A Guest Pitch By Marius Niederas
“We have to be more than great. We have to be excellent.” – Emma Frost
While the Terrigen Clouds kept X-Men and mutants busy fighting for survival, new and old enemies rose up under their shadows. Now without the dangling threat of extinction, a new team of X-Women, drawn together by chance, takes on these enemies to make the future brighter for mutants and humans alike.
The first arc:
After the events of Death of X, Selene feared she would lose her favorite source of nutrition: the life force of mutants. She gathers a new Inner Circle and begins capturing mutants. Blink, still fueled by vengeance against Selene after she was manipulated by her during Necrosha, makes a move against Selene’s prison and rescues Emma Frost and Frenzy. Together they free a possessed Sage, who functioned as a prison ward, and set out to fight Selene. They confront her and two familiar mutants she uses as trackers: Rachel Summers and Michael Pointer (Weapon Omega), but only with the help of Magik, they manage to cleanse Rachel of Selene’s influence, while Selene and Weapon Omega manage to escape. Emma, Rachel, Frenzy, Sage, and Blink group together and swear to end Selene. Magik rejects the other women, fearing she is too unstable to be near a team after her confrontation with the world eater and Emma offers telepathically to stop her, should she ever lose control. Together the women move into the deserted New Charles Xavier School and christen it the Scott Summers School, in honor of the fallen.
Emma Frost: Death of X showed: Emma Frost needs to be in an X-Book, so she was the first character I wanted to use and built the pitch around her. She will be a co-leader of the team and a mentor for most of the other members, especially Frenzy and Husk. She is driven by the desire for revenge against Selene, who captured her and locked her up, However, she also recognizes the potential in the younger women and she tries to guide them into a role where they can take charge for themselves and other mutants, so Emma can one day give the burden of leadership into the hands of the next generation.
Emma and Rachel will have tensions between them, but mostly it will be about the handling of the main object of the team. They both respect each other and support each other in honing their abilities.
In the battles to come Emma will mostly stand back, asserting the situation, communicating with Sage about the strategy and dealing telepathic blows. With Frenzy and Husk on the team, she only uses her diamond form for defense.
Rachel Grey: Rachel is a character I feel has been underused in the last years. Though she ends the first arc with a trauma, being once again used to track mutants, she will overcome it and fight for herself and other mutants. She and Emma were sometimes at odds which each other, but now with a common goal ahead they develop a strong connection, that isn’t in any relation to Scott Summers or Jean Grey.
With her abilities, Rachel will be the field leader. She will overview the fights, as the only flyer on the team, and use her telekinetic abilities to strike at enemies or protect team members from incoming blows. With her telepathy she will scan the battlefield, looking for targets or communicate with the others.
Later in the series Rachel, together with Frenzy and Blink, comes at odds with Emma and Sage. They are frustrated with the lack of progress in finding Selene and her main base of operations.
Sage: Sage is the mission control of the team, since she had the most insight to Selene’s operations while under her control and she is best suited for it due to her powers. But Sage will also be an enigma. Although she is the member who knew Professor X the longest, her time as an X-Men is relatively short compared to Emma or Rachel and while she is working to find Selene, she will pursue other missions along the way, like building a network of allies or going after criminals with only Blink and Husk at her side. Revenge isn’t the only driving force Sage has and she is already planning for the time after Selene’s removal, when other battles need to be fought.
Clarice Ferguson, Blink: Blink is the catalyst for the whole team to come together and she will form a close friendship with Frenzy, since both have the same goal: To redeem themselves and become heroes. But soon she will clash with the other members, mostly Emma and Sage. In her opinion, they don’t make enough progress with finding and ending Selene. She gets put on the back-burner during missions, as she is the only way of evacuation during emergencies.
She is important to the team, since she is the fastest way of transportation, but the other women have to learn not to overuse her because of her abilities, but to respect her for the person she is.
Joanna Cargil, Frenzy: Frenzy chose to walk a different path after the events of Age of X and unfortunately we only got a few glimpses of that. In this book she will learn how to be a hero and while she is won’t admit it openly, she will look to Emma for guidance, since she is a former villain herself. Even when they clash on the field, since Frenzy has a different approach to fights than Emma, she holds her in high regard, since Emma was the one who respected Frenzy’s wish to keep her memories of Age of X in the first place.
Frenzy will be the coach for physical combat for Husk and Tubarãa and will form a friendship with them. Frenzy and Rachel will bond over the experiences of Age of X, which both women remember, but regard differently.
Paige Guthrie, Husk: Husk is discovered by the team while she is fighting Selene’s goons to protect a group of mutants. She almost forces herself on the team and they let her join. Afterwards Paige storms furiously into every fight, matching Frenzy’s pugnacity. Unbeknownst, after the events of Necrosha, a sliver of Proteus’ psyche stayed in Husk, deep buried in her mind. Her body reacted to it, but Beast wrongly diagnosed this as a second mutation. Now Proteus is subconsciously controlling Husk into using her powers as often as possible, since with every layer she rips away he gains more control over her.
When the Proteus crisis is solved, Husk will be devasted, but with the help of Emma, who has been her mentor before, and her new friends Tubarãa and Frenzy, she will focus again and train to become a leader herself, since she has all the right requirements.
Iara dos Santos, Tubarãa (formerly Shark Girl): Tubarãa joins the team later in the run. She loses control of her powers and gets captured by Atlantians. They discover that she is a mutant and deliver her to the eXcellent X-Men on behalf of King Namor. First she is hesitant to be near people or join a team, but she realizes that she needs help to control her powers and agrees to stay and learn under the other women. She will take on a new codename, Tubarãa, because it makes no sense for a brazilian woman to call herself Shark Girl.
In an issue of Wolverine and the X-Men, Iara was name dropped as the leader of a version of X-Force and here starts her way to be this person. At first she is reluctant around the others, as she has spent a lot of time in the ocean as a wereshark, but with the help of the telepaths and Frenzy as a trainer, she soon becomes a valuable fighter. With her claws and healing factor, her role during combat will be similar to that of Wolverine or Sabretooth.
Tubarãa and Husk become good friends in the run of the series. They bond over common ground. Both lost control over their bodies and both their powers have an ugly feel to it. Husk has to rip parts of her skin away to use hers and Iara turns into something considered monstrous.
Things to come:
- The overreaching arc of the book will be the search for Selene and taking her and her Inner Circle (Weapon Omega, Astra, Chimera, Ruckus, Phantazia, Glob Herman) out. The teams will clash occasionally, usually over mutants the Inner Circle wants to bring to Selene. On multiple the eXcellent X-Men will dispute over the right direction to achieve their goal. While Emma and Sage want to plan for the long run, like setting traps for Selene to come out of her base, Rachel, Frenzy and Blink want to follow a more aggressive route.
- Proteus, who is influencing Husk, will reveal himself and attack the X-Men, taking them, starting with Sage. It’s up to Tubarãa to fight back, since Proteus can’t access her wereshark brain. He will be defeated, freeing Husk once and for all.
- While looking for Selene, the X-Men get trapped in a laboratory of Mister Sinister, who has teamed up with Arcade.
- Quentin Quire will be another villain of the book (because I like him more as a villain than a reformed bad boy). He starts mind controlling other telepaths, adding their power to his own and thus building a swarm of drones to his commands and amassing vast amounts of telepathic power. The telepaths of the eXcellent X-men have to fight through layers of psychic defenses to reach and stop him, while the other members have to deal with Quire’s ground forces.
- When her whole team disappears and reality changes, Rachel has to team up with Magik and Cable, the other time sensitive mutants, to look into this. They discover that Tempus has gone back and time and extracted a version of Matthew Malloy that she uses a weapon to find a way back to the alternate future where she had a family. Only Tempus knows, where and when she stored Matthew in the time stream and Rachel, Magik and Cable have to coordinate their efforts across past, present and future to stop her before a mistake from her destroys the whole Multiverse.
Disclaimer: The art models were created with http://www.dolldivine.com
The logo was created with http://eu3.flamingtext.com
The background of the cast page was drawn by Chris Bachalo for Uncanny X-Men #2.
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