Friday, September 19, 2014
X-men Supreme Issue 104: School Daze PREVIEW!
Over the years, the X-men have evolved to take on many different roles within many different conflicts. Sometimes they are teenagers struggling with both the rigors of having mutant powers and growing up. Sometimes they are a team of superheroes on part with the Avengers, taking on powerful enemies that others are not equipped to handle. As I've developed the X-men Supreme fanfiction series, I've done my best to capture as many of those roles as possible. But one core role that has always helped the X-men stand out is the role they play as teachers and educators. While the X-men will always be seen as heroes in some respects, education is a big part of their mission. Professor Charles Xavier is, after all, a professor.
I've highlighted the X-men's role as students and teachers at many points during X-men Supreme. This fanfiction series actually started off with the Xavier Institute getting a new teacher in Storm. But more often than not, the X-men's role as students often gets interrupted by conflicts created by the likes of the Brotherhood, enemies like Sinister, and even ordinary humans seeking to undermine human/mutant relations. It's a difficult challenge for the X-men, being students and heroes. It gets quite overwhelming at times. The world in X-men Supreme has grown so big that it's hard for them to keep up now. They can no longer do it on their own. That's exactly why this fanfiction series is set to evolve in another way in that the X-men are about to get some badly needed allies.
During the recent Prison Break arc, it was revealed that Emma Frost had been putting together a team of her own since the events of the Phoenix Saga. That team consists of young, largely inexperienced teenage mutants who only recently got their first taste of what it's like to be an X-man. They were tasked with protecting the Stepford Cuckoos while Emma Frost worked with Cyclops and Phoenix to take down Shanobi Shaw. They succeeded in their role. Now they're ready to see that role expand. X-men Supreme is now ready to expand the number of mutant teams in this fanfiction series. Emma Frost is about to open the doors to her mutant school, the Academy of Tomorrow. It's an exciting time for the X-men and for mutants as a whole. I've prepared an extended preview to offer a taste of what this new world for young mutants will bring.
“The Academy of Tomorrow,” read Kitty Pryde as she stood before an imposing structure, “Not a real subtle name, but I guess it works better than calling it the other school for mutants.”
“You sound like you’re sizing up the competition, Kitty,” teased Jean Grey, who was standing next to her.
“Are you telling me this doesn’t qualify? It’s a school, it’s full of mutants, and it’s being run by a former X-man.”
“That shouldn’t be cause for concern,” added Scott as he joined the two girls, “If Emma really wanted competition, she wouldn’t have invited us to tour the campus.”
“Could just be her way of showing off her fancy new digs,” scoffed Kitty.
“This is Emma Frost we’re talking about. Showing off is part of her charming personality,” snickered Jean, “Had we not helped her against Shanobi Shaw recently, I may share your concerns, Kitty. But I’m willing to give Emma the benefit of the doubt.”
“Even if it means giving her another chance to betray us?”
Kitty Pryde’s remarks earned her a harsh glare from Jean and Scott. She shrugged innocently, accepting it up to one of those comments that was too blunt for everyone besides her. Jean and Scott were willing to let it slide though. Emma Frost’s betrayal with the Inner Circle was still fresh in everyone’s mind. Even though they filled them in on what happened with Shanobi Shaw and the Stepford Cuckoos, there was still plenty of skepticism.
Never-the-less, Emma still worked to make amends. She stayed in touch with Scott and Jean. They even helped with the funeral for Esme and Sophie, the daughters she lost at the hands of Shanobi Shaw. These were bleak circumstances for them to reconnect, but this visit was their way of starting anew.
This time Emma invited Charles Xavier and anyone else he cared to include on this visit to her new school. The Academy of Tomorrow campus was located near the outer city limits of Boston and was built from an old boarding school. Thanks to Emma’s vast financial resources, she gave it a substantial renovation. It had a very similar feel to the Xavier Institute. The campus was gated, the buildings were nicely designed, and there was a very modern aura to the area. Upon exiting the cab, Professor Charles Xavier led Scott, Jean, Ororo, Kitty, and Betsy to the front gates.
“This is quite a campus, Professor. I didn’t realize Emma had such vast connections,” commented Ororo.
“Emma has always been a very resourceful woman. Her ability to make remarkable progress in a short amount of time is one of her defining attributes,” said Xavier, smiling as he took in the facility before him.
“You mean third most after the ones that fill her bra,” said Kitty under her breath.
“Based on what I’ve heard, I’m sure some of that progress wasn’t entirely honest,” said Betsy dryly.
“You don’t even know her and you’re already making harsh judgments?” asked Ororo with a slight scorn, “I expect that from Kitty, but not from you, Betsy.”
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be harsh. I guess I’m still a bit bitter towards the accomplishments of beautiful people,” she sighed.
“I take it you mean Remy,” said Ororo, offering a more reassuring gesture.
“You dated him too, luv. You of all people should know the phases I’m going through.”
“Which is why I feel it’s best for you to join us,” said Professor Xavier, “It may be beneficial for you to see the less obvious influences of the X-men.”
“So long as it distracts me from all things Cajun, I’ll manage,” she sighed, “Just don’t expect me to be all smiles and sunshine. I’m still several phases away from that point.”
It was no secret that Betsy had been going through a rough patch after breaking up with Remy. She and Remy hadn’t talked much since it happened. He was coping better because he had Rogue to lean on. Betsy didn’t have that luxury. She didn’t know much about Emma Frost or her history, but she was badly in need of a break from all the drama.
With the Professor and the X-men, the gate automatically opened and they were greeted by Emma Frost. She was wearing what may have been the most appropriate attire they had seen her wear in some time. She looked like a full-fledged business woman, wearing a nicely tailored pantsuit. It was still a bit revealing around the chest area and was white like everything else she wore, but that was to be expected. Even if she was now principal of a school, she was still Emma Frost.
“Professor Charles Xavier, you have a knack for making your presence known,” greeted Emma Frost, “Welcome to the Academy of Tomorrow.”
“It’s a pleasure to be here, Emma. You’re looking lovely as always,” said Xavier in a friendly tone.
“I expect to be nothing short of fabulous in front of the X-men, despite recent events.”
“That’s a relief. Some of us still worry. Especially after what happened with Shaw,” said Scott.
“You of all people should know I’m not one to wallow in sorrow, darling,” said Emma with an aura of confidence, “But I prefer we avoid such grim topics. The Academy has much to offer and I’m sure the X-men are interested in how my students measure up.”
“So you are flaunting for the competition,” commented Kitty.
“Competition is such an ugly word, even if it made me obscenely rich at my hedge fund. I’d like to think of it as a partnership. Unless, of course, you feel threatened by another mutant school.”
“Let’s not get overly competitive just yet. This is supposed to be a friendly tour,” said Ororo, stepping between Kitty and Emma.
“I’m confident most of you will remember that. It’s not my fault if others are horrendously insecure,” replied Emma, still staring down Kitty.
Kitty scolded the older blond, but didn’t respond as Emma led Professor Xavier and the team onto the campus. Despite the recent clash against Shanobi Shaw, Kitty wasn’t around when Emma was an X-man. She wasn’t convinced of her sincerity just yet and she wasn’t the only one either.
“She’s harsh,” commented Betsy.
“You think?” said Kitty.
“Give her a chance,” said Jean, rolling her eyes, “If I can give her a chance despite being Scott’s ex, you can too.”
Throughout the history of X-men, there have been many different teams with varying casts of characters. Their methods might be different, but their goals are usually similar. They seek to confront the challenges facing mutants the same way the X-men have. I feel it's a natural progression from the events I've developed in X-men Supreme, having a new team enter the picture. That means a whole host of new and familiar characters will be showing up in the issues that follow. I'm hoping this further expands the appeal of this fanfiction series. But as always, I strongly encourage readers to provide feedback to let me know if my efforts are working. Please contact me directly or post your comments in the issues. Either way is fine. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!