Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Professor X Is a Jerk!: R.I.P. (Really Inhuman, Professor)

Professor X is dead! A dead jerk, mind you. But still: D-E-A-D! And that rhymes with P and that stands for "Professor" and that all means jerk. The fun happens in 1968's way-out, groovy, psycho-jerkular X-Men #42, a story so chilling and shattering that Marvel Comics will never dare try this stunt again. Never, I tell you!

Cover of [Uncanny] X-Men #42 (March 1968), pencils and inks by John Buscema and John Verpoorten [Iceman head]

Well, as we like to say in both the comic book industry and the Mafia's cover-up municipal sanitation businesses: good riddance to bad rubbish. Now, take note of part of that banner at the bottom there:

We'll be comin' back to that later. In the meantime, just how did the late Professor Jerkavier die? I believe he may have been murdered by his own rogue eyebrows, but that's only my opinion.

Panel from [Uncanny] X-Men #42 (March 1968), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by Don Heck, inks by George Tuska, letters by Sam Rosen

Geez! Even when he's dyin', he's being a...well, you know what he is. And he's such a drama queen! Get on with it, Xavier!

And so, with heavy hearts and a dead cueball in their arms, the X-Men step over the boot of Miscolored Captain America and head for the mortuary, where they will be given the choice to burn him, bury him, or dump him.

All history is revisionist (says Dr. Sam Beckett), so it's perhaps not surprising that the X-Men choose to remember their ex-X not as the jerk he was, but as a fine, upstanding sitdowning man. And sure, why wouldn't they, when Professor X had mental powers that could reprogram their brains to not only love him, but also to love the brussels sprouts that he insisted they eat at every meal, all because of his foolish investment during the early sixties in a hydroponic brussels sprout farm? (He also bet that the Mets would sweep the '62 season and that the Beatles assassinated John F. Kennedy.) Why, even the unique opportunity of having a native of the planet Vulcan could not keep the X-Men from being sad at Xavier's burial, and as we all know, Vulcans put the "fun" in "funeral." Also: the "eral."

Panel from [Uncanny] X-Men #43 (April 1968), script by Roy Thomas, pencils by George Tuska, inks by John Tartaglione, letters by Sam Rosen

They're so upset, they can't even riff MST3K-style on the Professor's hilarious "Wacky Video Will" that is projected upon Jean's dressing room table. Oh, wait, so now we're learning that Xavier had a deadly disease from which he died, and it wasn't being squashed by a freakin' monster that did the happy deed. Yeah, I can tell you Exactly what disease Professor X had: you can find it in DSM-1, and it beings with the letter J and ends with the letter K. (And no, it's not jabberwock.)

Then, the X-Men bury him in a miniature Washington Monument, because the Professor was always so fond of that elebaorate and intricate piece of architecture.

Panel from [Uncanny] X-Men #46 (July 1968), script by Gary Friedrich, layouts by Don Heck, pencils by Werner Roth, inks by John Tartaglione, letters by Artie Simek

Well! Case close, end of story, happy endings all around for everybody! Ding dong, the Wicked X is dead! Say, how does the death of America's Top Mutant affect other people aside from the X-Men? Well, we can see nobody else came to the funeral—not the Avengers, not the Fantastic Four, not even Forbush-Man. And yet, everybody went to The Sentry's graveside and old campfire stories about how he was the greatestest Superhero in a million billion worlds. So there, Professor! Could this be true: could nobody 'cept the X-Men mourns him? Fir the answer to that question, let's peep in on Xavier's nobly grudging antagonist, fellow Nazi-kicker and former bestest pal Erik Max Eisenhardt Lehnsherr Magnus Aubrey Magneto!

Panel from [Uncanny] X-Men #43

(Bonus: extra-special value-added Magneto is out of his freakin' skull panel!):

Say, did anyone remember to notify the next-of-kin?

Panels from [Uncanny] X-Men #46


Yep, Professor X is dead, dead, dead, and nobody really minds it, 'coz he's a jerk. We leave the X-Men pining away, mourning their leader, and wishing for ice cream (aw, c'mon, you know they are).

Tomorrow: Part Two of our thrilling examination of the Death of Professor X, an event so unique, startling, and uncanny that it will never happen again in the whole of Marvel Universe history! Never, do you hear me??? Also: we'll continue telling you what a jerk he is. Y'all come back now, y'hear?


WizarDru said...

LOVE IT. Sure glad they never tried to do this again, right?

John Parker said...

Brilliant. Let's go on to part 2...