Monday, November 7, 2011



Professor X vs. The Batgirls:

Both Professor X and the Batgirls (Cassandra Cain and Barbara Gordon a.k.a. Oracle.) are disabled. My task is to analyze their skills, disabilities, and fighting styles to discover who would make the toughest disability advocate. For Professor X, I have a variety of sources including animation, comics, and the recent movies. My knowledge of Batgirl lore is a little spottier; though I have sources from comics, including Batgirl, Birds of Prey, and from Batman. Let's begin with their philosophies toward advocacy and backgrounds.
Professor X, a paralyzed man, runs the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters in upstate New York, which is the undercover base for The X-Men. It's unclear at what age he recruits youngsters to the school (it is variously shown as a high school, a university, and a private school.) But, it's been said that the mutant gene activates by the onset of puberty, and he tracks them using Cerebro. His fighting style is mostly limited to non-violent resistance (as he is a Civil Right's leader.) but when provoked, his psychic abilities have taken down Magneto, The Hellfire Club, and even his own X-Men (When possessed.)
He holds numerous degrees in biology, and teaches ethics at the school. If Professor X were to survive, he would have to rely on his wit, technical skill, psychic ability, and morality. Furthermore, he often speaks of being confined to a wheelchair; he would have to thus have a very good moral reason to put his physical body at risk, unless his powers become unstable, at which point he would be evil.
Barbara Gordon is the daughter of Commissioner James Gordon. She has likely learned combat skills from both Batman and the Gotham police. Her technical skill is unsurpassed, as she uses both Batman's tech and her resources at the Gotham Public Library (which she runs: PhD in Library and Information Sciences.) to hunt and track criminals. Though she is paralyzed from a gunshot wound, and uses a wheelchair, she isn't afraid to attack. Her one weakness (that I can see...corrections appreciated.) is that she often feels she should be doing more to protect her friends. In combat, Professor X would be likely to use this against her, either to get her to avoid confrontation psychically, or just talking her out of it non-violently.
       Their tech is at least evenly matched, but a provoked Professor X could become formidable. Her athletic-improv style martial arts would require her to get close.Babs could knock Professor X around if he tried to talk her out of it, perhaps using her wheelchair to leap off of and back, ninja style. However, once provoked Professor X would exploit her fears and guilt, and telepathically knocking her around; psychic energy has also been known to rip people apart, (a.k.a “mindblowing”) so depending on how far he's pushed, he could destroy Babs unless she had psychic protection.
Cassandra Cain is another Batgirl. She's the mute daughter of the deadliest assassin in the world , David Cain. AKA The guy who trained Batman. Her father devoted all her life to ninja training at the expense of her education (Batgirl: Fists of Fury) but she can speak via telepathy. Her mind would likely be enough to overcome psychic attacks, as her father taught her how to resist mental pain by shooting her when she made mistakes. Since she was taken in by Batman, she has shown anger and frustration towards her disability, and even nearly killed Joker after he made a wisecrack about “picking on the handicapped.” (Also Fists of Fury.) Also, she has no qualms about killing, and would likely aim to kill or maim Professor X if Babs was attacked. Her skills in martial arts and ability to resist mental pain would likely give her advantage over Professor X, but she is as unstable and sensitive about her disability as Professor X; the exception being that she turns to anger and violence, instead of reason; but by this point Professor X would likely be violent as well.
In conclusion, all these combatants have a kernel of guilt and anger associated with what they can't do, and it is what they do with that that would determine the outcome of the battle. (True to life!) in some cases, they use their disabilities to adapt (Xavier's ethics, Cain's martial arts, or Oracle's Information Science.) but ultimately it is how they deal with their maladaptive qualities that determines their success. They have to be able to adapt to situations where they are unable to act properly. Having lived this way for quite some time now, I can relate and I understand these comics better now.
     I predict the battle would go something like this. Professor X would defeat Babs when provoked, Cassandra Cain would take out the “evil Professor X”, and Babs would convince her (because she's her friend.) not to kill him because he's a brilliant and morally good man. They're all tough advocates regardless of experience and method, because they all truly believe, one way or the other, that they can use their abilities and disabilities for justice! Possibly, they would even agree to work together. What a comic book ending!

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