Friday, December 29, 2017

X-men Supreme Issue 162: Crimes Against Inhumanity Part 1 PREVIEW!

I hope everyone had fun and supremely enjoyable holiday. I also hope you worked up an appetite for more X-men Supreme in 2018. Yes, I know there are just a few days left of 2017, but this fanfiction series is already poised to move forward. That’s saying something, given all the huge upheavals in X-men Supreme over the past year. The disillusion of the X-men in X-men Supreme Issue 148: New Divide might very well be the most traumatic event the team have experienced in this fanfiction series and that’s including their encounter with Deadpool.

At the heart of the division is the Mutant Monitoring Initiative, the bold partnership that Charles Xavier formed with General Grimshaw and President Kelly after their clash with the Mutant Liberation Front. For once, they weren’t just dealing with someone like Magneto trying to subdue humanity through force, as he did in The Cambrian Explosion and Overlord. Even Sinister, who attempted to wipe out humans and mutants alike in Dark Legacy, wasn’t as daunting. X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation put the X-men in a unique position.

The Mutant Liberation Front turned the X-men’s battle into a struggle of ideas and after what happened in arcs like Proactive Regression and Natural Disorder, it became clear that Charles Xavier is losing that battle. His hopes for peace and understanding clash directly with new tactics meant to render humanity helpless, rather than subdued. Even though the X-men managed to stop the likes of Toad and Stryfe, the damage was done.

Now, as X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided has unfolded, Charles Xavier and his divided X-men attempt to regain the trust of the public and the authorities. So far, their efforts have had mixed results. Despite chaotic destruction in Volatility Sensibility, the X-men and the policies of the Mutant Monitoring Initiative helped them take down Sebastian Shaw in the Drug War arc. On paper, it was a major victory. Behind the scenes, though, it showed a new vulnerability that has been festering for quite some time.

A divided X-men, as we’ve seen in the X-men comics with events like Schism, is often a bad combination for everyone involved. Whether it’s Charles Xavier, Cyclops, Storm, or Doop leading the X-men, a lack of unity often opens the door for a devious enemy to strike. That time has come and this latest arc of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series will pit the X-men against a powerful enemy that X-men fans should recognize. That enemy has yet to make their debut in X-men Supreme, but it’s one I’ve been planning for quite some time.

This next arc will trigger a major shift in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series. It’ll also hit the X-men and X-Force at their most vulnerable. Charles Xavier, Cyclops, Wolverine, and so many more. The wounds left by this arc will be deep and the impacts will send X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided on a collision course that will leave nobody unaffected. It starts with the next issue and as always, I’ve prepared a preview that should give a telling hint as to just how impactful this arc will be.

“You!” snarled Logan as his muscles barely twitched.

“Yes, it’s me. The latest object of your rage. As if you don’t have enough as it stands,” said Daken dryly.

“I’m telling my body to rip you to shreds for all your bullshit, but apparently you found a new way to fuck with me! I get enough of that shit as well!” grunted Logan.

“Yes, well we can’t have that volatile temper causing such a mess. I understand you’ve been known to leave quite a mark on anyone that dares to capture you.”

“Then save yourself the trouble and turn off whatever the hell you did to me,” said Logan, “If you do, I promise I’ll make it quick.”

“Now why would you want to do that? I was hoping we could spend some quality time together. You know, the kind that a father is supposed to spend with his son,” said Daken as he loomed over the paralyzed figure.

Logan growled upon hearing those words. For once, Daken didn’t talk in a snide or condescending tone. He was dead serious, which almost seemed uncomfortable to him. That helped lend credibility to what he was saying. He was his son. A revelation like this usually triggered all sorts of chaotic emotions within Logan.

As this revelation sank in, Logan felt his body move on its own. He didn’t know if Daken was controlling it or if someone else was pulling the strings. He rose from his bed and stood up before this ominous young man. Now looking at him eye-to-eye, Daken glared at him with emotions that had been decades in the making.

“You’ve had time to process my scent. You’ve looked me in the eye and you’ve seen the signs. I hope you’ll skip the denial part so we can get to the heart of this matter,” said Daken, his tone focused with a unique kind of anger.

“You think this is the most fucked up revelation from my past? Hell, this ain’t even top five,” scoffed Logan.

“So finding out you have a son with a lifetime of reasons to despise you isn’t a big deal?”

“Of course it’s a big deal! I don’t hesitate in the middle of a fight unless it’s a big deal!” barked Logan, “Your scent wasn’t enough. It’s your eyes that sealed the deal. I’ve seen them before, except they were on a beautiful woman that I used to love. Not some dirt-bag punk with bad hair.”

“Well, now they’re mine,” said Daken firmly, “My darling mother was kind enough to impart them on me. It’s a shame she never got to see them. You ended up slaughtering her before she ever got to hold me.”

Now Daken was the one fuming with anger. Logan matched that sentiment every step of the way as he recalled the woman who once had those beautiful eyes. The image of her embracing him as she tried to tell him some important news played over in his mind again. That image was followed by a gruesome memory of him holding her bloody body in his arms. From here, the truth was obvious.

“That’s what she was going to tell me. She was pregnant,” said Logan, “It was just before everything in the Yashida Clan went to Hell.”

“And you didn’t stick around to find out. It would’ve been pathetic if it hadn’t nearly killed me,” said Daken in a cold tone, “That dead body you held in your arms had company. I was still in her womb, underdeveloped yet still alive. You could have stayed longer, tied up all the loose ends, and made sure you left nothing behind. But you didn’t.”

“Kid, if you’re gonna hold a grudge against me for not even knowing you existed, that’s a damn lousy reason,” barked Logan.

“As if causing the death of my mother isn’t valid enough,” Daken retorted, “But that’s not my only reason for resenting you. Our family issues go much deeper than that.”

Daken took a step closer to Logan so he could look him in the distinct eyes that so reminded him of Mariko. The bitter resentment soon gave way to a more serious demeanor.

This was both personal and logistical for him. Daken had plenty of reasons to seek out his father years ago, if for no other reason than to honor his dead mother. However, he was not like his father in one key aspect. For him, vengeance wasn’t enough to justify a moment like this. There had to be something greater at stake.

“Just look at yourself, father. Look back through those broken memories of yours. Let them tell you about the kind of man you are,” said Daken in a scathing tone.

“Bub, if you even understood half the memories I got floatin’ around in my head, you’d know what a dumb ass question that is,” quipped Logan.

“I know more than you think. I know where you’ve been, who you’ve killed, and how you’ve conducted yourself,” Daken went on, “You have all the trappings of a monster, but I don’t believe in monsters. I only believe in pitiful men who follow their anger, negating every other passion along the way, unless it’s convenient.”

“You trying to lecture me? Because if you really are my son, then you got the roles ass backwards.”

“If not your son, then who else?” Daken retorted, “Who else could point out what an inept man you are? You reflect the absolute worst of our family. You fight endless personal battles in both the past and present, never truly realizing the kind of damage you leave behind. And for what? Has it brought you peace?”

“Depends on your definition,” snarled Logan.

“Seeing as how you haven’t stopped fighting, I’ll take that as a no,” snorted Daken, “In many ways, you’re a metaphor for the world as we know it. Every day there’s more needless fighting. People like you simply refuse to move forward. You just wallow in your anger. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result, both you and the world been certifiably demented for centuries.”

“Is there a point here, kid?”

“Perhaps not, but unlike everyone before me I’m prepared to do something about it.”

Daken backed away from Wolverine and walked over to the door. He then gave it a hard pound with his fist, signaling whoever was on the other side to enter. The door swung open to reveal Sabretooth and Laura. Logan grunted in anger at the sight of Sabretooth being anywhere close to Laura. However, he noticed something different. Like him, they didn’t seem to have control over their own bodies.

“Heya, old buddy,” said Sabretooth snidely, “I see they stuck you with that annoying drug too.”

“Sabretooth! Only you could make a shitty situation like this stink worse,” barked Logan.

“Consider yourself lucky. If your fruity little bastard here hadn’t stuck me with a needle, these walls would be painted with your blood by now.”

“You deserve to stuck with much worse,” said Logan, “I swear if you so much grazed my daughter, I’ll…”

“It’s okay, Wolverine. He didn’t,” said Laura, who was in a similar paralyzed state, “Although he certainly tried. He thought he could rough me up before you arrived. That’s when Daken injected him with the same drug he injected into me.”

“Seeing as how none of you can control your violent impulses, I figured it was necessary,” said Daken.

Logan’s expression tensed as much as it could in his paralyzed state. More pieces fell into place. Daken and whoever else was behind this elaborate operation wanted the meat of the Weapon X program. Laura was bait. Sabretooth was a puppet that didn’t notice the strings until it was too late. His presence was sure to complicate thingg.

“Here’s some fatherly advice, kid. Hiring Sabretooth ain’t ever necessary,” said Logan, “He’ll screw you over and smell like shit every step of the way.”

“Why you…” grunted Sabretooth, only to be cut off by Daken.

“That’s enough, you two. Somebody should have said that to you decades ago,” he said, “You may not be able to handle Sabretooth, but we can. So long as you promise him a chance at tormenting Wolverine, he’ll agree to anything. As it just so happens, we need him as well as X-23.”

“I told you not to call me that. My name is Laura!” barked Laura.

“You’re lucky you can identify with any name. I could have just let Sabretooth do what he wanted with you,” quipped Daken, “Like any animal, he simply had to be tamed.”

“Kid, as much as I hate Wolverine, I’ll gladly spare some for you,” snarled Sabretooth, “You and that asshole boss of yours are gonna pay!”

“What boss?” questioned Logan, “Tell me who’s pulling the strings in this joint. That way I know who to stab when this drug wears off.”

“That’s where the insanity I mentioned earlier comes into play,” said Daken as he turned back towards Logan, “Someone goes through the trouble of putting you all in the same room, having to resort to exotic drugs to ensure that you behave. Yet again, your first inclination is to stab each other. You’re not even the least bit curious on how and why of this endeavor.”

“There ain’t much to understand,” scoffed Logan, “The story never changes. Some asshole wants a few meat puppets to do their dirty work. Why should I expect anything less from this shit?”

“Because this is different, James Howlett…very different,” came an ominous new voice.

The whole room fell deathly silent. Logan, Sabretooth, and Laura felt their bodies moving again. Despite their ardent resistance, they turned around and stood side-by-side to greet a powerful new figure. Even for former living weapons, it was a presence that struck them in a profound way.

The figure was a man that stood an imposing seven feet tall. His whole body was heavily muscled, covering a broad form that rivaled even Sabretooth. He wore a large cloak that covered a body suit not unlike the one Daken wore. As he pulled back his cloak, he revealed a face that bore a striking similarity to Logan.

He had the same wild hair and burly complexion except most of his hair was gray. Also like Logan, he had a very feral demeanor. His penetrating eyes implied they had seen many battles. As he looked down at the three paralyzed figures, they all growled defiantly. Daken grinned at their resistance as stood beside the imposing man.

“That voice…I’ve heard it before,” said Logan, feeling more old memories surface from the depths of his mind.

“Me too!” grunted Sabretooth, who experienced something similar.

“It’s good to know your memories aren’t completely damaged,” said the man, “You’ll definitely want to remember what you’re about to become a part of.”

“To hell with being part of this shit!” barked Laura, struggling harder against her paralysis, “Who the hell are you!”

“That is not an easy question to answer,” said the man as he approached the three former living weapons, “I’ve gone by many names. Some have called me Night Wolf. Others have called me the One Man Army. Most know me as Romulus, the founder and visionary of White Cell. However, a select few have even called me the Mentor.”

“Mentor,” mused Logan, “So it is you. You’re the guy that trained Team X.”

“That is only a small part of a much larger story,” he said, “It is a story I hope to finally end soon. I’m glad to see that Daken has succeeded in the first critical step.”

“I’m sure you had no doubts, honorable grandfather,” said Daken proudly.

“Grandfather?” exclaimed Logan as it quickly dawned on him, “That means…”

There’s a lot of upheaval going on in X-men Supreme and the X-men comics. Both Jean Grey and Wolverine are set to return from the dead in the pages of Marvel comics. There are a total of three X-men movies se tot debut in 2018 as well. Between that and the pending merge between Disney and Fox, things are looking up for the X-men. I hope to build on that with the X-men Supreme fanfiction series.

I can’t make X-men Supreme as prominent as a major movie or comics relaunch, but I like to think I can channel the same spirit that will make X-men great in 2018. To ensure I channel enough, it’s critical that I continue to get feedback from the wonderful readers of this fanfiction series. Either post your comments directly in each issue or contact me directly. Either way is fine and I’m always happy to chat X-men. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!


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