Uncanny X-Men #9
Issue(s): Uncanny X-Men #9
Review/plot: OK, wouldn't it be cool if Professor X lost the use of his legs when humans found out that he was a mutant and they tried to lynch him or something? Wouldn't that sort of fit thematically?
Well instead he lost his legs fighting a really corny generic super-villain who is helping prepare for an alien invasion. Or maybe he is an alien? Anyway, Xavier left the X-Men a few issues ago so he could hunt down Lucifer(!) for a rematch (alone in a wheelchair journey to the center of the earth)...
...and now that he's spent all that time searching for him, the Avengers find him too.
But he's going to detonate a bomb if he gets attacked, so the X-Men have to fight the Avengers to prevent them from reaching Lucifer until Xavier can stop Lucifer with his mind.
Eventually, Professor X contacts Thor and explains to him what's been going on, convincing him to stop the fight. As Luke mentions in the comments, this is the first use of the "Avengers Assemble" phrase, a month before it first appeared in the Avengers book.
The Avengers vote to let the X-Men handle things themselves, and the teens go forward to join Professor X. Xavier had already knocked out Lucifer...
...but they have to struggle to keep him alive while they defuse the bomb.
Xavier is able to guide Cyclops into zapping the right whatzit, and the bomb is defused. And then the X-Men let Lucifer go, which maybe isn't the best move since he'll come back to menace various heroes over the years.
Quality Rating: C-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Pushed up a bit because Iron Man will soon go missing.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Marvel Milestone Edition: Uncanny X-Men #9
Inbound References (10): show
Lucifer was actually an alien.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 1, 2011 12:50 AM
The battle between Lucifer and Charles where Xavier lost the use of his legs was later retconned by Claremont in X-Treme X-Men #44 to have taken place in Afghanistan, not Tibet.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 11, 2012 9:09 AM
Was there an in-story reason for the change, or was it just due to the sliding timescale, with Afghanistan just making more sense than Tibet "seven years ago" or whatever it currently is?
Posted by: fnord12 | April 11, 2012 12:11 PM
I think it was more a matter of Claremont using it as a way to retcon Tessa into Xavier's past.
It was also possibly his realisation that a creature called "Lucifer" was more likely to live in mountains in that area than in Tibet (and I suspect he had in mind linking his being there to the real-world Yezidi).
Personally I think it's a better match but would love to have seen more. He did intend to delve into the backstory further in a proposal called X-Men: Year Zero but the series was rejected.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 11, 2012 9:53 PM
argh! spoiler alert! you guys totally ruined the secret. there was no mention of aliens in this issue. things will never be the same again.
Posted by: min | October 9, 2012 1:16 PM
There's an earlier use of "Avengers Assemble" in X-Men #9, at the end of the Avengers/X-Men fight.
Posted by: Luke Blanchard | October 11, 2014 10:49 PM
Have to say this but the device Xavier is cave-trawling in is just awesome. Its a super-wheelchair-tank!
Posted by: Ataru320 | October 11, 2014 11:02 PM
"OK, wouldn't it be cool if Professor X lost the use of his legs when humans found out that he was a mutant and they tried to lynch him or something? Wouldn't that sort of fit thematically?"
I think the Ultimate universe either implied or stated Magneto was responsible for Professor X's paralysis when the two had a falling out after initially working together to build what eventually becomes the Brotherhood's headquarters in (the Ultimate version of) the Savage Land. That's still miles better than this junk. No surprise it comes in the early issues when the mythology of the X-Men that would later develop is nonexistent and Lee/Kirby didn't have a clue what to do with the concept in general.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | June 12, 2015 12:45 AM
The Ultimate version is better, but I find it makes Magneto to evil. The best version I've seen so far is from the X-Men: First Class movie.
Look at me, talking about the best way to cripple a man...
Posted by: Berend | June 12, 2015 10:08 AM
As ridiculous and dumb as it is that it is a random alien that crippled Xavier, I just give it a pass because it was the Silver Age and really this isn't the worst thing to happen to the X-Men as they try to find themselves at this point. At this point, aliens, revolutionaries and all sorts of who-knows-what were showing up regardless of the comic and the intended concept. (considering that the Stranger makes his first appearance a few issues after this)
Posted by: Ataru320 | June 12, 2015 10:52 AM
And Count Nefaria's generic supervillain team, and the Super Adaptiod and many more.
I always thought it was a very weak moment in Grant Morrison's run years later when he had Cyclops wonder aloud why the Professor had always had them dress like superheros...
Gosh Cyke, maybe because he'd been crippled by an alien before he assembled superpowered people to train to act as superheroes. A good example set is good, mutant issues aren't the only thing in the world that matter even to mutants, and all the times the X-Men have Saved The World from non-mutant threats was A Thing Worth Doing...
Posted by: BU | June 12, 2015 1:39 PM
Claremont and Byrne had written up an issue of WHAT IF? based on this issue. "What If Had Formed The X-Men?" However, it never saw print. The idea was that Charles Xavier would have been killed instead of crippled. Magneto would later form the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants with Cyclops, Arch Angel, Iceman,Psyke, Beast, Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver.
Posted by: Andrew Burke | May 28, 2016 4:06 PM
Huh, interesting. The file I downloaded from a.... certain place... has totally different colors than the pictures here.
The recolor I have is more "lively", but I always prefer the original versions.
Posted by: Karel | May 30, 2016 9:11 AM
Lee and Kirby didn't know what to do with concept? Lee and Kirby invented the concept! I admit that other writers later did more with it but it is like Isaac Newton said if I have seen farther it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.
As far as it would be cool if Prof. X was lynched? I find nothing cool about that idea.
Posted by: Bobby Sisemore | October 30, 2016 9:35 PM
Was Lucifers location of Alien roots ever determined? It seemed ambigous?
Posted by: RocknRollguitarplayer | January 18, 2017 12:15 AM
I noticed one minor gaffe. On page 4, Professor X says he's tracked Lucifer to the heart of the Balkans. But two pages later, the X-Men arrivé in a village in Bavaria, where the rest of the action takes place. Maybe the Professor is just really bad at geography.
And I know it's not considered cannon, but in the retelling of this story in Professor X and the X-Men #10, during the X-Men/Avengers fight, the Wasp says to Marvel Girl, "Have you noticed how the girls always end up fighting the girls in these situations." True dat, Miss Van Dyne.
Posted by: Peter Niemeyer | February 18, 2018 1:06 AM
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