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Foil / X-Men: Apocalypse

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The film has a lot of contrasting characters:

  • Apocalypse and Xavier:
    • Apocalypse sees himself as a god, whereas Professor X serves as a Messianic Archetype of the movie series.
    • They are both mentors to their respective teams, they reach out to mutants who feel lost, confused and alone, and encourage them to reach their full potential, so their dominant leadership style is Charismatic.
    • They promote radically different ideologies: Apocalypse believes that the Earth should only belong to the strongest and the weak should be wiped out, while Charles thinks that it can be shared by everyone equally and peacefully.
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    • Both like being at the center of attention: En Sabah Nur is an ostentatious god-king who takes advantage of the Ermine Cape Effect, whereas Xavier is a Proud Beauty teacher who flaunts his wealth in a Simple, yet Opulent fashion.
    • During the Final Battle, Apocalypse ends up alone, but Professor X is very much not.
    • Their position on the "Defend" and "Destroy" posters also marks them as foils.
  • Carolina Bartczak directly compares her character Magda with Xavier—the former is Erik's wife and the latter is his Heterosexual Life-Partner—and her arc somewhat resembles Charles' from X-Men: First Class.
    • They both love Lehnsherr in a similar way, despite knowing about the numerous crimes he has committed in the past.
    • They both "start a family" with him (Magda gives birth to a daughter, while Charles and Erik "adopt" mutant teenagers with a Team Mom and a Team Dad dynamic).
    • Both relationships end in tragedy — Magda is accidentally killed by Polish police, whereas Xavier and Lehnsherr's very close friendship ends in a "divorce," plus Charles is accidentally crippled by Magneto. Erik cradles both of them in his arms.
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    • Magda is the source of Love Redeems for Lehnsherr after Days of Future Past, and Xavier later fulfills this role during the climax of Apocalypse.
      Carolina Bartczak: She meets Erik after he has become this globally wanted criminal, and even on their first night, he tells her who he is. She sees something beautiful in him, something peaceful, something like Charles also sees in him, that he can be a good man and live a normal life. They actually fall in love and start a family.
  • Professor X and Quicksilver:
    • They are Glass Cannon mutants with a Story-Breaker Power in addition to being light-hearted, charismatic Pretty Boys and Chivalrous Perverts, and they even share an attraction towards Moira.note 
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    • The former is a Cool Teacher and the latter is a Cool Loser.
    • They have both undergone a Manchild phase and have parental issues — Charles had experienced emotional neglect from his mother, and Peter grew up fatherless.
    • Xavier and Maximoff are Erik's brother figure and biological son, respectively (and Magneto had abandoned both of them), yet ironically, Quicksilver is more comfortable staying with the Professor (who will become his mentor and Parental Substitute) than revealing to Lehnsherr that they're related.
    • Xavier also shows an almost fatherly concern for Peter's safety during the battle against Apocalypse because Charles anxiously utters the young mutant's name when he's able to sense through his telepathy that Maximoff has been seriously injured.
    • They are the only two mutants who manage to land a few direct punches on Apocalypse — Quicksilver does this in the physical world, and Xavier does this on the astral plane, although Apocalypse gets the upper-hand on both of them, and they are both examples of Break the Cutie.
  • Angel and Nightcrawler are incapable of hiding their visible mutation and face prejudice because of it, but while Angel becomes vengeful, anti-social, and bitter, Nightcrawler attempts to maintain an upbeat attitude which grants him friends and a larger support network. Angel is abandoned even by his comrades and dies alone.
  • Erik and Charles each have one scene that demonstrates their father-daughter bond — one is born through blood ties and the other is forged through a shared manifestation of the X-gene:
    • Nina is happy with her The Beastmaster mutant gift, and as Lehnsherr tucks her into bed, he sings her a song and tells Nina about her grandparents.
    • Jean Grey, who views her telepathy as a curse, is extremely troubled by a "nightmare" about the end of the world, and Xavier tries to comfort his surrogate daughter by confiding to her that he too can be overwhelmed by the incessant thoughts of others.
    • Nina is accidentally killed by Polish police, and because they are using non-metal weapons, Erik can't do anything to save her.
    • When Apocalypse is about to destroy Charles' mind, the latter uses the last ounce of his strength to urge Jean to release the full force of the Phoenix, and she eventually succeeds in rescuing her father figure.
    • Magneto's love and grief for Nina led him to participate in the Earth's destruction, but Professor X's love and faith in Jean leads her to save it.
  • Nina and Jean:
    • Nina adores her mutation and she can control the minds of animals. Jean Grey hates her powers and she can control the minds of people.
    • They both love their father figures, and both are Nice Girls try to protect their dads with their abilities when Erik and Charles are about to be taken away from them. Nina commands nearby birds to attack the Polish police, whereas Jean sets free her Phoenix Force (which emits fiery wings from her body) against Apocalypse. Nina fails and dies in the attempt, but Jean triumphs and lives to tell the tale.
  • Xavier and Ms. Maximoff became alcoholics after Erik had left them, but the former is able to move on with his life after 1973 whereas the latter is still nursing her old wounds with drink. Peter's arc begins in his mother's basement, and it ends when he moves to the X-Mansion, where he trains to be an X-Man in Professor X's basement.
  • The Four Horsemen are depicted as members of a fanatical cult who seek to destroy the world, whereas the X-Men are portrayed as members of a paramilitary group with moderate views who do all they can to defend it.


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