Friday, August 4, 2017
X-men Supreme Issue 155: Drug War Part 1 PREVIEW!
One of the biggest challenges in writing X-men is finding ways to apply their struggle for peace and understanding to the real world. I imagine it’s a struggle that the writers at Marvel also feel. From Chris Claremont to Joss Whedon, how do you develop the X-men in a way that makes their struggle feel relevant to that of other minorities? It has been a challenge throughout the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. There are times that challenge becomes secondary because the X-men do occasionally deal with cosmic elements like the Phoenix Force or the Shi’ar. There’s just no real-world parallel to the events in an arc like Starcrossed.
While I’ve done more than my share of cosmic arcs in this fanfiction series, going all the way back to X-men Supreme Issue 46: Paradise Mystery and the Phoenix Saga, I still make an effort to build the X-men’s struggle around conflicts that feel real. One of the greatest appeals of the X-men is how their struggles parallel that of real minorities, be it race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation. The X-men were created in the early days of the Civil Rights movement. The case could be made that their struggle is more important now than it has ever been.
That struggle has gained a host of new complications since the beginning of X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided. On one hand, Charles Xavier is being wholly pragmatic about how the X-men further their efforts at peace and understanding. He’s working with the authorities rather than against them, teaming up with President Kelly and General Grimshaw on the Mutant Monitoring Initiative. His intentions are good, as they often are. However, working with the government, especially when the President has a history of opposing the X-men, comes with significant risks.
That, in many respects, is why some of the X-men’s most loyal members, namely Cyclops and Wolverine, chose to break away from their mentor’s plan. They formed X-Force because they felt that peace and understanding can’t be imposed from the top down. It needs to be built from the bottom up. They’ve already shown Professor Xavier and the X-men, who are now led by Captain Freeman, how those efforts can be complicated. The Volatility Sensibility arc had them struggle to deal with a single mutant. What does that mean for them when they face a more daunting enemy?
Well, that enemy has arrived. Sebastian Shaw, who has already made his presence felt in his fanfiction series, is back. The events of Dark Legacy put him in a position to regain what the X-men took from him during the Phoenix Saga. With his son now out of the way and the Inner Circle disbanded, he’s ready to rebuild his power. He’s even enlisted help from familiar names in the Wyngarde sisters, whose ties to Jason Wyngarde can only mean trouble.
X-men Supreme Issue 154: Reaching Out revealed that Shaw is the one behind Kick, the mutant-enhancing drug that has already made its presence felt with X-Factor. However, his agenda is just beginning. Both the X-men and X-Force know better than anyone that Sebastian Shaw is not someone to take lightly. Between his history with the Inner Circle and his connections to Sage and Weapon Plus, he can only bring trouble. He will also bring a daunting, not to mention relevant, challenge to the X-men Supreme fanfiction series in its next major arc, Drug War. As always, I’ve prepared a preview to show the first sparks of that war.
Teon lingered around Jubilee’s feet a bit longer. At one point, he reached for her sunglasses and put them on. At this point, Idie waved him down. He was getting a bit too friendly in her eyes.
“Give them back, Teon,” she said with a light scold.
“Fight?” was all Teon said in response.
“No. Remember what I told you about thou shalt not steal?”
Teon whimpered a bit as if to show remorse. Then he put the sunglasses back on Jubilee’s head before returning to Idie’s side. Jubilee couldn’t help but green even as Idie expressed remorse.
“I apologize for that. He’s…curious at times,” said Idie.
“Don’t worry about it. He’s only slightly more ill-mannered than my ex-boyfriend,” said Jubilee, giving Teon a playful look.
“Friend?” said Teon.
“If those are the kinds of guys you’re into, no wonder he likes you,” said Laurie, rolling her eyes.
Jubilee laughed again. She wished she hadn’t though. She was getting a bit too friendly with these mutants. That was a dangerous position to be in. She put her whole mission in jeopardy.
‘So much for keeping it together. These guys have all had the kind of rotten luck. They think Shaw will give them a better life. I’m here to undermine him because we know he’s behind that MGH crap. It’s not like I can have second thoughts. Tessa had me swallow this special transmission beacon before I left District X. For all I know, it’s beaming my location to the X-men and the MSA. I just hope that when shit starts exploding, these guys aren’t caught in the crossfire.’
Jubilee turned back towards the passing view outside. The desolate countryside finally started showing signs of civilization. They just entered what appeared to be a large plantation of sorts. It was entirely walled off, guarded by what looked like Mexican soldiers.
When the bus approached, the driver who hadn’t said a word to them since they got on signaled something through a radio. The soldiers simply nodded and opened the gates for the bus.
Passing through the gates, it was like entering another universe. Jubilee and the five young mutants found themselves in an opulent villa. The landscaping alone bore the markings of a very rich and powerful man, but it was the mansion itself that had them all in awe.
It stood a good four stories high and looked big enough to be its own neighborhood. It had a large fountain in the front and two smaller fountains on the side. They were part of a large circular driveway, which was manned by armed men who looked nothing like Mexican soldiers. As the bus approached, the true impact of their decision started sinking in.
“Wow…I didn’t know they made houses this big in Mexico!” exclaimed Gabriel.
“I didn’t know they made houses this big period!” said Laurie.
“It seems…excessive,” said Idie.
“House?” said Teon.
“That would be a profound insult to such an architectural marvel,” said Kenji.
While the five mutants admired the structure, Jubilee swallowed a touch of nervousness. If Sebastian Shaw was able to live in a place like this yet still evade people like Tessa and the X-men, then he was more resourceful than they thought. She maintained a confident poise as the bus pulled up to the front door. Once the doors to the bus opened and they made their way out, they were greeted by Shaw’s loyal associate, Warhawk.
“Welcome to the Villa del Fuego,” said Warhawk, “Mr. Shaw welcomes you to his humble facility.”
“I would say there is nothing humble about it,” said Kenji, “The architecture reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright mixed with a late Victorian layout. Very elaborate and very pricy, I imagine.”
“I’d just settle for calling it rich,” chuckled Gabriel.
“Mr. Shaw feels it’s important to present a powerful image,” explained Warhawk, “As beings of powers ourselves, it’s only fitting that we carry ourselves as such.”
“Sounds a little egotistical,” commented Jubilee.
“Hey! We’re guests here,” scolded Laurie, “Don’t make light of his hospitality.”
“Indeed,” said Idie in a daze, “I doubt we’ll ever enjoy it again.”
“I wouldn’t presume too much,” said Warhawk, “Once you see what Mr. Shaw can do for talented mutants like yourself, you’ll have every opportunity to experience the finer pleasures of life.”
“Mate?” said Teon.
“Not sure if that’s his way of voicing his approval, but I think he likes it,” grinned Gabriel.
The five mutants were understandably excited. They were being welcomed into this rich, secure world after having endured such rotten luck in their previous lives. Jubilee certainly couldn’t blame them for being enthusiastic. She struggled to keep up with them as they followed Warhawk to the front doors of the massive facility. Once inside, the real danger of this mission could begin.
“You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the sights later,” said Warhawk as he opened the main doors, “The six of you have arrived at a very exciting time. Mr. Shaw’s efforts to break the chains that bind mutants like yourselves has enjoyed moderate success. Now he plans on taking a much bolder step. With Mr. Shaw’s resources, you’ll become the shining lights of a new generation of mutants!”
The first few issues of X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided have been steady in setting up the major conflicts between the X-men and X-Force. With this arc, things will begin escalating quickly. The stakes will rise. Greater threats will emerge. It’s all building towards another major event that will shake this fanfiction series to its core, but in the best possible way. I know Marvel says that about every major event. I want those words to mean something with X-men Supreme. As such, it’s critical that I continue to get feedback so that I can make sure that impact is awesome. Either contact me directly or post your comments directly in the issues. Ignore the spammers. I’m still working on that. It might be best to contact me for now. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!