Friday, June 12, 2015

X-men Supreme Issue #123: Dark Legacy Part 3 PREVIEW!

There are certain points in a conflict where it’s no longer possible to save the day. It’s only possible to save part of it. The X-men have had to make that decision on more than one occasion throughout their tumultuous history. Decisions in events like the Morlock Massacre and House of M often come after plenty of damage has been done. The same has occurred in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series on plenty of occasions. Magneto did a lot of damage when he plunged the world into chaos during Overlord. The Cambrian did the same during the Cambrian Explosion arc. In each case, the X-men couldn’t prevent the damage. They just had to preserve what they could.

In the Dark Legacy arc, the X-men are well past the point of no return. Sinister won the first round decisively. He tricked the X-men, and even his own Marauders, into unleashing the Legacy Virus on an unsuspecting world. Now the X-men, the Brotherhood, and the governments of the world are desperate. Millions are dying. Millions more are suffering. There’s no undoing this damage. Unlike the comics, the X-men will not solve this through time travel or retcons. There will be a significant body count. There will be lasting scars on the world they try desperately to protect. Some of those scars won’t heal anytime soon.

It’s an important distinction that I want this fanfiction series to have compared to the comics. I don’t want big upheavals in X-men to be easily undone or glossed over. I want them to have a genuine impact. I also don’t want that impact the completely undermine the spirit of X-men or the foundation I’ve laid in this fanfiction series. I’ve seen one too many stories in the comics either go way overboard or just give up before exploring the implications. A massive global pandemic like this should have an impact on the X-men, mutants, and humanity as a whole. However, this crisis is coming dangerously close to an extinction-level event.

The only way the X-men have any hope of saving what’s left of their world is to confront Sinister. Right now, the only lead they have has come courtesy of Wolverine, who is fighting a very different and very personal battle. That personal battle has already affected the course of this conflict. Sinister’s revelation to Mystique about her former life as Rose helped forge a connection that will put Wolverine, the X-men, and Sinister on a collision course. If the X-men lose, then they lose so much more than a battle. The stakes truly couldn’t be higher. The Dark Legacy arc and its impact will reverberate throughout the entire fanfiction series. That I can guarantee. As always, I’ve prepared a preview of the dire state of X-men Supreme.

The X-men prepared for their final clash with Sinister, treating this as a true do-or-die mission. Either they stopped Sinister or perished with the rest of the world. They were open to the very real possibility that they would have to kill the man. Since he was responsible for over 300 million deaths at this point, that wasn’t a point of contention.

Everyone was determined to confront Sinister, but it was still very personal for Scott Summers. This all started with his brother, Gabriel. He had been keeping secrets from him about their parents. He had little doubt that Sinister was part of those secrets. He remembered how Sinister mentioned a special connection to the Summers bloodline. As much as he wanted to stop this plague, he still sought the truth.

Scott lingered outside the X-jet as he prepped it for launch. The team was going to be short-handed with so many sick from the disease. Only John, Rogue, Piotr, Jean, and Ororo would be able to launch this attack. They also had Logan waiting for them, but he was probably caught up in his own battles again. They couldn’t rely on him to do this. They had make sure Sinister answered for his many crimes.

“Are you ready, Scott?” asked Jean as she caught up with him.

“I’ve been ready for the past ten minutes, Jean. We need to get going!” said Scott as he closed the maintenance panels for the jet.

“I think you’re missing the subtext so I’ll ask again. Are you ready?”

Jean added a touch of force to her tone, making it clear that Scott couldn’t hide his troubled thoughts from her. Looking back towards his lover, his demeanor shifted.

“If you’re worried about me being distracted, stop worrying. I know the mission is about Sinister. Not my family secrets. Not Gabriel,” said the X-leader.

“You say that now, but you and I both know how hard it is to set personal issues aside in a mission,” she said, “You’re only human. You’ll either get distracted or you’ll be damn tempted.”

“I can handle it.”

“I believe you. What worries me is Gabriel. You’ve let him get under your skin before, just as I’ve let Maddie get under mine. With so many lives at stake, neither of us can afford that. So I’m not just reminding you. I’m urging you…don’t let it overwhelm you.”

Jean offered a loving gesture, helping to reinforce her point. Scott’s demeanor shifted again under her touch. It was one of the few things that could affect his focus.

“That won’t happen, Jean. I promise,” he told her as he gently caressed her face.

“Good enough for me,” she said with a smile, “Now let’s go kick Sinister’s obscenely ugly ass.”

Scott nodded, sharing his lover’s determination. The jet was ready and the others had arrived. Jean used her telekinesis to open up the hatch so John, Ororo, Rogue, and Piotr could get in. They were every bit as eager to fight Sinister. With friends and loved ones dying, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

“What are we waitin’ for, sugah? Let’s get this bird flying!” yelled Rogue.

“We’re good to go,” announced Scott, “Glad to see you wearing you’re X-men uniform again, Rogue.”

“Glad to be back in it,” she said, adjusting it a bit as she stood near the hatch, “Too bad it has to be under these god-awful circumstances.”

“Does that mean you’re willing to wear it regularly after this is over?” asked Ororo.

“We’ll discuss the future once we make sure there’s a future worth discussing,” retorted Rogue, “Right now, Ah wanna take all mah frustrations out on Sinister.”

“As do I,” said Piotr as he cracked his knuckles, “That madman hurt my sister. Now he’s hurting Katya. When I’m through with him, his face will be the least appalling part of his body.”

“I’m all for roughing the guy up, Peter. But be careful. He’s probably expecting us to be pissed,” said John, who was also in his old X-men uniform.

That was pretty much a given. Sinister had already gone to so many extremes. There was no telling what other surprises he had in store for them. If they were going to stop him, they had to go beyond their limits and hope for a bit of luck as well.

The team was ready to leave. Scott and Jean were about to follow the others into the jet and take off. As they were about to close the hatch, Professor Xavier came in through the hanger entrance.

“Wait, X-men! Before you go, there is something I must bring to your attention,” he said urgently.

“What is it, Professor? More bad news?” said Jean, “I don’t know if we can handle much more.”

“On the contrary, Jean. This may be to our advantage,” said the Professor, “I got a call from Emma Frost. She says she’s made a discovery concerning Shaw Industries.”

“Leave it to your ex to help us at a time like this,” said Jean, rolling her eyes.

“What kind of discovery?” asked Scott with more intrigue.

“If you’ll recall, Shaw Industries helped develop the techno-organic material that Sinister used to make the Legacy Virus. She suspects that Shaw has information on a treatment of sorts. Even if we stop Sinister, we’ll need a means of undoing his atrocities.”

“So what does she need from us?” asked Jean, “We’re already short-handed. We can spare much manpower.”

“I know we can’t so I’ve called Moria MacTaggart. Hopefully, Banshee can provide some assistance. I’ve also linked up Cerebrum with her communications hub at the Academy. If they discover something, I can relay the knowledge directly to the team.”

It sounded like a major break during a week where there had been precious few. Scott and Jean knew better than most why destroying Shaw Industries was important to Emma. If she could helped their mission, it was all for the better. However, they also understood that fighting Sebastian Shaw and his son carried many risks. If Emma was to have any chance, she needed more manpower.

“Hold that thought, Professor. I think there’s another way we can help Emma,” said Scott.

“I’m sure she’s more than willing to accept it. What do you have in mind?” asked the Professor.

“I’ll explain once we’re in the air,” said the X-leader, “There’s someone I think we can convince to lend a hand…even if he’s not terribly friendly with us.”

Professor Xavier surmised what Scott was getting at. Jean picked up on it as well. It was a good idea at a time when they needed all they could get.

“Very well,” said the Professor, “I’ll coordinate with Moira and let him know who’s coming.”

“It shouldn’t take long to get the ball rolling. I think everybody’s eager for something to attack,” said the X-leader.

“Very well,” said Xavier, “I already have Cerebrum running at full power. I’ll be in touch in more ways than one.”

“I would ask that you not push yourself too hard, Professor. But at a time like this, I think we all need to push ourselves,” said Jean.

With the details of their plan in place, Scott and Jean rushed into the X-jet. The hatch closed behind them and within moments, the jet was in position for takeoff. Professor Xavier wheeled back and watched as his students took off. He worried for them as he always did, but Jean’s comments about pushing themselves lingered with him. Reaching into his pocket, he pulled out the prescription pills he had been using to manage his headaches.

“Whatever my limits, I’ll need more than just willpower to exceed them,” he mused.

Clutching the pill bottle, Professor Xavier wheeled himself back towards Cerebrum. His health was no longer among his most pressing concerns. From here on out, his focus was on stopping Sinister.

The end of X-men Supreme Volume 5: Dark Truths is near. The end of the X-men fanfiction series may be near as well, but I’ve yet to decide. If it does continue, it will have to be in a more limited capacity. However, that could very well change depending on the feedback I get. I know X-men Supreme has become massive series over the course of five years. It’s hard to catch up with. But I work long and hard to make sure it’s accessible to X-men fans of all ages. And to ensure that work bears fruit, it’s important that I continue to get feedback. Please send it to me directly via email or post your comments directly in the issue. Either way is fine. I’m always happy to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Excelsior!


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