Sunday, 28 December 2014

Professor X

I am undergoing a dramatic change today. It's not an ALS type change, I'm doing this one on purpose. For the first time since I was 19 years old, I am shaving my mustache. I am also shaving my beard along with all the hair on my head. I will be... bald and clean shaven.

This is not for some charity; unfortunately I couldn't find someone willing to shave my head as a fundraiser for ALS. No, this is for a super hero themed party I am attending tonight. I am going as Professor X from the X-Men series of graphic novel and movie fame.

There is a certain irony in my choice of this character. Aside from the fact that the wheelchair is a built-in prop, the way Professor X is portrayed in the graphic novels is dramatically different from the way he is portrayed in movies.

Drawn as a character on paper, Professor X is extremely muscular, wearing a shirt so tight that muscles ripple beneath. The shirt itself bears a lurid "X" logo on the breast, also bulging above muscle. His legs, however, are thin and wasted, as you would expect from someone who is a paraplegic in a wheelchair..

On the other hand, Professor X, as played by Patrick Stewart in the X-Men series of movies, is anything but muscular. His lack of muscle is more than evident by its absence; it's just not there, something that could be a bit of a shock if you were a devotee of the graphic novel. The movie version of this character is always dressed in a dapper suit, almost always a three piece suit, with a well tied tie and perfect grooming.

The irony is the loss of muscle between the comic character and the movie version. It's as if some strange disease had taken away all of the Professor's muscles, leaving him with only his mind to do his super hero work. That is something I can understand.

My real problem is not the Professor X look. I shall go in a jacket and tie, most likely without a vest. My problem is the wheelchair. In both movies and drawings, Professor X has this really cool wheelchair; I don't. I have an ordinary, regular, run of the mill, long use wheelchair; almost standard issue, mine is at least reasonably high end. The best I can do with it is use white duct tape to put a highly visible "X" on each wheel. That will have to do.

Then again, there is the shaven head, beardless face, absent mustache, along with a suit and tie. People should be able to figure it out. If not, they haven't seen enough super hero movies.

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