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Monday, June 13, 2011

When Charles Met Erik: A Bro's Tale


How did total enemies start out as total bros?

The X-Men: First Class movie already gave us a taste of what a Professor X-Magneto brofest is like. But to get a bit of geek cred, it pays to know where it all began. So are you ready to know how two of the most polarizing figures in mutantdom start out as friends?



No, there wasn't any full-contact hugging while swimming in oceans involved. It all started in Uncanny X-Men #161, where a young (and walking!) Charles Xavier is in Israel visiting a friend's hospital. The future X-Mentor is soon introduced to this mysterious orderly...an orderly by the name of Magnus!


Even though Xavier has a habit of mindhacking people he just met, he and Magnus hit it off soon enough. They become fast friends together with this chick named Gabriel Haller, but it becomes clear that both men share different views on the mutant debate.


You know what's cool? X-Men: First Class also had a similar scene where Charles and Erik debate on mutantkind's role in humanity's future!


The two bros spend the rest of the issue ignoring each other's displays of power, despite doing stuff like dismantling a HYDRA ship in mid-air or healing a catatonic patient just by looking at her. Because that's what bros do...ignore your bro's burgeoning mutant powers.


Anyway, HYDRA just kidnapped Gabrielle, and so Magnus and Charles go on their first adventure together! But where HYDRA is, the dreaded Baron Strucker can't be far behind!


Ever wished this guy was the Nazi in the movie instead of Sebastian Shaw? Made much more sense. Can't beat Kevin Bacon's fashion sense though.


It was during their daring rescue attempt that Xavier and Magnus effectively out themselves to each other. Xavier's mind explodes from the sheer thought that another dude has powers just like him!


In the end, Magnus takes care of Strucker, steals the gold stash that HYDRA was after in the first place, saves the girl, and parts ways with poor Charles. A bitter end to a friendship that will change them both forever.


Knowing now that this story took place in the comics gave me a new-found appreciation for X-Men: First Class. It's cool to see how comic books inspire comic book movies, and I hope there are more of these kinds of homages in the future!

If you're interested in reading the rest of the story, you can scour the back issue bins for Uncanny X-Men #161, or you can settle for the reprint like I did with a copy of X-Men: Archives #4. It's a piece of history only made more awesome because of the new X-movie. Now when a friend asks how Charles and Erik really met, you've got something to say. Score one for the geeks! Thanks for reading!

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