Friday, November 11, 2016
X-men Supreme Issue 144: Proactive Regression Part 2 PREVIEW!
The X-men are often at their best when the situation is the absolute worst. They’ve had plenty of those situations throughout the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. They’ve had to confront Magneto when he’s prepared to bring about the literal end of the world. They’ve had to confront the Shi’ar emperor D’ken when he’s prepared to warp the minds of an entire universe. They’ve had to confront Sinister when he’s unleashed a world-ending plague like the Legacy Virus. So just how bad is the situation going to get this time?
Well, the X-men have a lot of factors working against them. I began X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation by setting up the Mutant Liberation Front. In the history of the X-men comics, they’ve presented a unique challenge for humans and mutants. In X-men Supreme, I made it a point to give them my own unique spin on things. These are not the same liberators we’ve seen in X-men comics. They have a different vision for fighting the X-men and the human race.
Toad’s approach was unique when he was leading the Mutant Liberation Front. He didn’t seek to end the world like Magneto in Overlord or purge it like Sinister tried to do in Dark Legacy. His fight was more strategic. He demonstrated this in X-men Supreme Issue 127: Terror Sell when his Mutant Liberation Front didn’t just defeat the X-men. They delivered a crippling blow to humanity’s infrastructure. It wasn’t just meant to inspire terror. Toad made it a point to minimize human casualties. He believed that when the natural order was allowed to manifest, mutants would naturally dominate.
He never got a chance to fully test his theory. His Mutant Liberation Front was defeated at the conclusion of the Natural Disorder arc. Both the X-men and their allies, such as Captain Freeman and General Grimshaw, were able to subdue them and send most of them to prison. However, not everyone in the Mutant Liberation Front was captured. Some escaped.
Now, X-men Supreme is about to get a round against the Mutant Liberation Front. This time, it isn’t Toad leading the charge. It’s Stryfe, who proved himself far less strategic in his approach during the Inauguration Day arc. He and his remaining teammates already have their backs against the wall. They’re wanted fugitives and the X-men are already helping President Kelly hunt them down. So how are they going to finish what Toad couldn’t? Well, that’s exactly what the Proactive Regression arc is going to show.
Make no mistake. Desperation breeds a special kind of ruthlessness, especially among characters like Sryfe. The X-men Supreme fanfiction series doesn’t just put the X-men in difficult situations. Even their enemies end up in those situations. President Kelly and General Grimshaw don’t want to avoid more terror attacks. Havok, the Scarlet Witch, and the rest of Genosha don’t want it either. So how are the X-men going to stop Stryfe before it’s too late? Well, it may already be too late, as you’ll see in the coming issues. As always, I’ve prepared a preview that should hint at just how dire the situation will be for the X-men.
The tension was escalating. Piotr had to hold his girlfriend back while Wanda had to stop Pietro from overreacting. This was a critical moment for both sides. They couldn’t let it devolve into a fist fight. Not yet anyways.
“We let them blockade us because that’s what we planned,” said Alex, “Contrary to what you may believe, we do think ahead. That’s why I’ve had Quentin place psychic blocks on our minds. You don’t have our trust so we’re not giving you any leverage.”
“Will you at least give us a chance to earn back your trust?” asked Xavier, “That’s why we’re here. We want to give you the explanation you seek. We also want to work out a better solution to this issue. I believe your current plan isn’t taking a few key factors into account.”
“Are you talking about those assholes from the Mutant Liberation Front?” scoffed Blob.
“Believe me, we’re ready to deal with them as well,” said Wanda strongly, “Now that Lance is with them, we have all the more reason to take them down!”
“Don’t presume you know everything,” warned Xavier, “There may be other forces involved that you don’t understand. As we speak, the rest of my X-men are looking into this.”
“And we’ll deal with them as well,” said Alex, “All while sending a message to every human on this planet.”
“You’re taking a big risk just to send a message,” said Scott, “Is that really your only goal?”
“Our goals aren’t much different from yours,” retorted Wanda, “We want what’s best for our people. We’ve tried to be a peaceful nation of mutants, but we’re still constantly victimized. The only way we can secure our future is by making a major change.”
“Then let us help you make that change while avoiding a potential catastrophe,” said Xavier, maintaining a reasonable tone, “You’re making a lot of enemies with your actions. You’ll still need allies to succeed in the utmost.”
Alex studied Xavier’s calm demeanor, ignoring Scott’s harsh gazes in the process. He didn’t allow the X-men here just to clash with them. They were going to get involved at some point. It might as well be under their terms. Suspicions aside, Charles Xavier was a reasonable man. He still had credibility outside Genosha. He might need that for what they had planned.
“You know, I’m actually glad you’re back in action, Professor Xavier. You’re a lot easier to work with than irate family members,” said Alex.
“I’m standing right here, Alex. You do know that, don’t you?” said Scott in an annoyed tone.
“If you’re going to keep being a dick, I’m going to keep ignoring you, Scott,” said Alex, not even looking in his brother’s direction.
Scott was tempted to lash out. He held himself back. Alex was really pushing him. Jean moved closer to keep him calm. Even with her presence, there was only so much of Alex’s arrogance that he could take.
“So you’ll give us a chance?” asked the Professor, ignoring Scott’s simmering demeanor.
“Yes, but with a few major conditions,” said Alex.
“How major?” questioned Jean.
Alex turned to Pyro, who was holding a black bag. With an ominous grin, he reached inside and pulled out a collection of black collar-like devices. Professor Xavier and the X-men quickly recognized them. They were the power-inhibiting collars that had been used by Weapon X. How the Brotherhood got their hands on them was a mystery they didn’t begin to contemplate. Before anyone could ask questions, Alex hit them with a new surprise.
“Put these on,” said Alex, “They’re exactly what you think they are.”
“Wait! You want us to willingly de-power ourselves while we’re on you’re home turf?” exclaimed Bobby.
“You must think we’re fools,” said Piotr sternly.
“We know you’re not fools. We also know you’re not trustworthy. I have the bruise on my head to prove it,” said Wanda.
“The way I see it, we need a little extra leverage,” said Pietro wryly, “The last time you showed up, we got screwed over big time. In order to protect ourselves and ensure you won’t do it again, you need to play by our rules.”
“Even if those rules are unfair?” questioned Jean.
“Especially if they’re unfair,” said Alex, “You’ll just have to trust us as we once trusted you.”
The Brotherhood was playing a dangerous game. They were daring the X-men to make themselves vulnerable. Any hope of making these negotiations meaningful hinged on their willingness to trust one another. Professor Xavier sensed utter revulsion from his X-men. They were against this on every level. Someone was going to have to make the difficult decision. It might as well be him.
“Give me the collars,” said Professor Xavier.
“What?!” exclaimed Kitty, “This better be part of some ingenious plan, Professor!”
“The plan hasn’t changed,” he said as he took the collars from Pyro, “Alex is right. We must make a gesture of good faith.”
“But sir…” began Scott.
“This is not up for debate, X-men. We’re on Genosha. We’ll abide by their rules.”
To show he was serious, Professor Xavier put his collar on first. The moment he snapped it into place, a red light on the front came on to indicate that it was active. The move somewhat surprised the Brotherhood, but the X-men were more shocked. The Professor was really serious about this.
“This is a mistake,” said Jean.
“If Logan were here, he would be so outraged he would swim back to Westchester if he had to,” added Bobby.
“If that’s what you want, we ain’t stopping you,” laughed Blob, “But you heard your boss. Put ‘em on!”
“Otherwise, I’ll hex you back to your institute and I promise it’ll be much worse than swimming,” added Wanda.
Scott, Jean, Bobby, Kitty, and Piotr were still hesitant. They kept scolding Alex, Wanda, and the rest of the Brotherhood. The air grew tense. The moment was ripe for a major fight. Xavier kept urging them with an authoritative glare. As much as they hated the idea, they followed their mentor’s orders.
One-by-one, the X-men put the collars on. As soon as they were active, they could feel their powers subside. The ice shell surrounding Bobby quickly faded and Piotr’s metal skin reverted to regular flesh, leaving them vulnerable. Kitty and Jean did it quickly before they could have second thoughts. Scott was the last. He just held the collar for a moment, staring at Alex and then back at the Professor.
“This is a mistake,” he told his mentor.
“If so, then it is mine to make,” said the Professor, “We can’t turn back now, Scott. We need to make this work.”
This is the part of X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation where the stage is set for a big upheaval. Whenever I end a volume of X-men Supreme, I try to lay the foundation for a new phase in this fanfiction series, one I hope will make for a good jumping on point. This fanfiction series has grown so much since it began in 2010. I want it to keep growing and I want it to keep getting more awesome. To do that, I need help from the wonderful readers who help make X-men Supreme possible. As always, I urge anyone and everyone to provide feedback on my work, be it positive or negative. So please take the time to contact me with your feedback or post your comments directly in the issue. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!