We’re partway through the first arc of Extraordinary X-Men, and already an intriguing subplot is building force. The first issue began with a poignant scene in which Storm, doubting the direction of her leadership, turned towards what we initially thought was an imaginary Professor Xavier:
When Iceman interrupted, he asked who she was talking to; she replied “no one”.
More recently, when #3 came out we had another moment involving this mysterious spectre of Charles Xavier. As the hordes of Limbo attacked the Jean Grey School, Storm was knocked down – but awakened by what seemed to be a telepathic command:
So here’s the question: is Xavier about to return from the dead?
Is Xavier dead in the first place?
Avengers Versus X-Men came to a climax when Cyclops blasted Xavier with the full power of the Phoenix Force. It was the act that truly led to his going Dark Phoenix, and – in the months afterwards – he had a nervous breakdown over the killing of his mentor.
In the meantime, Xavier’s funeral was seen in Uncanny Avengers. In fact, his body was stolen by the Red Skull, and Xavier was lobotomised; in some strange way the extracting of Xavier’s brain gave the Red Skull the powers of Charles Xavier, and ultimately led to the events of AXIS. I’m sure the idea made perfect sense to Rick Remender, but I for one never really ‘got’ it.
In case the fact Xavier’s body had its brain cut out isn’t evidence enough that Xavier’s dead, Jason Aaron took another route. The first arc of Amazing X-Men featured the X-Men entering a heavenly afterlife, and ultimately led to Nightcrawler’s return. One of the other inhabitants of this heaven?
Yes, Professor Charles Xavier was definitely killed. Not only did we see his body, but his body was dissected by the Red Skull, while his spirit went on to a Marvel version of Heaven. Let’s face it; you can’t get much deader than that, not even for the X-Men.
So how could Marvel bring Xavier back?
This is only a theory, but for me the key is that the X-Men are currently in Limbo. Limbo is one of the afterlife dimensions, and its ruler – currently Magik – is a Hell Lord, just as much as, say, Hela or Mephisto. I’m theorising that Xavier’s mind is reaching out to Storm from another afterlife – the heaven we glimpsed in Jason Aaron’s book. I’m also theorising that, eventually, he’s going to have to step in – and we’ll actually see the Professor return. After all, I can’t believe a subplot launched in the very first issue of Extraordinary X-Men will be forgotten.
The X-Men have been notorious for their ‘revolving-door’ experience of death, but let’s face it; this would be the ultimate resurrection…