In march this year, Marvel Comics relaunched their X-Men line with the "ResurrXion," an attempt to breathe new life into a flagging comic book brand. It's been a tremendous success, but — in a twist that's sure to delight fans — we've just had confirmation that the "ResurrXion" will be literal. Death is always something of a revolving door in comics, and it looks as though the legendary founder of the X-Men is about to return.
Yes, you read that right, X-Men fans. Professor Xavier himself, killed in 2012's "Avengers Vs. X-Men" event, is coming back!
Charles Soule's Astonishing X-Men
Our story begins with the relaunched Astonishing X-Men, featuring writer Charles Soule and artist Jim Cheung. The first arc has featured the return of the Shadow King, an astral being whose profile recently was promoted, becoming the main villain of Fox's TV series Legion. But the first issue closed with a surprising revelation: the Shadow King was playing chess against another astral being, a very familiar one:
Nobody knew what to make of this twist. Xavier's been dead since 2012's "Avengers Vs. X-Men" event, but Marvel has long been enjoying teasing his potential return; Jeff Lemire's Extraordinary X-Men dropped hints that went nowhere. Wary X-Men fans viewed this as more of the same, but their curiosity was piqued.
The issues that followed have gradually explained this plot twist. The second issue included dialogue pointing out that many dead things end up trapped on the Astral Plane. It seems that's the case with Charles Xavier's mind, with the Shadow King mentioning that Xavier has been a prisoner for quite some time.
Speaking at the Marvel Retailer Breakfast at #NYCC2017, Soule admitted that the whole point of his book is to bring Charles Xavier back. The return will happen in Astonishing X-Men #6 and #7, although it won't come as much of a surprise to fans. We'd already seen the November solicitations...
The November Solicitations Tease Xavier's Return
This is the cover for X-Men Gold #16, an issue that sees one X-Men team don team outfits once again as they step into the Negative Zone on a mission to save one of their own. You'll notice a certain bald-headed mutant standing among the X-Men on the cover.
It's a bold move on Marvel's part, turning the "ResurrXion" motif into something literal. Astonishing X-Men will indeed be the story of the good Professor's return to the land of the living. It's unclear how he'll get a body, but it's worth noting that Xavier has previously shown the ability to pull things out of the Astral Plane into the real world. So a literal resurrection wouldn't be too difficult, especially since Soule also has the Omega-Level telepath Psylocke on hand in his comic too.
What Role Will Charles Xavier Play?
Back in 2012 when Marvel last killed off Charles Xavier, they admitted it was partly because they'd run out of ideas for the character. The X-Men had largely grown beyond him, as Wolverine had now become headmaster of the latest mutant school (seriously), and literally half of the books revolved around members of the X-Men teaching the next generation. Xavier's death prepared the ground for some major arcs as he died at the hands of Cyclops, a plot twist that Brian Bendis used to divide the X-Men during his run on the X-Men books. Meanwhile, Rick Remender had the Red Skull cut Xavier's brain out of his body and somehow gained his psychic powers, a plot that was only resolved in the run-up to this year's "Secret Empire" event.
This year, Marvel has effectively relaunched the X-Men range by blending a new direction with a hefty dose of nostalgia. They've realized that the X-Men books had drifted from their core identity, the battle against prejudice, and as a result, there's clearly a place once again for the dreamer who is Charles Xavier. What's more, his literal resurrection makes the whole "ResurrXion" brand take on a whole new dimension.
So there you have it, X-Men fans; Charles Xavier is about to return. It looks as though his mind has been trapped on the Astral Plane ever since the events of 'Avengers Vs. X-Men.' Now, the X-Men have become caught up in the psychic game of chess between Xavier and his oldest nemesis, the Shadow King, and are soon to bring their mentor back to the land of the living. Frankly, I couldn't be more delighted.
Do you think Marvel is wise in resurrecting Charles Xavier?
(Source: Bleeding Cool)