Friday, December 13, 2013

X-men Supreme Issue 90: Subversive Secrets PREVIEW and Colossus Bio

Throughout the history of the X-men, there have many different line-ups and many different teams. One of the biggest challenges any writer faces, whether it be comics or fanfiction, is effectively balancing that team. When I started the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, I started with the same Original Five X-men that Stan Lee and Jack Kirby used in Uncanny X-men #1 back in 1963. The lineup in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series has grown and changed a great deal since then. Many new characters have joined. Some, like Angel, have left. I've even revealed that the line-up for the X-men in X-men Supreme has undergone even greater changes in the past. And the recent events involving the Cambrian have led to the biggest roster shakeup for X-men Supreme in quite some time.

In Issue 89: Disheartening Discord, Rogue and Nightcrawler decided to leave the team. A number of personal issues that have recently came to a boiling point made it clear that they needed to have some time away from the X-men. Now I've already gotten a few comments about this and let me just spoil right now that this is not the last we'll see if these two. Rogue and Nightcrawler will show up again in a future story and it won't take long for that story to arrive. They'll have their own personal struggles to deal with and I have every intention of exploring it.

In the meantime, their departure was supplemented with the arrival of a new member to the X-men, Colossus. He's a character that was introduced in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series quite a while ago in Issue 26: The Ties That Terrorize. I had every intention of bringing Colossus to the X-men at some point. I just needed the right story to come along. The Cambrian was that story and now he'll be a big part of X-men Supreme moving forward. However, his timing couldn't be worse. The Cambrian has left a great deal of destruction in its wake and Charles Xavier's secret battle with cancer is about to be exposed. X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear is entering a critical juncture and the next issue will set the tone for how the final act of this Volume plays out. I've prepared an extended preview of just how that juncture begins.

“The General has had his share of obstacles since he started building up the Mutant Security Agency. Since the Cambrian affair, President Kelly went so far as to mobilize the Army Corps of Engineers to help speed up the organization’s deployment. They’ve began construction projects in all fifty states, setting up hubs for the MSA and mobilizing newly hired officers to act as agents. As he began linking each one of these hubs, he picked up on some new activity from anti-mutant groups.”

“But the Friends of Humanity wasn’t one of them, was it? Otherwise we would have found out beforehand,” Hank surmised.

“You are correct, Hank. But something changed,” Xavier stated, “Shortly after the Cambrian incident was resolved, all these anti-mutant groups were mobilizing with greater efficiency.”

“How do you know that just isn’t a result of the growing anti-mutant sentiment?” asked Ororo.

“To mobilize that efficiency takes leadership and resources,” Xavier explained, “The General says the NSA has also picked up some chatter regarding a new influx of resources to these groups. I suspect someone very well-connected is pulling the strings.”

“How can that be? Graydon Creed is in jail! He didn’t escape, did he?” said Hank.

“I checked on that. He’s still incarcerated, but was recently moved to a medium level detention center.”

“Why on Earth would they do that after what he did in District X?” exclaimed Ororo.

“I was told it was for good behavior, but I suspect the anti-mutant sentiment gave him some sympathy from the judge processing his case.”

It seemed as typical as it was disheartening. Graydon Creed was a dangerous man and the authorities were giving him a break. Even if mutants had been getting a lot of bad press lately, it could only be made worse by Graydon Creed’s influence.

“Could this have anything to do with the recent mobilization?” suggested Beast.

“It might, but I don’t think so,” said Professor Xavier, “General Grimshaw suspects that other forces may be at work and I agree with him.”

“Is he going to help us figure out what those forces are or is this something we’ll have to investigate on our own?” asked Ororo.

“Like I said, the General is currently overwhelmed with the responsibilities of building the MSA. Bear in mind he still has Toad in custody and he’s been trying to process him through the system.”

“Yet he still can’t find time to investigate a group that has no problem supporting genocide?” Ororo retorted.

“He probably figures the situation is fragile enough. President Kelly’s approval has been shaky in wake of his actions on Genosha. Many wanted more aggressive measures taken against Magneto. Some are still calling for him to be put on trial for war crimes again.”

“After how that turned out the first time I don’t blame him for avoiding that path again,” said Beast.

“It’s not out of the goodness of his heart, I assure you. So long as the Cambrian is being written off as an accident, he knows they have no solid case. Seeing as how many remain suspicious of this explanation, it would be wise not to push the issue.”

Hank agreed with Xavier’s assessment while Ororo remained skeptical. It may just be bitterness stemming from her relationship issues, but it sounded like General Grimshaw was just making excuses. The Friends of Humanity had the potential to be as big a threat as Magneto. For him and the MSA to leave it to the fates was a serious shortcoming.

“So what are we going to do about this, Charles? I’m assuming the burden falls on our shoulders,” said Ororo.

“I’ve already started making plans. Now that Wanda has control over Genosha, the X-men can dedicate more of their resources to threats of this nature. General Grimshaw has already forwarded the government records he has on the organization and Warren has also been helping by providing the data he compiled while Creed was working with his company.”

“I can also enlist Tessa’s help. If the Friends of Humanity are getting this organized, they should leave a few electronic trails for us to follow,” offered Hank.

“Her help is always appreciated,” replied Xavier, “I’ve also calibrated Cerebrum to do a number of searches on known Friends of Humanity associates. With any luck we should be able to…”

The Professor’s words unexpectedly trailed off. In a seemingly immediate shift he looked tired. It was as if something just sucked the life right out of him.

“Charles?” said Hank curiously.

“Are you still with us?” asked Ororo, waving her hand in front of him.

His gaze grew increasingly distant. One moment he was completely lucid and the next he looked as though he was about to faint. Hank and Ororo looked at him strangely, showing increasing concern. They both moved in closer to observe what was happening. Hank tried to shake him from his daze.

“What’s wrong with him?” asked Ororo anxiously.

“I…I don’t know. I think he’s having a seizure!” said Hank urgently.

“But I thought he was done recovering from the Cambrian attack!”

“I don’t think this is a product of the Cambrian,” he said ominously.

While Hank and Ororo tried to snap him from his daze, the mind of Charles Xavier was paralyzed from within. A strange feeling overtook his mind. It was a feeling that robbed him of any control over his body. Panic quickly set in as he feared the worst.

‘No…this can’t be happening! Not now! The cancer…it shouldn’t be doing this! It…’

His chaotic thoughts were suddenly cut off when something else hit him. This time it was even stronger. As if it weren’t bad enough, this didn’t feel anything like cancer.

“AUUUUGGGHHHHH!” cried the Professor as he clutched his head and fell out of his chair.

“Charles!” exclaimed Hank as he caught him before he hit the floor.

Hank’s medical training kicked in as he and Ororo surrounded the Professor. His frail body contorted as if something was twisting it from within. Then he opened his eyes in something even stranger happened.

“The Shi’ar bloodline…has been found.”

When he spoke, it sounded as though it came from a computer rather than a human being. It took Hank and Ororo aback. As soon as he said these mysterious words, the Professor passed out. He no longer appeared to be in pain, but his eyes kept glowing. This certainly didn’t look like a regular manifestation of his powers. When something was powerful enough to affect the world’s most powerful telepath, it was usually a bad sign.

“The Shi’ar? Is he talking about…” began Ororo.

“I suspect this is something worse,” said Hank grimly, “That encounter he had with the alien ship…it spoke of some mysterious bloodline.”

“But I thought we took care of that alien! We haven’t heard a word about these Shi’ar ever since!”

“Something must have changed,” reasoned Hank, “Whatever it is, I fear our predicament with the Friends of Humanity just became a secondary concern.”

In conjunction with these changes, I have also done a small update to the bios section. I know it has been a while since I added someone new, but now that Colossus is a part of the X-men, I think it's important that I provide a few background details to his story. Some of these elements will be explored later, but this should give people a general idea of his background in X-men Supreme. I always intended to add him to the lineup and I'm glad he is finally a part of the story.

Bio - Colossus

And I know I always take some time to encourage everyone to submit reviews and provide feedback for X-men Supreme and I'm always sincere in doing so. But it really does matter to me. I work long and hard to make this fanfiction series as awesome as possible and I can only improve if I get feedback. And thankfully, some have taken the time to do so. A very generous reviewer, Marvel Boy, has recently taken up the task of reviewing many back issues. For that, I thank him. And I hope more follow his example. Please feel free to contact me at any time with your comments. I'm always happy to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!


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