Legion of X #9 just confirmed that the X-Men’s founder, Professor Charles Xavier, just might be the worst parent in the Marvel Universe.
The following contains spoilers for Legion of X #9, now on sale from Marvel Comics.
Professor X, aka Charles Xavier, has a very complicated history in the Marvel Universe. The founder of the X-Men has done plenty of good for the mutant population and has served as a vital mentor and leader. But his mistakes have also gotten plenty of people killed, and his bull-headed self-confidence has left him incapable of letting his guard down with the one person he let down the most.
Legion of X #9 (by Sp Spurrier, Netho Diaz, Sean Parsons, Álvaro López, Java Tartaglia, and VC’s Clayton Cowles) sees Xavier finally visit his son, Legion, setting up a potential reconciliation for the pair. However, Xavier’s deep mistrust of his son not only ruins that chance in the worst way possible, but it also weakens an Omega-Level Mutant at a crucial moment for Krakoa. By being the worst parent in the Marvel Universe, the X-Men’s founder may have inadvertently allowed a massive attack on the entire mutant nation.
Professor X Just Ruined His Relationship With Legion – Again
Charles Xavier has always had a tenuous relationship with his son. In the past, Legion has been both an ally and enemy of the X-Men. His lingering issues with his father propel him to make both terrible and heroic decisions alike. But in the Krakoa Era, Legion has truly stepped up — making himself a firm ally to Nightcrawler, maintaining the psionic sanctuary known as the Alter, and resuming his romance with Blindfold. While he’s forged a bond with his uncle Juggernaut and found a new hero in Magneto, his relationship with his father remains strained — especially after Legion was forced to kill Xavier when he briefly became possessed by the spirit of Onslaught.
Blindfold recently made a psychic plea to Xavier to make peace with his son, and Legion of X #9 initially seems to be setting the stage for it. Xavier finally visits the Alter and gets to witness all the good work his son has been doing, helping others and providing them psionic assistance. It’s enough to bring Xavier to tears, as he acknowledges how much his son has grown. Xavier admits he’s proud of him and apologizes for not mending their relationship. However, believing he was walking into a psychic duel, Xavier had infected Legion with some mysterious device when he arrived and took away his powers — leaving him on the verge of collapse.
Professor X is One of Marvel’s Worst Dads
Xavier’s actions come at the worst possible time — and not just because during his visit, Nimrod’s latest salvo against the mutant nation begins to take shape and target the Alter. Xavier’s refusal to give his son the benefit of the doubt might have derailed Legion’s attempts to become a better person, highlighting how all the growth in the world can’t seemingly change his father’s fear of him. Xavier’s actions prove he can’t move on, as he mistook Blindfold’s pleas for reconciliation in the previous issue as a challenge. In the process, Xavier condemned his son when Legion had committed no sin to even remotely justify it.
As Nimrod makes his move, Xavier’s decision to weaken an Omega-Level telepath could leave the mutant nation more exposed than ever. Xavier’s declaration that someone is attacking “his” island and his refusal to acknowledge his accidental role in weakening their defenses highlights his self-centered nature. In striking Legion, Xavier is openly refusing the power of redemption and forgiveness that allowed former enemies of the X-Men to become major allies. But whereas the Marauders did so to get payback for terrible crimes committed against the mutant race, Xavier broke that law because he couldn’t imagine a world where it would be wrong to condemn Legion.
There are plenty of bad parents in the Marvel Universe. People like Odin and Mystique have meant well but damaged their children in major ways. Heroes like Quicksilver and Wolverine have struggled in the past to be good parental figures. Tony Stark had to confront a villainous variant of his dad. But Xavier’s actions with Legion reaffirm the worst elements of the character and serve as a reminder that even the most well-intentioned people can be monsters of their own making. By needlessly attacking his son in such a deeply personal way — and accidentally weakening the defenses for an entire nation in the process — Xavier has proven to be the worst parent in the entire Marvel Universe.