Saturday, October 7, 2017

X-men Supreme Issue 158: Power Brokers PREVIEW!

The end of every major arc in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series tends to set the stage for the next one. The same thing occurs in the X-men comics. In the same way events like House of M set up the Messiah Trilogy, events like Uprising set up Overlord. I try to go into every arc with the intent of expanding and enhancing X-men Supreme, both in terms of the bigger picture and in terms of the characters involved.

The recent Drug War arc involved a potent mix of major conflicts and critical character moments. It wasn’t just about Sebastian Shaw attempting to build his influence and take advantage of the recent failures of Charles Xavier’s Mutant Monitoring Initiative. It was also about the X-men’s ongoing struggles to carry out Xavier’s dream when they’re so divided, having been split between Xavier’s new vision with the initiative and Cyclops’ opposition with X-Force. Both sides endured plenty of personal struggles, some more than others.

However, the biggest development in the Drug War arc came in the form of a character I’ve been planning to debut in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series at some point in Daken. I’ve actually been looking for an opportunity to bring Daken into the picture as far bac as X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear. Given the news of his upcoming return to the X-men comics, I feel the time is right for him to make his presence felt in this fanfiction series. He certainly got off to a promising start by betraying Sebastian Shaw.

Being the son of Wolverine is bound to come with a little baggage. In the X-men comics, it has gotten him into some pretty messy situations. It even got him killed for a while, which is somewhat typical of most X-men characters. Expect similar baggage in X-men Supreme, but also expect a slightly different origins. Like Sage, Thunderbird, and Bishop, there are some considerable differences between the versions in the X-men comics and those in this fanfiction series. Even with those differences, though, expect Daken to retain most of his quirks. Those who read X-men comics know what I’m talking about.

Beyond Daken’s debut, the Drug War arc brought a mixed bag of confrontations and progressions for X-men Supreme. While Sebastian Shaw was defeated and mutant growth hormone production was ceased, certain parts of that conflict remain unresolved. Charles Xavier and his X-men have regained some favor with President Kelly and General Grimshaw. X-Force is reeling, but not devastated by their recent setbacks. The situation is still tense and ripe for exploitation. With Daken in the picture, expect that to escalate very soon.

There are plenty of conflicts still brewing for the X-men and X-Force alike. A few have been escalating since the end of X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation. Both Charles Xavier and Cyclops have major challenges ahead of them, some more immediate than others. One of those more immediate challenges is about to attack them in the most literal sense of the word. After the battle against Shaw, the timing couldn’t be worse. As always, I’ve prepared a preview of just how challenging things will be for X-Force and the X-men.

‘I need to pull it together. And for once, I can’t rely on Jean’s support to help me. I never knew how much I depended on her until now. I can’t lead X-Force and be an emotional wreck. No matter how much I love her, this is bigger than either of us. Someone has to make a stand no matter how heart-wrenching it may be.’

Scott leaned against the window in a daze, trying hard not to think about all the ways Jean would make things better if she were with him. He could almost see her reflection in the window. It was too much for his heart to take. He had to shut it out. Like it or not, he had to do this without her.

‘One setback shouldn’t be this big a deal. X-Force is wounded, but still intact. The Mutant Monitoring Initiative was bound to make some progress. X-Force needs to make more. There’s a hidden subtext here that someone is missing. I keep looking for it, but I can’t find anything. The others are depending on me. With or without Jean Grey, I need to be better.’

The X-Force leader continued contemplating the many challenges he had before him. He clearly wasn’t going to find any answers in his current state of mind. He needed to rest or do something to clear his head. Regaining strength was the most important step in recovering from a defeat.

Letting out a tired yawn, Scott prepared turn in early for some much-needed shut-eye. Then as he made his way across the room, he heard some strange noises in the floors below him. They sounded like gunshots mixed with yelling. In his anxious state, Scott was in no mood for horseplay.

“Domino, you better not be doing that target practice drill with James again,” he shouted, “Warren’s pockets are deep, but even he gets tired of paying the repair bills.”

More noise followed. It quickly escalated as if the gunshots were on the move. Scott listened more intently as the commotion ascended the stairs. The X-Force leader instinctively retrieved his visor from a nearby table. Something about this didn’t sound like a training exercise gone wrong.

“So much for catching up on sleep tonight,” he groaned.

Scott prepared for the worst as he carefully approached the door. Before he was even halfway there, it burst open as a result of James Proudstar being thrown in like a rag doll. Scott immediately stepped back and aimed his visor at the door.

“Hnn…so how’s your night going, Scott?” groaned James.

“About as well as yours, it seems. What’s going on? Has our base been compromised?” asked the X-Force leader.

“Depends on your definition, big brother,” came a familiar voice.

Scott watched as a figure emerged through the now gaping hole in the wall where the door used to be. His eyes widened behind his visor as he watched his brother, Alex Summers, approach him. Behind him was Blob, who was clearly the one who threw James with such ease.

“Alex…how the hell did you find this base!” exclaimed Scott.

“You act as though there’s much to find,” laughed Blob, “No offence, but this is a hell of a downgrade compared to the mansion.”

“Cut him some slack, Freddy…as hard as that may be,” quipped Alex, “These aren’t the X-men. Let’s not treat them as such.”

Scott remained apprehensive as Alex approached. He didn’t come in with his usual aggressive demeanor. He casually stepped over James’s semi-conscious body and addressed his older brother.

“Spare me the outrage, Scott. I didn’t come here to fight for once,” said Alex.

“I’ll believe that when Blob here goes on a diet,” scoffed Scott.

“Wow, you have some crazy standards,” laughed Blob, “I told Alex this was a waste of time, but does anyone listen to the guy who considers a turkey a light snack?”

“It’s true, Scott. I don’t have the luxury of attacking you, even though you keep giving me plenty of reasons,” said Alex.

“If you’re going to say something that isn’t a snide remark, say it now! Otherwise, I’ll start taking my many frustrations out on you!” barked Scott.

“Boy, these X-Force guys are moody,” commented Blob, “At least they’re easy to toss around or I would be bored already.”

Blob cracked his knuckles to further dissuade Scott from further outbursts. He was prepared to hold the former X-leader down if necessary. He had to scrap those preparations when he heard gunshots coupled with the sting of bullets hitting him from behind.

“We’re not as easy as we look…or dress for that matter,” grinned Domino, who looked somewhat tattered but was still poised to attack.

“You?! Didn’t I throw you out a window?” groaned Blob as he turned around.

“I’ve been thrown out of worse,” she quipped, “Now what do you say, big boy? Care to see if your luck is as big as your waistline?”

She fired a shot that hit him right around his neck. It didn’t do much physical damage, but it still hurt. Now flushed with renewed anger, Blob prepared to attack Domino.

“Have fun with your brother, Summers! I’m going after the crazy bitch in the black spandex!” roared Blob.

“As if we don’t hear that enough from Pietro,” said Alex as he rolled his eyes.

Blob stormed out of the room through the hole he made with James. Domino led him out of the living room and back towards the staircase, leaving Scott to confront his brother one-on-one.

Over the commotion of more gunshots, Scott and Alex stared each other down. Scott was tempted to lash out at his wayward brother. He had breached X-Force’s base. He could compromise their whole operation. Yet that didn’t seem to be his intent. So with his hand still on his visor, Scott probed for answers.

“Okay Alex, you have my attention. I’m still inclined to shoot you, but that depends on what it is you have to say,” said Scott.

“I promise it’s worth hearing,” said Alex strongly, “It involves your recent trip to Mexico and how it went horribly wrong for some…and horribly right for others.”

“I already know that. Tell me something I can’t get from CNN!” he said.

“Okay, how about this…we discovered something about MGH that even Shaw wasn’t aware of. It’s something so big that you’ll quit being a dick and listen. This runs a lot deeper than the fight between humans and mutants.”

These are tense and divided times for the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. At a time when the X-men comics are going in a different direction, even bringing back a few familiar faces from the dead, I’m determined to show that X-men Supreme can still deliver. These divisions have a purpose and that purpose will become clearer as this fanfiction series unfolds. As X-men fans follow the events in the comics, I hope X-men Supreme can continue to supplement the awesome.

To maintain the strength of that awesome, I need feedback from every kind of X-men fan. Even if you hated the last arc and the last several arcs before it, I want to hear from you. Any bit of feedback helps in my effort to make the X-men Supreme fanfiction series as awesome as it deserves to be. Either send it to me directly via the contact page or post comments in the issues, ignoring the spammers if you can. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelscior!




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