If Martin Luther King were alive today how would he be viewed? A man disappointed with his people like that Boondocks episode or an aging out of touch leader who the world entertains out of necessity like Jessie Jackson? What about Malcolm X, would he have remained relevant had he lived, or would he have transformed into an Al Sharpton like wind bag whose seen as more of a caricature than a voice of his people? I bring this up because two of the most politically charged Marvel comics characters, Professor X and Magneto were modeled after these two great leaders back in the early 60’s when they were at their political peak and at their biggest divide in terms of politics. Unlike their real life counterparts, Charles and Magnus have lived on, and like most great thinkers who aren’t taken away too soon, their respected dreams have lived on long enough to become flawed.
Charles Xavier had a dream that mutants and humans would one day learn how to coexist peacefully. His goal was to gain acceptance for his people by teaching young mutants how to control their gifts and turn the other cheek. Erik Lehnsherr was on the opposite end of the spectrum, the early comics portrayed him as an elitist who felt that Humanity was outdated and that mutants were not human’s but homosuperiors who had evolved in order to rule the outdated homosapien species. In those early days, Stan Lee was trying to do his part to preach tolerance, and of course, Xavier’s point of view was portrayed as the proper way of thinking. However, as Marvel comics changed with the more diversified world, the way the mutants were shown in comics never really changed with our times. Honestly the only thing different from the initial world that hated mutants to now is that Magneto, like Malcolm X before him, became less radical and more sympathetic. Xavier on the other hand became a man out of time, his co-existence message became lost, and his dream seemed to stall out. Xavier’s real mission boiled down to training his students to stop other mutants from stepping out of line. In essence, Xavier and his X-Men became more like a mutant police force, hell bent on apologizing for the actions of “evil mutants” rather than changing the way they were viewed by the world that still feared them. Whenever sh*t went down with a rogue mutant, there were the X-Men to clean up and apologize to the humans like some kind of super powered sambo: “Wesa sure is sorry about Apocalypse leveling half this here city, Mr. Homospaian sir. Wesa swear not all mutants want to enslave you. Turn your eyes to our barely dressed Asian girl with the British accent, she’ll love you long time”. In short Xavier outlived his dream and became an Uncle Tom.
Xavier was clearly wrong about humanity. In the grand scheme of things Humans will never accept mutants because mutants represent a future where they are obsolete. How do the rich stay rich? They pool together to help each other stay there. How did the Royal families of yesteryear maintain monarchies? They intermarried cousins and siblings, to keep it an exclusive club based on bloodlines. Humans are a dying species in the marvel universe; the only way they can survive is to band together and make mutation seem like a disease as opposed to an evolution. Magneto knew this, but he went too far over the edge, and with Xavier around, he was never going to gain the upper hand. Face it, the Brother Hood and Acolytes respectively were about as intimidating as the Miami Marlins starting lineup. Xavier cornered the market on the best mutants, then neutered them, ensuring that his so called dream would always be in the hands of the most powerful of his people.
Enter Cyclops. Last year’s AVX crossover saw Xavier finally put out of his misery by his favorite student. In the aftermath of Xavier’s death, Wolverine and Cyclops were poised as the new voices of mutant kind, the new Erik and Charles so to speak. Xavier's death was a great moment in mutant history. After years of drinking that cripple’s kool-aid like a true follower, Scott Summers finally figured it out. Magneto and Xavier were both idiots. They lost their way due to their constant fighting, and in the meantime human beings became even more distrusting of the mutant menace, to the point where Scarlett Witch, a mutant herself, went crazy tried to wipe our her own race. Mutant kind became a dysfunctional sub-culture and she decimated it into less than 200. Like the great dinosaur extinction that turned their species into modern day birds, mutants needed to be reset in order to evolve into something better. Cyclops used the Phoenix Force to jumpstart his race, and this time he was determined to do it better than Xavier and Magneto. No more fighting about good vs evil, and kissing the ass of humanity so they can be allowed to open up schools. Judgment day is coming, but there is no need to throw the first stone, instead Summers has taken Xavier’s idea of stockpiling the best mutants and training them. At the same time he’s interlaced that with Magneto’s “push me and I will push back harder” approach. No longer are mutants going to be shucking and jiving for the public. In every future Scott has seen mutants end up becoming a controlled group, kept in check by Sentinels, because humans will hate mutants today, tomorrow, and forever. Xavier was never going to get coexistence from those flatscans, he was just trying to keep his own people in line so they wouldn’t all be thrown in concentration camps. From day one Professor 'Sell Out' was pretending to be some kind of saint, but he was just some obedient puppy afraid to confront the truth. I mean the man had some deep dark secrets, it was revealed that he was jerking off to Jean Grey since she was 16 years old, he was willing to sacrifice is precious students for a human cooz named Moria, and that entire Onslaught thing... c'mon. Xavier wasn't sh*t! Cyclops is no longer a sell out bitch wagging his tail for Master X's approval, he’s a man who sees the storm coming. Along with Magik, Emma Frost, and a smarter Magneto, he’s creating an army ready for the revolution. Humans have shown that no matter how many times they save the world, mutants will always be the enemy.
Xavier was a fool, he allowed his naïve world view of the universe to slow down the process of mutant rights, and trained a bunch of kids to be servants to those who would never accept them. Magneto was a lunatic, his own rage compromised what could have been a successful plan, and turned him into the very man who had taken his family from him—Hitler. Cyclops isn’t about master race or separate but equal, nor is he about playing the good house mutie and bowing down every time Captain America needs something like his brother Alex does. Wolverine can play the part of the house broken ex-killer trying to Follow in Chuck’s footsteps as a pacifist mutant police officer. Kitty Pryde can put on her big girl panties and play the part of tough and fair teacher, but she’s just as lost as the original X-Men who weren’t smart enough to think past Xavier’s propaganda. In the end, the other X-Men are still going down the wrong path. Scott Summers is the mutant Savior. Scott Summers is the only leader worth following. Scott Summers is Right.