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New Avengers #29
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Jean Grey roomed up with Marvel's foxy lady Misty Knight, after she had left the X-Men's Mansion for New York. [Uncanny X-Men #94, 102] - Submitted by Zoose
Author : Douglas Mangum
||Last Modified : Feb 21, 2006|
| The X-Men, a group of mutants once considered “outlaw heroes,” have redefined themselves to the world at large. Though the team embraces their public identities as activists for mutant rights, they also acknowledge that the are also super-heroes – a path that will not only do good for the world but will also help them earn the respect of those they protect, helping them obtain the acceptance that they so desire. While one part of the team are empowered law enforcement agents [as seen in Uncanny] and another team, led by Havok [and seen in X-Men (2nd series)], are a strikeforce as well, the remaining X-Men form the senior staff of the Xavier Institute. Though they have dedicated themselves to instructing the next generation of mutants in both in the use of their powers and in the ways of the world, these X-Men, led by Cyclops, will also be a shining example of how mutants can be super-heroes to rival the Avengers. Together, they will Astonish the world.
Regular Creative Team: Joss Whedon (writer), John Cassaday (penciler)
Current Team Members
Wolverine (“Logan“ / James Howlett)
Powers: accelerated cellular regeneration augments his natural strength, speed, agility, endurance, and reflexes, expands his perceptions to give him animal-like senses, and grants him an accelerated healing factor that can stave off poisons, suppress the aging process and repair damages cells and tissue within minutes, three retractable claws made of razor tipped and extremely dense bone extend from each forearm through the back of his hand, adamantium metal has been surgically bonded to his skeleton and claws to make them virtually unbreakable
- Wolverine spends most of his time traveling the globe on both personal missions and those for the X-Men. Occasionally, he works on his own, with the team of internationally empowered law-enforcement X-Men (in Uncanny X-Men), or with Havok' group. However, it is clear that of all places on the planet, he considers the Xavier Institute his home, as that is where he comes to rest.
- The name “Logan“ was given to him by a childhood friend.
- Logan has recently been given access to classified information, which reveals much about the Weapon Plus program that so drastically changed his life. It is unclear how much he learned from this or what he plans to do about it.
- The death of Jean Grey-Summers struck Logan hard, as he had been carrying unrequited feelings for her for years. Now, seeing her replaced in Cyclops’ life so quickly by Emma Frost has caused an angry, more belligerent attitude toward the team leader.
Cyclops (Scott Summers)
Powers: absorb ambient energy from his environment (such as sunlight and electricity) and store it within his body‘s cells, metabolizing the energy in order to open a dimensional aperture through his eyes to unleash an exotic form of energy as heatless blasts of concussive force
- Cyclops was the first X-Men and has long been Xavier's greatest advocate and defender.
- For months, Cyclops had been struggling with his temporary merger with Apocalypse, leading to a darker, more ruthless demeanor. This internal conflict eventually led to him having a telepathic affair with his teammate, Emma Frost, which was subsequently discovered by his wife, Jean. Shortly thereafter, Jean was killed by a man claiming to be Magneto, leading to her eventual resurrection as the host of the Phoenix a century and a half later. Completing her duties as the Phoenix, Jean reached back in time and altered the timeline by pushing Scott and Emma back together, telling Scott to “Live.” Unaware of this mental push, Scott and Emma are officially a couple.
- With the absence of Xavier, as he has left the school on sabbatical, Scott has become co-headmaster with his lover, Emma. Still, although this is a task he takes seriously, Scott has decided that it is also imperative that the world see them as heroes, and has returned the X-Men to their status as a super-hero team.
Beast (Henry Phillip McCoy)
Powers: de-evolutionary regressive mutation gives him enormous physical mass, superhuman strength, speed, agility, endurance, reflexes, dexterity and intelligence, cat-like vision, enhanced hearing and sense of smell, accelerated healing abilities, thick blue fur, razor sharp fangs and claws on his fingers and toes
- Hank McCoy has a doctorate in genetics and is a world-renowned scientist.
- For a reason not currently understood, Beast has gone through a "secondary mutation", changing his appearance from ape-like to cat-like.
White Queen I (Emma Frost)
Powers: transmorph capable of morphing between an organic diamond state with indestructible skin or a regular human body with telepathic abilities, enabling her to read and project thoughts, plant illusions in the minds of others, and release her astral form
- Emma is a former enemy of the X-Men and opposed them several times as part of the Hellfire Club. However, the death of her former students, the Hellions, made Emma see the error of her ways. She served as an instructor for Generation X and continued that profession in Genosha. After the events at Genosha, Emma joined the Xavier Institute to continue as instructor there. Now, along with Scott, she is co-headmaster.
- Like the Beast, Emma has undergone a "secondary mutation", triggered by being on Genosha when the island was under attack and about 16 million people died around her. She is now capable to transforming her body into a form of organic diamond. Emma can’t use her two different powers at once.
- Before Jean’s death, Emma began a psionic/mental affair with Cyclops, during which she fell in love with him. The recent death of Jean, followed by her mental “push” to help Cyclops move on, has led to their relationship becoming official – the two now openly being a couple.
- Emma’s former status as a villain has come back to haunt her. With the arrival of Kitty Pryde as a member of the senior staff, old sins, unforgiven and unforgotten, have been resurfaced.
- For some time now, Emma has been harboring a secret, which seems to be related to a mysterious, unseen person with whose counsel she has kept.
Shadowcat (Katherine “Kitty“ Pryde)
Powers : generate magnetic repulsion within her body to become ephemeral, allowing her to pass through solid objects, walk on thin air, utilize her magnetic distortion to scramble electronic systems, and extend her intangibility to anything she touches
- After time away from the super-hero career, Kitty has returned to the Institute, now as a member of the senior staff. She teaches advanced computational theory and acts as a student advisor, as well as being a liaison to the administrative staff.
- While she has accepted Emma’s status as co-headmaster of the Institute, member of the X-Men and lover to Scott Summers, Kitty is unable to forget or forgive her actions as White Queen of the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. It remains to be seen if she will ever be able to move beyond Emma’s past.
- The return of Kitty’s first love, Colossus, has greatly affected Kitty. At the moment, even she seems to be unsure to what degree.
Colossus (Piotr “Peter” Nikolievitch Rasputin)
Powers : exotic molecular structure gives him enhanced strength and can reorganize its structure with a charge of bio-energy so that his entire body transforms into organic steel, increasing his strength, relative speed, and endurance while making him virtually indestructible and capable of surviving without food or air
- Colossus had previously sacrificed his life by becoming the catalyst for the cure to the Legacy Virus, which had killed his sister, Illyana. Recently, he was discovered alive, resurrected by the extraterrestrial, Ord of the Breakworld, in an experiment to create a drug capable of “curing” mutants of their mutations and abilities.
- Piotr has returned with a much dour personality. Events transpiring during his absence have led to a much darker world and he is unsure of his place in it – especially with Kitty.
Gone but not Forgotten
Professor Charles Francis Xavier
Powers: enormous mental strength gives him alpha-level telepathic abilities, allowing him to read minds, project his thoughts at others, release his astral form to travel great distances in reality or enter the psychic plane, stun others into paralysis or unconsciousness, and manipulate perceptions, memories and thought processes
- Already considered worldwide an expert on mutants and mutation, Xavier was recently “outed” as being a mutant. Taking this revelation in stride, Xavier has become the world’s foremost proponent of Mutant Rights.
- In light of recent events, his failure to teach the newest generation of mutants in his school and to detect the presence of his greatest foe living amongst his disciples, Xavier has decided to allow the generation that he taught to continue in his stead. Leaving the school, Xavier has traveled to the desolate island nation of Genosha to rebuild, as can see in Excalibur (2nd series). Although he is gone, his influence and what he taught lives on with the X-Men.
Phoenix IV (Jean Grey-Summers)
Powers: dual psionic potential gives her telepathic abilities to sense, broadcast and detect thought patterns, alter the physical or mental perceptions of others, manipulate the functions of the human body, cast human minds into the astral plane, and telekinetic abilities to levitate herself or other objects, propel or manipulate them however she wishes, stimulate individual molecules to create heat, and generate concussive bursts and protective shields
- Jean was married to Cyclops but their marriage had become strained by the darker personality of her husband.
- In recent months Jean had begun to become the unwitting host of the Phoenix Force, which eventually took complete control after she died on Asteroid M. Her newfound powers allowed her to save herself and Wolverine from imminent death and stop Magneto from completing his master plan.
- At the end of the X-Men’s conflict with Magneto, Phoenix was killed by Magneto, who had struck her with all of the power he had been building up for some time. Still the Phoenix, Jean was reborn a century and a half in the future, where she completed her mission as host of the Phoenix Force – disinfecting the timeline from the intelligent bacteria known as Sublime. In her last task before ascending to another plane of existence, Jean reached back in time and mentally pushed her husband, Cyclops, to get over her death and move on – leading to his official romance with Emma Frost, reopening the school and helping the X-Men to create a better future.
- Although she has left this mortal coil, Jean is now and forever tied to the Phoenix Force. As such, even her gravestone has the inscription, “She will rise again.”
Recent events (up to #12)
Following the destruction of the school by a madman purported to be Magneto, the X-Men have rebuilt the mansion. The former Xavier Institute for Higher Learning has been reborn and is dedicated to teaching the next generation of mutants, just as it always has. In both symbolism of turning over this task to a new generation, the one he instructed, and learning to work on new aspects of his dream of human/mutant coexistence, Xavier has left his own school and traveled to Genosha to help rebuild it. Now left on their own, Cyclops has reopened the school under his headmastership, sharing the duties equally with his lover, Emma Frost. Among other X-Men, Hank McCoy (the Beast), Logan (Wolverine) and Kitty Pryde (Shadowcat), they make up the senior staff.
Although the task of running the school is daunting, Cyclops has come to the realization that it is not enough. If they are ever to earn the respect of the rest of the world, they must do so through their public actions, acting like the super-heroes that they are. Abandoning the black leather they have been wearing, the senior staff agrees to return to costumes, as worn by the rest of the Earth’s mightiest heroes, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. Taking on this new persona, the X-Men will not just help save the world… they will Astonish them.
Meanwhile, events conspired against the X-Men’s interests of social equality. Doctor Kavita Rao, a world-renowned geneticist, had claimed that she had developed a serum, called Hope, which could “cure” mutants of their mutation. While hundreds of mutants immediately signed up for the procedure at Benetech, the corporate backer of Rao’s research, the X-Men debated the societal meaning of this: someone comparing mutation to a disease. Still, the chance at being “normal” has weighed heavily on Hank McCoy’s mind, as he considered the ability to no longer be “a Beast.” When these thoughts were made known by Emma to the team after a picking up the strong emotions behind them, the revelation led to open and violent discourse between Logan and Hank, threatening to tear them apart.
The X-Men’s investigation into the matter, however, revealed a more intricate, complex plot than initially believed. Having obtained a sample of the serum from Dr. Rao, the Beast made a startling discovery, that the body that Benetech was testing their “cure” on was someone that the X-Men knew, as it matched DNA on file in their computers. Driven to find the meaning of this, the X-Men sneaked into Benetech’s lab, whereupon Shadowcat used her phasing powers to access a lower level. There, she discovered a mutant being held for experimentation: the formerly believed-deceased X-Man known as Colossus.
Subsequent events led the X-Men to learn that Dr. Rao had been working with an extraterrestrial, named Ord of the Breakworld, at the behest of the government organization called SWORD. SWORD (Sentient Worlds Observation and Response Department) – an extraterrestrial SHIELD – had been contacted by the people of the Breakworld, who had learned through their technological augury that an Earth mutant was destined to destroy their world. Rather than risk war, they had sold out mutants, allowing Ord to develop the “Cure.”
However, as the experimentation on live mutants was never part of the deal, Ord and Special Agent Brand (who was in charge of the operation), were taken into custody and the project scrapped. Brand, however, has won at least a temporary reprieve against her crime for her single-minded drive to protect Earth. She is currently back in a position of authority at SWORD.
After the “Hope” incident and the return of Piotr, the X-Men hoped for things to return to a new status quo. However, unbeknownst to them, the Danger Room had become sentient and very angry. Reaching out though its advanced Shi’ar technology, the Danger Room summoned a derelict and barely operational Sentinel to attack the school. As the Danger Room anticipated, the X-Men rounded the students into the room for safety, placing them in its clutches. After the destruction of the Sentinel, the X-Men began to realize what was happening – but again miscalculated, playing into its hands by destroying the housing of its command core.
Once freed, the Danger Room entity formed a new, robotic body from the wreckage of the Institute and made short work of the X-Men. Having fought against them as the Danger Room, it knew all of their strengths, weaknesses and strategies. It was no contest. Victorious over the X-Men, the Danger Room entity confiscated an X-wing jet and flew to Genosha to deal with its “father,” Professor Charles Xavier. However, in communication with the entity through telepathy, Xavier informed it of its miscalculation. While it had fought the X-Men thousands of times in the Danger Room and millions of times in its mind… it hadn’t fought him. Arriving on the island, Danger (as the entity had come to call itself) found that Xavier’s ingenuity and tactics were a match for its own.
With the arrival of the X-Men, hot on Danger’s trail, Xavier was able to destroy Danger’s body, but not before it downloaded its consciousness into one of the Mega-Sentinels that Cassandra Nova had sent to destroy Genosha, and which had slumbered beneath the waves offshore. The following conflict was fierce, but the X-Men managed to prevail when Kitty managed to unlock the Sentinel’s core personality, which had grown beyond its original programming and was no longer interested in destruction. Wanting a different existence, it took off into the sky for parts unknown.
Xavier’s victory, however, turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory. During the battle, Danger had communicated to Colossus its origin. Shortly after Xavier had used Shi’ar technology to upgrade the Danger Room, it became sentient. Needing the room for training, Xavier had kept quiet, forcing the Danger Room into involuntary servitudes for years. Disgusted, the X-Men depart, reeling from the fact that their founder and mentor was capable of such deception and betrayal.
As the X-Men depart, they also leave behind others, hidden in shadow. During the battle with the Mega-Sentinel, Emma Frost had been summoned into a shattered bunker, where she conversed with shadowed figures, with whom she has been secretly dealing for months. There, she was informed that, very soon, the façade she had been putting upfor months would no longer be necessary. Later, after the battle, as they watch the X-Men depart Genosha, Cassandra Nova and Sebastian Shaw congratulate themselves on the rift within the X-Men that they have just witnessed, as well as the approaching culmination of their plans.
You can also read the detailed issue summaries of Astonishing X-Men here at the site.
These are Marvel’s preview texts for the next issues :
|Astonishing X-Men #13 (February)|
part 1 (of 6)
They’re back and they're bimonthly! The chart topping super team of Joss Whedon and John Cassaday return for another full year of Astonshing X-Men! If you thought last year’s run was full of shocks and surprises, hold onto your eyeballs, cause you haven’t seen nothing yet!
|Astonishing X-Men #14 (April)|
part 2 (of 6)
From peculiar to just plain bizarre, Emma Frost’s erratic behavior has the X-Men spinning in a non-stop downward spiral. Will an unlikely union be the final straw?
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