Charles Xavier and Lilandra in X-Men Season 1, Episode 6, "Lifedeath – Part 2"

X-Men ’97: Why Can Xavier Walk Now?

Warning: The following article contains spoilers for X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 6, “Lifedeath – Part 2.

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X-Men ’97 Season 1, Episode 6, “Lifedeath – Part 2,” depicts Charles Xavier back on his feet. So, why can Xavier walk in X-Men ’97, and is he equally mobile in Marvel’s X-Men comics?

Related: X-Men ’97: Who Launched the Sentinel Attack on Genosha?

How Come Xavier Can Walk in X-Men ’97?

Technically, he can’t. Xavier explains the situation via a single line of dialogue early on in “Lifedeath – Part 2,” revealing that he can only walk while wearing his Shi’ar armor. So, whenever Xavier’s not kitted out in the armor’s powered exoskeleton, he still uses a wheelchair (or similar) to get around. Funnily enough, the hoverchair Xavier uses in X-Men ’97‘s precursor, X-Men: The Animated Series, is technically also a Shi’ar creation – at least, according to the X-Men comics. In cartoon continuity, Professor X employs his hoverchair before encountering the Shi’ar, so it’s presumably an Earth-made bit of kit. Either way, it will likely serve as Xavier’s main form of transportation in X-Men ’97 Season 1’s remaining episodes, given he’s now parted ways with the Shi’ar.

Related: X-Men ’97: Is Magneto Dead?

It’s worth noting that “Lifedeath – Part 2” isn’t the first instance of Charles Xavier walking in wider X-Men ’97 continuity. Multiple X-Men: The Animated Series installments portray the X-Men’s mentor up on his pins, although always with a caveat. Notably, Season 2’s two-part finale, “Reunion,” establishes that Chuck can walk inside the Savage Land’s borders. Flashbacks littered throughout X-Men: The Animated Series likewise present Xavier as having full use of his legs until early middle age, at least. What’s more, Season 4 two-parter “Sanctuary” supplies an explanation for Xavier’s disability. According to Beast, Magneto crippled Charles during an off-screen showdown.

Can Professor X Walk in Marvel’s X-Men Comics?

Depending on the era, yes. While Marvel’s X-Men comics introduce Charles Xavier as a wheelchair user, he’s regained the ability to walk more than once. In 1982’s Uncanny X-Men #167, Xavier transfers his mind into a younger clone body, allowing him to walk for almost a decade. Unfortunately, Professor X’s new body is irreparably damaged again in 1991’s Uncanny X-Men #278. This damage is temporarily undone in 1992’s Uncanny X-Men #297, as a side-effect of Charles’ recovery from the Techno-Organic Virus.

Related: X-Men ’97: Is Gambit Dead?

Charles experiences a similarly short-lived recovery 10 years later, in 2002’s New X-Men #122, in which mutant healer Xorn seemingly repairs his spine. But Xorn turns out to be a baddie and Charles’ back is promptly unfixed in the ensuing chaos. Finally, Xavier’s paralysis is seemingly cured for good following 2005’s House of M event – indeed, he’s still walking today!

X-Men ’97 is now streaming on Disney+, with new episodes dropping Wednesdays.


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Author
Leon Miller
Leon is a freelance contributor at The Escapist, covering movies, TV, video games, and comics. Active in the industry since 2016, Leon's previous by-lines include articles for Polygon, Popverse, Screen Rant, CBR, Dexerto, Cultured Vultures, PanelxPanel, Taste of Cinema, and more.