and the legendary Neal Adams called “The First X-Men” in which they will be exploring Charles Xavier’s life before he stood (or sat) before five costumed youths in 1963’s X-Men #1.
Adams posited the concept was that Professor X wasn’t the person who started protecting young mutants. “Maybe this was going on when Professor X was a teenager and mutants were being abused by the government … and somebody stepped out to protect these kids. … Who would he be and why would he go to Charles Xavier? … That became my premise.”
And so you know who it was that inspired Charles Xavier to one day become Professor X and found the X-Men?
It’s like Marvel editors were sitting around one day and suddenly realized that should they do anymore “original X-Men” stories they couldn’t have Wolverine in them. So what’s the solution to that problem? Try to create and market a quality story that boosts these kids into a better spotlight?
No, make Wolverine the godfather of the entire concept.
And beyond a horrible idea, it doesn’t fit into the pre-X-Men #1 backstory for Professor X, which it turns out HAS already been established. Here, I’ll run you through it.
- Xavier discovers he has mental powers, loses his hair and quits sports because he feels he has an unfair advantage.
- Father killed in a nuclear plant accident, mother marries Juggernaut’s father making the two step-brothers.
- Xavier falls in love with Moira MacTaggert over the mutual interest in genetic mutation.
- Xavier and Juggs get drafted into
the Korean Warsome kind of dateless conflict, left unnamed since dates eventually age characters too much.
- While there, Juggs deserts and Xavier tries to pull him back and the two discover a temple of Cytorrak. Juggs takes the crimson jewel and gets his unstoppable powers, but accidentally brings the whole mountain down on himself. Xavier escapes and abandons his monstrous brother, who takes the next years digging himself out and being mad as holy hell.
- While in Korea, Xavier gets a Dear John letter from Moira who has fallen in love with handsome and charming Joe MacTaggert, with them eventually birthing Proteus.
- Sad and depressed, Xavier begins wandering the world, stopping in Africa where he is pick-pocketed by a child Storm. He is then attacked by the powerful psychic Amahl Farouk, and the two engage in a savage mental battle in which Xavier emerges victorious. Farouk (who would return as the Shadow King) was the first “evil” mutant Xavier had encountered and the battle established his dream of peace between humans and mutants and protecting the world from evil mutants.
- Xavier is summoned to Israel to help the mental damage of Gabrielle Haller. While working in the hospital, he meets a young(er) Erik Lensherr. Xavier and Lensherr connect over the “theory” of genetic mutation while not revealing their abilities to one another.
- When the Jewish Gabrielle is kidnapped by Baron Strucker, Xavier and Lensherr unleash a rescue mission in which they reveal to each other their powers. Lensherr leaves Xavier, realizing their ideals are opposites of one another, and takes off with a fortune in Nazi gold. After all, space asteroid bases don’t come cheap.
- Xavier and Haller have a brief romance to fill a damaged emotional void rather than any kind of feelings. They part amicably, but not before Xavier knocks Gaby up with the baby that would eventually become Legion. She keeps the boy a secret from Xavier.
- Xavier travels to Tibet and encounters the alien Lucifer who cripples Xavier by dropping a huge stone slab onto his legs.
- Xavier returns to his family mansion and rededicates himself to genetic mutation, reconnecting with Moira MacTaggert, who has become estranged from her husband. The two focus on helping a young Jean Grey, whose powerful psychic powers manifested violently after she witnessed her best friend killed in a hit-and-run, as well as building Cerebro, a mutant detection device.
- As Xavier begins looking to recruit his first class of “X-Men”, he and Moira again butt heads over their ideals on helping young mutants. Xavier wants to use the mutants to help the world against those who would abuse their powers, while Moira thinks they should focus on making the kids happy, everyday citizens. Moira returns to Scotland and establishes a mutant research facility on Muir Island.
- Xavier recruits his first team of X-Men – Cyclops, Iceman, Angel, Beast and Marvel Girl.
Okay – so there you have it. With the established story there, you can see exactly how Professor X went from exploring his own powers into the position where he dreamed of a world where mutants and humans could live in harmony. At no point, in my mind, is there really room for this:
I’m not going to go through the history of Wolverine, but let me say that in the established history between the two, there is no point in which this really works. Daniel Way tried to add more to the history between the two characters during a Wolverine: Origins/X-Men Legacy crossover, and that didn’t really work either.
This comes mainly because the development of Wolverine through Chris Claremont’s run with the X-Men was so remarkably well done. He went from a stand-offish loner to a team player through the friendships and respect he had so lacked in his life.
Lowe described the premise as “something X-Men fans would go nuts for,” mentioning Adams had worked with the character of Wolverine before.
Adams described the series as “maybe groundbreaking.” “It’s the X-Men before the X-Men,” he said, going on to say they were “maybe a disaster.”
The artist also mentioned the involvement of Wolverine in the X-Men and why he keeps coming back. “How deeply entrenched is Wolverine to the X-Men? I think very, very deeply.”
Lowe, you are correct. Fans will go nuts, not because it’s a huge event or even a big deal. But because it’s tossing Wolverine so deeply into the X-Men it’s become little more than nonsense. Why does Wolverine have to be in the founding of the entire cause?
And it’s not like they haven’t tried tossing in characters into the backstory before. And it is never widely accepted.
- Xavier apparently met Carmen Pryde (father of Kitty) in
Koreathe war, conflicting with their first meeting when the X-Men recruit his daughter.
- Sage (Tessa) apparently aided Xavier after his legs were crushed and he recruited her along with his first X-Men, though to be a spy rather than an X-Man, and planted her into the Hellfire Club. This conflicts with the X-Men’s discovery of the Hellfire Club and its inner circle during the Dark Phoenix Saga.
- Xavier, along with Moira and Jean, apparently also had Acolyte Amelia Voght with him in the pre-X-Men school-establishing days. This doesn’t conflict with anything, but Voght is such an unimportant character that it really doesn’t matter.
The only thing that was added in that stuck was Moira recruiting her own team of students on Muir Island, including third Summers brother Vulcan and Darwin, later a member of X-Factor.
But this? This will be remembered only for Neal Adams’ involvement and then politely disregarded by all but the most dutiful of Wikipedia updaters.