I wanted to walk around with my reaction to the death of Professor Charles Xavier in Marvel’s AvX #11 for a few days while the news spread out to the comic reading community. (This can hardly be called a spoiler since Marvel themselves leaked the story to the NY Daily News and USA Today several days before the issue hit the racks.)
Now, I’m a long time comic reader and I’m used to characters being killed off. And I fully expect Professor X, like all previously dead characters, to return sometime in the not-too-distant future. Even if he doesn’t, I’ve read enough manga to understand that the death of a mentor or teacher is rich soil for fertilizing future plotlines and character growth.
You would think that as a jaded pop culture commentator, I would be immune to such a shallow and orchestrated marketing “event,” however you’d be wrong.
What has made me sad is the idea Brian Michael Bendis has expressed in interviews: The concept that Xavier was “an anachronism” and “irrelevant” to today’s comic readers. This really concerns me. I see only two reasons for these statements:
Either Bendis is wrong, in which case, we are dealing with a bullpen of lazy scribes at Marvel. This is entirely possible, since this crew of writers have proven in the past to be unable to write solid marriages or even credible female voices. The very idea of having to write for a compassionate, semi-retired elder spokesman who believes in discussion and diplomacy must have filled them with dread on a near-daily basis. After all, Bendis himself is better suited to writing Modern-Family-for-superheroes scripts. (Here’s a hint, folks: The writers of Star Trek: The Next Generation managed to make negotiation and understanding visually interesting for over 178 episodes and four movies.)
The other alternative is that Mr. Bendis has his finger on the pulse of today’s youth, who are apparently primed to settle everything with fists and fury. In which case, I gotta ask, “Do we really wanna pander to this element for a temporary spike in profits?”
For centuries, society has passed along its morals and values in its myths and folklore. And what are superheroes but 21st Century mythology? I’m not sure what message is being passed along by taking out a humanitarian character like a punk for the sake of a quick buck, but, unlike most current politicians, I DO NOT approve of this message.
* The views and opinions of GRIM_NOIR are his and his alone and do not represent the views of the owners nor editorial staff of PopTardsGo. Please feel free to comment below and/or follow @Grim_Noir on Twitter if you agree or disagree with any of his statements.
Tags: Brian Michael Bendis, Death, Grim_Noir, Marvel Comics, Professor Xavier