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Professor Charles Xavier (colloquial: Professor X) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character is depicted as the founder and sometimes leader of the X-Men. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in The X-Men #1 (September 1963).
Xavier is a member of a subspecies of humans known as mutants, who are born with superhuman abilities. The founder of the X-Men, Xavier is an exceptionally powerful telepath who can read and control the minds of others. To both shelter and train mutants from around the world, he runs a private school in the X-Mansion in Salem Center, located in Westchester County, New York. Xavier also strives to serve a greater good by promoting peaceful coexistence and equality between humans and mutants in a world where zealous anti-mutant bigotry is widespread.
Throughout much of the character's history in comics, Xavier is a paraplegic variously using either a wheelchair or a modified version of one. One of the world's most powerful mutant telepaths, Xavier is a scientific genius and a leading authority in genetics. Furthermore, he has shown noteworthy talents in devising equipment to greatly enhance psionic powers. Xavier is perhaps best known in this regard for the creation of a device called Cerebro, a technology that serves to detect and track those individuals possessing the mutant gene, at the same time greatly expanding the gifts of those with existing psionic abilities.
From a social policy and philosophical perspective, Xavier deeply resents the violent methods of those like his former close friend and occasional enemy, the supervillain Magneto. Instead, he has presented his platform of uncompromising pacifism to see his dream to fruition - one that seeks to live harmoniously alongside humanity, just the same as it desires full-fledged civil rights and equality for all mutants. Xavier's actions and goals in life have therefore often been compared to those of Martin Luther King Jr. for his involvement with the American civil rights struggle, whereas Magneto is often compared with the more militant civil rights activist Malcolm X.The character's creation and development occurred simultaneously with the civil rights struggle, taking place in the 1960s, while Xavier's first appearance dates to 1963. The fictionalized plight in the comics of mutantkind faced with exceptional intolerance and prejudice was done in large part to better illustrate to audiences of the day what was transpiring across the United States, just the same as it also served to further promote ideals of tolerance and equality for all.Patrick Stewart portrayed the character in seven films in the X-Men film series and in various video games, while James McAvoy portrayed a younger version of the character in the 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class. Both actors reprised the role in the film X-Men: Days of Future Past. McAvoy reprised the role in X-Men: Apocalypse, and Stewart in Logan. McAvoy made a cameo in Deadpool 2 and will reprise his role in Dark Phoenix.