X-Men Factions: The Xavier Academy

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The Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters was founded in 1963 as by Dr. Brian Xavier, noted nuclear scientist and founding member of the Future Foundation think-tank.  Located in Westchester County, the purpose of the Academy was help facilitate the next generation of scientists and great thinkers though the highest standards of education.  To that end, the Academy had a generous scholership program, allowing the brightest minds to attend the school irregardless of their income or social status.  Despite its lofty goals, the Xavier School never had the prestige of some of the older schools in New York and New England.

When Brian Xavier died in 1975, his son Dr. Charles Xavier became headmaster of the school.  It was then that the name of the school was changed to the Xavier Academy of Higher Learning.  Due to poor attendance, the school was shut down in early 1992.

In late 2012, the school quietly reopened its doors with Xavier once again its headmaster.  He reformed the school’s policies and expanded its scholarships even further.  Even more students from underprivileged families were allowed to join the school, and the focus of education was expanded from formerly Arts and Sciences-heavy curriculum.

The real truth was that the Xavier Academy had become home to a growing number of Gifted students, most of them gaining their powers as a result of exposure to the strange Chitauri radiation from the Battle of New York.  Xavier himself was a Gifted psychic possess a great amount of Telepathy and an innate ability to detect the subtle mental changes that occur within Gifted minds.

At the school, the Gifted are taught how to safely use their powers, with the aim of quietly co-existing with the rest of humanity.  This often goes against the wishes of some the students, especially those who had suffered because of their powers.

The world of the Xavier Academy is about to change.  Charles has noticed that this so-called Brotherhood has been gaining many members in the last few years.  students with friends involved in the cult speak of a “Great Revelation” which will lead the Gifted into a new world.  Xavier fears that is only another name for bloodshed.

His senior students believe that Magneto and his Brotherhood need to be stopped, and have petitioned Professor Xavier for permission to train for combat.  While Xavier has allowed them to practice self-defense, he has currently shown no intention of broadcasting the existence of a school of Gifted to the world.

Yet those same students have seen a host of activity at the school unrelated to academics.  Although Xavier is not a member of the Future Foundation, members of that renowned institution have been visiting the school with increasing frequency.  There have been extensive renovations made to the buildings, including the installation of underground infrastructure.  Whispers of a Project: Cerebro filter through the halls and at least one student has glimpsed blue-prints for something called The Danger Room.

Magneto’s Great Revelation might drag his school into the spot-light along with the rest of the Gifted, but it looks like Xavier will be prepared when it happens.

Out-of-Character:  This is sort of my own version of X-Men First Class.  Before the costumes, before Cerebro and the Danger Room.  Just a bunch of Gifted students learning about their powers and their place in the world.  The status quo is about to change and its change on the students and the school will be profound.

Charles Xavier stays pretty close to the movie version of the character played by Patrick Stewart.  I really like that portrayal and I don’t think it really does the setting any good by incorporating the darker Xavier shown in later core Marvel and Ultimate Marvel comics.

In this version Charles is a principled and patient man.  A man with a detailed plan on how the Gifted will fit into society.  He is not naive by any stretch of the imagination – he knows that humanity has a tendency to strike out in fear against things they don’t understand (or want to understand).  That is why his first phase is to foster a generation of Gifted that are educated  and able to control their powers.  This has to be done in secret as there are forces in society that would seek to sabotage this if they were made aware.

Nonetheless, he knows that Gifted cannot be secret forever and he also knows the threat that the Brotherhood poses to the future of Mutant-kind. That is why he is already planning for the creation of what we would know as the X-Men.  Using the Avengers example, creating a group of young Gifted that can not only oppose the actions of the Brotherhood, but also be an positive example of what Mutants are capable of.

The biggest challenge to Xavier is that the Brotherhood’s actions accelerate his timetable, something he is not sure the School or his students are ready for.

Perhaps the biggest divergence from comics canon is that the Mutant-detecting ability lies within Xavier himself, rather than Cerebro.  Cerebro in this setting is a psychic amplifier, allowing Charles to expand his detection radius to the national and international level.  Partly this was done to explain how Xavier could find gifted students upon reopening the school, and partly to align things more with the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, which apart from some S.H.I.E.L.D. projects hasn’t really shown this level of technology.  Also, it explains why Charles is the only one who can use Cerebro and why the government wouldn’t immediately get their hands on Mutant-detecting technology by attacking the Mansion.

Note that the Future Foundation is the means which the X-Men will get advanced technologies such as Cerebro, the Danger Room, and the X-Jet.  Its also a link to another team of four empowered individuals which I will detail later.

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