Marvel Kills Off Superhero Icon in 'Avengers Vs. X-Men'

Avengers vs. X-Men Comic - P 2012
<p>Avengers vs. X-Men Comic - P 2012</p>
The crossover storyline saw one of comics' most recognizable characters felled by a friend.

There’s been a serious casualty in Marvel’s latest crossover comic book event, Avengers vs. X-Men.

[Warning: Spoilers for Avengers vs. X-Men No. 11 are below.]

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In the latest issue, Professor Charles Xavier dies when one of his prized former students, Scott Summers (better known as Cyclops), kills the mustant visionary. But in Cyclops' defense, he had been taken over by the Phoenix in a previous issue.

Marvel says it did not plan Xavier’s death when initially plotting the event. But as writer Brian Michael Bendis pushed forward with the story, “it became obvious that this had to be the last stand of Charles Xavier,” Marvel editor-in-chief Alexo Alonso told the Associated Press.

In Fox's X-Men films, Patrick Stewart’s Professor X was killed by a Phoenix-powered Jean Grey in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand.

It’s an adage among comic book aficionados that “no one in comics stays dead” (with a few notable exceptions). With that in mind, fans took to Twitter to express doubt that Xavier will stay dead for long.

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“A Moment of Silence for Professor Charles Xavier, who has now died for the 38th straight time or so. #AVX,” tweeted Jimmy Kimmel Live writer Jeff Loveness.

“Professor Charles Francis Xavier is dead. Again. RIP Professor X. We'll see you again in about a year or so,” observed another skeptic.

Marvel and Bendis have said Xavier’s death will provide story fodder for upcoming X-Men comic books, which will examine the fallout from the mutant leader’s demise.