Monthly Archives: December 2011

Flash Fiction: Weekly Challenge, Christmas Edition

This week’s topic for the Weekly Challenge over at 100 Word Stories was “Christmas.” The basis for my entry, called “The Elven Curse,” was a silly scenario involving Christmas that a game master (hi, Morgie!) once ran our group through. I used it to explain a mystery from Lord of the Rings. How? Read the story over at 100 Word Stories‘ website! It’s only 100 words long, after all! 😉 (They really outdid themselves this time, too – if you listen to the podcast, it’s over 1 1/2 hours long! Lots of good stuff to listen and relax to this fine Christmas afternoon…)

My entry to last week’s Weekly Challenge was posted directly to the Flash Fiction tab here, because I screwed up and managed to forget to submit it. As such, I’ve nothing new to post to the website here (though if you missed it last week, feel free to check it out!) The topic of next week’s challenge is Return, which seems appropriate for a New Year’s edition.

So until next time, Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! (And Happy Chanukah! Happy Yuletide! Happy Kwanzaa! And the all purpose Happy Holidays! And in case you don’t celebrate any of the previous, have a wonderful end of the year!) Be safe, but do something to tell the grandkids about! 😉

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Unrealistic Pitch for a total reboot of Marvel’s Cosmic titles, Part One

Covering just the overview (since it included a rundown of the major alien races in the Marvel Universe) ended up being extremely long, I’m spliting the cosmic titles into two sections. Today is the overview, next week I’ll cover the actual titles (including the special) that would comprise my take on the cosmic side of the Marvel Universe…

 

OVERVIEW

Marvel has a long tradition of telling science fiction stories set beyond the atmosphere of the Earth. From the Galactic Empires of the Kree, Skrull, and Shi’ar, to the mysterious Celestials and dangerous Galactus, to the cosmic beings that make up the fabric of reality like Eternity and her kin, all of these stories take on a larger than life aspect. There are mysterious to the universe, and these stories explore them all, filling the reader (when done right) with a sense of awe and excitement. That would be the goal of every story in my reboot of the cosmic titles.

To the greater empires, Earth is viewed as an insignificant planet on the outer rim of the Milky Way Galaxy, populated by a barbaric and backward species. This opinion will change, as Humans begin to involve themselves in the affairs of the galaxy. This will be done mostly via individuals (Corsair of the Starjammers, the Fantastic Four, Nova, and others.) Also, because of Earth’s supposed insignificance, several races (the Eternals, Inhumans, Deviants, and others) have chosen Earth’s solar system to hide out. As a spotlight begins to shine on Earth, each of these races will react very differently…

For the rest of the Milky Way, the three dominant empires are the Kree Technocracy, the Skrull Theocracy, and the Shi’ar Republic. The Kree and Skrull have been at war for half a millennia, and that war shows no signs of letting up any time soon. Both the Kree and the Skrulls had colonies in other galaxies, but due to the war, these colonies have either been lost, or their citizens been recalled for the war effort.

One big change I would make would be to have each of the main alien races – the Kree, Skrull, and Shi’ar – based in the Milky Way. The Kree and Skrull are still at their centuries long war. Though either one could pose a serious threat to the Shi’ar, they are too busy fighting each other to try taking on the Shi’ar. For their part, the Shi’ar are happy to stay neutral. Many of the minor races, fearing becoming embroiled into the Kree-Skrull War, have applied for –and generally accepted into – citizenship within the Shi’ar Republic. This has swelled their territories to a full half of the Milky Way Galaxy, and they’ve even begun to send diplomatic envoys to other galaxies. Prior to the war erupting, both the Kree and the Skrull had colonies in other galaxies, though either contact was lost with these colonies, or their citizens have been recalled for the war effort.

 

THE KREE TECHNOCRACY

The Kree are evolved from amphibians, and while they are notably humanoid, they have strong amphibious characteristics: blue, wet skin, a lack of hair anywhere on their head or body (though they do have tentacles on their heads in place of hair), and none of the mammalian characteristics (for example, the women, while obviously feminine, do not have breasts).

They are not native to this galaxy originally, but were refuges from a world consumed by Galactus. Always an aggressive species, the Kree arrived in the Milky Way and immediately conquered a new home, rechristened “New Hala” – a planet that belonged to the Skrull Theocracy. They have since gained control of a fourth of the core worlds in the Milky Way (many of which originally belonged to the Skrull), and though they consider New Hala to be their new homeworld, the seat of government is on Kree-Lar (as Hala is on a distant spiral arm of the galaxy, and not conducive to governing the empire.)

The Kree Technocracy is ruled by an organic computer called the Supreme Intelligence. Every member of the Kree race is expected to link his brain patterns up to the Supreme Intelligence once a cycle, and to perform a full download when dying, if possible (soldiers are implanted with a chip that can be removed and used to upload their final scans). Thus, even the dead have a “vote” within the great machine of government (though the Supreme Intelligence has been destroyed twice during the Kree-Skrull War, and thus it is said that the dead have an “unequal representation,” as some of the data could not be recovered.) Votes are weighed by expertise, so while the Supreme Intelligence will factor in every mind within itself, those with military leadership experience will be factored as more important in the voting algorithm on matters involving the war, for example.

The war has taken a toll on the Kree population’s psyche, and they’ve mellowed tremendously, even while continuing to fight against the Skrull. Still, most of their worlds are akin to the United States: dominated by the Kree, with small reservations of the indigenous populations scattered about in undesirable locations. The Inhumans are one of these indigenous populations who, rather than live out their lives on reservations, fled to the Blue Area of Earth’s moon.

 

THE SKRULL THEOCRACY

The Skrull’s evolutionary origins are thought to be from bacteria, though very little information about this is publically available. What is known is that they are neither animal nor plant, but can mimic both. Skrulls reproduce asexually through binary fission – in which two exact copies of the parent are created, this includes memories. The view of Skrulls seen in comics today is actually the dominant species in their empire, not that of an actual Skrull, who’s true form is jealously guarded. (As a side note: none of the races in the Skrull Theocracy – aside from the Skrull themselves – are allowed to be called anything other than “the people of the Skrull Theocracy.” No individual races are ever named, just individuals.) Rarely does anyone know who is actually a Skrull until they begin to change their appearance, and that has been further complicated by technological advances that allow honored members of society to have the ability to alter their appearance like an actual Skrull. Skrulls are always able to tell one of their own, however…

Every citizen in the Skrull Theocracy has their lives practically planned out for them, day to day. Each day, they are given the prophesies for that day, akin to a horoscope, though far more detailed and determined not by the stars, but by the Prophets. For most of the citizens, their role in society determines which horoscope they read, though there are often individuals named specifically on any given day – the more important a member of society is, the more often they are named individually, though even the most common of citizens can have an individual horoscope, if the prophets see their role that day as important.

Skrulls view their ability to change their shape as a gift bestowed by their gods, and generally fall into one of three categories. The most common are the “Common Skrulls,” who integrate into other parts of society and keep an eye on their sector for dissidents and radicals. They view themselves as the ultimate spies, and will often have multiple roles in a given sector, allowing them more access to a greater portion of the population under their purview. As such, Skrull society functions very similar to that of the panopticon principle. The second are the “Super Skrulls,” warriors who pride themselves on being able to copy the genetic qualities of multiple species. These warriors will take on multiple power sets from the genetic material of various individual mutations in any given population of their empire. Most Super Skrulls can gain the abilities of at least three mutations, but some are capable of upwards of ten. Genetic material is a closely guarded secret between Super Skrulls, though at least two must always have access to any given material (so such information will never die out). The third group are the “Prophets,” who rule the Skrull Theocracy. They gain the gift of prophesy by half-dissolving themselves in sacred pools of acid, and their word is law to the people of the Theocracy.

There is one other kind of Skrull, known by many derogatory terms, but most commonly called Deviants. These are Skrulls who are unable to control their genetic make up. Some are unable to keep a single form. Others are unable to change their form. Some are born this way. Others become Deviants by injury or illness. Regardless, they are put to death whenever they are discovered. Centuries ago, a group of Deviants banded together and went into hiding, and sought to gather as many of their kind as they could, hoping to create a fourth category. They numbered in the thousands when they were discovered, and rather than being embraced, they were hunted and killed. A group of several hundred, believed killed, fleed to Earth, where they now live in Lemuria, a city in on the floor of the Pacific basin.

Another notable group are the Eternals, who were comprised of the minor races of the Skrull Theocracy that rebelled against the strict religious laws. While still a part of the Skrull Theocracy, the Eternals aided the Deviants who fled to Earth, and when they were able to make alternate travel plans, joined the Deviants. However, the Deviants did not want them as a part of their new society, and after a brief conflict, drove them away. There has been enmity between the two ever since. The Eternals set up a home on Titan, one of Jupiter’s moons. Though they belonged to multiple races (ie. unable to breed children), they modified their genetic make-up to be compatible. They made their base form look akin to humans, as they are fascinated by Earth’s residents, and hope to one day join humanity on Earth (though each time they’ve decided that humanity was not yet ready for them).

 

THE SHI’AR REPUBLIC

This Shi’ar are of avian descent, with feathers instead of hair. They are a fragile (especially due to their lean muscles and hollow bones), but extremely long lived race. As such, they often wear hard, metallic exoskeletons to protect their physical form. While the Shi’ar are as aggressive as the Kree ever were, they pursue it in different ways. For the Shi’ar, to enter open combat is frowned upon and seen as beneath them. Instead, an insulted Shi’ar will work to destroy everything you’ve ever loved before seeing you killed. To say that the Shi’ar value cunning is understating it to near criminal proportions.

Beyond the Shi’ar themselves, who function as a kind of nobility in the Shi’ar Republic, there are literally tens of thousands of races. While the Shi’ar has always been welcoming of incorporating new cultures and races into itself, the Kree-Skrull War has ramped up the desire for others to be within the protective shelter of the Shi’ar, such as it is, and the Shi’ar have welcomed all of them. The Shi’ar Republic now makes up a full half of the core worlds, and has even begun sending diplomatic envoys and explorers to other galaxies to expand even further. (The other half of the Milky Way’s core worlds are split between the Kree and the Skrull, and the Shi’ar have traditionally taken a neutral position in the war.)

The Shi’ar Republic is governed by its Emperor and two houses of Parliament: the Shi’ar House and the Common House. All three have equal power in voting for and creating laws. The Emperor is also tasked as the Executor, responsible for carrying out those laws. Judicial matters are handled by Judges with appeals presented first to the Racial Representative in the Common House and then to the Emperor himself, when necessary. (The Shi’ar have a rank system to their noble status that determines who grievances are heard by, but this likewise ends with the Emperor as the final say in Judicial matters.) Every race is represented in the Common House, with the number of representatives determined by the population of the race, as well as its importance within the Republic. Every Shi’ar is officially allowed to vote on any matter in the Shi’ar House, though most give these votes to Representatives that they feel best serve their interests. How many votes a given Representative has varies upon how many have given him or her their voting rights. At any time, a Shi’ar can take back his rights and either vote himself, or give their rights to another Representative.  As such, Representatives can rise and fall in a matter of days, and given the Shi’ar’s noted cunning, this indeed happens quite often. In every branch of the government, especially given the size of each of the Houses, corruption is rampant. As such, matters are often simply decided by the Emperor. Unfortunately, the current Emperor, D’ken, is quite insane…

 

This doesn’t include some of the major players (such as Galactus and Eternity) who aren’t a part of the racial empires, nor extra-galactic empires like the Phalanx, mostly because they would be used for individual stories and are not a part of the general situation in the galaxy. Next up, I’ll cover the Special, and the individual cosmic titles, which include the Fantastic Four, Nova, Thanos, the Starjammers, and a Galactic Anthology.

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Flash Fiction: Weekly Challenge Failure

Well, I managed to write a story for this week’s challenge over at 100 Word Stories, but then had a brain freezed and forgot to e-mail it last night. So instead of being posted there, I simply posted it (along with last week’s entry, “Kudzu”) in the Flash Fiction tab on this blog. The topic had been “fingerprints,” and my entry would’ve been titled “Zero Tolerance.” I thought it was a fun, if simplistic, story about a serial killer. (Your tastes on the combination of “fun” and “serial killer” may differ, of course.) So feel free to check out the other entries at the 100 Word Stories’ website, or my own stories in the Flash Fiction tab on this blog (or both).

In any case, next week’s topic is, naturally, Christmas. I planned to work on it earlier – maybe even write two – but I couldn’t come up with anything last week. Thankfully, I came up with a concept today, so I shouldn’t have any problem finishing it before the deadline – and this time, I’ll make damn sure I send it in on time!

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Unrealistic Pitch for a total reboot of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and affiliated titles)

Continuing my series of “Unrealistic Pitches,” these are what I would do if I were in charge of a total reboot of the Marvel Universe. (I plan to do the same for the DC Universe next, and maybe the Valiant Universe, as well. We’ll see.) In any case, next up is S.H.I.E.L.D., The Avengers, and the Defenders. I was debating including my idea for a New Warriors reboot, but decided it works best under the “street level” heroes, so I’m going to include it there…

 

OVERVIEW

S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the place of the C.I.A., Homeland Security, and any and all spy organizations of the US in the Marvel Universe. As such, all of the big events in the Marvel Universe should revolve around these titles. I would divide them into three titles: S.H.I.E.L.D., The Defenders, and The Avengers. These titles would revolve around the before, during, and aftermath, respectively, of the major events happening in the Marvel Universe.

 

THE INDIVIDUAL TITLES

The S.H.I.E.L.D. title would juggle multiple storylines going on at the same time, focusing on operatives that have gone undercover into various super villain, criminal, and terrorist organizations around the world. Their objective is to learn about threats posed by these organizations and, when possible, sabotage these efforts. When that isn’t possible, they’re to act as an early warning system, alerting their handlers to the upcoming threats. Multiple storylines would happen at the same time, and one of these will be the next big event to hit the Marvel Universe, though the reader should be kept guessing which one it will turn out to be. The three top agents would be Hawkeye, Mockingbird, and Black Widow, and most of the stories would revolve around these three (sometimes working together, but often not). Sometimes they will succeed in sabotaging the bad guy’s mission and sometimes they’ll relay the upcoming plans back to S.H.I.E.L.D. – but sometimes they’ll fail to learn anything important in time to prevent anything, and some agents will die in the attempt. The reader should be kept wondering what the fate of each agent will be, and whether any given mission will succeed or fail.

The Defenders title will be the cornerstone of practically every major event storyline in the Marvel Universe. Other heroes could deal with the smaller threats, but the villians behind world shattering events would be dealt with by the Defenders. They are the first line of defense against every major baddie that comes down the pipe. They generally assemble whenever S.H.I.E.L.D. provides intel of an imminent attack. The team consists of Nighthawk, Doctor Strange, Namor, Valkerie, the Hulk, and a reserve cast of practically every hero in the Marvel Universe (Moondragon and Spider-man would be two of the heroes often called on – they could’ve been regular members, but prefer being reservists, even if they get called up practically every time). Doctor Strange is crucial to gathering the team together, as Valkerie is often off in Asgard and the Hulk is repeatedly escaping from whatever prison he’s been confined to this time (Doctor Strange often helps with this on the sly, as he feels responsible for the Hulk being recaptured after missions). Things become dicey when Doctor Strange is off dealing with a mystical threat to the universe, but is often able to help assemble the team, at the very least. Namor is one of only two full time members, since he no longer has a home to return to (Atlantis was destroyed in a previous – or the first – mission. As such, he’s devoted his life to insuring that such a genocide never happens again.) As a former king, he’s ideally suited to handling the finances and logistics of the team, though his temper can sometimes get in the way, especially where personality conflicts are involved. Nighthawk is the sole (hero) survivor of his dimension, and leads the Defenders to insure that this universe does not suffer the same fate as his own. If the team receives enough intel on the upcoming event, they will assemble reservists based on the threat. If there isn’t enough time, a general emergency is called, and anyone capable of answering makes up the team for such threats.

The Avengers are called in when the Defenders fail, or didn’t have enough warning to even show up. They will AVENGE, going after the Osama Bin Ladens of the Marvel Universe. They are tasked with capturing the villains alive to stand trial, whenever conceivable, or to take out the villain when this isn’t possible. Captain America leads the team, and is crucial for his reputation – he’s seen as an honorable hero by not just Americans, but by practically everyone in the world. Doors are often opened to them because of his leadership of the team. Iron Man is likewise important for the image of the team, as his company’s extensive research into non-lethal weaponry shows the world that they’re serious about trying to bring in the villain alive, whenever possible. Thor and Ms. Marvel are the powerhouses of the group, and Ant Man and the Wasp are the reconnaissance experts. Black Panther, ousted from his nation by a coup by Klaw, rounds out the group as the resident tactical genius. Whereas the Defenders will be fighting on their home turf against incoming threats, the Avengers will be tracking down the villains and fighting them on their home turf, making it both a more proactive, and more difficult task.

 

THE SPECIAL

Kicking off things would be the S.H.I.E.L.D. Special, which would set up each of the above titles. It would start with three S.H.I.E.L.D. ops. The first would result in successful sabotage of the enemy’s plans, but requires a speedy extraction, as the villains learned of the undercover operative’s identity during the sabotage, unbeknownst to the agent. The second results in the death of the agent, who is unable to pass on the information of the imminent threat. The Avengers are called in to take down the bad guy responsible for the attack. Lastly, the third results in information being passed on the Defenders, ending with a two page spread of the Defenders facing off against the bad guys. Each of these stories would continue in the main series.

 

And that’s what I would do with these titles (and major story arcs set on Marvel Earth.) I think S.H.I.E.L.D. would work well, and Avengers fits the name incredibly well, but I’m not sure how well Defenders would go over. Sure, it fits the name, but I don’t know that Defenders fans would be particularly pleased with the changes (which makes it the weak link in my idea), though I, naturally, love the idea. Anyway, next up I’ll put the universe in the Marvel Universe with the Cosmic titles…

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Flash Fiction: Weekly Challenge #294

Well, NaNoWriMo is over, and one of the things that means is that I’m back to working on 100 Word Stories (along with the Unrealistic Comic Book Pitches and working on finishing the novel). The topic for the Weekly Challenge posted today was “Trees.” I’ve been feeling under the weather for the last several days, though, so I didn’t read mine aloud (which is less due to being sick, and more to do with my voice refusing to cooperate at the moment). I did, however, submit it, so you’ll just have to hear it being read by the “midget.” My entry was entitled “Kudzu.” The origin of the story is kind of amusing (to me, anyway.) I wrote a flash fiction story entitled “The Armadillo Incident,” which inspired the novel my father wrote for NaNoWriMo. Hearing about what he wrote in turn inspired me to write this flash fiction story! (All three are very different stories using similar themes; they just served to be the inspiration for the next story.)

Oh, and I also realized that I never updated the Flash Fiction tab with the last story I wrote for 100 Word Stories’ Weekly Challenge! I’ve corrected that now, and you can now read “How Not to Summon a Demon” there, assuming you didn’t hear/read it over at 100 Word Stories back when it was originally posted (back in the middle of September).

Next week’s topic is Fingerprints, and since Christmas falls on a Sunday, that week’s topic will be Christmas. So I’ve two weeks I can work on…if I can get over this flu to feel up to working on them!

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Unrealistic Pitch for a total reboot of the X-men (and affiliated titles)

OVERVIEW

The X-men have always been a representation of the Civil Rights movement. When originally conceived, Xavier was Martin Luther King, Jr. To Magneto’s Malcolm X. This changed to incorporate the Gay Rights movement, and culminated in Grant Morrison’s run, in which it reflected the more organized movement of today. In many ways, the movement is still the underdog, yet it often doesn’t feel that way, and so Marvel tried to bring it back to an underdog sort of situation. The problem is, they removed it from the civil rights metaphor to do so. I feel the answer is to restore the metaphor, but to incorporate a new group whose rights are being trod upon: the Muslims and Arab Americans.

 

See how this grabs you: A large group of individuals, some of whom with radical views. Those radicals commit acts of terrorism in the name of the larger group, causing the general populace to fear everyone belonging to that group, even peripherally. The group is ostracized from society, and finds it easier to live in segregated communities, with makes the general populace fearful of what they might be doing in those communities. Intrusion into these communities (by undercover authorities and by citizens with a vendetta) cause more in the community to see the radicals as right, especially the youths of the community (as hormones and emotions come into play). Some of these even join the terrorists, starting the whole viscous cycle over again.

 

THE SPECIAL

I would start with an altered initial confrontation between Magneto and Xavier (the one that ended their friendship and set them down the path of being enemies). I say altered, because I would have it happen in Manhattan, and it would be televised. Xavier would win, but lose the use of his legs in the confrontation, and would be regarded as a hero by the public thereafter, though mutant-kind in general would be viewed as potential Magnetos, and ostracized (especially since, before Magneto is defeated, he’ll have killed thousands of people, and called on all his mutant brothers and sisters to join him in claiming their place as the leaders of society – a new nobility for a new age.)

This will lead to the passing of the Mutant Registration Act. Mutants must report their name, address of residence, and power(s), and are issued a license that must be renewed yearly and presented whenever a police officer asks for a driver’s license or identification (akin to the carry conceal license issued in Texas). Being caught failing to register will result in arrest and detention at a special containment facility (the basic function of which is to educate the mutant on the importance of registering and observe them for what powers they might have. It would have a three strikes system – their first term would end with being issued a license and being sent back out into the world, with a parole officer that they need to check in with and a GPS locator chip secretly implanted. Failure to do so, or failure to renew their license, will result in being sent back to the containment facility, and a third strike would result in becoming a permanent resident there.)

Banking on his popularity and hero status, Xavier gets a special exemption from the Mutant Registration Act. Students must still register, but their address is listed simply as “Xavier’s School for Gifted Students,” without an address for the school. (This is acceptable, since S.H.I.E.L.D. has the address on file.) Xavier is specifically tasked with training young mutants to “not become terrorists” and has S.H.I.E.L.D. liaisons who check in on the school periodically. Xavier, for his part, is more interested in teaching the young mutants both to control their powers (so as not to be a threat to themselves and others) and to learn from one of the finest academic programs available.

After showing the initial confrontation that presented mutants to the world, the passing of the Mutant Registration Act, and the foundation of Xavier’s School for Gifted Students, the next scene in the story would jump ahead several years and show the first graduating class of students. This would NOT be the first class we’re accustomed to, as graduating from High School is required before anyone is permitted to join the X-men, and Cyclops and Phoenix (Jean Grey) have been functioning in that role prior to the first class graduating (they were 18 when the school was founded). The graduating class will show the various options for available to them: some will go on to pursue their own dreams in the world (Thunderbird, Dazzler), some will join the X-men (more on this later), and some will stay with the school to teach the next generation and/or continue their education (haven’t decided on anyone specific for this yet).

From here, each of the X-titles would be showcased, rounding out the special.

 

THE X-TITLES

The X-Men, backed by Xavier and led by Cyclops, would include Phoenix, Storm, Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Northstar (many of whom were part of the graduating class). In the special, they would confront the self-named Brotherhood of Mutants (though the media presents them as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants). In the series, the team would be employed as administrators for the school when not out on missions. Cyclops and Phoenix would be a couple. Rogue would later join the X-men, though she would start out as a member of the Brotherhood of Mutants. Magneto would create a new Atlantis – a VERY large island in the Atlantic Ocean – as a peaceful place for mutants to come and live (and a staging area for his acts of terrorism). This title would focus on the difference between moderate and radical ideals through the guise of over-the-top action/adventure stories.

The New Mutants will focus on the school itself (containing 25 to 30 teachers – most of whom are normal humans – and over 500 students, and continues to grow). Teachers would include Emma Frost (been teaching since the beginning), Aurora (part of the graduating class), and Dr. Cecilia Reyes (functions as school nurse, and is on site when dangerous training is being conducted – ie. Danger Room exercises.) Students would include Shadowcat, Iceman, Jubilee, all of the original New Mutants and Generation X characters, plus many, many others. Emma Frost, while one of the original teachers, is going to quickly break off and form her own school, also sanctioned by the government, stealing a large chunk of the student body (convincing their parents to send them to her newly formed school). This will happen after two storyarcs, so characters on both sides of the divide will have time to become friends before being split up. This title would focus on the changes and difficulties involved with being a teenager (another big aspect of the original comics).

X-Factor is a street level team that bears the brunt of the anti-mutant hatred, and consists of Mimic, Morph, Strong Guy, Karma, Stacy X – all led by the Beast. Beast got a bachelor’s degree at an online university before fighting (and winning) the right to get his doctorate from Harvard, only to lose face by experimenting on himself, turning him blue and furry and ostracized from academia (who were looking for any excuse to do so anyway). Karma will be underage, though no one is aware of this fact, and this will cause problems in the future. The team lives in “Mutant Town,” and have connections with the Morlocks (who live in the tunnels beneath New York City, and are led by Callisto). This title would focus on the relations between humans and mutants, and would be one of the darkest of the titles, as the characters must fight for even common courtesy… (Most people will assume they’re either terrorists posing as heroes, or destined to become terrorists.)

X-Force would be the government team working for Nick Fury, led by Wolverine, and consisting of Havok, Forge, Gambit, Domino, and Blink. Forge functions more like Q to James Bond than as a regular member of the team. Nick Fury has given him the authority to turn down a mission if he determines he needs to be working on a tech project, and he takes advantage of this status regularly, though he always outfits the team with cool gizmos and gadgets. Gambit and Domino (who he calls his “lady luck”) are an item. Deadpool is a mercenary that will often have assignments that coincide or oppose the team (so while he’s not a member, he’ll often be in the book – sometimes working with the team, sometimes opposed to it). I would also like to tie Cable into the title, though I’d keep him as a mysterious player, acting behind the scenes more often than not. This title will focus on clandestine operations – giving a view of how the government and military interact with other nations such as Genosha (which is how it was originally conceived – Mutants being property, not citizens) and Atlantis (Magneto’s “nation”).
Excalibur would be sponsored by Moira McTaggart (a former lover of Xavier’s) and led by Captain Britain (who, while not a mutant, fights for mutant rights on behalf of his sister, Psylocke, also a member of the team).  Megan, Psylocke, Banshee, and Peter Wisdom (who really needs a codename) will comprise the team. Captain Britain and Megan will be a couple. Peter Wisdom will be a not-so-secret spy for the British government. The title will focus on another country’s perspective on human/mutant relations.

In any case, that’s what I’d do with the X-titles, if I were in charge of a complete reboot of the Marvel Universe. Next week: S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers!

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Future Plans

Well, I’ve completed a 100 Word Story, so I have something to submit for that website’s Weekly Challenge, posted on Sundays. I also began working on “Daniel Worthington’s Unrealistic Pitch for a total reboot of the Marvel Universe.” I refer to it as an “Unrealistic Pitch” because a) Marvel isn’t planning to do a reboot and b) I wouldn’t be in charge, even if they did! (I also have “what Daniel would’ve done with a total reboot of the DC Universe” that I’ll probably post that after I finish with Marvel…)

For a basic overview, I would relaunch with stories from Universe 1. (The Marvel Universe has long been referred to as Universe 616, so it’s a simple matter to begin again with the “first” universe.) I would do this starting in the fifth week of a five Wednesday month with several oversized (say, 72 pages), underpriced ($1-2 range) specials setting up the new continuity (an Avengers special, an X-men special, a Street Level special, etc.) followed by the new continuity the next month. I’ll talk about each in turn, starting with the X-titles…

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