Hey, remember when there were all those rumors that a major character was going to be knocked off in the event series Avengers vs. X-Men? And remember when we all assumed it was going to be Scott Summers? Well ...
We were so close!
Turns out that Cyclops isn't the murdered, he's the murderer! And who better for Scott to kill than dear old surrogate dad, Professor Charles Xavier. Unlike that time Professor X died but then turned out to be the Changeling, or when he was accidentally killed, thus creating a horrible alternate timeline where Apocalypse reigns, this death is going to really count.
Don't believe us? Just ask writer Brian Michael Bendis.
"This is about as serious and lasting a death as you're apt to get in one of these."
Okay, so by "count" what we really mean is "he'll stay dead a while longer than usual." What's more important, though, are the consequences to the X-franchise and Cyclops in particular.
"What Cyclops has to do now is dig himself out of the biggest, deepest hole in the history of comic books," says Bendis.
He's not wrong. While "deepest" could be argued, there's no denying that Professor X has been the face of mutant kind, both in comics and in real life. Scott Summers being Charles' favorite "son" only makes the wound that much more deep and the consequences that much more complex.
But what's most interesting, perhaps, is the reason Charles was chosen as the character to die. Here's Bendis' explanation:
"When I joined the X-Men office I was quite surprised what a polarizing figure Charles Xavier had become among the editors, creators, and readers. Maybe it's because he's bald but I never have a problem with him. Analyzing it, it is clear that the franchise just simply outgrew him. All of the characters had moved on to a place where Charles himself wasn't really needed anymore. I don't think anyone did it on purpose; it was just one of those organic storytelling things. I spent a lot of time championing his place in Avengers Vs. X-Men only to find that I was really one of the only [people] who cared how he felt about the whole thing. After one of our retreat days a small group of us got together and the question was brought up that maybe he would be more interesting dead post-AvX than he was in life pre-AvX. Knowing what my plans were post AvX [with ALL-NEW X-MEN], the death of Charles Xavier made every scene I have coming up for the next year more passionate, more interesting and more controversial. I was very happy that we voted to whack the man."
Do you agree? Is Charles Xavier more potent in death than in life?