When I first got started reading the X-Men, Professor X wasn’t around. If I remember correctly, this was the tail end of Chris Claremont’s run on the title, when artists like Silvestri and Lee were handling penciling duties. The professor was off in the Shi’ar imperium, gallivanting around with Lilandra, the queen of the aliens. Since he wasn’t a big part of the stories I read in my formative years, I never was a big fan of the character.
It wasn’t until the big 90’s revamp of X-Men that I really started understanding how big a deal he was to the team. It helped that he featured in that big X-Men #1 gatefold (raise your hand if you still have all those variant covers and the special edition!) and played a role in a lot of the stories that came after, including the whole Onslaught thing that I could never really wrap my head around.
In X-Men #1, Charlie got a brand new hover chair to replace his old wheelchair, because it was the 90's and everything had to be high tech. This being my introduction to the character, that's how I now see him when I think of Professor X: the bald dude in the golden penis.
Witness the next set of photos:
Once I saw the figure, I just couldn't get the picture of a frank and beans hanging there out of my head. Now you too will have to deal with it and I'll feel better.
Now back to our regular scheduled programming.
The packaging for Wave 21 (or Wave 5 of Series 4) is the same as it's been since the Shadowland Daredevil wave, with the Not-So-Collectible Comic Shot given a space on the front along with the art by Mike Deodato and a big window to display the figure. I love that they don't try anything fancy with the posing since it helps pick a figure that doesn't have any big quality control problems (not that I ran into any with this figure).
On the back, replacing Rocket Raccoon from Wave 18's Beta Ray Bill, is Dazzler in her classic disco costume. It would have been awesome if Wave 21 was completely X-Men, but with two Blastaar futzing up the line-up, we're stuck with a 50/50 split. But then again, Hasbro doesn't seem to be theme-ing the waves at all, since not one of the 5 characters in 18 were connected to the Guardians of the Galaxy.
Professor X comes with about the best accessory any Marvel Universe figure has come with thus far: his Jim Lee hover chair. Like I said, this iconic thing is the only way I envision Professor X. In a suit, riding around in this thing, with a plaid blanket covering his crippled legs.
Hasbro has split the chair in half in order to fit it into the package. Even so, the bubble is even thicker than Wave 18's Hulk's. It's easy enough to snap together, and gives me a cheap thrill. I used to love "some assembly required" and we don't get much of it in this line (as opposed to the movie lines which have been replete with spurious vehicles). Only thing that would have made it better was a "batteries not included" quip somewhere.
I really love the chair (despite my rant about it looking like a twig and berries). It captures the look of the Jim Lee chair perfectly and seats Professor X fairly snuggly. You can easily slide him in and out of there. It's got a lot of detail sculpted into it, but not enough to detract from the smooth look of the Shi'ar tech.
It's a pretty stable piece of hardware, too. There's a barely perceptible ring around the bottom of the ball that allows the assembly to balance on a flat surface. In a regular display you can't really see it at all. If you're really obsessive about your model making, though, you're probably going to have to sand down the two halves and use some epoxy to meld them together seamlessly, as the join is very fairly noticeable.
The figure itself is based off of the 2009 SDCC Destro body:
This isn't the first time that Hasbro's re-used a G.I. Joe body in their Marvel lines.They used one for Nick Fury in the Fury of Combat box set from Iron Man 2. It's not a bad idea, and I keep wishing they'd use it for a proper 4" Punisher figure that can hold guns properly.
In this case, it works out pretty well, too. They've re-colored the suite to a solid dark blue, as opposed to Destro's pinstripes (because Charles Xavier is not a Vegas pimp), but other than that, it looks pretty much the same. Because they've designed the jacket to open, it's ends up being a bit on the bulky side, as if he's wearing a few extra shirts under there, but it's not too bad. It also means that it's removable, in case you want him running around the X-Mansion in his shirt sleeves.
The customizing potential for this figure is pretty high, considering how many Marvel Characters could use a civilian look. I'd love to get extras and slap on a Tony Stark head, or a Mandarin and color it green. I'm sure my Daredevils could use a Matt Murdock in the line up.
It's too bad that they didn't really arrive in large numbers here. I bought this one as part of a set that was distributed a few weeks back that included figures from Waves 18 through 21. Not entirely sure what happened to the rest of Waves 18 or 19, or where any of the Wave 20 figures ended up, but the Wave 21 set sold out the first day. There were butaw sets of the two X-Men, but knowing how many people wanted them (and not having anymore money), I passed on getting multiples.
In any case, one of them is enough to add to my measly 4 inch X-Men line up, so I'm extremely happy I was able to get one.
Deadpool is thankful, too.