The young man who eventually came to be known as Adam-X was the creation of a Shi’ar eugenics program. The mad Emperor D’Ken wished to jumpstart Shi’ar evolution using genetic material from other races. A human couple named Christopher and Kate Summers were abducted from Earth during one of D’Ken’s sojourns, and Kate’s genetic potential was sampled by Shi’ar scientists. D’Ken had his own genetic material mingled with the human woman, creating a hybrid child. [X-Men Legends #2] D’Ken used Kate and Christopher as slaves, and murdered Kate in front of her husband shortly afterwards. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #156]
D’Ken’s reign was marked by strife, and the empire’s disgraced elite guard, the Jath’che, were banished from service to the empire. Their commander, Jonath, uncovered D’Ken’s eugenics laboratory and rescued the child, whose containment unit was labeled “Adam”. The Jath’che had been exiled to the border world known both as Ch’ylaritha and Ch’reesharaa to live as farmers, and so Jonath brought Adam there and raised him as his son. While the Jath’che would fight no more for the empire, they still believed in maintaining their physical peak. Adam was raised peacefully among the community of farmers, but also as a fighter of great skill. In adolescence, his mutant abilities first manifested during a mock combat session, accidentally burning his sparring partner. Adam and Jonath talked afterwards, and Adam recognized his hybrid nature made him different, even among the people who raised him. [Captain Marvel (3rd series) #3, X-Men Legends #1-2]
One day, after a violent skirmish with the Shi’ar Praetor Guards, the people of Adam’s village took several guardsmen prisoner. The guardsmen were treated well, nursed back to health and released to their kinsmen, presumably as a sign of good faith or respect. [X-Force Annual #2] However, after D’Ken lost the throne, a sect known as the Crystal Claws sought to restore the emperor or his line to power, in place of his more moderate successor Lilandra. One of the Claws’ agents was Davan Shakari, known on Earth as Eric the Red. Word of Adam reached Shikari, apparently through these same Praetors. The mythology that had grown around D’Ken’s heir, the Forsaken One, led Shakari to Ch’reesharaa where he demanded the Jath’che turn Adam over to him. When they refused, Eric the Red released toxins throughout the planet’s atmosphere. The same Praetor Guards returned to the village and devastated the very people who had shown them kindness. Jonath and the others were massacred while Adam barely escaped in a small skimmer that brought him through the stargates to his second home on Earth. [X-Men Legends #2]
In an undisclosed series of events, Adam’s time on Earth began with him having no memory of how he arrived there. Suffering from an intermittent form of amnesia, Adam eventually crossed paths with the industrialist Martin Henry Strong and his outreach program for mutants, Foundations. Strong intended to find a cure for mutants like himself who were tortured by their abilities, and was willing to rely on both voluntary and involuntary test subjects for his research. Adam agreed to work for Strong as a mutant tracker and recovery agent, in exchange for Martin using his resources to search for clues about Adam’s forgotten origins. It was Martin Henry Strong who first gave his ally the name “Adam X.” He also picked up the nickname “X-Treme” from those who saw him in action on his missions for Strong.
During his time with Strong, Adam X started a romance with one of the voluntary mutant research subjects at Foundations, Michelle Balters, aka Neurotap. Despite their personal relationship, X-Treme was tasked with hunting Michelle down and retrieving her after she fled from Strong Industries. On the retrieval mission, X-Treme faced off against Cable and X-Force, who were independently investigating Strong Industries and their intentions towards mutantkind. Adam fared well against X-Force, and temporarily dropped the entire team when he caught them off-guard with his flash-fry, but departed without Michelle in order to regroup and assess the new players. He tracked X-Force into the desert and, after a prolonged match against the swordsman Shatterstar, eventually relented. Opening up about his own misgivings on Strong’s work, Adam agreed to work with Michelle and X-Force to expose Foundations.
X-Treme infiltrated Strong Industries with two of X-Force posing as his prisoners, then sent out a comm-signal for Cable to lock his bodyslide onto, teleporting the rest of the team into the complex. During a physical struggle with Martin Henry Strong, the industrialist revealed that Michelle was still loyal to him – her “escape” was a ruse to flush out X-Force and anyone else snooping around Foundations. Faced with Strong’s double-crossing and Michelle’s betrayal, X-Treme had had enough and continued to side with X-Force, taking Neurotap down himself. After Cable’s ionic molecular blade finally pierced Strong’s impenetrable outer skin, Adam unleashed the strongest flash-fry he had to tear apart Strong’s artificial outer body, revealing his near-helpless inner form. Adam X and X-Force fled from Strong Industries after that, and X-Treme turned down Cable’s offer to journey with them. [X-Force Annual #2]
Adam continued the search for his past on his own, trying to find some clues to explain the connection he felt to Earth. Instead, the past sought him out. A man named Milbury hired the assassin Arcade to test and attempt to kill X-Treme inside his Murderworld complex. Arcade had also been hired by a separate party to eliminate X-Force’s Shatterstar, and so he decided to gotwo-for-one and pitted the two young men against each other. Using an interactive holo-matrix of Shatterstar’s breed-mate Windsong, Arcade tricked X-Treme and Shatterstar into trying to kill one another in exchange for her life. When Shatterstar revealed the hologram for what it was, the fighters turned on Arcade. In order to preserve their own safety, Arcade and his associate Ms. Locke turned over what little information they had on Milbury to X-Treme. [X-Force (1st series) #29-30]
X-Treme searched for whatever leads he could on Mr. Milbury, but continued running into dead ends. Somehow he uncovered Milbury’s involvement in the Almagordo Research Facility from decades earlier, alongside Alexander Ryking. He tracked down Ryking’s son Carter, aka Hazard, at a prison in New Mexico to learn anything he could about Milbury. Ryking directed Adam to a man named Charles Xavier. [X-Men (2nd series) #38]
Instead of heading to New York, however, Adam’s wanderings took him up to Alaska, along the Canadian border. While hitchhiking down the highway, he saw a rising cloud of smoke that he recognized as a plane crash. The pilot was a man named Philip Summers, and Adam managed to pull him to safety just before the single passenger plane exploded into debris. Trapped in the wilderness for the night, Adam did what he could to build them shelter from the cold and snow. Huddling together for warmth, the two men quickly developed a bond. Adam shared with Philip his extraterrestrial origins, and did his best to describe the miracles of space flight to the veteran pilot.
When the cold started to take the weakened and injured old man, Adam made a desperate attempt to use his powers in a new way, to warm Philip’s blood from within his veins without burning him like normal. The effect sustained Philip Summers long enough for the rescue party to find their camp the next morning. Adam made himself scarce as Philip was airlifted for treatment to avoid any difficult questions, but returned to check on Philip at the hospital in Anchorage a few days later. He was caught visiting Philip’s room by his granddaughter-in-law, Jean Grey, who thanked Adam for his efforts. Although Philip was blinded by his ordeal, Jean assisted Adam with her telepathic powers in giving the old pilot his memories of flying and dogfighting in outer space. Adam departed, somehow feeling a stronger connection to Earth and its people after his encounter with Philip Summers. [X-Men (2nd series) #39]
Adam moved on after that, and during his wanderings he came across Eric the Red, facing him in battle for the first time on Earth. [X-Men (2nd series) #41] Adam lost, and was exposed to Eric’s brainwashing process, conditioned to act as a disciple of the Crystal Claws. He spent two months under the control of Eric the Red at the Aerie, a Shi’ar outpost high in the Andes Mountains of Argentina. X-Treme’s ordeal came to an end when Eric dispatched him to eliminate Legacy, the half-Kree son of Captain Mar-Vell, who had involved himself in other matters of the Crystal Claws, and needed to be silenced. Adam attacked Legacy on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro, trading Thet’je blades for positronic blasts, until Legacy slammed his nega-bands together, dispatching them to the Negative Zone.
As the distortion area effect transmuted their bodies from matter to anti-matter, it also negated the effects of Shakari’s mind control, freeing Adam to act on his own. X-Treme and Legacy teamed up to return to the Aerie and confront the leader of the Crystal Claws. After fighting their way through his Sidri guards, the young duo demanded an audience with Eric the Red. Eric explained Adam’s origins to him, and hoped to groom Adam to replace Lilandra on the throne and return the Shi’ar Imperium to what it was under D’Ken’s reign. X-Treme renounced Shakari’s plans for him, and struck out against the agent. As Shakari’s armor surrounded him with a crackling field of energy, X-Treme saw his opening and unleashed the largest flash-fry he was capable of. The electrical fire running through Eric the Red combined with his energy field to light him up like a wicker man, and the chain reaction destroyed the entire Aerie in a massive explosion. Adam-X and Legacy rode out the explosion in the Negative Zone, and the two parted as friends as Adam chose to continue his wanderings on Earth. [Captain Marvel (3rd series) #2-3]
Weeks later, Adam was hitchhiking through Iowa when he was attacked by the Starjammers. Majestrix Lilandra had finally learned of the rival claimant on her throne, and put a bounty on Adam’s head. Meanwhile, Eric the Red had survived the destruction of the Aerie and kidnapped Philip and Deborah Summers, forcing Cyclops and Havok to seek out X-Treme for him in order to rescue their grandparents. The three sides fought as they converged on each other, with the Summers brothers being surprised that they were immune to Adam’s flash-frying effect, and he to their bio-blasts. Corsair of the Starjammers arrived and filled in the gaps, explaining the eugenic program he had learned about from Lilandra and his own experience seeing D’Ken murder his wife.
X-Treme was amazed to discover the full story behind his Terran heritage, and was briefly united with Scott and Alex Summers as brothers. Eric the Red still had their grandparents hostage, however, and there was also Lilandra to contend with. In a hostage exchange on the Blue Area of the Moon, Philip and Deborah were rescued while X-Treme joined the Summers Brothers in defeating the Crystal Claws, using the powers which earned him the title of “the Burning Blood”. The Imperial Guard arrived, and Adam agreed to appear before Lilandra and assuage her concerns about him. Adam convinced Lilandra he had no interest in her throne, and wished to avoid a Shi’ar civil war in his name. To keep the Forsaken One a secret of the Imperium, Adam and the Summers family agreed for Oracle of the Superguardians to edit their memories as she did Eric and the Claws, removing their full recollection of these events. For a brief moment, Adam had found a family and a place where he belonged. For now, it would have to be enough. [X-Men Legends #1-2]
Many years later, Adam was among the mutants who congregated in San Francisco after the X-Men took residence in the city and established an outreach center at Graymalkin Industries. He was part of the pro-mutant demonstrators who opposed Simon Trask and his Humanity NOW! Movement who sought to legislate and control mutant reproductive rights. Race riots began to break out in the city, leading Norman Osborn and H.A.M.M.E.R. to step in and declare martial law. [Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1] A citywide curfew was enacted, and Osborn’s Avengers were called in to enforce it.
Despite Osborn’s public speechmaking about equal concerns for both sides, Adam and some of the more hotheaded mutants in San Francisco still felt like they were being stepped on by the government. After a night of drinking and poor decision making, they decided to make a public and violent show of civil disobedience in Union Square. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #513] Unfortunately, this only hurt the X-Men’s cause, as it gave Norman an excuse to trot out his H.A.M.M.E.R. sponsored team of X-Men to crush the rioters. X-Treme was struck down and captured by Cloak and Dagger, who took him into custody on Alcatraz Island. [Dark Avengers (1st series) #7]
While many of Osborn’s prisoners were rescued by the X-Men before they left for Utopia island, Adam had already been transferred out of Alcatraz, and remained in H.A.M.M.E.R. custody for several weeks. He was later transferred to the Peak under S.W.O.R.D. jurisdiction during Henry Peter Gyrich's repatriation initiative to exile any and all aliens living in the United States off-planet. [S.W.O.R.D. (1st series) #2] Adam was later freed by the Beast and Agent Brand when they reassumed control of S.W.O.R.D. from Gyrich. According to Brand’s aide Sydren, the paperwork on anyone Osborn arrested for “something foolish” was lost in the system, which apparently included X-Treme. [S.W.O.R.D. (1st series) #5]
Adam returned to San Francisco and Utopia, and attended the call to arms when the Serpent-augmented Juggernaut began his march on San Francisco. Cyclops dispatched X-Treme to try and use his flash-fry on Juggernaut. Somehow Adam succeeded in cutting the supercharged Marko, igniting the oxydized blood, but the results were catastrophic. Juggernaut continued to advance despite burning from the inside-out, and was now setting fire to anything he touched. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #542]
Adam returned to his wanderings for a time, but resurfaced after the founding of the mutant nation-state on the island of Krakoa. [X-Force (6th series) #12] He didn’t remain there for long, though, and found his way to Mojoworld, possibly with the help of Shatterstar. Mojo’s search for ratings now focused on a competing series of livestreamers running studios and their own programming. Over time, Adam-X’s Hot Seat™ became the fifth highest ranked live-streaming program on Mojoworld. Mojo maintained a tight leash on his talent, however, and X-Treme discovered he and the other livestreamers like Shatterstar and Spiral were trapped, victims of their own fame and unable to leave. A depowered former mutant named Sofia “Wind Dancer” Mantega also came to Mojoworld and became a victim of her fans. Adam and the other top streamers tried to help her, but Sofia’s ghoulish followers voted for her to be executed live on-air. It was Adam who ultimately executed Sofia at her request, and the top streamers orchestrated a way to get word back to Krakoa, alerting the X-Men to their plight and arranging for Sofia’s resurrection. [X-Factor (4th series) #2-5] He was presumably freed with the other live-streamers when Sofia returned with X-Factor to take Mojo out of power. [X-Factor (4th series) #9]