Friday, May 9, 2014
X-men Supreme Reflection: General Nathan Grimshaw PREVIEW!
I hope everyone is enjoying this latest installment of X-men Supreme Reflections as much as I'm enjoying writing it. The X-men have one of the biggest cast of characters in all of comics. It's a big reason why this fanfiction series has grown as large as it has. It won't be long before X-men Supreme celebrates it's 100th issue. It promises to be a major milestone and one I intend to cherish. But 100 issues is not enough to capture the essence of these iconic characters. I've already explored new ground with Psylocke and Colossus in their entries of X-men Supreme Reflections. But the next character I intend to explore presents a much greater challenge.
Part of what made X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear special was that it marked the point in this fanfiction series where I began integrating two new original characters into the world of X-men Supreme. As I've said before, original characters in fanfiction tend to have a certain stigma attached to them. All too often, original characters either come off as too flat or they take too much away from other characters. I didn't want to do that when I introduced Captain Jack Freeman and General Nathan Grimshaw into X-men Supreme. They both made their debut in X-men Issue 75: Renegade. And it was General Grimshaw who thrust himself into mutant affairs amidst escalating conflicts between the X-men, President Robert Kelly, and mutants as a whole. He was the visionary behind the Mutant Security Agency and he is leading the charge in President Kelly's effort to police growing mutant unrest. But his role in this fanfiction series has only begun. And that's why I'm so excited to explore who Nathan Grimshaw is.
When it comes to the military and the authorities, the X-men have had a very rocky relationship to say the least. In both the comics and even in X-men Supreme, the military has been an obstacle more than an ally for the X-men. I always had a problem with that because like so many things, the military is more than just a bunch of men with guns. There are those who seek war and those who seek peace. And I wanted a character who understood that. General Nathan Grimshaw is not trigger happy, but he's not afraid to shoot either. He looks at mutants from a very different perspective compared to President Kelly, Professor Xavier, or Reverend Stryker. He sees mutants in a strategic sense. He's willing to be their ally, but he's not afraid to become their enemy. I haven't revealed the extent of his ambitions just yet. I have every intention of doing so as X-men Supreme continues to unfold. That's why I think this is the perfect time for readers to know who General Nathan Grimshaw is. He can't be found anywhere else other than X-men Supreme. He has no comic book counterpart or even someone closely related to him. So his entry of X-men Supreme Reflections is going to be so important. I've prepared an extended preview of what to expect from the world of Nathan Grimshaw.
Not long after I graduated, I was appointed to the Pentagon. Officially, I was a Lieutenant Colonel, but unofficially I was a glorified desk jockey. My first few years as an officer were pretty uneventful, not to mention frustrating. My youth was my greatest shortcoming and I had to work my way up through a painfully slow process. The ironic part is I still rose through the ranks quicker than my peers.
Around this time, I did manage to establish a decent civilian life. I did some traveling, I got married, and had a few little soldiers of my own. My wife happens to be a military woman herself. She worked as a nurse with the Veterans Administration and today she’s a full fledged doctor. She, more than anyone, encouraged me to take on the responsibilities of a General. She always came home with one too many stories about soldiers who had seen too much war and were seriously wounded by it in more ways than one. It was a constant reminder that nobody hates wars more than warriors and as a General, I needed to remember that as I forged ahead with my career.
Eventually, I rose to the rank of Colonel and was given a series of real operations. It was nothing terribly Earth-shattering. Most of the wars I fought were these small, proxy wars that nobody else wanted to fight. I spent some time in South America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East managing conflicts in the way I had been trained. With every conflict, I proved to myself and others that I could handle the challenge of fighting a war. I quickly earned a solid reputation within the military community. I had a unique style that set me apart, some of it good and some of it controversial.
This conflicted praise was best shown in one of my first missions as a General. I was given the daunting task of trying to stem a conflict in Columbia concerning a new militia with ties to the big name drug cartels. Nobody had been having much luck stopping their growth or stemming the violence. So I took a shot with some quick, daring raids that gave some of my superiors heart attacks. I organized a series of covert operations that put spies right into the heart of the militia. I used that intelligence to do some quick sabotage of their communications network and then I threw a little tension into the mix by messing up some of their money transfers to foreign banks. I then convinced the top brass to give me control of a large contingent of Green Berets, which I admit was like trying to convince a crack addict to give me all of his crack. But they gave me a chance and with these soldiers, I delivered a blow that nobody thought was possible.
In a one-night operation, I struck each major compound simultaneously. Thanks to the spies I set up, I didn’t just hit their weapons caches or their drug reserves. I hit the areas where they were moving the money in and out of their territory. Suddenly, they had all these resources and no money with which to govern themselves. It didn’t take long for chaos to set in and the whole militia disbanded within months. It was a quick, clean, decisive victory. It caused some political backlash due to my use of Special Forces, but the results spoke for themselves. Even though a new militia took the place of the old one within a few years, I showed that I could get the job done.
Quick, smart, and rough…that was the essence of my strategy. I didn’t leave room for politics or coordination. I kept it simple and focused. While it may have worked, it did clash with a lot of the other officers in the top brass at the time. Ever since the Korean War, there always had to be room for politics. These operations were too compact and brief. They didn’t leave room extra diplomacy or potential political maneuvering. I always argued that this was a bad way to conduct wars. By making them bureaucratic, the wars get drawn out and no country ever benefits from wars like that. History has shown that time and again. But this was a sensitive period in world history. Politics were weaving their way into everything because the world was getting so much smaller and more complicated. The tactics of old school Generals seemed to not apply anymore.
Even if my methods were controversial, that didn’t prevent me from eventually gaining the rank of General. It took years and by the time I had the fancy uniform and title, it was somewhat bittersweet. That was because even after I had the rank, I was still stuck with the same job. The only wars the military would let me fight were the small wars. They reasoned that this is what I was good at. They enjoyed the luxury of having me do the grunt work while they dealt with the much larger issues at hand. I wanted to be part of those larger issues as well. I sure as hell didn’t want to spend the rest of my career fighting battles that would only be footnotes in pages of history.
As frustrated as I was, I did what I was told like any good soldier. In some ways this grunt work was good for me because it allowed me to gain more combat experience than I would have otherwise. That experience was invaluable because along the way, I noted the trends that were emerging in the constantly unfolding geopolitical landscape. I could sense that there was a much bigger conflict on the horizon. Just like the signs before World War II and Vietnam, societies and nations were on a path that had plenty of potential for a very bloody war the likes of which nobody had seen before.
At the source of this conflict was an old phenomenon that had literally been evolving for centuries if not millennia. The emergence of mutants had long been part of human history. For the most part it had been relegated to folk tales and sideshow attractions. Then around the beginning of the 20th century something unexpected happened. The mutant population started growing rapidly and by the dawn of the new millennium their numbers had gotten to a point where they were now a force to be reckoned with. Society and civilization was at a loss for how to deal with them and when ignorance and anxiety rule the day, the chance for conflict is practically a given.
I always suspected that the next big war would be a mutant war, but I didn’t feel inclined to thrust myself into it. That all changed when I met a young, arrogant, and dedicated young man named Jack Freeman.
I know that original characters tend not to draw a lot of fans in fanfiction. The main reason people read fanfiction is for the same reason they read comics, which is to see their favorite characters in exciting stories. I understand that General Grimshaw is on nobody's favorite character list. But he is an important part of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series and it's important that readers understand him since he's going to remain a significant player in X-men Supreme. As such, I hope that readers take the time to provide constructive feedback on General Grimshaw. I know he doesn't inspire the same passion as characters like Wolverine or Storm, but it's very important that I know I'm not making the same mistakes with this character that many other fanfiction writers have made with their original characters. So please take the time to contact me and provide feedback. Or if you prefer, post your comments directly in the issue. As always, I appreciate all those who continue to support the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!