Charles Xavier's Family Tree, Explained
From the Brotherhood of Mutants to the Shi'ar Empire, Professor X has family all across the galaxy.
Since Charles Xavier’s introduction in 1963’s X-MEN #1, a lot has been revealed about his family tree. That tree has grown progressively larger over the years thanks to his many romantic entanglements and the emergences of some surprising characters from his past. Many of those relationships have proven key to the Krakoan era, particularly in Steve Orlando and Eleonora Carlini’s MARAUDERS series, so let’s break down the ever-growing Xavier family tree.
Brian and Sharon Xavier
Charles Xavier’s parents have appeared only a handful of times, but their actions had a major effect on the founder of the X-Men. His father, Dr. Brian Xavier, was a nuclear scientist and worked with Dr. Kurt Marko on the Black Womb project, which was a government-funded investigation into genetics and mutation. Eventually, he and his wife, Sharon, conceived Charles and Cassandra Nova. Charles attempted to kill his evil sister in the womb, causing Sharon to miscarry.
Following Brian’s death in an atomic explosion, Kurt Marko convinced Sharon to marry him so he could attain her wealth. In time, Kurt proved abusive to Sharon and Charles, as well as his biological son, Cain Marko. Sharon soon died, leaving Xavier alone with Kurt and Cain. Kurt eventually died in a laboratory fire.
Despite Xavier’s attempt to kill her in the womb, Cassandra Nova survived Sharon’s miscarriage and later built herself a new body. Cassandra is not, exactly, human; she’s a mummudrai, a Shi’ar term used to describe a spirit that is the opposite of a person – in this case, Xavier. Like Xavier, Cassandra has powerful psychic abilities.
Over the years, Cassandra has proven a deadly foe for the X-Men. One of her more perfidious acts was using Donald Trask III to launch a Sentinel attack against Genosha that resulted in the deaths of at least 16 million mutants. Eventually, Jean Grey used nano-Sentinels to give Cassandra empathy, forcing her to reckon with her own horrific deeds. In the Krakoan era, Cassandra joined the Marauders, a team led by Kate Pryde dedicated to rescuing mutants across the universe.
Cain Marko, AKA Juggernaut
Charles Xavier’s stepbrother through his mother’s marriage with Kurt Marko, Cain Marko, AKA Juggernaut, is one of the X-Men’s fiercest foes and has served with such groups as the Brotherhood of Mutants and the Thunderbolts. As a child, Cain was abused by his father and, in turn, bullied Xavier. During that period, Charles accidentally read Cain’s mind following an incident of abuse. The former came to hate the latter for using his powers on him, and their relationship is often tense.
In terms of his abilities, Juggernaut has incredible strength and endurance that make him nigh unstoppable. He also has a helmet that protects him from psychic attacks. Despite his close association with Marvel’s mutants, Cain isn’t one. Instead, Cain gets his powers from the Crimson Bands of Cyttorak. However, Krakoa’s Quiet Council eventually opted to grant him citizenship and make him a member of Nightcrawler’s Legionnaires, despite Xavier’s objections.
Charles Xavier II
Charles Xavier II, the son of Charles Xavier and Mystique, was conceived while his mother impersonated Moira MacTaggert. Xavier II teamed up with his half-brother Raze, the son of Mystique and Wolverine, to take on Earth-13729’s version of the X-Men. Together, they formed a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Eventually, they went back in time to try and defeat the X-Men when they were more vulnerable.
Like his father, Xavier II is a powerful psychic. Physically, Xavier II looks almost identical to his father and even uses a wheelchair, having been stabbed by his world’s version of Colossus.
David Haller, AKA Legion
David Haller is Xavier’s son with Israeli diplomat Gabrielle Haller. An incredibly powerful psychic, David has many powers, including the ability to create entirely new realities. David has mental health issues, with dissociative identity disorder being his most prominent diagnosis. In addition to occasionally being manipulated by other powerful forces, David’s good intentions have occasionally led him to become a well-meaning villain.
In the Krakoan era, David works with Nightcrawler’s Legionnaires. Currently, his relationship with Xavier is quite tense, as the founder of the X-Men believes his son’s incredible power mixed with his mental instability poses a profound threat to Krakoa. Still, David remains determined to keep control of himself.
One of Xavier’s longest standing and most important love interests, Lilandra Neramani is a member of Shi’ar, a race of aliens with avian features. Lilandra originally worked with the X-Men and Xavier to take down her brother, D’ken, the Majestror of the Shi’ar Empire. After his defeat, Lilandra became the Majestrix of the Shi’ar Empire. Over the years, she’s played a key role in several iconic X-Men stories, including the “Dark Phoenix Saga.”
Xavier and Lilandra eventually got married. However, Cassanda Nova took control of her mind and bent the Shi’ar Imperial Guard to her will against the X-Men. This led to the annulment of Lilandra and Xavier’s marriage. In WAR OF KINGS, Lilandra was murdered by Darkhawk.
Cal’syee Neramani, AKA Deathbird
Xavier’s former sister-in-law, Deathbird was the original heir to the Shi’ar throne. However, she killed both her parents and one of her sisters in a fit of rage, a result of her having a closer connection to the ancient origins of the Shi’ar than others. This resulted in Deathbird’s exile. Still, Deathbird has played a key role in many storylines involving the Shi’ar over the years. Deathbird eventually served as an advisor to her niece, the Majestrix Xandra.
More recently, Deathbird was abducted by the Sidri. MARAUDERS #3 confirms the Kin Crimson, which dislikes Deathbird due to her ties to the Shi’ar’s past, put out the bounty that resulted in her capture. Since then, Deathbird has been fighting her way back to Xandra and the Shi’ar.
Following Deathbird’s exile, D’ken became ruler of the Shi’ar. However, he proved incredibly brutal and even murdered Katherine Summers, the mother of Scott Summers and Alex Summers. Eventually, D’ken sought to use the the M’kraan Crystal for his own ends, not realizing the damage the artifact could do to the universe. With the help of the X-Men and Xavier, Lilandra defeated D’ken and became Majestrix.
Xandra is Xavier and Lilandra’s daughter and the current Majestrix of the Shi’ar due to her Neramani heritage. Xandra was born after the deaths of Xavier and Lilandra using their genetic material. Like her father, Xandra has powerful psychic abilities.
In the pages of MARAUDERS, a secret Shi’ar group known as the Kin Crimson have been manipulating Xandra into taking on the titular team to protect the secret of the First Blood Spilled, which is connected to the empire’s ancient mutants. The most recent issue of MARAUDERS sees Xandra turning on the Kin Crimson, resulting in her getting shot at the Krag, an infamous Shi’ar prison.
To see what happens to Xandra and the Shi’ar royal family next, pick up MARAUDERS #3 (now on sale) and the other X-titles.
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