Friday, May 27, 2016
X-men Supreme Issue #136: Stranger Things PREVIEW!
It’s a big day for X-men fans all over the world. Today, X-men: Apocalypse hits theaters. It’s billed as the biggest X-men movie to date. Yes, I know Fox says that about every X-men movie. Yes, I know not every X-men movie can keep raising the bar. But it’s still a big deal for the X-men as a franchise. This is the X-men fighting one of their most iconic villains on the big screen for the first time. I’m sure X-men fans everywhere have been waiting for something like this for years. I can’t quite measure up to a big Hollywood blockbuster with X-men Supreme, but I can do my part to supplement the excitement.
The X-men Supreme fanfiction series has not brought Apocalypse into the picture just yet. And unlike I was able to do with The Lotus and the Warrior, which came out just in time for The Wolverine movie, I am unable to make a similar story involving Apocalypse in time for the release. Some of that is just a matter of planning.
A character like Apocalypse, who can shake the world of X-men to its core, cannot be appropriately incorporated in just a quick arc. As it stands, X-men Supreme just wasn’t in a position to tell that kind of story. That’s not to say Apocalypse won’t show up at some point. If this fanfiction series continues beyond X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation, it’s pretty much guaranteed that Apocalypse will rise. For now, the X-men have more pressing issues in this fanfiction series.
One of those issues might be familiar to those who saw X-men: Days of Future Past. Like in that movie, Professor Charles Xavier has developed a bit of a problem in X-men Supreme. It started at the end of X-men Supreme Volume 5: Dark Truths. Despite having beaten cancer, Xavier developed a crippling addiction to pain pills. That addiction was a ticking time bomb that went off badly in X-men Supreme Issue 127: Terror Sell. Because of his inability to function without his pain pills, his X-men suffered defeat at the hands of the Mutant Liberation Front. This sobering moment forced Charles Xavier to make a tough decision. For his health and his X-men, he stepped down from the Xavier Institute and left to treat his addiction, leaving the X-men to fend for themselves.
While the X-men did prove themselves capable of defeating the Mutant Liberation Front in the Natural Disorder arc, Charles Xavier is still not healed. He’s still struggling to cope with this crippling addiction that affect so many people in the real world. But now, a new threat is set to emerge and it’s one that isn’t going to wait for Xavier to heal. This threat has roots that began back in the Starcrossed arc in X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear. That arc brought the Shi’ar, Corsair, and the Starjammers into the mix. Now, they’re coming back at a time when Xavier is ill-prepared for such challenges.
Shortly before the release of X-men: Apocalypse, Fox’s producers said they wanted to utilize some of the more cosmic elements of the X-men universe. Well this time, I’m getting out ahead of the curve. The next major conflict in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series will have the X-men confront some very alien, very cosmic threats. Some of these threats are from more obscure parts of the X-men mythos, but their impact on this fanfiction series cannot be understated. I wish I could say more, but I think X-men fans are too busy seeing X-men: Apocalypse to concern themselves right now. At the very least, I can provide a preview about the type of cosmic elements you can expect in the next big conflict for X-men Supreme.
“You’re really pushing it, Corsair. Pissing D’ken off has never been a viable strategy,” said Lilandra, who was sitting in the seat behind him.
“You think I care how much I upset that asshole? Let him be pissed!” said Corsair sternly.
“Need I remind you he has the rest of your crew in custody? Aren’t you worried about him taking out his anger on them?”
“They knew what they were getting into. They hate D’ken as much as I do. Sorry if my manners aren’t of royal caliber, Miss Neramani. But I’m the guy who has to save your ass right now! A little vote of confidence wouldn’t hurt!”
Lilandra had to hold onto her seat as the Starjammer was struck by a series of high energy laser blasts. It triggered alarms throughout the ship, indicating that their shields were reaching critical levels. If they took too many hits, they would be nothing more than cosmic debris.
Corsair ignored these ominous warnings and clutched the controls of the spacecraft. Flashbacks of Desert Storm surged through his mind. He maneuvered the ship in a series of tight turns, pulling off a few barrel rolls and flying in a series of zig-zags. This made it difficult for the R-class interceptors to hit him with their rail guns. They had to keep using laser cannons. The whole time they stayed in perfect formation. Five spacecrafts formed a v-shaped attack pattern while the others swarmed around Starjammer in an effort to divert its course.
“Just hold on a bit longer!” he told the Starjammer, “We’re almost at the star gate!”
“That same gate that D’ken is probably closing as we speak?” questioned Lilandra.
“Raza overrode it to get us here. That same program will get us out of here.”
“How do you know they won’t follow us?”
“I’m working on that,” said Corsair intently, “I have a few ideas, but I’d rather not discuss them until they’ve worked!”
It didn’t sound too promising. It was enough to give Lilandra another pounding headache. Ever since D’ken launched this ambitious endgame of his, her head had been killing her. It wasn’t just stress either. Something was affecting her powers. Unfortunately, she had little time to investigate. Her life rested in the weary hands of this broken old man.
Corsair’s maneuvers grew more daring. They were at the edge of the star system, which meant they were entering dense fields of comets. Corsair flew the Starjammer right into several clouds of these icy chunks. His shields took more damage, but it disrupted the attack formation of the interceptors. Their laser canons started hitting stray debris more than the ship. It bought them some badly needed breathing space. Once beyond the cloud, Corsair kicked the Starjammer into overdrive. The star gate was finally within range.
“We’re almost there!” announced Corsair, “I’m broadcasting Raza’s program on the same quantum frequency! Hopefully D’ken’s tech boys haven’t closed the back door!”
“You’re placing a great deal of faith in Raza’s-AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”
“Lilandra? Please tell me you’re not having a seizure at a time like this!” he groaned.
Corsair looked back and saw Lilandra clutching her head in agony. It was happening again. Recently, Lilandra had been afflicted by these mysterious psychic migraines as she called them. They seemed to coincide with D’ken’s latest plan. Lilandra suspected there was more to it. Corsair was no psychic expert, but as time went on they got worse. Even the advanced technology of the Shi’ar couldn’t figure it out.
Lilandra’s cries echoed over the alarms warning him about the shields. The interceptors were catching up while the star gate was drawing near. Corsair had to think fast. His original plan was to get Lilandra back to the rebels. That plan was looking increasingly foolish. The interceptors would just follow him and in Lilandra’s condition she may not be able to summon psychic help. That left him with few options, one of which he hoped to avoid at all costs.
“Damn it, Lilandra! You’re putting me in an awkward position!” grunted Corsair, “I didn’t want to resort to this, but you’re giving me few options!”
Corsair activated Raza’s special program through the ship’s computer. He entered in a different protocol, one that would change the destination of the star gate. On his main scope, he could see the gate closing in. The interceptors were closing in as well. They were firing their laser canons again to wear out his shields. Since he had to fly straighter in order to enter the star gate, that meant they could arm their rail guns. It was a race against time and the laws of physics.
“Hnn…my head! So much pain…can’t shut it out!” groaned Lilandra.
“Hang in there, empress! We’re almost there!” said the determined Corsair.
The Starjammer’s shields were almost gone. Corsair pushed the thrusters to their maximum output. He could see the star gate through the forward visual display just up ahead. These gates were designed to transport large cargo across interstellar space. They were tightly controlled by D’ken’s forces. It was up to Raza’s program to send them to the right part of the galaxy.
“Warning. Enemy target lock detected,” said the system AI.
“Quit bugging me! Just keep the shields up a little bit longer!” he urged the system.
“Shield levels down to three percent. A hit from a rail-gun will cause critical damage.”
“Then be a good alien piece of shit and divert all remaining power to the thrusters!”
More turbulence followed. Corsair gripped the controls tightly, watching as the star gate neared. It looked like Raza’s program was working. A glowing portal was forming within a large circular device. He would be cutting it close. If he passed through before it was fully formed, the Starjammer would be torn apart on the sub-atomic level. If he slowed down, he would be obliterated by D’ken’s rail guns. The margin for error was razor thin.
“Hnn…Charles,” groaned Lilandra in the back.
“Come on…just a little bit more!” said Corsair.
The interceptors trailing behind him took their final formation. All ten crafts were in a perfect V-shape. Their rail guns were armed. Their target was locked. With a clean shot ahead of them, they fired.
Just as their rail guns erupted with energy, the Starjammer reached the gate. It passed through just as the portal reached full power. The moment it disappeared, the shots from the rail guns struck the star gate. The impact from the high-speed projectiles was so great that several sections of the circular structure shattered, causing blinding bursts of energy that caused the interceptors to break formation.
“This is Imperial Interceptor One! That is a negative impact! I repeat, a negative impact! The Starjammer made it through the gate!”
“And we just destroyed the gate. Which of us is going to report this do Lord D’ken?” reported another interceptor over a quantum radio.
“It doesn’t matter who reports it. We’ll all be thrown to the Sperkacs if we don’t track where it went!”
“Sensors indicate the gate was reprogrammed by a malicious signal. It wasn’t encrypted so I was able to trace the path, but I don’t think D’ken will want to go after it.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because sir…they’re heading for Earth.”
X-men: Apocalypse is another big moment for the X-men franchise. It is sure to have a significant impact on the future of X-men as a whole. The X-men Supreme fanfiction series will never have that kind of impact, but I still want it to contribute to the greater mythos of X-men. And I want that contribution to be as awesome as it deserves to be. So for those X-men fans who take the time to see X-men: Apocalypse, please take the time to provide feedback on X-men Supreme. I value your input and I am committed to making this a worthy contribution to X-men. Either contact me directly or post your comments in the issues. Until next time, take care and best wishes and check out X-men: Apocalypse in theaters! Excelsior!