Charles Xavier, also known as “Professor X,” is more than meets the eye. He may look like a harmless old man in a wheelchair, but he’s a powerful mutant. His immense telepathic powers let him enter people’s minds and bend their very thoughts to his will. However, he’s more famous for founding the X-Men. As impressive as that is, it’s not his only defining attribute.

Xavier has made many contributions to both mutants and the human race. His deeds extend throughout the 20th century. Some of them involve famous historical conflicts, while others aren’t talked about. These acts rank him among the most storied characters in the Marvel pantheon. It’s no wonder his students respect him so much.


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5 Fought In The Korean War

Made the Most of a Controversial Conflict

Charles Xavier and Juggernaut in Korea in Marvel Comics

This is an unwilling accomplishment, but an accomplishment nonetheless. Early in life, Xavier was drafted into the Korean War. Like any such conflict, it was a grim affair. The period was fraught with guerrilla fighting and slaughter of suspected traitors. Worse, many world leaders were reluctant to get involved, leading to sloppy support. Finally, the whole ordeal was shrouded in global concern about communism.

Xavier did his best to salvage what he could. Uninvolved with the political noise, he mainly focused on search and rescue missions, and managed to eke out some good from this debated war. The fact that he survived with his ideals intact was impressive. He could have easily come out compromised or cynical, but instead, his work with the X-Men actually mirrored his missions here.

Unfortunately, this war also saw the birth of the Juggernaut. Xavier served with his half-brother, Cain Marko, who eventually deserted. From here, he entered a mystical temple and gained the unstoppable abilities that would make him such a tough foe for the X-Men. Since that day, Charles has regretted how that relationship went down. It’s probably one of many parts of the Korean War that he’d rather not revisit.

4 Defeated The Shadow King

Toppled a Telepathic Titan

Amahl Farouk in Legion

In his post-war travels across the world, Charles achieved his first major victory against a super-villain. Enter Amahl Farouk, also known as the Shadow King. An immensely powerful telepath hailing from the mysterious Astral Plane, he used his power to dominate others as an Egyptian crime lord. He even invited Charles to join him.


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Not only did the hero decline, but he dethroned the Shadow King in battle. Xavier fought Farouk in the Astral Plane, narrowly winning with his own psychic powers. This victory demonstrated Xavier’s mastery of his craft. Farouk was far older, possessing centuries of experience. Regardless, he tasted defeat on his home turf. Only someone with great mental acuity could have knocked him off his perch. In many ways, it was Xavier’s rite of passage as a telepath. How fitting that this fateful fight made him dedicate his life to defending the downtrodden, be they human or mutant.

3 Helped A Catatonic Victim

A Miraculous Recovery Led to Love and Renewed Purpose

Gabrielle and Charles Xavier in Legion

Another stop on Xavier’s pilgrimage was Israel, where he visited a clinic for Holocaust survivors. One of them was a woman named Gabrielle Haller. Due to her traumatic experiences during this dark time, she remained in a catatonic coma, and Charles guided her out of that coma with his telepathic gift. Fans might wonder how one person matters next to the countless other lives he’s saved. Sometimes, though, one person is the most important.

This act of kindness carried tremendous significance. First, it represented an early step in the hero’s pursuit of helping those in need. Second, these two outcasts fell in love and gave birth to a son, who became the powerful mutant known as Legion. Most importantly, the act was incredibly uplifting on a human level.

There are plenty of ways to fight crime, but even the most advanced doctors have no concrete answer for comas like this. They can cause life to stagnate for both victims and their families. Xavier’s power provided a path back to that life. One can’t overstate how precious that gift is, as it shows the personal potential for how he can better the world.

2 Fought Hydra

Xavier and Magneto Team Up

Baron Strucker in Marvel Comics

While he was at this clinic, Charles also met Erik Lehnsherr, who later became Magneto. They engaged in numerous philosophical debates regarding mutants and their role in humanity’s future. Their passion for the subject helped them forge a bond. However, they found something else in common: they were both mutants themselves. What’s more, they soon had to test their gifts.


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The duo came into conflict with Baron Strucker, who kidnapped Gabrielle. Xavier and Lensherr thwarted him, which was no small feat. Not only was he a former Nazi officer, but he became one of the heads of Hydra. The villain had extensive military experience and the soldiers to prove it. Plus, he augmented himself to be physically superior and ageless. Overcoming such a foe took guile from both mutants, and what followed was just as astounding.

Eric tried to kill Strucker, but Charles stayed his hand. Even back then, he took the moral high ground. He had the foresight to understand that vengeance wouldn’t suit his goals for a cooperative future. The decision was especially admirable considering the villain threatened his love. Looking past such an affront required unbelieveable maturity and restraint. That’s why Xavier became an aspirational and righteous figure to so many young, angry mutants.

1 Foiled An Alien Invasion

Freed a Village from Mind Control, and Saved the World in the Process

Lucifer and Professor X in the Uncanny X-Men Comics

Continuing his journey into Asia, Xavier stumbled on an extraterrestrial entity. The ominous Lucifer was an alien from the planet Quistalium, who came to Earth and used his mind control abilities to enslave several people in a remote village. This village would serve as ground zero for an invading force.

Xavier freed Lucifer’s victims, fending off said force. This adventure was once again an apt display of the hero’s telepathic prowess. He mentally connected with numerous people and liberated them from a hostile entity. Doing so called for immense concentration and discipline. The deed solidified Xavier’s supremacy in his field.

The exploit had ramifications for the larger Marvel Universe. By stopping Lucifer, Charles effectively saved the world. Active heroes were few and far between at this point in history, so who knows how they would have fared against an alien army? Thus, Xavier’s single victory carried gargantuan weight.


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