X-Men: Armored CompleX

Armored CompleX

X-Men: Armored CompleX by Guest Mike Van Wagoner

The Pitch

As the X-Men universe finds itself in a time when many beloved heroes dead or powerless, there’s never been a greater opportunity for someone new to pick up the torch and fight for the rights and survival of mutants and humans alike. A task easier said than done, especially for a mutant who is destined for greatness (See Runaways Volume 2, Issue 1), but has never been looked at as something more than a side-kick to a grumpy old mutant (you know who). X-Men: Armored Complex follows Hisako Ichiki’s journey to become one of greatest and most beloved leaders of the X-Men.

The Cast

Armor HeadHisako Ichiki (Armor): She’s a wonderful character with a lot of heart and soul. Her compassion for her fellow X-Men as well as her experience in battle makes her a great candidate for leadership. In this series, Hisako will have the opportunity to overcome many challenges and complexities that will ultimately refine her into a lovable leader.

Surge headNoriko Ashida (Surge): Her experience in the New Mutants and cultural ties to Japan make Nori an excellent choice to team up with Hisako in her adventures in Japan. Her powers are a good balance to Hisako, and will make for some interesting battle sequences. She will be a great strength culturally and emotionally to Hisako.

Hellion HeadJulian Keller (Hellion): The ego of the team. Julian brings a strong challenge to Hisako’s attempt to lead this new group of mutants. Julian will be seen as a source of conflict within the team. His power, attitude, and strong sense of superiority will give Hisako a run for her money. Will he succeed in dividing the team? Will they all side with Julian and leave Hisako alone to wonder in self-doubt? Or will she be able to sort through the complexities of having a rival on her would-be team?


Peter (Pietro) Maximoff (Quicksilver): The good bad guy that ends up being good; just what every good tem needs: a bad boy. Not looking to take the lead of the team in a foreign land, he is content at helping Hisako succeed. He is also seen, a source of irony and humor for team, especially when he’s making fun of Julian’s arrogance and ego.  Standing up His powers are perfect for stealth, espionage and sabotage.

Hijack Head

David Bond (Hijack): On assignment with Peter and Julian, David not sure of what his role is at first, but before too long finds himself as trusted advisor for Hisako.  With the threat of sentinels looming, David’s power is a must.

The first arc:

Returning to her homeland of Japan with Noriko Ashida (Surge), Hisako seeks to find out the connection with her powers and her relatives. Once there she learns the burial shrine of her ancestors has been defiled. Most of the shrine has been replaced with a duplicate and the original pieces are missing. As she further investigates, she learns that the Yokido Nakagomi Corporation (YNC) has purchase the all of regions burial grounds, including her family’s shrine.  In addition to burial grounds the YNC has also investing into a sizable holding in the Trask Industries. After much debate, Hisako and Nori finally agree to investigate the new Trask Research facility of the YNC.

Upon arrival at the site, they run into Quicksilver.  Peter is on reconnaissance with Hellion and Hijack. They have been following leads from America to Japan on the new joint merger of Trask Industries and the YNC. They have learned that this facility maybe in the process of developing a new type of sentinel. The lab looks more like a site of rituals and worship than of science and technology. The vast laboratory contains five prototype sentinels. The sentinels are inactive, and incomplete, but covered in ritualistic runes and markings. To her horror, Hisako recognizes elements of her family shrine surrounding one of five prototypes.

Perplexed by the discovery, that somehow her ancestor’s remains are being integrated into the construction of the sentinels, Hisako falls to her knees in sorrow. Julian takes the lead and orders the team to destroy the disabled sentinels. Conflict arises as Hisako, steps up to protect the sentinels with her psionic exoskeleton. She feels she cannot allow her ancestors remains be destroyed with the sentinels. How can she make sense all that is happening? How will she protect her ancestors while shutting down the sentinel operation?

As Hellion and Hisako are arguing, Hijack steps in as a voice of reason. While he suggests they destroy the facility and proposes stealing the sentinels and trying to uncover what the YNC is up to.  As he reaches out to the sentinels with his mutant power he is able to control the sentinels and move them to a safe house where the team can figure out what’s going on.

Surprise its Azazel:

As the plot unfolds Hisako and her newly formed team learn that Trask Industries and the YNC are merely pawns in a great scheme that is being masterminded by Azazel from the dimension he had been banished to. The sentinels were being redesigned to become mobile portals to allow Azazel and his minion army to make strategic strikes against humans and mutant like, from his banishment.


Author’s note:

First of all, let me disclose that up until a few months ago, I haven’t opened a comic book in over 25 years. I love them as a kid and mowed many lawns to earn enough money to run to my local comic store and buy my Uncanny X-Men, Batman and Wolverine comics.  When I was approached by Loz to do a pitch I was intrigued by the challenge and excited to do some illustration work.

However, it quickly dawned on me how little I know about the Marvel and DC universes. A lot has happened in 25 years. Far more than I can consume in the 6 weeks that I had to work on this pitch. That being said I realize that my pitch is the least informed of the pitches this year. But I’m confident that even with my lack of knowledge, I’ve still produce a strong team with depth and personality. And I’ve enjoyed the late nights that I’ve spent reconnecting with my childhood. My hope is that at least some one else has found joy in my pitch.



 As we’ve mentioned every day, you could win a prize for commenting. In conjunction with MahMuseComics.com, and The All New Wednesday Warriors, comic store Dr. Volts is sponsoring pitch week and is giving away one X-men themed prize to one random commenter each day. So, enter the discussion, ask the pitchers questions, engage them in conversation about the pitch and you could win. Hope you enjoyed X-Men: Armored CompleX. Tune in tomorrow for our last pitch of the event, X-Men: Extreme Measures.


18 Comments Add yours

  1. Joël says:

    My prefered pitch by far for new. I’m just wonder why Quicksilver & not speed ? Don’t like Hi-jack very much but why not, the team have so character I like. The choice of the Bad buy is weird too. To more link to nightcrawler for me. I will have choose Ogun instead (Armor is link to wolverine, so that’s acceptable).


    1. Joël says:

      Oh & love the art by the way


      1. Mike vanWagoner says:



  2. Psychodad says:

    This is the one pitch I’m probably most conflicted about. Based on everything, I’m not sure if I’d stick with this title, but the unconventional team makes me intrigued probably more than any other pitches this week. I like the idea of putting Armor in a leadership role but I’ve never been a fan of any other authors take on her since Whedon. I also love seeing hellion get another chance to shine as I think he’s been underutilized.

    All in all, definitely one of the more interesting pitches this week which is pretty damn good considering you haven’t followed comics in over 2 decades.


    1. Joël says:

      I don’t read Whedon X-Men. But I like a lot the Wolverine & the X-men Alpha & Omega. That’s where I discover more of her, & like her since then


      1. Psychodad says:

        I would definitely read astonishing 1-24. That’s where she was introduced and became someone who could verbally spar with Wolverine.


  3. Craig Black says:

    I really like this pitch.

    It’s a nice use of some of the younger students who have fallen in to obscurity. Surge and Hellion especially Hellion I always felt deserved better than the got. They flip flop depending on writer from well rounded character whos growth is acknowledged and progressed to igore everything and make then flat boring a typical teens with no brains or background and that always rubs me the wrong way.

    The only one I can’t get behind is Armor and I think for me that cause writers turned her in to Logan’s new little sidekick like they do so many you females. Whie the like of Kitty, Rogue have grown up and broken away from that Jubilee bless her cause I do love her keep getting dragged down by Wolvie and by time Armor came along I just switched off to her.

    I love Quicksilver he’s that character I love to hate and hate to love. In X-Factor Investigations when ever he was around I was alway waiting for what he would do next and in All New X-Factor I found a different side to Jim and he just clicked with me in a way he hadn’t before. I’d love him to come back to and X- Team mutant or not.

    Azazel is a villian who has potenial when he appears in books and always seems to fall short of being anything other than corny or totally wasted. Its nice to see him as a have an oppertunity to shine as a long running villian with an over arcing story.

    And you get huge love for dragging me man Hi-Jack out from potential limbo. He’s a recent character yes but after Bendis left, like a few of the characters he introduced is at risk of not being seen again which is sad so major props!

    Over all I love it. The team, the plot and the villain. Oh and lest I forgot that art !


  4. lukevmarlowe says:

    I like this a lot. Hisako is long overdue a spotlight, and both Surge and Hellion could do with the exposure, as all are underwritten fan favourites.
    This kind of team somewhere like Japan excites me – the idea of unknown superheroes in a foreign land makes me think of the X-Men’s “Outback” era, a period that brings back a lot of good memories.
    I like the addition of Quicksilver on the team too – I think he could benefit from spending time with younger mutants and having his ego checked a little. Him and Hellion together would certainly be fun to read, and alongside two sparky (in one case literally) strong females, it’d make for a fascinating team dynamic


    1. loz says:

      Hey Luke. You won this day’s Commenter Prize. Email me at mahmusecomics@gmail.com to chat about how I can get your prize to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike vanWagoner says:

    Thanks for love everyone! As I said, I had a lot of fun with this.

    I’m not surprised that people would want to change out a character or two out of the list. And the arguments you’ve made are good ones. But at the end of the day, I really want to see the potential of these characters as they move from the sidelines to the center stage. I think it will make for a lot good drama and conflict that will keep the story line fresh and exciting.


    1. Craig Black says:

      And that’s what counts, and you likely aren’t the only one.

      I’d buy the book no arguement. I’ve bought and followed books where I hate the whole team barring one character so Armor would by no means be a deal breaker.
      I’m all for taking characers from sidelines to spotlight. X-Factor Investigations is and likely will always be my favorite run on a comic. It took less known and lover character that weren’t a Cyclops, Storm, Rogue , Wolverine etc and built there characters in a meaningful and progressive way that I feel in love with them.

      A book shouldn’t have to be big names and popular hook characters ( Wolverine cough cough..) to try and get people on board.

      I think you’ve created and really great pitch and so long as its end result is everything you wanted it to be then your on to a winner regardless of what anyone else says.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. TABacon says:

    Unlike most of the other commenters, I’m actually quite a fan of Armor – albeit the original, Whedon version. I’m particularly excited to see Surge in the spotlight.


    1. loz says:

      I was annoyed they banged her out of her armor which didn’t make so much sense to me. I like that this pitch sets her back on track.


      1. TABacon says:

        Yeah, that was just weird. Utterly, completely weird.


      2. loz says:

        Heh spell check corrected bamfed to banged.


  7. chamlet5127 says:

    The art was so unique and so was the pitch. All of them were terrific, but this one really caught my eye and intrigued me. From the premise to the choice of characters, it was really well done. 🙂


    1. Mike Van Wagoner says:

      Thanks! I really wanted something different. The X-Men universe is huge and yet everyone seems to focus on a handful of characters. I wanted to do a pitch that would remind us all that there is plenty of under utilized characters, who could be part of something greater. Also, thabks for the compliment on the artwork. I loved doing it.

      Liked by 1 person

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