X-Men Fairy Tales #1: The Peach Boy

This tale is inspired by the Japanese story of Momotaro (the Peach Boy).

One day, a childless old couple living in the Japanese countryside discovered a giant peach floating down the river where they were working. They took the peach home, and when the old man cut the peach in half, they found a baby boy in the centre of the peach with a peach pit in his right eye. When the pit was removed, a strange red blast shot out from the boy’s eye, so the couple left the pit as it is. They named him Hitome (Scott Summers).

When Hitome grew up into a young man, he took over his aging father’s woodcutting work. Even though he lived a peaceful life, it was lonely at the same time. Until one day, Hitome met a monk (Charles Xavier) running from a group of bandits (Mystique, Pyro and Avalanche). Thinking that Hitome is a “demon”, the bandits are scared off by Hitome’s eye blast.

Hitome brings the grateful monk to meet his parents. The monk seeks the help of Hitome to help rescue the Emperor’s daughter (Jean Grey) who was captured by an evil demon (Magneto). Reluctantly, Hitome parts with his parents and joins the monk to rescue the princess.

Along the way, Hitome and the monk befriend a blue monkey named Aoi (Hank McCoy), the pheasant Tenshi (Warren Worthington) and the snow dog Kori (Bobby Drake). Hitome outsmarts Aoi to join his cause, coaxes Tenshi out of the pheasant’s fear of flying and convinces Kori to learn to trust and make friends. And together, they all set off to rescue the princess.

Hitome, Aoi, Tenshi, Kori and the monk come face to face with the demons (Magneto, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver and Toad) at the demons’ lair and a battle ensues with each of them taking on a demon. The demons soon prove too powerful. The monk makes use of the distraction to flee and look for the princess. Backed into a corner, Hitome refuses to give up, telling his friends to have faith in their abilities. Playing to each others’ strengths, they defeat the demons and restore peace to the kingdom.

The princess is finally rescued, and she reveals the monk to be the Emperor, her father. Seeing how Hitome, Aoi, Tenshi and Kori “were willing to look inside themselves and face their own fears, to bank together of their own accord to join [his] crusade”, the Emperor requests that they would become his “royal guard”. Hitome, Aoi, Tenshi and Kori willingly accept the Emperor’s offer to become protectors of the kingdom.