Xavier is out for Revenge/Meet the Avengers
Two really big things happen in issue #9. First, the X-Men are going to meet (and fight) The Avengers for the very first time. The teenagers get to play with the big boys. Meanwhile, Professor X is going to have a showdown with Lucifer. Who is Lucifer? I have no idea. I only know that he is the person who broke Professor Charles Xavier’s back. That alone is enough to make him a legend in the Marvel universe, and he should appreciate that because he really doesn’t have much else going for him.
You may remember that in Xavier skipped town shortly after the X-Men’s graduation. Well it turns out that he’s been on the trail of Lucifer, and he’s pretty pissed off that he can’t walk anymore. I’m sure that having to partake in a little spelunking to get to Lucifer only served to highlight how much he really hates it that he can’t walk. But what a badass. He has a teenage superhero squad that will attack anyone he points at, and he chooses to take this one alone. It’s personal. It’s so personal that he goes spelunking alone in a wheelchair. Try that some time.
Somehow he manages to find Lucifer’s lair without breaking his neck. Now that we get a good look at the guy, I must say I’m a bit disappointed. This is the guy who broke the professor’s back? With a name like Lucifer I expected him to look a lot more intimidating. He looks like a rejected Dr. Doom design. It turns out Lucifer has constructed a bomb big enough to destroy the entire planet, and it will trigger if his heartbeat stops. So basically this issue is the movie Speed and Lucifer is playing the roles of both Dennis Hopper and the bus. But meanwhile, on the surface…
The X-Men are tracking the location of the Professor, and it has brought them to Europe. However, the Avengers have been tracking Lucifer and have been brought to the same spot. Directly above Lucifer’s lair, the world’s two greatest superhero teams (yeah, sorry Fantastic Four) are about to square off over a little matter of who’s jurisdiction this is.
I’m happy to see say that our teenage mutants really hold their own against Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. Each team gives the other a run for their money.
Beast and Iron Man whoop each other’s butts. Literally.
Meanwhile, below ground, Xavier manages to subdue Lucifer with the power of his albino brain rainbow. Brainbow?
The Professor then mentally communicates with Thor on the surface,telling him to call off the attack.
Their confrontation ends, not surprisingly, a draw.
The Avengers walk away just like that. Their norse god got a spooky ghost transmission from some dude they’ve never met and they just stop. For being Earth’s Mightiest Heroes they’re pretty careless and lazy.
If you ever come across the Avengers, have you or Emma Frost or whoever
mentally tell Thor to stop fighting. The whole team will just get up and walk
away, just like that. Quittin’ time. This’ll be good to know some day.
But two things strike me in that panel. One is that Wasp is an insecure little bitch who plays head games with her men. The other is what Cyclops is thinking, that the Avengers inspire him to defend humanity. To him they serve as a great example of what mankind can achieve with the best intentions. I like to see our teenage heroes being inspired by the adults.
The poignant moment is shortlived, as the X-Men have to rush down to save the Professor. They find him trying to disarm the bomb.
The next panels illustrate just exactly what will happen if the bomb is allowed to go off. The effects would be globally devastating, and could wipe out all or most of the human race. This is an important moment for the X-Men because this is the first time they save the world from an imminent threat. This is the first time that their actions will prevent the earth’s immediate destruction. Of course this is the first of many.
So they disarm the bomb and Lucifer is defeated. Just to rub the whole handicap thing in, Lucifer mentions that they are now even after the destruction of Lucifer’s plan. This really sets the Professor off. He lets Lucifer know in no uncertain terms that they are most definitely NOT even, and that he has yet to pay retribution for taking his ability to talk. I guess I’d be pretty pissed too.
And so this issue ends without ever telling us the story we were waiting for. How did the Professor break his back? What happened between him and Lucifer? We’re going to have to wait another time to hear that story.