Home News X-Men ’97 Just Made a Bold Choice With Magneto

X-Men ’97 Just Made a Bold Choice With Magneto


Now we must come to Magneto’s equal and opposite: Charles Xavier/Professor X, who even in “Tolerance is Extinction” preaches the need for dialogue. Xavier’s dream is idealistic, but remember that its dreamer is a man of privilege. He’s a wealthy white man born into ease; his disability and his mutant powers came later in life, so he knows what it’s like to be a human in a world of comfort.

Professor X advocates for mutant acceptance into the human world because that’s a world he knows well. In Magneto’s youth, he experienced evil and harsh realities Xavier was sheltered from, so his ideology was forged in that fire. The 2011 prequel film “X-Men: First Class,” depicting the origins of Charles and Erik’s feud, understands this. It even begins with their respective childhoods; Charles in a Westchester estate, and Erik in Auschwitz.

As Sunspot notes, Bastion didn’t brainwash his Prime Sentinels into being bigots, he just gave them tools to act on it. Earlier in the season, the anti-mutant Friends of Humanity was still active too. Xavier’s faith in humanity has been unrewarded, so why not join Magneto’s crusade if you’re a mutant? Tellingly, Xavier prioritizes restoring the Earth over keeping Bastion’s Sentinels down. (Cyclops, who showed frustration with the slow shaping of tolerance in “Remember it,” disagrees — a sign of further divides?)

Jude Jones, writing for ComicsXF in 2021, deconstructed the fallacious idea that Professor X represents Martin Luther King Jr. and Magneto is Malcolm X. He proposed an alternative analogy: Magneto is Nat Turner (an enslaved African-American who led a revolt in 1831 Virginia) and Professor X is Booker T. Washington (a 19th-century African-American intellectual who argued Black people must prove their worth).

When the privileged call for patience, do well to remember how long the oppressed have been waiting.

“X-Men ’97” is streaming on Disney+, with the season 1 finale scheduled to premiere on Wednesday, May 15.

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