A while back I reviewed a fic called A Villain State of Mind. In it, Thor failed to take Loki back to Asgard with him after the events of New York, and S.H.I.E.L.D. was stuck with the trickster in their custody. To help deal with the situation, they call in Charles Xavier, who takes it upon himself to rehabilitate Loki. The entire story is beautifully written and insightful to both Xavier’s and Loki’s characters. However, it ends a bit uncertain. For plot reasons, Xavier only has about a week with Loki, and when Loki finally makes it back to Asgard in the end, Xavier remarks that he could very easily relapse.
Aside from his work, no one knew anything about Xavier. Not what he looked like, not the full extent of his power–though from what little they did know, he was by far the most powerful telepath in existence–and not what his intentions were. The man was a recluse. As far as Magneto knew, Xavier had never once stepped foot outside his impenetrable Westchester manor.
And now he was scheduled as the keynote speaker for the largest pro-mutant conference in the world.
“I have official confirmation,” Mystique said. Magneto released a breath.
And just like that he was Erik again. Mystique relaxed, losing the stance of his second in command and becoming Raven, the first mutant he’d found and recruited to his cause, someone he considered a friend. Erik grinned.
“Professor Charles Xavier,” he said, giddy with the thought of it.
–from Tessellation by nekosmuse
This week’s rec is one of my old favorites from the X-Men: First Class fandom. In Tessellation, Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr meet under different circumstances—Erik is already the leader of the Brotherhood of Mutants, headquartered on the island of Genosha, and Charles is a world-renowned geneticist who’s turned into a complete hermit after the death of his wife, Moira. As in the movie, Charles is pretty frankly amoral about the use of his powers—and unlike in the movie, he’s chosen to remain that way. Erik, too, is older, and a lot of his fanaticism has been dulled by the experience of years. It’s a fascinating what-if story about two characters meeting at a much different time in their lives, and how they influence each other after they meet.
The idea that there’s someone out there with telepathic abilities certainly has an element of horror to it, and that’s an element pop culture likes to latch onto. Villains with this kind of ability strike a chilling terror in their victims, and even in us, the audience. It goes without saying that the invasion of someone’s mind against his or her will often has long-lasting, damaging effects that leave us with little to no question on the morality, or lack thereof, of the perpetrator. These acts come in different forms, whether mind controlling, binding someone against his or her will, the implantation or removal of memories, or just plain mind reading. The best way to describe such a thing is “rape of the mind”, or “mind rape”. Unfortunately, mind rape is not always committed by the bad guys. Often in fantasy and sci-fi, the good guys will do this as well. And even more unfortunately, when our heroes commit such a heinous act, the narrative will either excuse or refuse to acknowledge the rape in question.
Trigger warning for rape after the jump.