Friday, March 17, 2017

The Red Queen Chronicles: The Spy ANNOUNCEMENT!


I have an announcement to make and it involves another sexy side-project. I know I’ve been doing a lot of those lately and for good reason. I’ve found a winning formula. I’ve found something that resonates with a certain set of fans with an appreciation for sexier stories. Who knew stories about an overtly sexual Mary Jane Watson, Emma Frost, and the Hellfire Club could have such great appeal?

I know. That seems so goddamn obvious now. These are two of the sexiest female characters in comics. They look damn good in thongs and they aren’t afraid to wear them. I just needed to find a way to build an awesome story around that, one that provides ample opportunities for sexy situations with a variety of characters. Well, I’ve been building that story since “The New Red Queen.” Thanks to that story, and the great response I got, I’ve created a world where Mary Jane isn’t the only one who gets to maximize her sexiness.

I’ve already begun to expand that world with the “The Red Queen Chronicles: The Weapon.” That was a fairly basic expansion. This is a world with an overtly sexy redheaded woman taking center stage. It was only a matter of time before Wolverine came into the picture. Plus, with the recent release of the Logan movie, what better way to commemorate the occasion than by having him bang a sexy redhead? I think Wolverine fans everywhere can appreciate that sentiment.

Well, I’m ready to continue expanding the world of “The Red Queen Chronicles.” This time, I want to do more than just a basic one-shot where Mary Jane uses her cleavage to get something done. Granted, there will always be a place for that kind of story, but I want to take this next entry in a different direction. Specifically, I want to explore both the present and the past of the world I’ve created. To do that, I’ll need to enlist the help of another sexy redhead. In a world where there are so many, who could possibly add to the ample sex appeal of this series?

Enter the Black Widow. She’s an Avenger, an agent of SHIELD, a master spy, and a star role for Scarlett Johanssen. On top of that, she looks damn good in skin-tight outfits. While she’s never been as overtly sexual as Emma Frost or Mary Jane Watson, I intend to give her a unique opportunity here. It’s also a unique opportunity for me as well because Black Widow is one of those characters I’ve always wanted to work with, but just never found the right story. Well, that story has arrived. That’s why I’m proud to announce “The Red Queen Chronicles: The Spy.”

Do you want to see Natasha Romanov exercise her sexy side? Do you want to see how she has influenced the events of this series? Well, you’ll get your chance soon enough. Unlike the last story, this one will have two parts. That’ll give me more time to explore Black Widow as both a character and an exceedingly sexy redhead. Trust me. I want to make use of that time. By this time next week, you’ll see why it’s worth the wait. Nuff said!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Enemy Within (And Beyond): All-New Wolverine #18

The following is my review of All-New Wolverine #18, which was posted on PopMatters.com.


There are some stories that just can't be remade in a convincing, compelling fashion. The producers of the now-infamous Ghostbusters remake found this out the hard way. However, it is possible to retell a story in a way that doesn't feel like a new layer of paint on an old car that shouldn't be on the road anymore. Those stories are rare and even then, a retelling of those stories involves a lot of moving parts that need to work together without collapsing into a chaotic mess

The classic Wolverine story, Enemy of the State, may not be nearly as iconic as Ghostbusters, but it captures so much of what makes Wolverine a great character. It effectively jams rusty nails into Wolverine's deepest scars, let's them fester, and builds a story around it. It's a key conflict for Wolverine that gives him much of his depth. He struggles with being a man and a former meat puppet of Weapon X. It's a powerful struggle that his daughter and inheritor of his title, Laura Kinney, has inherited.

As X-23, Laura knows just as much about being a tormented meat puppet as Logan. On top of that, she deals with this on top of being a teenage girl. This makes her uniquely qualified to handle the narrative surrounding Enemy of the State II. Tom Taylor gives her that chance, putting her in a situation where Laura has to confront the meat puppet within her that once made her a living weapon.

He sets high stakes. After apparently killing nearly three dozen innocent people, she finds herself at the top of SHIELD's most wanted list, right up there with cloned Spider-Man villains. She also has to confront old enemies like Kimura, who are intent on reminding her that she's a failed science experiment and not a person. In her mind, she's several layers below a trained pitbull.

These are the moving parts that forge the narrative for Enemy of the State II and All-New Wolverine #18 caps off that narrative with a potent mix of drama, action, plot twists, and exploding bean cans. It's every bit as entertaining as it sounds. Beyond the entertainment value, though, Taylor goes out of his way to capture the most important element of Enemy of the State, which is heart. Those who've seen the Logan movie and wiped away their tears will appreciate what Taylor accomplishes here.


To get to this point, X-23 must overcome some personal demons that have plagued her since her early origin stories in X-23: Innocence Lost. This is perfectly appropriate for the context and grand scheme of the story. Overcoming personal demons for Wolverine is right up there with drinking beer, stabbing Sabretooth, and chasing married women. For X-23, a teenage girl who isn't old enough to drink, it's a much higher priority and one that ensures All-New Wolverine #18 hits with just the right amount of drama.

The biggest demon for X-23 has both a face and a potent weapon. Kimura is to her what Sabretooth is to Logan. She embodies the anchor that keeps her tied to her bloody past. She represents the pain, burdens, and rage that fills her with such dread and anger. Fighting her means much more than just fighting a run-of-the-mill Sentinel. Taylor has this fight involve more than just stabbing though.

The stakes of the battle are already high because Kimura is armed with the trigger scent, the weapon that turns X-23 into the heartless killer who murdered her own mother. It is a burden and a fear that has plagued X-23 since her earliest days in the X-men comics. It's a big part of what drives the narrative throughout Enemy of the State II, having X-23 go on the run and do everything she can to avoid becoming what Kimura wants her to be. This convergence of past fears and present conflicts helps craft a perfectly balanced, deeply satisfying conclusion.

It's also a conclusion that requires X-23 to do things Logan wasn't very good at. He may have been the best at what he did, but coordinating with others was never one of those things and not just because of his propensity to flirt with married women. X-23 shows a greater willingness to work with others, let them in, and share her burdens. It gives a supporting cast like Gabby, Jean Grey, Gambit, Angel, and Tyger Tiger a chance to shine. She's still not the greatest teammate, but compared to Logan, she's a pro.

X-23's supporting cast gives her the resources she needs to overcome the trigger scent and attack Kimura. However, she's still the one who delivers the final blow. Like her predecessor, she makes it very personal and very brutal. Unlike previous battles, though, Kimura can't use the trigger scent as her trump card. She has to face X-23 head on. They have to fight as equals. It makes for a battle that feels organic, brutal, and dramatic.


The added drama also helps ensure the plot twist that emerge in the final conclusion work. As a result, it doesn't feel forced. It doesn't feel like a cop-out. It feels like a genuine, realistic recourse for the narrative. For a story that involves so much running around, stabbing, and snarling, that's a critical ingredient that separates decent stories from savory deserts.

The original Enemy of the State may not be as iconic as other major Wolverine stories like Old Man Logan, if only because it hasn't been the basis for a major movie yet. However, it is an important story that embodies what it means to be Wolverine. All-New X-men #18 and Enemy of the State II embodies that same spirit.

X-23 even goes out of her way to make that clear. She loudly proclaims that she's not just a weapon. She's Laura Kinny. She has a mother, a father, and the title. She is, by every meaningful criteria, Wolverine. Taylor does everything necessary to make this abundantly clear. If anyone has any doubts at this point that Laura is worthy of that title, then they're just being petty.

Final Score: 9 out of 10

Friday, March 10, 2017

X-men Supreme Issue 6.1: Beyond Top Secret is LIVE!


By now, I hope everyone has had the time to see the latest Wolverine movie. I imagine X-men fans are still recovering from the many emotional moments that movie contained. It truly was the end of an era for the X-men, at least in the world of movies. In some sense, the timing is just right because the X-men Supreme fanfiction series just capped off a major era as well. Now, much like the latest Wolverine movie, the stage is set for a new and uncertain era to begin.

While the world of the last Wolverine movie was dark and desolate, the coming era of X-men Supreme is mired with different complications. This isn’t a case of mutants going extinct or humans hunting them with killer robots. These days, that seems like a strange concept for the X-men, but that’s exactly why I’m choosing this direction for this fanfiction series. It’s not enough for the X-men to fight for survival or what’s left of their future. At some point, they must start building the future that Charles Xavier dreams of building.

That process took a huge turn at conclusion of X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation. Two major foundations of human/mutant relations, namely the mutant nation of Genosha and the Xavier Institute for Gifted Youngsters, now lay in ruin. The fragile balance that had been evolving since X-men Supreme Volume 1: Mutant Revolution has been completely disrupted. X-men Supreme Issue 148: New Divide saw a fundamental change in the way the X-men operate and the way Charles Xavier pursues his dream.

This change caused massive upheavals in the team, especially from the likes of Cyclops and Wolverine. Now, the X-men won’t just operate under the guidelines of Xavier’s dream. They’ll be working hand-in-hand with the likes of President Robert Kelly, General Nathan Grimshaw, and Captain Jack Freeman. The X-men are now a wing of the Mutant Security Agency that was established back in X-men Supreme Volume 4: Politics of Fear. While they have powerful new allies, the implications of that allegiance have many worried.

This left Cyclops and Wolverine to leave the X-men, much to the sorrow of Charles Xavier and the heartbreak of Jean Grey. Now, as Xavier seeks to build on this new foundation, Cyclops and Wolverine prepare to pursue a different vision with a new team, one they’ve dubbed X-Force. X-men Supreme Volume 7 will bring about some major clashes and greater divisions. Friends will become enemies. Teammates will become threats. It will strain the X-men in ways they’ve never endured before.

Before either team can confront these challenges, they must first tie up loose ends and gather supplies. For Charles Xavier and General Grimshaw, that means establishing some element of trust moving forward. For Cyclops, having left the team he dedicated his life to serving, it means reconciling some issues so they don’t hold him back. Having just left his team and his girlfriend, Jean Grey, he’s in a vulnerable place. On top of it all, he just recently learned during the Outer Limits arc that his father, Christopher Summers, is still alive.

There’s a lot for both sides to deal with. There’s a bumpy road ahead for both teams. Charles Xavier and Cyclops have many new challenges to face. However, before they can start on that road, they must first make sure the path behind them is clear. That’s exactly what I hope to accomplish with this giant-sized special. Just as I did with X-men Supreme Issue 5.1: Deception Revelation, I hope to set the tone for the stories to come.

Giant Sized X-men Supreme Issue 6.1: Beyond Top Secret

Like the X-men comics, I hope this giant-sized issue will help get readers caught up and excited for X-men Supreme Volume 7. The next era of this fanfiction series is already in the works and poised to begin in the coming weeks. I hope to make a few announcements down the line. In the meantime, I’m eager to get feedback on this and any other issue of the X-men Supreme fanfiction series.

I understand that emotions are still raw after the latest Wolverine movie. I also understand I left quite a few anxious readers at the end of X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation. Make no mistake. I do have a larger plan in the works. I intend for that plan to pay off in the long run. In order to make sure that plan is accomplishing what I want it to, it’s critical that I get feedback. Please take the time to leave a comment on this giant-sized issue or contact me directly. Either way is fine and I’m always happy to chat. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!

Jack

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A (Not So) Bittersweet End: Inhumans vs. X-men #6

The following is my review of Inhumans vs. X-men #6, which was posted on PopMatters.com.


Most epic battles are epic because of the skirmishes that led up to it. Ideally, the tension grows and the stakes rise to set up a final showdown wherein both sides think they're Mario and neither side believes they're Bowser. This is what makes battles like Batman vs. Joker, Superman vs. Doomsday, and Deadpool vs. Short-Sighted Fox Producers so meaningful. It's also why the final showdown in Inhumans vs. X-men has everything working against it.

In the case of this latest clash between two superhero teams, the skirmishes are forgettable and the stakes as unbalanced as fight between Juggernaut and a sick puppy. From the events leading up to it, to the tie-in issues that try to add badly-needed depth, Inhumans vs. X-men fights an uphill battle that may as well be upside down. It tries to be epic. It tries to be balanced. It just doesn't have the style, substance, or setup to make it work. To be epic, at this point, would require Onslaught-level power and/or a deal with Mephisto.

Charles Soule and Jeff Lemire may not be willing to call Mephisto, but they still try to make the most of what they've got to work with, which isn't much. Through five issues, the tension is there. The drama is there. There's a genuine effort to mold the conflict into something that feels balanced on both sides.

With Inhumans vs. X-men #6, the proverbial shot clock is running out. The drama, tension, and every other concept that's lacking has to pay off. However, that payoff never arrives in full. It's not a total bust, but it doesn't feel like a worth-while investment either. It's an investment that the Tony Starks and Warren Buffetts of the world would never make in the first place, but it's not one of those investments that bankrupts either side.

The most that can be said about Inhumans vs. X-men #6 is that it ends the conflict. It ends in a way that doesn't make either side looks good. In fact, both sides come off as woefully inept. There are any number of opportunities to avoid or mitigate the conflict. These opportunities are either ignored, glossed over, or fumbled with comic ineptitude. It's an inherent flaw that has plagued the X-men/Inhuman conflict since before the event started and the final showdown that unfolds in this issue does little to resolve that.


That's not to say the conflict is completely without drama. Lemire and Soule do make a concerted effort to make Inhumans vs. X-men #6 feel personal for the characters. This is most apparent with Emma Frost and Medusa. These two characters are, arguably, the primary driving force of the conflict. What they do and the decisions they make help give the struggle the depth it needs to feel like more than just another superhero clash. At a time when superheroes are more likely to fight each other than aliens, killer robots, or Thanos, that's very important.

Medusa vs. Emma Frost doesn't have the same epic undertones elicited by Batman vs. Superman, Captain America vs. Iron Man, or even Wolverine vs. anybody who steals his beer. However, it still feels very personal. Emma Frost makes it personal. She blames the entire Inhuman race for killing Cyclops. She takes it upon herself to exact the kind of vengeance usually reserved for Wolverine. There's no doubting her dedication. At the same time, however, there's no denying the inherent flaw this creates.

In the end, it's also Emma Frost who makes the conflict feel so forced. The main driving force of the Inhuman/mutant clash is supposed to be the Terrigen Mists, which is poisoning mutants all over the world. That issue gets resolved with a level of ease that feels downright inane and not just because Moon Girl succeeds where Beast, Forge, and every genius mind in New Attilan fail. It ends up feeling like a secondary concern, a formality has to happen before Emma Frost can fight Medusa.

By making the Terrigen Mists so trivial, it underscores everything motivating the X-men in this conflict. On top of that, they don't even get to make the decision that eliminates the threat of the mists once and for all. The Inhumans are the ones that do that. As soon as Medusa finds out that the mists will make the world uninhabitable to mutants, she doesn't even hesitate. She jumps at the chance to remove the mists from the atmosphere.

There's no argument with Storm. There's no fight with Emma Frost. Old Man Logan doesn't even need to insult her. She just learns something that the X-men could've easily told her in a simple text message and does the right thing. It makes the entire Inhuman/mutant conflict seem hallow. The fact that all anyone had to do was tell Medusa that the mists were about to exterminate an entire species makes every struggle in Inhumans vs. X-men #6, personal or otherwise, seem unnecessary.


In the grand scheme of things, neither the Inhumans nor the X-men come off as winners in Inhumans vs. X-men. They don't come off as losers either. The X-men do achieve their goal. The Terrigen Mists are gone. Mutants no longer have to worry about being gassed to death. They don't even need the Scarlet Witch to lose her mind again or cast some fancy spell to make it happen. That means they don't have to live in demon realms anymore for their own safety.

The Inhumans don't come off as losers either. Thanks to Medusa's hard choices, they come off as heroic and understanding. They make a sacrifice to prevent genocide. It does come at a cost, but New Attilan is still intact. No Inhumans died or suffered horribly. There's nothing stopping them from thriving again, albeit under different circumstances. Compared to being gassed to death, those circumstances aren't too bad. In that sense, it's still abundantly clear which side has its movie rights owned by Disney and which side does not.

With respect to creating a meaningful superhero clash, Lemire and Soule just don't have the ingredients to make Inhumans vs. X-men as epic as others before it. The circumstances, drama, and character motivations just aren't there. They are still able to make the most of it. Some of the flaws are inescapable. Others are just ignored. In the end, the resolution just can't be as epic as it needs to be. No amount of psychic manipulation from Emma Frost can change that.

Final Score: 5 out of 10

Friday, March 3, 2017

Giant-Sized X-men Supreme Issue 6.1: Beyond Top Secret PREVIEW!


For most of X-men Supreme’s history, there has been a recurring theme of sorts. I started this fanfiction series because I was dissatisfied with the direction of the X-men comics and wanted to give an outlet to other X-men fans. As X-men Supreme has evolved, it has often been the case that when things are looking bleak in the X-men comics, things are looking more promising in this fanfiction series.

When the X-men comics were bogged down with schisms and secret kill squads, the X-men Supreme fanfiction series was focusing on more traditional X-men stories like battling Magneto in Overlord, fighting a malevolent entity in the Cambrian Explosion, and exploring Wolverine’s mysterious history in The Lotus and the Warrior. X-men Supreme has managed to do all of this and more without resorting to time travel, clones, or major retcons. Personally, I take pride in that. I feel it helps X-men Supreme stand out in a way that the X-men comics just can’t at this point.

However, the current situation in the X-men comics is changing. On top of that, the X-men Supreme fanfiction series just underwent its biggest upheaval to date. The events of X-men Supreme issue 148: New Divide capped off X-men Supreme Volume 6: Liberation Decimation with some devastating decisions. Charles Xavier has effectively restructured the X-men, integrating them into General Grimshaw and President Kelly’s newly-minted Mutant Monitoring Initiative. The dream, as the X-men have known it since this fanfiction series has begun, has changed. Some, such as Cyclops and Wolverine, believe that Charles Xavier has abandoned his dream altogether in the face of fear and uncertainty.

Now, the X-men are divided. Friends have abandoned one another. Relationships, including that of Cyclops and Jean Grey, have been shaken to their core. It is a difficult, tenuous time for the X-men in this fanfiction series. Conversely, things are looking far less dire in the X-men comics. Their latest extinction plot is about to end. The X-men, and the mutant race as a whole, is on the road to recovery. Old allies, like Kitty Pryde, are returning. The vision of Charles Xavier and the X-men is once again starting to guide them again.

It puts X-men Supreme in an odd position because moving forward, the X-men will be divided. There will be conflict between two teams, namely the X-men and the Cyclops-led X-Force. X-men Supreme Volume 7 is going to have plenty of tension and conflict, the likes of which the X-men comics are moving away from. It may be an odd position, but it’s one I intend to explore in a compelling way.

X-men Supreme Volume 7 is already in the works. I have a vision for how it will play out. I have every intention of seeing it through. Before I begin that vision, however, I’ve decided that the time is right to do another one of my point-one issues to help set the stage for this new era in X-men Supreme.

Like the point one issues that Marvel has done before, these are self-contained stories that act as jumping-on points and transitions. I’ve done several to date. Some, like X-men Supreme Issue 5.1: Deception Revelation, offered important insight into ongoing stories. Others, like X-men Supreme 3.1: Sin City Shenanigans, were just fun asides. For this one, however, it’s going to be serious.

Before X-men Supreme Volume 7 gets going, I’m going to revisit another plot that has been brewing since The Good, The Bad, and the Sinister. With Cyclops about to begin a new mission with X-Force, he’s in a vulnerable state. Naturally, he reaches out to his father, whom he just learned is still alive after the events of Outer Limits. Now, just before he embarks on this new mission, he gets in touch with him and learns a secret that has remained hidden for years. It is entitled X-men Supreme 6.1: Beyond Top Secret and it should get X-men fans excited about X-men Supreme Volume 7. As always, I’ve prepared a preview for this extra-sized, extra-awesome entry of X-men Supreme.

“We’re just about ready, Agent Brand,” said the top engineer, “The lab area is clear and we’re ready to lower the psychic dampeners on your order.”

“Is the facility sealed on every other end?” asked Agent Brand as she looked out over the research area.

“We’re officially in lockdown,” said her chief security officer, “It’s already raising a few red flags at the Pentagon. I don’t think they’ll appreciate us not clearing this experiment beforehand.”

“I’ll handle anyone whose feathers get ruffled. Just make sure that we don’t have a repeat of what happened on Genosha,” said General Grimshaw.

“For the record, I’m still in a position to detain the X-men over that affair,” Agent Brand reminded, “Xavier better not give me a reason to execute that authority.”

“I know this goes against your nature, Agent Brand. But cut the good Professor some slack. He’s putting himself in a very dangerous position. You may not respect his vision, but you have to respect the man’s bravado.”

Agent Brand remained skeptical. There were way too many ways that this could backfire. She and General Grimshaw stood behind several inches of concussion proof glass on the main observation deck, which stood a good two and a half stories above the main level. It allowed them to completely monitor the activity below. Charles Xavier was almost ready and the time had come to see if he could be as valuable as they hoped.

Within the main research area, Xavier stood a mere ten feet away from the alien ship. Behind him and surrounding the perimeter were two squads of masked MPs. They all had their weapons drawn in preparation for any unforeseen threats. Captain Freeman stood with them, acting as the squad leader for this bold experiment. Having never been a science buff, he maintained a strict sense of indifference to this ordeal.

“Are all these guns really necessary?” questioned Professor Xavier, “I get the impression that nobody here trusts me and given recent events, I find that troubling.”

“I doubt it’s just you, Xavier. It’s the alien ship that’s the real x-factor here,” said Captain Freeman, “I’m pretty sure that everyone here has seen the movie Independence Day.”

“Which movie was that again?”

“The one where guns came in handy when unruly aliens were in a confined space. If you’re lucky they won’t be necessary.”

“I try not to rely on luck in my line of work,” said Xavier, “I just worry that expecting the worst does little to help the odds.”

Captain Freeman signaled the MPs to assume a fire-ready position. Professor Xavier wasn’t going to convince him or anyone to relax their guard. Not when alien threats were involved. Given his experience with the Shi’ar, that may not be an unreasonable approach. He remained poised under these unfriendly circumstances as he waited for the go-ahead from Agent Brand. After a final check from Captain Freeman to ensure that the lab was sealed and all non-MPs were behind sealed doors, he signaled the observation deck.

“Are you ready down there, Professor? Last chance for a bathroom break or second thoughts,” said Agent Brand through a speaker system.

“I’m ready if you’re willing,” said Professor Xavier confidently.

“Then good luck and for all our sake, don’t make me regret this,” said Agent Brand in her usual coarse tone, “Lowering the psychic dampeners in 5...4...3...2...1.”

There was a slight flicker from the lights as the facility’s elaborate psychic defenses were disabled. Professor Xavier picked up on it almost immediately. He sensed the barriers preventing his mind from utilizing his telepathy weaken. It created tension throughout the lab, knowing that the world’s most powerful psychic was now unhindered. Xavier made no effort to alleviate those concerns. His sole focus was the alien ship. Now that he could use his powers, he could begin the experiment.

“It’s just as I suspected. There is indeed a psychic signature emulating from this ship,” said the Professor as he cautiously approached the vessel.

“Does that mean there’s something alive in there? If so, it would be good to know if it was bulletproof,” said Captain Freeman.

“I’ve yet to determine if it’s the ship’s inhabitants or the ship itself,” he said, “I’ll need to probe a little harder to uncover the truth.”

Under the careful watch of many, Professor Xavier placed one hand on the ship and the other on his temple. He closed his eyes and began a psychic probe. He was immediately struck by the level of psychic clutter. The damage to the ship seemed to extend to the sentience. It was as if it had been wounded on a psychic level as well as a physical level. That damage led Xavier through a system that was still intact. As he began to access it, this ship that had been dormant for over 60 year became active.

“Agent Brand, we’re detecting some significant energy readings from the ship,” said a SWORD researcher that was monitoring the experiment.

“We have working eyes last I checked. Tell us something a 1st grader can’t readily observe,” said Agent Brand.

“Our instruments can’t make sense of it yet, but Xavier definitely flipped a switch of sorts,” said another female SWORD researcher, “You know those computer-like components that we could never get to work? Well apparently, they’re working now.”

“They’re doing more than just working,” said one of the SWORD technicians in a nervous tone, “They appear to be rebooting the whole ship! And not very smoothly from the looks of it!”

Excitement quickly turned to tension as the activity from the ship grew more ominous. Lights along the edges activated. They flickered at first, indicating that the systems on the ship weren’t fully intact. Along with the lights came the distinct hum of the ship’s power source. It was a source that the researchers had never been able to understand and the energy it radiated defied what their instruments could detect. While Captain Freeman and the MPs remained vigilant, Professor Xavier remained focused. He continued focusing his powers for nearly ten minutes, trying to reach whatever sentience was within this ship.

Then the activity took an unexpected turn. As the lights along the rim of the craft continued to flicker, the exotic propulsion system along the bottom of the ship was activated. It didn’t appear to be by design either. Three distinct hemispheres erupted in a burst of yellow light. This caused ship to levitate slightly and sway. At this point Xavier had to halt his probe and step back. From the looks of it, the ship was malfunctioning in major way.

“Oh no…this is exactly what I hoped to avoid!” the Professor dreaded.

“Whatever you did, you better undo it!” warned Captain Freeman as he stood beside him apprehensively.

“That’s exactly what the ship is trying to do! It appears as though the ship is more damaged than I anticipated!”

“What did you expect?! We already told you this thing crashed!”

“I’m not talking about the damage done by the crash.”

“You mean crashing doesn’t do enough damage to alien technology?!” exclaimed the mutant soldier.

“From what I sensed, this ship was badly damaged before it crashed.”

Captain Freeman was getting that sinking feeling that every soldier experienced just before a battle broke out. He and Professor Xavier continued to back away from the hovering ship. The rest of the MPs nervously held their ground, gripping their guns more intently than before. Something was clearly wrong with this ship and they were right in the crossfire.

Up in the observation deck, General Grimshaw and Agent Brand shared their trepidation. Many of the researchers were either watching in amazement or scrambling to make sense of the data. Professor Xavier had definitely stumbled onto something and it was clearly very volatile.

“What the hell is going on down there?!” exclaimed Agent Brand, “Somebody tell me something smart or I’ll start making assumptions!”

“Uh...well remember that energy we mentioned earlier?” said one of the researchers, “Well apparently, the ship had some kind of system that could stabilize it.”

“Do I need to give a damn about the nuts and bolts?” she asked.

“All you really need to know is that system is malfunctioning,” said another SWORD technician, “And it isn’t a result of the crash either. These systems are failing internally!”

“What does that mean for us?” asked General Grimshaw, now deeply concerned about the well being of Xavier and the MPs.

“We aren’t entirely sure, but if I were to make an educated guess I would say that when Xavier activated that reboot we mentioned the system crashed,” explained another senior researcher as best he could, “Based on these readings, it loosely resembles a computer that was crippled by a virus trying to boot up.”

“So the ship is crippled. Big deal,” Agent Brand surmised, “So why does it look like a busted up Chevy with a blown out engine?”

“That’s where the data gets more disturbing, I’m afraid,” the senior researcher continued, “Remember those compartments we couldn’t open? Well I don’t think they were meant to be opened. The damage to the system didn’t seem to originate from the crash. It came from those compartments!”

“So then what the hell could be in those compartments?” pondered General Grimshaw.

“I don’t know, but if Xavier is right then it may be the reason why this ship crashed!”

The possibilities were too disturbing to contemplate. Luckily or unluckily, they wouldn’t have to. As they continued watching the scene unfold, they heard a series of loud clangs from inside the ship. They were so loud and forceful that they caused dents to form in the hull of the ship. Something was definitely trying to escape.


X-men Supreme Volume 7 will be a different kind of X-men story for this fanfiction series. It’ll be different at a time when the X-men comics are returning to their roots. It’s an inverted dynamic of sorts, but one I’m determined to make work. It’s going to be a challenge, but I won’t let that stop me from making X-men Supreme as awesome as it can possibly be. As I confront this new challenge, it’s still very important that I continue to get feedback. So please take the time to tell me what you think of X-men Supreme. Whether it’s praise, dread, fear, or animosity, I want to hear it. Either contact me directly or post it directly in the issues. Either way is fine. Until next time, take care and best wishes. Xcelsior!

Jack