Friday, April 25, 2014

X-men Supreme Reflections Volume 4: Piotr Rasputin PREVIEW!

Part of what makes X-men such a successful mythos is the strength of its characters. When I started the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, one of my top priorities was to treat these characters with the utmost respect. I care deeply about each of these characters and I try to make that show in my writing. All too often, I've seen writers in comics and fanfiction alike write characters that they don't care about. When that happens, the characters might as well be props or tools. I feel that does a major injustice to the characters in the long run and I try to make sure that shows in every issue of X-men Supreme. It's also a big reason why I take a great deal of pleasure in writing X-men Supreme Reflections.

X-men has one of the largest and most diverse cast of characters in all of comics. That is part of what has made it one of Marvel's most successful properties. But since it is very much a team book, it is often difficult to focus on one particular character. No one character makes the X-men in the same way no one player makes a team. And the team I've put together in X-men Supreme has undergone a number of changes. But one of the issues I've often seen in the comics is how the constant flux of the team makes it difficult to follow. I've tried to minimize that in this fanfiction series, but there are some characters that I simply cannot leave out of the mix. One of those characters was Colossus.

I introduced him back in X-men Supreme Issue 26: The Ties That Terrorize. I had every intention of having him join the team. However, I wanted his entry into the X-men to be similar to what I did with Psylocke in that extreme circumstances caused their paths to cross. Those circumstances finally happened in the Cambrian Explosion arc. But before that, Colossus had his own elaborate story in the world of X-men Supreme. I've touched on that story a number of times, but I haven't really had a chance to go into detail. Like Psylocke and many other characters in X-men Supreme, Colossus has a unique history in this fanfiction series that is different from the comics and cartoons. Now with X-men Supreme Reflections Volume 4, I'll be exploring that history in greater detail. It'll paint a more comprehensive picture for Colossus in this fanfiction series. And it's one I think Colossus fans will appreciate. At the same time, knowing his story will help add weight to the role he'll play in X-men Supreme Volume 5. I've prepared a preview of what to expect from the X-men's favorite Russian.

Work in the factory was hard and tedious. It did not help that the pay was just as bad as the coal mine. It’s easy to get frustrated with that kind of work. You start questioning your worth. To put so much sweat into a task and see little come of it tests even the strongest of souls. Being frustrated and desperate, it was not easy keeping to myself. Sooner or later, my true form would come out.

It finally happened when I was 18. I was working a heavy machine press, which even for a seasoned worker is a dangerous task. I was being hounded by the factory manager as well. He was upset with everybody because we had fallen behind in our production. He was running us hard and I tried to keep up. I went so fast I got my arm caught in the press. As soon as this happened, I reverted to my metal skin. Just as it had with the mine, it shocked everyone around me and silenced the manager. But it wasn’t so much my metal skin that surprised him. It was the fact that in doing so, I broke the press.

The man was enraged. His anger usurped his surprise and despite my appearance, he stormed towards me and started yelling every kind of Russian obscenity. He told me how this machine was worth more than ten men of my strength and how I will be working this debt off for the next decade. I held my ground at first. Then he had to throw in that if I did not work off this debt, he would come after my family. That was a mistake both for him and for me because I reacted strongly. I grabbed the man by the neck, held him up as if he were light as a feathered pillow, and squeezed him to the point where his face turned blue. I told him that I did not care who he was or how much power he thought he had. If he threatened my family, he would have to go through me.

Once I got this message across, I let him go. The men around me were now even more fearful. I was a monster once more and there was nothing I could do about it. I scorned myself to no end as I walked out of that factory for the last time. I thought I was done for. Now Illyana and I lost what little support we had left. I failed her and I was ashamed. At that point I was praying for a miracle. I would have accepted anything at that point to help me and my sister. That’s a dangerous state of mind to be in because there are always those who would take advantage of you. I was no exception.

As it turns out, that factory manager had been paying protection money to a Russian mafia family. One of their collectors had been in the factory at the time, picking up his monthly payment. When he saw me, he was probably the only one who wasn’t scared. Where most everyone else saw a monster, this man saw an opportunity.

Before the factory was even out of my sight, he came running up to me. He presented himself as a recruiter and a collector for the Rossovich family, one of the most feared and respected families in the Russian mob. He said he could get me a job. Whereas most would know better than to work for the Russian Mafia, he threw money into the mix…a lot of money. He claimed I could make thousands if not more by using the skills I had just demonstrated with the manager. I was skeptical, but for Illyana’s sake I listened. For her, I was willing to make a deal with the devil himself.

I understand feedback for issues of X-men Supreme Reflections will be lower than that of the main series. But I'm hoping that with each issue focusing heavily on one character that fans of that character will provide feedback on how I'm handling them. The last thing I want to do is really upset fans of a particular character. I too am very fond of these characters and I know how infuriating it is when a story fails to do them justice. I do not want to do that with the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. So please help me ensure that every X-men character I use in this fanfiction series is awesome. Please send your feedback directly by contacting me or posting your comments directly in the issue. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!


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