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Professor X

Marvel Legends
by yo go re

Haven't you heard, baby? Bald is beautiful.

Telepath. Teacher. Visionary. The planet's most powerful mutant is also its most compassionate leader. In pursuit of his dream for peaceful coexistence between Homo sapiens and Homo superior, Professor Charles Xavier established his School for Gifted youngsters to help a select class of troubled teenagers hone their strange abilities - and protect society from those who would use such gifts to rule mankind. Today, as ever, he and his X-Men stand in defense of a world on the brink of genetic war!

With this figure, ToyBiz has finally finished the "Legendsization" of the original X-Men. Sure, ol' Chuck never pulled on the blue and yellow longjohns to join his team in the field, but he was no less a member than any of the flashier mutants were.

Professor X's body is based, loosely, on the first movie figure, but there have been a lot of changes and additions to bring him up to Marvel Legends quality. The most obvious is that this version is much more articulated, with points at the head, neck, shoulders, biceps, elbows, wrists, fingers, waist, hips, thighs, knees, shins, ankles and toes. The shoulders look a bit weird, since ToyBiz was trying to wed balljoints to a suit jacket, but they're still better than the alternative, peg joints (or worse yet, no joints at all).

With this figure, you can decide if you want the traditional, seated Charles Xavier, or one representing the several times he's been briefly healed and able to walk again: unlike the movie figure, whose joints were designed to be loose and useless, this figure can stand if you want him to.

Charlie's head seems based on Jim Lee's version of the character, which was a good choice. Sam Greenwell's sculpt makes him a bit older than his students, with slight bags under his eyes and prominent cheek bones. He's not an old man, just old enough to have been training X-Men for a while now. Professor X is a figure you'll want to check out in person before you buy: slight variations in the production process mean that some figures look younger than others. It's not an intentional variant, but one that is out there.

His suit is a nice dark blue, with a lighter, Williamsburg blue shirt and a black tie with blue stripes. Between the fairly plain sculpt and the useful articulation, Charles would make a great base figure for some suit-wearing customs. Reed Richards addressing the UN, Three-Martini Lunch Tony Stark, or even Jarvis, the Avengers' butler.

Professor X's wheelchair is also reused from the movie line - as evidenced by the 2000 copyright stamped on the bottom - though it no longer has the crummy action feature. To keep Chuck in his place, literally speaking, there are pegs on the foot rests and two that fit into his shoulders.

It suits the figure better than a realistic wheelchair would, but there's no escaping the fact that it's just a leftover pressed into service, and he hasn't really used anything like this in the books.

He does have one new accessory, a nifty Cerebro helmet. Part of the computer system Xavier designed to locate new mutants, the helmet increases his already-impressive mental abilities to a phenominal degree. The piece only has one silver paint app, but there are lots of fine sculpted details making it look just like it does in the comics. It fits snugly on the figure's head, but not so tight that you're getting paint transfer everytime you take it off.

Rather than a detailed display base, all the figures in Marvel Legends 9 come with a piece of Galactus. Professor X is packaged with the big guy's head, and it's looking great. The two-tone purple paint captures all those Jack Kirby-style details well, and his skin is a good pink. They even got his strange square pupils right.

Prof. X doesn't get a variant figure, though he almost did - it's kind of a shame, since the thing looked so cool, and fit with the most popular version of the character. Still, the important thing is that we at last have a 6"-scale figure of the man himself, not what kind of chair he's using.

-- 05/02/05

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