Professor Robot Legs
Being that this comic is largely about teenagers, it makes sense that we are constantly dealing with their adolescent insecurities, doubts, and mixed emotions. They’re kids. Scott, Jean, and Warren have a love triangle going on, Scott and warren are both ashamed and/or frightened of their mutant powers, and Bobby is always doing goofy shit. Henry is the most adult of the bunch, but even he likes to kick back with the drugged out hooligans down in Greenwich Village. This comic has been dealing with their problems so much that we’ve barely noticed Xavier’s own heartache and frustration. Being the adult, he deliberately chooses not to burden his students with his desire to walk again. It seems that what has been kept bottled up will inspire…
Since this new invention has been instrumental in their last two adventures, I guess I’d better explain why the Professor is walking around all of a sudden. After he sends the X-Men on vacation at the start of issue 22, he is so overcome with sadness that he starts working on something to fix his predicament. Leave it to the Professor to overcome his handicap. This is the same guy who went spelunking alone in a wheelchair. He was in fact so determined to walk that he shut off all telepathic communication. This is how Count Nefaria is able to capture the X-Men and destroy their reputation, so good job Charles.
When he arrives to help during the siege of Washington, D.C., he again mentions how much he longs to walk. We take so much for granted.
He uses his new invention to slip into Nefaria’s compound unnoticed, in a disguise that would never suggest his real identity.
By the end of issue 23, Charles reveals that he is the mysterious stranger on Nefaria’s ship. It was he who sabotaged his evil plans right in front of him. The X-Men are all very surprised and happy to see the Professor walking. We find out that the technology will only work for hours at a time, explaining why he still sticks to his wheelchair most days.
In issue 24, he again uses his robot legs to help stop The Locust, appearing as an old man with kind words. Now if you see Xavier walking or playing with a bunch of knobs near his junk, you’ll know why. I’m wondering how often he will employ the use of his new invention, since he never had robot legs in any of the comics I read in the 90’s. I do know that his ability to walk has briefly returned for periods of time over the last fifty years. Most recently, I was surprised to see him walking in the Avengers vs X-Men event that left him dead. One would think that if he had robot legs back in the 60s, by the 90’s he would have had some really awesome robot legs and been walking all the time. Instead he went with the hover chair.