Real Name: Dr. James Xavier

Identity/Class: Alternate reality (Earth-92131) human (19th Century); UK citizen

Occupation: Physician

Group Membership: Possibly the Royal Society

Affiliations: Charles Darwin, Rebecca Grey Essex, Thomas Flannery, Lord Grey, unidentified Metropolitan Police inspector

Enemies: Mister Sinister (Nathaniel Essex), Jack the Ripper

Known Relatives: Professor Charles Xavier (great-great-grandson)

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: 19th Century England (Earth-92131);
   formerly Grey Hall, England (Earth-92131)

First Appearance: X-Men: The Animated Series cartoon - "Descent" (September 6, 1997)

Powers/Abilities: James Xavier is a trained physician.

Height: 6' (see comments)
Weight: 190 lbs. (see comments)
Eyes: Green
Hair: Black, balding with mutton chops

(X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (fb) - BTS) - James Xavier was born circa 1830. (see comments)

(X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (fb) - BTS) - Xavier earned a medical degree and began practicing as a physician.

(X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (fb) - BTS) - In 1859 Xavier became employed by Lord Grey as family physician. At Grey Hall he met Grey's sickly daughter Rebecca and her husband, Nathaniel Essex. Essex, a fellow doctor, could not treat Rebecca himself, as it would be considered improper. Xavier for his part was confounded by Rebecca's mysterious illness.

(X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (fb) ) - Xavier accompanied Essex to a lecture by Charles Darwin, whose work fascinated Essex. At the lecture Darwin expounded upon his theory of natural selection. Some in the audience were dismissive of Darwin's radical ideas, others merely bored. When Darwin opened the floor for questions, a skeptical Xavier asked how natural selection could account for the human soul. Were we not created in God's own image, he insisted. Darwin conceded that he had not yet applied his observations to humankind. Essex, in contrast, was convinced Darwin's theory did apply to humans. Furthermore, he proposed that humans were in fact overdue for the next evolutionary step. Darwin demurred and fielded more questions from the audience.

   After the lecture's conclusion Essex approached Darwin. He wished to discuss his own research on mutated humans and insisted he has irrefutable evidence to back up his earlier claim. Darwin declined but signed a copy of Origin of Species for Essex. Darwin asked Xavier whether he considered him to be a heretic or merely a madman. Xavier responded that, while he had the utmost respect for Darwin's early work, he was troubled by natural selection's seeming denial of the divine hand in creation. Heretic it is then, Darwin retorted. Then, not feeling well, he excused himself. Having wearied of the debate, Xavier inquired as to Rebecca's condition. Essex admitted that if his wife's condition has changed at all, it is for the worst. He asked Xavier if he would be coming by to check on her that evening, and Xavier assured him he would.

   That evening at dinner Lord Grey asked Xavier if he could provide any good news about Rebecca. Xavier admitted he couldn't as of yet but was confident his treatments would prove effective in due time. Essex, dissatisfied with Xavier's answer, accused him of not having the slightest idea what was wrong with his wife. Xavier became insulted, and Essex begged his forgiveness, admitting that his frustration had gotten the better of him. Professing lack of sleep, Essex excused himself from the table. Xavier confided in Lord Grey his worries regarding Essex's work, saying his ideas verged on blasphemy. Grey said he understood, but Essex was his son-in-law and one of the few things that brought a smile to his daughter's lips.

   Xavier, Darwin, and two fellow scientists attended a presentation by Essex at which he promised to unveil his discoveries. Essex explained that his interest lay not in the gradual mutations that occur over millennia, but in the leaps that manifest themselves in a single generation. He referred to two men who were seated onstage as "the men of tomorrow". At his prompting, one of the men, Mr. Fuente, rose and approached an onstage electroscope. He hovered his hand over the instrument, and it indicated the presence of an electromagnetic charge - the implication being that the charge was originating from Fuente's hand. The guests seemed unimpressed, so Essex turned to the second man, Mr. Flannery. Flannery picked up a beaker full of liquid and, by merely holding it in his hand, brought the contents to a boil. Essex was confident he has now won the scientists over, but he was wrong. Darwin complained that he had come expecting some minor breakthrough in biology and instead was being shown parlor tricks and quackery. He got up to leave, proclaiming he had no time for such foolishness. Essex protested, saying he had discovered the mechanisms of heredity and that in time he would bring an end to hereditary disorders and all diseases. Humans at last would possess complete mastery over their own body, he boasted - indeed they would become gods! Darwin declared Essex a madman. He, Xavier, and the others departed. Essex, furious at the "blind old fools", vowed he would eventually be proven correct.

   Essex became even more obsessed with his research, yet he continued to meet with failure after failure. As time passed he grew more reclusive and eccentric. While he still hoped to save Rebecca, his fascination with human mutation became all-consuming. Stories of strange goings-on at his lab began to circulate.

   Xavier continued attending to Rebecca. Her condition worsened, and even the most advanced techniques of medical science at his disposal were to no avail.

   Essex finally reached a momentous breakthrough in his research. He ingested a newly concocted serum, and a startling transformation ensued. Delighted, he declared that he felt like a new man.

(X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (fb) - BTS) - Essex began secretly giving Rebecca experimental treatments for her illness.

(X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (fb) ) - Xavier examined Rebecca as Lord Grey stood by. Rebecca was now able to sit upright in her bed. Xavier said he couldn't understand the change in her; other than a slight pallor, she was making a remarkable recovery. Rebecca giggled and confessed that her husband had been treating her. Upon hearing this Lord Grey became outraged. He implored Xavier to speak with Essex so that they could learn "what that madman has given to my daughter".

   Xavier approached Essex's lab, an asylum for the physically infirm located on the Grey estate, and demanded to speak with him. Essex calmly answered the door and invited him in. His skin was now chalk white, and he wore dark-tinted spectacles over his eyes. Xavier told Essex that rumors were spreading about the "sinister" experiments he was allegedly performing. Essex seemed quite taken with that word.

   Essex escorted Xavier through the darkened asylum, their way lit only by gaslight. They walked past cells housing Essex's "patients", many sprawled across the floor and groaning. Rats scurried about. Xavier eyed this all with disbelief. Essex, on the other hand, seemed proud of what he had accomplished. "Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced," he proclaimed. He grabbed a keychain and unlocked one of the cell doors. Inside Flannery cowered in the corner, begging for mercy. Xavier was outraged by the dismal conditions he saw. He declared that "even animals don't deserve such treatment". Essex questioned whether the treatment these people would receive outside his walls would have been any better. Xavier demanded that Essex release his patients at once. But Essex told Xavier "they are unfinished" and relocked the cell door. Xavier suddenly shoved Essex and, grabbing his keychain, rushed toward one of the cell doors. Before he could unlock it Essex lunged at him, knocking them both off their feet. They scuffled, and the keychain fell from Xavier's grasp. It landed in front of Flannery's cell, just out of his reach. Xavier and Essex continued to tussle, and their combat spilt over into the adjoining room. Flannery looked over towards Fuente's cell. Fuente locked his gaze on the keychain. His eyes began to glow green, and the keychain slid over to Flannery's outstretched hand. Flannery unlocked his cell door and proceeded to free the others. They ran past Xavier and Essex, out the door of the asylum and into the rainy night. Essex chased after them, begging his "children" not to leave.

   The mutants fled into nearby London, where they were nearly hit by a carriage. A startled Flannery unintentionally shot bursts of fire from his hands, setting a nearby building ablaze. The carriage driver cursed at the mutants, calling them the "spawn of the devil itself". A small crowd gathered, and confusion ensued. Feeling threatened, some of the mutants used their powers. One shot energy from her chest. Another, cornered, leapt high up to the roof of a building.

   Arriving at the scene, Xavier spotted wet footsteps leading into a church building and followed. Inside he found a sobbing Flannery knelt in prayer. Flannery was convinced that God had forsaken him, but Xavier assured him that the Lord cared for all his creatures. Flannery explained he was only trying to earn some money to send back to his family in Ireland who had suffered during the famine. He grew alarmed when Xavier revealed he was a doctor, but Xavier said he was nothing like Dr. Essex and that he only wished to help. Persuaded, Flannery exited the church with Xavier.

   The crowd outside had grown much larger by now, and someone spotted Flannery. People began to close in, but Xavier implored them to stay where they were. He explained that Flannery was no monster, merely someone born with different abilities through no fault of his own, and that they needn't be frightened of him. Spotting Essex lurking by the edge of the crowd, Xavier identified him as the true menace. The crowd surrounded Essex. A man armed with a shovel struck his arm, but the wound healed instantly. An indignant Essex shot powerful energy blasts from his hands. The crowd and Xavier were astonished - as was Essex himself.

   Essex fled back to Grey Hall, the angry mob in close pursuit. He told Rebecca they must leave at once for the continent, but in his urgency he grabbed her wrist too tightly. She slapped him, knocking off his spectacles and exposing his glowing red eyes. Horrified, Rebecca asked what he had done to himself - and to her. Essex tried to reassure her, telling her that together they will be "the Adam and Eve of a new genesis", but she ran away. As the mob began to ransack the place, Essex escaped on horseback into the nearby woods. His lab was burned down along with all his research. The only item Xavier was able to recover from the rubble was Essex's journal.

   Xavier traveled the world in search of Essex, chronicling the carnage left by his terrible experiments and his unfortunate "new men". During his many journeys he rode inside a rickshaw in East Asia, roamed the streets of Russia, stood aboard a ship as it passed by the Statue of Liberty, and rode a llama along a narrow mountain pass in South America.

(X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (fb) - BTS) - In 1888 the Whitechapel murders began. Xavier became convinced Essex was behind them. In actuality Essex had created (or enhanced) a man named Jack to commit the killings at his behest. Jack's role was to procure the samples Essex needed for his experiments. Essex eventually decided to stop using his own name in favor of "Mister Sinister".

(X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent") - Inside the Metropolitan Police's Commercial Street Station Xavier consulted with an inspector. The inspector was dubious about Xavier's accusations. Essex would now be in his sixties, and the eyewitnesses had all described a younger man. Nevertheless Xavier insisted he was correct. Unbeknownst to them, Jack passed right outside the police station after eluding a group of policemen.

   Xavier and the inspector rode in a carriage on their way to inspect a crime scene. Xavier began to recount to the inspector his personal history with Essex. Midway through Xavier's tale, the two arrived at the crime scene. The inspector said he failed to see any connection between Xavier's tale and the current killings. The two entered a second story flat, where they viewed the murder victim laying on the floor, their shriveled chalk white foot prominently exposed. Xavier remained convinced Essex was behind all of the butchery. He begged the inspector to accompany him to Mansell Street, where, he claimed, they may have "a chance to stop the most diabolical madman the world has ever known". The inspector consented, and Xavier promised to continue his tale while they rode.

   Xavier finished his tale just as the men arrived at their destination, where Xavier claimed he had tracked Essex to an upstairs flat. The two, along with several policemen, bursted into the flat. But Essex proved to be one step ahead of them and had already escaped aboard a departing ship. All Xavier and the inspector found in the bare room was a lone candle placed on the floor atop Essex's signed copy of Origin of Species. Xavier considered this a final taunt and feared he would not catch Essex in his lifetime - but if he couldn't, he prayed that someone else could.

Comments: Created by Steve Melching, David McDermott (writers), Philippine Animation Studio, Inc. (see Appearances list for full list of artists).

James Xavier is voiced by Cedric Smith (who is also the voice of Charles Xavier in the series).

James Xavier has no known counterpart on Earth-616.

Despite being a man of science, Xavier displayed a firm belief in the divine throughout the episode.

In 1888 Xavier said that he had been tracking Essex around the world for half his life. Since he first met Essex in 1859 that would mean he was born circa 1830.

It is implied in the episode that James Xavier is Charles' ancestor. Episode co-writer Steve Melching confirmed in Eric Lewald's book Previously on X-Men: The Making of an Animated Series that James is Charles' great-great-grandfather, which fits in well with what we know of their respective timelines.

For Xavier's height and weight, I used the data listed for Charles Xavier in X-Men Adventures I#15, on the theory that both relatives might share a similar physique due to genetics. (X-Men Adventures depicts a reality that bears a close resemblance to Earth-92131.)

The police inspector is unnamed in the episode. Steve Melching said he was based on a historical figure. This would most likely be Frederick Abberline.

Profile by Zuckyd1.

James Xavier has no known connections to:

images: (without ads)
X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (main image)
X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (Xavier with medical supplies)
X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (Xavier examining Rebecca Essex)
X-Men: The Animated Series episode - "Descent" (Xavier in 1888)

X-Men: The Animated Series cartoon - "Descent" (September 6, 1997) - Steve Melching & David McDermott (writers), Stan Lee, Avi Arad, Joseph Calamari (executive producers), Tom McLaughlin (producer), Bob Harras (story consultant), Eric Lewald (developed for television/story editor), Stephanie Graziano (executive in charge of production), Sue Peters (animation director), Philippine Animation Studio, Inc. (animation)

First Posted: 01/15/2021
Last updated: 01/15/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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