Countless New York City comic book fans undoubtedly had their Wednesday ritual ruined this morning with a headline in the Daily News revealing the big character death in Marvel’s “Avengers vs. X-Men” #11, which arrives in stores today. If it’s any consolation, the newspaper did include a “spoiler alert” warning — beneath the headline. Needless to say, who doesn’t want to know details of the issue should stop reading now.
By X-Men standards, the death couldn’t be much more significant and symbolic, with Cyclops, as one of the Phoenix avatars, killing his mentor and father figure Professor Xavier.
“I got a little teary-eyed when we were scoping out the moment in the room with the series’ writers and editors,” Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso told the Daily News. “He needed to be the casualty in this story. There’s no more oh-sh– moment that you can bring than having a son killing his father.”
Over the decades, the telepathic X-Men founder has had his consciousness placed into a clone body, and found himself stranded in space, imprisoned (on another planet and on Earth), possessed, de-powered, shot, comatose, and occasionally at odds with Cyclops and his teammates. Through all of that, however, he always seemed to return to the X-Men.
But according to writer Brian Michael Bendis, Xavier had become an anachronism, as most of his former students are now too old to require a mentor. “He was this thing that was just floating around the X-books, with not the same amount of gravitas that he once had,” he said. “I did point out that he would matter more in death.”
That death, which Bendis said “certainly will be talked about by message boards forever and ever,” apparently won’t be reversed anytime soon.
“This is about as serious and lasting a death as you’re apt to get in one of these,” said Executive Editor Tom Brevoort.