Friday, January 23, 2015

X-men Supreme Issue #113: Weapon Plus Part 1 PREVIEW!

A new threat has emerged from an old foe in X-men Supreme. It's a threat that has attacked the X-men before and left some pretty deep scars. But this threat promises to leave a lot more than scars. It's a culmination of numerous plots that have been unfolding in this fanfiction series for a while now. There are always plenty of immediate threats for the X-men to confront, but there are also plenty of conflicts brewing behind the scenes. It's a common struggle the X-men have faced for years and X-men Supreme is no exception. And this particular struggle carries with it a few familiar names.

While Wolverine might be dead in the comics, his story is still unfolding in the world of X-men Supreme. Not long ago, he had hit rock bottom. He broke up with Storm. Dark revelations about his past emerged, courtesy of Lady Deathstrike. As his spirit lay wounded, he encountered a mysterious girl calling herself X-23 who he finds out is his clone. These struggles have put Wolverine in a difficult place, but he's been gradually fighting his way out of it. Then a new threat named Fantomex nearly ended that struggle. In his X-men Supreme debut, Fantomex made a major impression by nearly killing Wolverine and X-23, wounding and poisoning them to a point where even their healing factor couldn't save them. They fought to recover, but the battle is far from over. And this battle will create the next major arc for the X-men Supreme fanfiction series.

While Wolverine and the X-men have a long list of enemies, few enemies are as devious or subtle as Weapon X. They're not some monster they can attack. They're a weapons program intent on turning mutants into unthinking killing machines. The X-men got their first taste in the Revenge of Weapon X arc. While they were able to win that battle, Weapon X did not go away. It just went into hiding. Under the guidence of the demoted Colonel Wraith, they've been working with the likes of Reverend William Stryker and Graydon Creed to bring Weapon X out of the shadows. They're striking at a time when General Grimshaw's approach to mutants appears to be failing. And Fantomex might be the key to making Weapon X more dangerous than ever.

But who is Fantomex? What is his history in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series? More importantly, what is his future as he and Weapon X clash with the X-men? Those are all questions that will be addressed in this new arc, Weapon Plus. As always, I've prepared a preview that should demonstrate just how menacing Fantomex will be.

Lara was one of Jubilee’s close friends. She had been a runaway since she was 15, shortly after her mutant abilities manifested. She had the ability to form vivid illusions and she didn’t always use that ability very wisely. One such use involved blackmailing one of her teachers at school. This ended with her being expelled and kicked out of her house. She wandered aimlessly for a while until she found District X. She usually didn’t get caught up in Jubilee’s guard duties. But since she was breaking the rules again, she needed some form of backup. She also needed cover in the form of her illusions.
“Are you still up for this, Lara?” asked Jubilee as she stopped near a vacant curb, “I need you to make sure we’re as invisible as two teenage girls can be.”

“The best I can do is making it look like we’re a couple of flies. I wish I could make us completely invisible, but that’s not how my powers work,” said Lara, who had to lean over and catch her breath.

“I hope it’s enough. We don’t know what or who we’re dealing with here other than they’re fond of abducting innocent mutants.”

“You think it could be those Friends of Humanity goons again?”

“If it is, they’re in for another painful lesson,” said Jubilee strongly.

The young mutant made her way down the M-street. This was an area right along boarder between District X and the rest of New York City. It was not far from where their friend, Pixie, was abducted and beaten by the Friends of Humanity. It seemed like a good place to start, although Lara had reservations.

Jubilee was acting more reckless than usual. Lara couldn’t remember struggling this much to keep up with her. She had always been dedicated to protecting District X, especially after what happened with Alex Summers. However, this felt different. She gave the impression that there were other reasons for this behavior.

“Is it really just the Friends of Humanity you want to beat up on?” asked Lara, having to jog to stay close, “Or have you found some bizarre way to make this personal?”

“Our friends and neighbors are being abducted in broad daylight. It’s already personal,” said Jubilee as she carefully scanned the vacant areas of District X.

“I meant personal in another way. You’ve been pretty moody lately. Does this have something to do with Bobby Drake’s last visit?”

“Can we please not talk about Bobby Drake?” she groaned, “We’re kind of in the middle of a crises here.”

“All the more reason to bring it up. You’re usually not so aggressive when it comes to breaking the rules,” argued Lara, “He’s been bugging you lately. I get that. What I don’t get is why it’s getting to you.”

Jubilee ignored her remarks as she carefully scanned a string of buildings along the street. Most of these buildings were vacant or used for storage. She saw a few mutants inside huddling close together, waiting for the crisis to pass. Some even waved to her, but she didn’t wave back. Lara didn’t make her feel that friendly by bringing up Bobby Drake. They were still going out together in their usual capacity. But for some reason, that had become a problem.

“It used to be that he annoyed you whenever he wanted to get serious,” Lara went on, “I know your policy towards boyfriends. You’re not looking to get attached. For whatever reason, this has been a problem for Bobby.”

“This isn’t far from where the third mutant disappeared earlier today,” said Jubilee, still not acknowledging Lara’s words, “I’m not seeing any CSI style clues here.”

“Then something changed,” said Lara, “First, there was that incident when you last visited him, which left you with a nasty concussion.”

“More like two,” muttered Jubilee under her breath.

“So Bobby tries to make it up to you, but things stay rocky. He keeps giving off vibes that he’s not respecting your attachment policy. Then for some reason I can’t begin to understand, he got upset when you weren’t jealous about that Amara girl he told you about.”

“What? The one he saw naked?” she said, finally acknowledging Lara’s comments, “Big deal! He’s seen me naked too.”

“That’s where I get confused,” said Lara, “He comes clean, you’re okay with it, and he’s not even relieved. Did you send the wrong message or something? That maybe not being jealous hurt his feeling somehow?”

“He’s Bobby Drake. He’s known for juggling snowballs. Not for his critical thinking skills.”

“Be that as it may, it’s clearly frustrating you as much as it’s frustrating him. Why else would you two keep upsetting one another?”

Jubilee walked with less urgency. Lara’s words finally forced her to slow down. Even if this wasn’t time to discuss personal matters. But as she looked into more unlit buildings, she realized how distracted she was. Bobby Drake had done a number on her since they hooked up. Since he was an X-man, he set the bar pretty high. Meeting him on that same level was challenging in more ways than she expected.

“We’re letting this affect our work here, Lara, But I’ll admit it anyways. I’m messed up about Bobby,” she told her friend, “I’m starting to wonder if we’re hitting that proverbial wall. The guy wants more out of this relationship than I do. We aren’t seeing eye-to-eye anymore and it’s getting to me. Maybe after this is over, you can sit down with us and act as a mediator or something. Would you be willing to lend that kind of support?”

Jubilee expected Lara to refuse outright or run full speed in the opposite direction. She may have been a friend, but friendship had its limits. Yet surprisingly, she heard nothing. Rolling her eyes, Jubilee turned around.

“Okay, that’s probably asking too much, but I…”

The young mutant froze. As soon as she turned around, she realized why Lara hadn’t said anything. Somehow she had been so distracted that she didn’t realize an imposing figure in a white body suit sneak up on her, put her into a choke hold, and press his hand over her mouth so she couldn’t speak. It happened so quickly and silently that it could only have been pulled off by the same man who abducted those mutants.

“Whoa!” she gasped, “I don’t recall you being a resident of District X.”

“Pardon me for interrupting your conversation, Madam. But the mission of Weapon Plus takes precedent over your trivial life,” said a stern yet calm Fantomex.

“I’ll show you trivial!” spat Jubilee.

The young mutant fired off a blinding burst of energy blasts. It lit up a good portion of the street. However, it did no damage to Fantomex. With Lara King still firmly in his arms, he maneuvered out of the path of the attack so he was now behind the bewildered Jubilee. He moved so fast it almost seemed instantaneous. Even Lara was impressed.

“Your retaliation is as pathetic as your friend’s illusions,” said Fantomex, who easily maintained his grip on Lara despite her struggles, “With my enhanced senses, they were no more difficult to uncover than a typo on a child’s essay.”

“You sound pretty full of yourself. You’re definitely the kind of asshole who would abduct innocent mutants in the middle of the day,” spat Jubilee.

“There are no innocents. There are only targets. And you and your friend here happen to be one of them.”

There are so many characters throughout the history of X-men. As I've done with many of them, I intend to give Fantomex a unique story in this fanfiction series. His story will help build on the stories surrounding the many other characters I've been developing in X-men Supreme. I began this fanfiction series with the belief that the characters are the ones that drive the story and not the other way around. That's why I make such a big deal about requesting feedback from readers. I need to know if I'm doing these characters right. So please take the time to provide that feedback. Either post it in the issues or contact me directly. I'm always happy to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!


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