The X-Men series focuses on the world view of mutantkind surviving among humans. The chief figures here are Magneto and Professor X, both of whom seek the survival of mutants, but with different ideologies. While the series presents Magneto as the villain, he’s not always wrong with his methods.
Since X-Men: Dark Phoenix is fresh in our minds, we’ve focused mainly on the X-Men film series for this list, where we present those moments/arguments where Professor X’s point of view was the right one, and the times where Magneto’s extreme measure did have a point. Here are 6 times Professor X was right, and 4 times Magneto was correct.
10 Professor X: Humans Aren't Evil
Even though humans are absolutely at their worst in the X-Men series, there’s still no doubt the majority of them aren’t evil. After all, Professor X has dedicated his life to protecting these people. Magneto assumes the worst of humans, which drives him to take the lives of those undeserving of death.
We’ve seen humans like Moira MacTaggart, who have tried their best to help mutants and keep them from harm from bigoted members of the humankind. Magneto’s philosophy of lumping every human in the evil pile is a recipe for genocide rather than true peace. This is where Professor X gets it right.
9 Professor X: Stopping The Explosion
In the ending of X-Men: First Class, we saw Charles Xavier rush over to Magneto in order to stop him from destroying the human fleet ships that had fired at them. You’d think Magneto would be right to try and enact revenge for these humans trying to kill him, but Charles was looking at the big picture here.
Had the missiles exploded, it would have spelled all-out war in the world. Erik’s act of vengeance would’ve been for naught, since the entire planet would’ve spilled out in World War III. While Charles wasn’t directly involved in stopping Erik, he did manage to avert disaster and certain war.
8 Magneto: Killing Shaw
Who was it that was threatening to cause World War III in the first place? That would be one Sebastian Shaw, leader of the Hellfire Club. While Professor X also had the intention of stopping Shaw, you can believe he’d have taken the passive route and held off on killing the man.
While Magneto didn’t kill Shaw to stop World War III (his intention being revenge on Shaw for killing his mother), he did put an end to the Hellfire Club and the threat they posed. In this case, it was better to rip the band-aid off completely rather than leave any chance for Shaw and his associates to rise again.
7 Professor X: Opening The Mutant School
In all versions of the X-Men series, Magneto has looked down upon Xavier’s school for mutants. This is because he views it as the mutants retreating in the shadows, while he wants them out and proud in the world as free beings.
Even though freedom is the preferred option, it’s just not possible in that universe. Professor X’s solution of granting anonymity to young minds and molding them enough to go in the world and for them to control their powers allows for true superheroes to grow. Without this school, these mutants would become radicals like Magneto, or even worse.
6 Magneto: Letting Mystique Be Free
X-Men: First Class did a fascinating job at showing to the audience that Magneto’s stance in the world wasn’t exactly wrong either. While Xavier’s way was for the common good, it was a technique that involved mutants denying who they really were and behaving more like humans.
Magneto allowed Mystique to truly feel free in X-Men: First Class, as the latter had always felt out of place due to donning different forms just to fit in. Embracing her image allowed her to explore who she really was; even in the original timeline where Mystique was a bad guy, she was still happy at being her true self.
5 Professor X: Containing Jean Grey
In every iteration of the Phoenix Force angle, we’ve seen Professor X be the one to reach out to Jean Grey and contain herself from destroying the universe. In the versions of the story where Magneto has been involved, he’s looked to unlock the Phoenix Force’s enormous power, and it has always resulted in anarchy.
Professor X’s strategy of keeping the Phoenix Force locked helped Jean have as normal a mutant childhood as she could’ve had, saving her from being an outcast. When Jean would become consumed by the Phoenix, it would be Xavier who reached out to her; something that would always work.
4 Professor X: Recruiting Wolverine
How many times has Wolverine proven to be the deciding factor in victory for the X-Men? In the “Dark Phoenix Saga” of the comics, Wolverine was the only X-Man remaining and proceeded to save the day. In the X-Men film series, it was thanks to recruiting Wolverine that reality was saved from the Sentinels.
Magneto has always treated Wolverine with disdain, not having any respect for him due to Magneto having total control over Wolverine’s adamantium-laced body. He attempted to kill Wolverine in one comic issue by ripping the adamantium from his bones, causing Xavier to go down a vengeful and dark path. Wolverine’s positive influence has allowed the X-Men and Xavier to stay safe.
3 Magneto: Mutants Will Never Be Accepted
This fact might sting Professor X in the heart, but ultimately, it is Magneto who is right in their argument. For all of the Professor’s efforts, humankind will still never accept the mutants. Superheroes, in general, are treated like freaks in the Marvel Universe, and mutants are given at most second-class citizen status.
In the X-Men film series, in particular, Magneto was dead on the money when he predicted that mutants would be hunted, as we saw this come to pass in Logan, where mutants lived in absolute fear. Perhaps, Magneto’s totalitarian regime might have been best for mutantkind after all.
2 Professor X: Allowing Mutants To Take The Cure
Then again, Professor X never did force anyone to remain a mutant. While he wanted them to be the best version of themselves, the Professor allowed his students to make their own choices. In X-Men: The Last Stand, the Professor didn’t stop those mutants who wanted to take the cure.
Magneto saw the cure as the first step of a culling of the mutants, and although he might not have been completely wrong there, it wasn’t as malevolent as Magneto thought it to be. Plus, it really does need to be the choice of the mutant whether they want to keep their powers or not.
1 Magneto: Not Bending To Humans' Control
He might be an extremist, but extremities are required in the Marvel Universe in order for the mutant race to have some measure of freedom. Using Xavier’s way, the mutants could never be accepted into society to any degree, as his ideals employ anonymity.
Magneto’s conquests have at least had the side effect of giving mutants the notoriety for governments to enact laws that give them some measure of acceptance. By staying in the shadows as Xavier preaches, the slight hint of a mutant would result in tragedy. Magneto’s refusal to bend to humans and their laws have allowed a branch of mutants to stand tall with pride, and prevent humans from controlling mutants completely.