Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The God In the Wheelchair

One of the things that writers are constantly warned about is to avoid the "God in the Machine" or Deus ex machina ending. Apparently some of the Greek playwrights would script their characters into an impossible situation. To get out of the consequences, the writers would have a god come down from the heavens in a machine and set things right.

This is, of course, a very unsatisfying ending for the audience which expects the characters to get out of their problems through dint of hard work and inspiration and not by divine providence.

The X-Men in their early issues had a god in a machine; a wheelchair machine to be specific. Professor X was just too doggone powerful, and when they got into a big battle with a major mutant he could just wave his magic wand and make everything all right:

And in the following issue, X-Men #3:

So of course by the following issue, the X-Men were getting a little too used to having the Prof pull their bacon from the fire:

At the end of that story, Professor X is injured by a bomb blast:

But it turns out to be all part of a larger plan:

I suspect this was plotted all along by Stan. I will have to read further in the series to see if Professor X used his brain-wiping abilities again.