The future of the X-Men has come closer to the original vision of Professor Xavier’s than anyone ever thought possible. No longer are the X-Men outcasts facing battles of destruction. Instead they are an integrated part of society, and considered heroes of a brighter, more secure future.
The X-Men were caught in the middle of a Great War between humans and mutants. During the last days of the war, the X-Men saved the life of the President from an assassination attempt by an unknown mutant. This changed the perception of some humans towards mutants, and was the first of many events to bring about a positive era of hope and cooperation.
Scott Summers and his wife Jean Grey have become government-appointed officers of a new police force. The force is comprised of multiple four to five member squads, with each squad consisting of one human, two to three mutants, and one Artificial Intelligence operative. These A.I.’s act as members of the squads, but also ensure that all activities of the police force are legal.
Storm is now the head schoolmaster in charge of X-Men training. Her squad is made up of Nate Grey, Psychedelia (a female mutant who can project auditory, visual and olfactory hallucinations), the human David Chan and the A.I. Sarah (Model #00-1468).
Even though this future is brighter, it still requires these X-Squads to defend the country against the X-Men’s new enemy -- Wolverine. During the war, Wolverine suffered a massive brain injury. Even with his mutant healing factor, the injury was traumatic enough to cause a personality change. His actions became even more violent and unpredictable, and he views Scott and Jean’s change to the X-Men as a complete sellout of Professor Xavier’s original ideals. Wolverine has become a super-terrorist preying on the fears of this evolving society. A society still struggling with the undercurrents of bigotry.
For this civilization to survive, the X-Men will have to deal with Wolverine and his supporters, as well as the social issues associated with this new society’s everyday life.
Bringing Up Baby
Recently, it was all they seemed to argue about.
This time though, Jean could sense that Scott was weakening. She saw her chance and pressed the subject.
“What sort of world is this to bring a baby into? After all we’ve seen and been through...?” Scott pleaded with her to reconsider, but she continued anyway.
“I don’t care about that. I want more in our lives than the constant battles with hordes of evil mutants. I’m not as young as I was when we first started battling for Charles’ cause. This may be our last chance to bring some normality into our lives...a part of the world we can raise as our own. What’s wrong with wanting to settle down and raise children? We’ve fought for this world, we have the right to grow old in it together, don’t we?”
Scott quietly pondered this and searched for the right words.
“Yes, but...it’s just that I’m not sure if I can handle it. It’s a big responsibility to be a parent. It’s gone wrong before...what’s to stop it from happening all over again? Losing another child would be too much. What if something happened to us while we were on a mission? What about our duty and responsibility to the rest of the X-Men? How can we keep our baby safe when we’re half way around the world trying to save all of humanity?” Scott seemed to be trying to convince not only Jean, but himself as well.
“If the Richards’ can do it, why can’t we? Their little boy is no trouble. And who cares if he’s a mutant? He might be born with wonderful powers and be able to protect himself just fine. He could be a combination of the best from both of us.”
Scott remained silent for a moment. Then he responded.
“Right, knowing our luck, he’ll have his father’s eyes...”
The Magnificent Seven
For years the Sentinels have been the enemies of all mutantkind. Created from fear and hate, they have brought bloody destruction to any who opposed their mission. The X-Men and others of mutantkind were continually pushed to the breaking point. In one desperate last gamble to win the war with the machines, they lured the Sentinels into a winner-takes-all battle for the future! The gamble did not go as planned.
Pushed by the raging mechanical cruelty of the Sentinels, the mighty X-Men, suffering numerous casualties, fled until there was nowhere left to run. Cornered, the remaining X-Men stood firm and fought the horror forged by these giant robots to the bitter end. The earth shook from the devastating forces of these mighty beings.
Finally, quiet descended...and through the smoke and devastation, seven pillars of strength could be seen standing tall and proud. Where once there were many, now stood only these few warriors. Like ravaged soldiers they stood, and while they knew loss, they also felt anticipation as they looked forward to a world where Sentinels did not exist.
Led by Magneto and Cyclops, they were able to lure the Sentinels to their doom. These two leaders -- along with Jean Grey, Wolverine, Colossus, Storm, Cable and the countless others who sacrificed their lives -- brought an end to the Sentinel War. They were the last of their kind. They are the genetic war’s lone survivors and its greatest heroes, they are the Magnificent Seven! The last of the team that once called themselves the X-Men!
X is Enough
(From the journal of Chris Giarrusso.)
When I first met Chris Eilopoulos, I was already a big fan of his funny Desperate Times comic strip, thick appears as a backup feature in Savage Dragon. So when Chris suggested we work together on something, I jumped at the chance and together we came up with the comic strip that became Bullpen Bits #37. It was an extremely successful strip, garnering on-line newsgroup comments such as, “I don’t get it,” and “Would somebody please explain this to me?”
Those glowing comments caught the attention of opportunistic editor Mike Marts, who, determined to capitalise on the hot success of the first Chris and Chris team-up, asked us to collaborate on a second time on a pinup for X-Men: Millennial Visions. I told Marts I was not interested and that it would oversaturate the marketplace with Chris and Chris collaborative efforts, thus cheapening the original, hugely successful Bullpen Bits #37.
Then Marts looked me dead in the eye and said something I’ll never forget. He said “Dude, I’ll pay ya.”
Feeling a sudden rush of enthusiasm and creativity, Chris and I began brainstorming. I said to Chris, “Okay, how about you draw a bunch of X-Men on one side of the page, and I’ll draw a bunch of X-Men on the other side.”
He agreed it was a truly groundbreaking idea and sent me a sketch of Professor X’s head in a jar, calling out, “To me, my X-Men!”
I thought the sketch was so good that I suggested we draw all of the X-Men as heads in jars. Unfortunately, Marts put his foot down and said, “No,” in a perfect example of editorial stifling the creative process. Then I suggested the brilliant notion of depicting different body parts of each X-Man in a jar. So let’s say you have Wolverine’s fist with (snikt!) claws extended! Marts quickly pointed out what a stupid idea that would be, because the claws might break through the glass jar.
Marts suggested I draw something in the familiar “little kid heroes” style that I use in Bullpen Bits, preventing me from growing artistically into new areas like glass jars. So Chris drew a bunch of aged X-Men on one side and I drew a bunch of kid X-Men on the other side. Not as exciting as a page full of glass jars, but a groundbreaking image nonetheless.
Mutants, Mutants, Everywhere
During a battle in the early part of the new millennium, the X-Men experience a phenomenon known as “lost time” and emerge from the struggle to find themselves in the year 2017. Advances in the field of genetics have made the issue of “normal” humans versus mutants irrelevant and find themselves battling evil in a similar fashion to such erstwhile contemporaries as the Avengers and the Fantastic Four.
By the year 2030 Scott and Jean Summers, proud pants of Charles and Jeanette, have retired from protecting the world against the various treats posed by an array of super-villians and menaces from beyond the stars. The other members of the team of individuals known as the X-Men are still on active duty, continuing the mission begun by their deceased mentor, Charles Xavier.
Dr. Henry McCoy, the Beast, often goes to great lengths to explain how none of the members of the famous super team are technically mutants themselves. “An organism whose DNA contains genes inherits from neither parent is a mutant. But it is the offspring of the organism in question that will display the traits of the ‘new’ DNA. Ergo, we are the children of mutants, and not necessarily mutants ourselves.”
No major villains or conflicts have arisen since the turn of the millennium and so the X-Men find themselves with more and more free time on their hands.
As to the possibilities of untold thousands, maybe millions, of mutants living anonymously in the world’s population, Dr. McCoy says, “Without a doubt countless mutants walk among us. Thankfully people today realise that to have no mutants in their family tree is extremely rare! Ye Gads! The ability to digest milk is the result of mutation! It’s perfectly natural, don’t you know!”