Friday, May 3, 2013

X-men Supreme Issue #74: Dark Messenger PREVIEW

It's a great day to be a Marvel fan and a fan of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. I don't go out of my way to time my updates in accord with big Marvel events, such as the release of Iron Man 3. But sometimes it just works out that way! While I have every intention of seeing this movie, I haven't let my excitement hinder my work on the next issue of X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear! The first arc is complete. Robert Kelly is now President of the United States and life for mutants in the world of X-men Supreme just got a lot more difficult. Now I have a lot of big stories planned in this fanfiction series that will stem directly from President Kelly's actions. But that's not what the next issue is about!

I try to avoid focusing on one major issue in X-men Supreme. Otherwise it gets boring. Part of the appeal of X-men as a series is that they deal with such a diverse range of threats. They don't just deal with human/mutant conflict, Sentinel robots, or mutant armies led by Magneto. They deal with aliens, demigods, and magic. I've already explored a few of those plots with the arrival of the Shi'ar in Issue 46: Paradise Mystery and the X-men have already dealt with magic-based threats like Selene and Juggernaut. And while I know the X-men recently dealt with some pretty powerful forces in the Phoenix Force, some of those threats just can't wait!

That is the subject of the next issue of X-men Supreme. One of the ongoing plots that I began back in X-men Supreme Volume 2: War Powers involved Nightcrawler's girlfriend, Amanda Sefton and her mother. The two of them have been guarding a very dark secret about their lives and their past. Those secrets are going to become a major factor in future stories of X-men Supreme and some of those secrets will be revealed in this new issue! In the process, a familiar foe will re-emerge to make life all the more difficult for Nightcrawler and Amanda. Who is this threat? Check out an extended preview to see just what they're up against!

Her mother offered a soothing gesture besides the serious glare. Margali wished she could do more, but there was only so far a mother’s love could go. Fate, it seemed, was all but insurmountable. While she did her best to console her daughter, there was a knock at their front door. Under normal circumstances they wouldn’t be too concerned, but on a day like this there was no room for hospitality.

“Could that be Kurt?” wondered Amanda.

“No…it couldn’t,” said Margali suspiciously as she carefully approached the door.

“Oh no…I know that look,” she dreaded as she backed away towards the living room, “My hatred of birthdays is about to be vindicated, isn’t it?”

“Don’t jump to conclusions, but stay back anyways. I’ll see who it is and deal with them accordingly.”

“I thought you said you put up the best protection spells in your arsenal?”

“I did. But just to be safe…”

Margali never got a chance to finish her warning. Before she could even look through the window, a deafening burst echoed through the small farm house. It was like someone drove a fully loaded dump truck right through the house. Margali barely avoided it as the invisible wave of force plowed through the front door, creating a gaping hole in the wall. The cold air came rushing in. In addition, a strange purple light began radiating from outside. Sensing it was magic in nature, Margali and Amanda rushed to take cover.

“Stay down, Amanda!” her mother urged, as she scrambled to protect her daughter.

“Ugh, please don’t let this be what I think it is!” groaned Amanda, staying behind her mother as she had been taught to do.

Through the ominous purplish glow, a figure emerged and casually entered the house through the gaping hole in the wall.

“Oh it’s worse than that!” said a cold, sinister voice, “Fate hasn’t forgotten this day, Miss Sefton! And neither have I”

That voice was enough to shake even the strongest spirits. It was a voice Margali Sefton recognized all too well, belonging to the last person she wanted to see on a day like this.

“Selene…the Black Queen,” Margali seethed.

“Glad to see you remember me, Margali,” said Selene with a sinister grin.

“Not by choice, I assure you!”

“Don’t tell me your surprised. What kind of woman would I be if I forgot the birthday of my oldest and worst friend’s daughter?”

Selene Gallio someone Margali hoped she would never have to deal with again. It was probably na├»ve of her to believe she had escaped this woman’s clutches. She was as tenacious as she was devious. She was everything she had been trying to protect Amanda from since the day she was born.

Selene watched with mild amusement as Margali attempted to protect her daughter. It was pretty pathetic. She was already shivering from the cold and clearly disoriented from the earlier blast. It showed she was weak. Undaunted, the Black Queen casually strolled over the ruins of the front wall wearing the same revealing lingerie she wore in the Inner Circle. Her body was surrounded by a halo of mystical energy. Her eyes glowed bright red as she stared down Margali and her daughter.

“You’re supposed to be dead!” spat Amanda, “Kurt told me the Phoenix took you down!”

“She left me sore, but far from defeated,” scoffed Selene, “You of all people should know that I cannot die. Not until my destiny has been fulfilled!”

“Your destiny failed you long ago!” spat Margali, “In fact, it failed us both!”

“Yet you still insist on hiding from it,” she teased, “Did you really think I wouldn’t track you down after all these years?”

“If you’re so powerful, why did it take you so long?! My protection spells are also supposed to keep you away!”

“Oh please,” scoffed Selene, “You’re a good mystic, but a lousy coward. I have much more than my heritage going for me. Lucky for you, I didn’t come to belittle your mistakes. I came to deliver a very special message that Miss Amanda here should have gotten long ago.”

“Forget it, bitch! A message from you is a message I’m sure I don’t want to hear!” said Amanda, her eyes glowing as well.

Amanda and her mother were prepared to defend themselves. The Black Queen just kept on grinning, stopping about halfway between the hole in the wall and where they were standing. Her body was still glowing brightly, looking as though she was about to attack. But she had something else in mind.

“Such poor manners,” said Selene with a mock sigh, “I expected more from you, Margali. Exodus, if you please…”

Selene casually snapped her fingers to signal another imposing figure to step out from behind her. Margali and Amanda both recognized this figure as Exodus, both because the X-men had clashed with him before and because they were familiar with him on a more personal level.

“You…” Margali gasped in horror.

“Surprised? Don’t be,” said Selene, “My magic is strong, but favors can be much stronger. Plus, I enjoy the personal touch, don’t you?”

“Yes, Mistress Selene,” said the stoic voice of Exodus.

Amanda and Margali hesitated in their intent to attack this menacing threat. This allowed Exodus to jumped out in front of Selene and reveal a strange high-tech device he was holding in both arms. It looked like a cross between a bazooka and an assault rifle. It was metallic in texture and had a long barrel with a large opening at the end that glowed with exotic energy. Armed with this weapon, Exodus took aim and fired a single shot. In the blink of an eye, a bright light consumed the room and a lightning-like burst struck Amanda and Margali.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” they both yelled as a paralyzing sensation came over them.

The two women were hit from every angle by an overwhelming shock. Their bodies arched in pain, their glowing mystical auras sparking erratically as if their power had been short-circuited. The pain was agonizing, but it didn’t last long. They were quickly rendered unconscious by the blow, thus halting any hope of a retaliatory strike by magic or any means for that matter. With an almost casual demeanor, Selene walked up to their limp bodies and stood over them triumphantly.

“My dear Nathan was right. Science can overcome magic with the proper application of force,” she said as she gazed down at the unconscious women, “Bless his heart for putting together something that can bypass those protection spells and take down these annoying little skanks.”

“Doesn’t look like it took much,” said Exodus as he put the weapon away, “Are you sure these two are really that powerful?”

“If you had even a fraction of your memory intact, you would never question their potential. What they lack in presence, they more than make up for in many special ways. In order to get my message across, we’ll have to unlock some of those ways.”

“Should I prepare them for transport back to Sinister’s lab?” asked Exodus.

“That would be convenient, but unfortunately time is of the essence,” said Selene as she knelt down and possessively trailed her hand down Amanda’s face, “Science may have rendered them unconscious, but magic must carry this message. And I’ll need all my mystical skill to if I’m to deliver this very special girl on her birthday present as well as some help from a capable apprentice.”

Selene snapped her fingers again to summon another figure to join her. From the gaping hole in the wall, the capable apprentice approached. For something of this magnitude, the Black Queen only trusted one person to aid her.

“Are we ready, my Mistress?” said Madelyn Pryor, bearing the same exotic garments as the Black Queen.

“We’re ready, my pupil,” said Selene as she possessively clutched Amanda’s chin, “Set everything up outside as I instructed. Our little birthday girl here is coming of age. She deserves the party that fate has decreed!”

I've also got another quick update to the pics section to add. I know it seems like I've only been focusing on the sexy X-women of Marvel for a while. I apologize if I gave the impression that I wasn't paying attention to other kinds of pics to add to X-men Supreme. I have been collecting images of various types and one section that I haven't updated in a long while is the section full of team pics. It's rare to find quality group shots that are worth adding to the X-men Supreme archive, but I think I've found some worthy additions!

We're entering the busy summer movie season for Marvel and comic books in general. Big events and big moments lie ahead for Marvel, DC Comics, and the fans. I want to make the X-men Supreme fanfiction series a part of that so I hope to bring forward some very exciting events that will coincide nicely with what Marvel is doing. And in order to make those events sufficiently awesome, it's important that I continue to get feedback. I actually got a few really generous emails from a few very generous fans lately! I've made it a point to respond to them and I'll gladly respond to others as well. So please contact me at any time and I'll be happy to discuss X-men Supreme, X-men, comics, and everything in between! Until next time, take care and best wishes! Excelsior!


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