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By Alycia Skerry

There often comes a time when we mourn the loss of a total stranger. It isn’t uncommon to turn on the news and find someone you thought would never die has passed away; celebrities like Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor and Heath Leger are easy to view as immortal, and many don’t realize until they’re gone that they will truly be missed. Less often, though, a person who never lived can die.

I was struck dumb when I came home from school one afternoon early this September by the fact that my favorite superhero of all time had been killed in the latest issue of Marvel canon. Professor Charles Xavier, alias Professor X, had been the one consistent variable in the X-Men comics since the first issue in 1963.

For those not familiar with the comics, “X-Men” is fictional comic based in a world where humans are prejudiced against mutants. One man (who happened to be a mutant himself) decided to recruit a team of mutants to defy the stereotype and assist mankind in battling evil. That man was Charles Xavier.

In the struggle against discrimination, Xavier always opted not to fight, but instead advocated peace. I always admired his cool wit, his level-headedness and how he was always prepared to forgive those who wronged him.

My favorite aspect about Professor X was his trademark: he was paralyzed below the waist. This isn’t a typical obstacle that a superhero has to overcome. It never seemed to bother him, and it didn’t get in the way of his awesome powers (mental telepathy and everything that could possibly come with it).

Professor X was a Marvel icon. There’s always a possibility he won’t be gone for long, considering Marvel’s reputation for bringing characters back to life, but this time I’m not so sure. He was getting old, but I think the X-Men can never survive without him.

Regardless of what will happen next, let’s take a moment to remember our dear friend Charles Xavier: the best man who never lived.

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