Friday, April 17, 2015

X-men Supreme Issue 119: Deceptive Dealings PREVIEW and Bios Updates!

The X-men Supreme fanfiction series is nearing one of its most critical moments in its five-year history. When this moment manifests, X-men Supreme will firmly set itself apart from any other form of X-men. It’ll have something that has never been seen in the comics, movies, or cartoon. It’ll become something that no other form of X-men has ever become. It’s a moment that has its roots in events going all the way back to X-men Supreme Volume 2: War Powers. Now all these conflicts and the progression of numerous characters is about to converge in a major way. When all is said and done, the world of X-men Supreme will never be the same.

Now don’t take this to mean that the X-men in this fanfiction series will be unrecognizable. I’ve seen one too many Marvel Comics events that try to change and distort the X-men too much. The same often happens with the Avengers, Spider-Man, and the Fantastic Four. There’s a big difference between changing the direction of a story and distorting the narrative. One is constructive. The other is destructive. I’ve tried to avoid the latter in X-men Supreme. Events like Magneto’s uprising on Genosha, the battle against Weapon X, or the battle against the Cambrian were intended to challenge the X-men into going in new directions. The way they operate changes. The way the team interacts with one another changes. But the fundamental narrative of the X-men does not change.

That’s something I think Marvel loses track of from time to time. That’s something even other comic companies like DC lose track of as well. They try to make heroes like the X-men too different from what they are at their core. I’m going to try and avoid that with X-men Supreme. But this upcoming conflict is going to shake things up in ways that will both shock and intrigue readers. It was set into motion the moment the Black Queen was defeated on Nova Roma. Now it’s about to manifest in a terrifying way.

The architect of this moment is Sinister, one of the X-men’s most devious and dangerous enemies. It could be argued that Sinister is a far more dangerous enemy than someone like Magneto. Whereas Magneto has a greater vision for mutants as a whole, Sinister’s agenda is more obscure. He’s willing to deceive, torment, and manipulate anyone he has to in order to get what he wants. And with the death of the Black Queen, his desires have become much darker. And the X-men are about to find out in a very painful way. The darkest hour of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series is set to begin. And as always, I’ve prepared a preview of the beginning of this dark and pivotal turn.

“Mission log entry 15. The incident with Weapon Plus has added some bizarre twists to this all-around shit storm. Being dragged away to put down Fantomex was more than just inconvenient. It proved General Grimshaw correct on multiple levels. Not only was Colonel Wraith full of shit. His work confirmed some of the General’s other suspcisions as well. He believed there were some shady dealings with Shaw Industries involving mutant research. According to the statement that Professor Xavier gave the MSA, the techno-organic material that made Fantomex originated from Shaw Industries. Officially, that research was abandoned. Unofficially, Shaw kept working on it. Now sonny boy, Shanobi Shaw, seems to be using it as well. I’m not sure who is pulling the strings here. That’s why I’m here at Shaw Biotech where I hope to find some answers before another Fantomex screws everything up.”

Captain Jack Freeman put away his recorder before entering the vast complex. It was late at night in this remote part of New Mexico. Keeping records of his mission in facilities this secure was tricky. For something that was officially off the books, it was necessary. After the battle against Fantomex, he was content to return to missions more befitting of a soldier rather than that of a mutant.

He entered the facility with ease. Using his adaptive body, he pulled off another high altitude jump from a stealth helicopter to land on the roof of the complex. He then placed a special device he borrowed from the CIA near a fuse, which would scramble the sensors and allow him to enter without tripping the alarms. Shaw Industries was notorious for using security measures that put some military installations to shame. For systems this elaborate, they had to be hiding more than just trade secrets.

“You never make it easy for me, Shaw. Wish I was used to it by now, but you just insist on being a gigantic prick,” mused the mutant soldier.

With the sensors scrambled, Captain Freeman forced his way through the top level stair-case near the air conditioner ducts. As soon as he was in, he stayed on his guard and made his way down the stairs. According to the mission details, what he was looking for was on the eighth floor. It required him to cut across a few security barriers and take out a few guards, which was pretty standard for a Shaw Industries facility. If the information he needed was as valuable as he was told, then he had a long night ahead of him.

“Here we go again,” he sighed as he prepared to enter the danger.

The Green Beret approached the door to the eighth level. He had only non-lethal weapons at his disposal. His orders were not to kill anyone. That would bring way too much scrutiny to his mission. Armed only with a special stun gun and his fists, he opened the door and did a quick scan of the area. That was when he confronted an unexpected sight.

“What the fuck?” said Captain Freeman in confusion.

It appeared someone else had done his work for him. As soon as he entered the main hallway, he saw the unconscious bodies of several guards strewn along the floors. They were all lying motionless, but there was no blood or signs of a struggle. It was as if someone had just put them into a deep sleep. Looking around more urgently, he also saw that the security cameras weren’t on and the barriers in front of him had already been breached. Something was definitely wrong here.

“Well this is a disturbingly convenient.”

The Green Beret took a defensive stance and cautiously approached the first security barrier. It was composed largely of bullet-proof safety glass and a vast array of motion sensors. Whoever managed to break through had to have strength beyond human. It meant he may be dealing with another Fantomex-level threat.

He had only begun to scan the damage done to the barrier. Then he sensed a presence approach him from behind. Just as his soldier instincts kicked in, two powerful arms tried to grab him.

“Oh no you don’t!” exclaimed Captain Freeman as he quickly ducked out of the way.

“Talking to yourself is a piss poor tactic for a soldier,” said an obscured figure.

“What I lack in tactics, I make up for with this.”

The Green Beret adapted his body to be more durable. Setting aside his stun gun, he did a quick spin move and struck the shadowy figure with a punishing body blow. He hit flesh, but it felt more like he had struck a slab of granite. The figure was only momentarily stunned, clearly not expecting to be hit so hard. He recovered quickly and hit back, pulling off a sweep kick that forced Captain Freeman to jump back.

Undaunted, the mutant soldier attacked again, going for the head and neck. The figure blocked and countered with a knee to the gut. Grunting through the pain, Captain Freeman responded with an uppercut to the jaw. Both blows hit with a force that would have shattered the bones of regular humans, indicating they needed to use more force than expected.

“I don’t care if you got a head start. You will not keep me from my mission!” yelled Captain Freeman.

“A head start?” questioned the figure, “You think I’m the one that…”

The mutant soldier didn’t wait for him to finish. He adapted his body again to gain more speed and mass. He then charged the figure head on. His enemy hesitated for some reason, causing him to take the brunt of the hit. Captain Freeman laid into him with so much force he drove him through the hole in the barrier and pushed him through several others, stopping only when they reached what looked like a clean room. In this area there was more light so both Captain Freeman and his attacker could identify one another.

“Ungh…you?” grunted the unidentified man.

“You who? Do I know you?” grunted Captain Freeman as he kept the man pinned.

“I know you. You’re Jack Freeman…General Grimshaw’s worst kept secret.”

“So you watch Fox News. All the more reason to crush your spine.”

“You’re talking to an Apache warrior. I don’t crush easily. You’re lucky I’m on a mission too because I think there’s been a hell of a misunderstanding.”

In the light of the clean room, Captain Freeman took in the appearance of this man. He was a tall, imposing Native American with a bandana and a strange uniform that didn’t look military garb. The fact his body hadn’t been shattered from Captain Freeman’s attacks indicated he was a mutant of sorts. He demonstrated enhanced strength as well, shoving the Green Beret off him and returning to his feet.

“My name is James Proudstar, but you can call me Warpath,” he said.

“I’ll call you Donald Duck if I want. Whatever mission you’re on, it’s interfering with an official military investigation,” said Captain Freeman, taking a defensive stance.

“Whatever mission you’re on, it’s interfering with something very personal so we’re even,” retorted Warpath, “Now I’m more than inclined to kick your ass and ship what’s left to Iran, but right now I’ll settle for an explanation.”

“What’s there to explain? You broke in before me and tried to steal what you’re not authorized to steal.”

“Ignoring for a second the flawed concept of being authorized to steal, I did not break in before you. I infiltrated this area from the basement and it was already like this when I got here.”

“I may have been held back a few times in grade school, but even I’m not stupid enough to believe that,” spat Captain Freeman.

“I don’t give a damn if you do. I came in here thinking you were the one who broke in ahead of me. But that could only mean someone else beat us both to the punch.”

Captain Freeman was confused now. He wasn’t sure whether to believe this guy or go straight to an aggressive interrogation. Warpath carried himself like a hardened soldier. He knew the signs and he seemed just as defensive, which couldn’t be faked in his experience. If he was right, then that had some disturbing implications.

While the two men struggled to make sense of this situation, they heard another noise from behind the final security barrier. This area was locked down tightly, consisting of a reinforced metal door with no fewer than five heavy locks. It was built like a bank vault so it would take more than just a crow bar to force it open. That was why the two men were very surprised to notice that it had already been forced open.

“You’ve gotta be shitting me!” groaned Captain Freeman as he saw this.

“Quiet!” said Warpath in a hushed tone, “You gave yourself away earlier. Don’t do it again.”

Now more curious than frustrated, Captain Freeman approached the opened door. Warpath moved out in front of him, armed with a large knife that he had kept in a holster near his hip. He was every bit as apprehensive, sensing another hostile presence in this area. If it was as hostile as Captain Freeman, they both had to be ready.

Ready to attack, Warpath forced open the door and stormed into the area. He and Captain Freeman entered what appeared to be a computer archive. They took no more than three steps before stopping again to discover what they expected to find. There was indeed another presence in this facility that beat both of them to the punch. When they saw who it was, they were left equally stunned.

“You’ve gotta be shitting me!” exclaimed Warpath.

“Now you’re copying me? Some Apache warrior you are,” quipped Captain Freeman.

The two men were now staring down an equally confused figure, who had been hunched over a series of computers. It was a woman this time. She was dressed in all black, had pale skin, and a distinct white streak in her hair that allowed them to identify her quickly.

“So you boys were causin’ that racket outside?” said Rogue in a befuddled tone, “Dang, this is awkward. Since Ah was here first Ah guess Ah owe you fellas an explanation.”

As X-men Supreme nears this pivotal moment, I also want to make sure I offer plenty of content so that the stakes are clear. This means an overdue update for the bios section of the X-men Supreme website. I know it's a section I've negated for a while. There have been a number of characters who have been introduced lately and I haven't kept up with the updates. For this, I apologize and I hope to get things back on track, starting with X-23 and Sage.

X-23 is a character who first showed up in X-men Supreme Issue 97: Uneasy Truce. She then joined the Academy of Tomorrow at the conclusion of the Weapon Plus arc. There's a lot about her life that I haven't been able to explore. The same goes for Sage. The Weapon Plus arc exposed a lot of dark secrets about her life. There were some details I didn't get to explore and I hope this entry in the bios section helps fill in the details.

X-23 Official Bio

Sage Official Bio

This is a critical time for X-men Supreme. The outcome of this moment and the response I get (or lack thereof) will determine if I continue this fanfiction series beyond Volume 5. I certainly do have ideas for stories beyond X-men Supreme Volume 5: Dark Turths. But these stories will explore a very different world for the X-men. And it’s a world I want to make as awesome as possible. So please remember to take the time to provide feedback. I always appreciate input from readers. Either contact me directly or post your comments directly in the issues. Either way is fine and I’m always happy to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!


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