Friday, May 25, 2018

X-men Supreme Issue #169: High Evolution Part 1 PREVIEW!

The end is in sight. The final stages of X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided are set. Every time I end a volume of this fanfiction series, I try to do so in a way that really reverberates for the X-men, their allies, their enemies, and everyone in between. That’s why I often reference arcs like Uprising, Overlord, and the Phoenix Saga. These were all huge turning points for the X-men, which went onto influence how this fanfiction series played out.

The final arc of X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided will be no different. The overarching theme began with X-men Supreme Issue 148: New Divide. That was when Cyclops split with Charles Xavier, creating the divide between the X-men and X-Force. When I crafted that story, I did so with a definitive end in mind. This isn’t going to be one of those schisms that just lingers. The division that has been at the heart of X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided will have a definitive end with definitive consequences.

Those consequences have been accumulating a lot lately. Going all the way back to Volatility Sensibility, Charles Xavier and his X-men are learning time and again that the Mutant Monitoring Initiative that helped foster peace came at a price. That price just keeps getting higher and higher as malevolent forces keep trying to exploit the flaws. Sometimes, it worked to their advantage, such as the battle against Sebastian Shaw in Drug War. However, it proved extremely detrimental against someone like Romulus in Crimes Against Inhumanity.

Now, Magneto has re-entered the picture and the X-men can’t afford to be vulnerable anymore. Every time Magneto has attacked, he’s triggered a massive upheaval that has forced Charles Xavier, the X-men, and mutants everywhere to adapt to harsher conditions. Events like Overlord and the Cambrian Explosion left deep scars, some of which never healed. Those efforts were ambitious, but they’re nothing compared to what Magneto has planned for this final arc.

In many ways, this was his plan of last resort. Since the very beginning, Magneto has had a simple goal. He seeks a world where mutants are dominant, safe, and free. If humans got in his way, then he wasn’t afraid to fight back. Unlike Charles Xavier, he believes peace is not possible. For mutants to survive and thrive, they must subvert humanity rather than coordinate with them. He tried to do that with Genosha, but it failed. He hopes to succeed with Asteroid M.

This is not going to be a localized battle with localized stakes. Don’t expect Magneto to simply try and succeed where he failed before. Asteroid M is going to be even more ambitious. What he does won’t just complicate things for Charles Xavier, the X-men, or X-Force. It’s going to send shockwaves throughout a world that is still recovering from the events of Crimes Against Inhumanity, but not in the way you think.

If there is a wild card in place here, it’s his old mentor, Dr. Edgar Wyndham. If you’re a lifelong X-men fan, you should know that name and why it’s so troubling. Professor Xavier and his X-men are about to know it well, as are many others. The first issue of this final arc of X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided will set a high bar for high stakes. I can’t promise much without spoilers, but I can promise that what began in X-men Supreme Volume 1: Mutant Revolution will be completed by the end. As always, I’ve provided a preview that should tease the next and most critical part of that revolution.

“You’re lucky we have very few options, Miss Maximoff. Otherwise we would exhaust them before trusting you with this,” said President Kelly begrudgingly.

“I hope that wasn’t as coarse as it sounded, Mr. President,” said Wanda strongly.

“You’ll have to excuse us. We’re all a little on edge here,” said General Grimshaw, who silently urged President Kelly to hold his tongue, “You say you want us to be part of this backup plan you mentioned. What exactly does that entail?”

“Well for one, I need assurance that no one will launch an attack of any kind on Asteroid M,” said Wanda, “If you don’t trust me on anything else, trust me when I say that it will only make everything worse.”

“That’s asking a lot. You want us to throw in a gold-plated Hummer while we’re at it?” asked Captain Freeman.

“I’ll also need you to absolve X-Force of their role in this and all previous exploits,” said Wanda as she gestured towards X-Force, “I know they’re criminals under the Mutant Monitoring Initiative, but they can’t have that label if we’re to move forward.”

“Does that include Warpath?” asked Professor Xavier.

“It includes all of X-Force,” said Wanda strongly.

“Sounds like they made quite an impression,” commented General Grimshaw, “Is this your way of thanking them for hiding you?”

“I have my reasons,” she said as she briefly glanced towards Kurt, “Right now, I trust them more than I trust any of you because they have much more to lose.”

“We’re also more likable. You people have become far too hostile since the Mutant Monitoring Initiative passed,” commented Emma.

“Be careful with your words, Miss Frost. Your presence here has already cast plenty of suspicion on the Academy of Tomorrow,” said President Kelly sternly, “I’m starting to question the role we’ve had your school play in the initiative.”

“If you continue to belittle us, you’ll have far greater worries,” said Wanda, “These are my terms. I’m willing to be flexible in some areas, but for any plan to work we need to draw a few lines. Is that clear?”

President Kelly and General Grimshaw stared down this powerful young woman. She definitely had her father’s poiseShe also sincerely believed that something was wrong with her father that went beyond his usual megalomania. They had to give her the benefit of the doubt if they were to have any influence in this conflict. President Kelly turned towards the General, who merely nodded to convey his sentiment.

“We’re clear, Miss Maximoff,” said President Kelly, trying to hide his bitterness, “I’ll call the Attorney General. He’ll pull some legal wizardry to get X-Force off the hook.”

“Really? It’s that easy?” said Domino.

“Could’ve saved us all a lot of trouble if you pulled your head out of your ass sooner,” said Logan.

“Don’t push it, X-Force! This deal is contingent on your ability to cooperate. So it’s in your best interests to be professional,” said the President firmly.

“By professional I hope you don’t mean submissive,” said Emma Frost dryly, “That would defeat the purpose in more than one way.”

“Vould you be careful vith your choice of words, Emma? You’re not helping,” said Kurt under his breath.

“Call it whatever you want. You’ll still be on a very short leash,” added General Grimshaw, “I think I speak for all our global guests when I say the tolerance for slip-ups here is extremely low.”

“More like non-existent,” said the President of Egypt, “Do not assume we won’t consider alternatives even as we’re agreeing to this madness.”

“We all expected more from the Mutant Monitoring Initiative. It is in all our best interest if you and your friends in X-Force pick up the slack, Miss Maximoff,” said the President of Russia.

“We fully intend to do our part,” said Scott, addressing all the world leaders through a video link, “We only ask that you give us a chance so we don’t have to improvise.”

“Is that a warning, Summers? Because usually you’re a lot more subtle about it,” scoffed Captain Freeman.

“Seeing as how we can’t fully trust one another, we should expect a certain level of paranoia,” said Wanda, “I’m hoping that Charles Xavier and his X-men will keep that to a minimum. Whatever your history, recent or otherwise, I trust that he’ll make those improvisions Cyclops mentioned unnecessary.”

The attention turned to Charles Xavier, who would be in the most awkward of positions with this endeavor. Not only would he have to work with Wanda Maximoff again, he would also have to work with some of the students he alienated with the Mutant Monitoring Initiative.

Scott, Emma, and Logan avoided eye-contact with him. Xavier could sense them closing off their thoughts as well, showing that they did not trust him with their minds anymore. He would have to earn back that trust and this mission would be the best way of doing so.

Turning back towards his X-men, Xavier sensed that they had already set the politics aside. Jean, Ororo, Rogue, Remy, Betsy, and Piotr were all eager to work with their friends again. They felt better about confronting this threat as a team, even if there were still bitter divisions to contend with.

“I hope you’re not overthinking this, Charles. Policies aside, our choice is clear,” said Ororo.

“A clear choice is often no different than limited options,” sighed Xavier.

“Hope you don’t hold it against us, Chuck. We didn’t come here to put you on the spot...not entirely anyways,” said Logan with a smirk.

“None of us can afford to be petty right now,” he said, “If this is Magneto’s ultimate backup plan, then we must assume he’s leaving nothing to chance. If there are other forces involved, then we’ll need all the manpower we can get to counter it.”

“What kind of other forces could we be dealing with here, Professor?” asked Piotr.

Xavier and Wanda exchanged glances. That was the burning question that they had both been contemplating. They didn’t agree on much, but they each believed that something was amiss with this situation.

Before they could begin to speculate, the whole room was overcome by a wave of interference. All the video links and communications equipment became awash with static. It was so loud that many of the technicians and officers had to take off their headphones.

“Ahh! The hell happened to the feed?” exclaimed one of the communications officers.

“Link…can’t hear…something overriding,” said various video links all over the screen.

“Oh dear. I’m getting a very ominous sense of déjà vu,” said Hank as he looked over some of the terminals.

“You just had to jinx it. Didn’t you, Pete?” said Betsy with folded arms.

“Does this mean what I think it means?” said the President.

“I’m afraid so, Mr. President,” said Hank as he worked with the communications team to make sense of the interference, “It appears Magneto is preparing to make his presence known. It’s just like the feed he used the last time he announced the incoming asteroid.”

“Where is it broadcasting from?” asked General Grimshaw as he and Captain Freeman rushed to the terminals.

“The same place anyone with an ego and a message go to send a message…Times Square,” said Hank as he quickly deciphered the data.

The activity in the control room quickly became more urgent. Officers scrambled to filter out the interference while President Kelly worked with General Grimshaw to get a line open to their allies. The X-men surrounded Hank at one of the terminals, hoping to get a view of what Magneto’s latest message entailed.

The MSA and NORAD MPs kept a firm eye on X-Force, not letting them move from where they were standing. Professor Xavier lingered close by, still separated by a barrier of armed personnel. He maintained a close visual on Wanda, Scott, Logan, Domino, Emma, and Kurt. They each seemed to expect this moment. Now they had to confront it together despite bitter divisions.

“It appears we’re about to find out how right our suspicions are, Xavier,” said Wanda.

“I sense you’re hoping we’re wrong, at least in part,” Xavier pointed out.

“It would be a lot easier if we were. If not, then my plan to confront my father will only become more dangerous.”

The last arc of a major volume in the X-men Supreme fanfiction series is always the most challenging, but often the most rewarding. If you’ve been following closely since the start of X-men Supreme Volume 7: United and Divided and even a little before that, you’ll appreciate the extent of that reward. Even if you haven’t been following this fanfiction series from the beginning, I have a feeling X-men fans will appreciate the breadth of what Magneto looks to accomplish here.

I’m going to do my best to ensure that the culmination of everything I’ve built with this fanfiction series pays off in a big way. The only way I know I’m doing it right is if I continue getting reviews and feedback. As always, I strongly encourage everyone to take the time to send me your comments. Either contact me directly or post them in each issue. I’m always happy to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!


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