Pitch Week X: Shelter X

Guest Pitch

By Maxime Garbarini

 of Me Love Comics

Pitching X-titles? I live for this kind of project, while (not so) secretly hoping that one day I could actually work on one.
The original New Mutants team have featured in a lot of X-titles, and even Avengers ones,  but I believe they work better as an ensemble, like they did with  the John Francis Moore X-Force issues or the Dan Abnett or Zeb Wells New Mutants issues. The idea would be to gather them again, finally give them a new, distinct purpose, and shake up their dynamic a little.
So here’s my pitch:


After her brief stint with the Utopians and seeing how the mutants numbers are dwelling again,  Karma finds herself wanting to be useful more than ever. She reflects on what happened to the original Xavier’s dream, and realizes the X-men haven’t actually lived amongst the humans for a long time. When her young siblings Leong and Nga get expelled for their school institution for possibly being mutants, she decides to act and with the help of a mysterious and rich benefactor, she goes back to SouthSide, Chicago, and opens Shelter-X, a safe haven destined to welcome both young mutants and humans in need, a place for them to rest and prepare them to face life head-on.
But for all their good intentions, the not-a-team will have to face a harsh reality : an ever-growing anti-mutants hatred and paranoia, fueled by the rise of a successful politician bent on getting rid of mutants : Alice Tremaine. Using all her means, legal and plain criminal, she manages to turn the community on the shelter, and soon, what was supposed to be a haven becomes a target of all kinds of assault and turmoil.


Xian takes charge very effectively. She has education, a good experience as a legal guardian of her siblings, and she is really determined to offer a “third option” to both mutants and human youth. She is still single but will reconnect with an ex-girlfriend from her time at Chicago University. In the shelter, she will be the head of staff.headshot_dani MIRAGE
Dani is the first to join. Having her Valkyrie powers back, the death of all those diseased mutants really take a toll on her mind and she thinks she needs her closest friend to stay sane. And being a legal guardian herself,  she is looking for redemption after failing to protect Elixir from the dangers of being an X-men. In the shelter, Dani acts as a psychological guide and adviser.
Sally gladly offers to help as she finally sees her friend do what she did years before : having a life outside of the X-men’s shadow. But she also secretly reports to both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the newly formed Mutant Liberation Front, making it impossible to know where her real allegiance lies. In the shelter, Skids takes on the teacher role, tackling all kinds of disciplines and making sure the youths have a good education. headshot_james
James now longs for a life with less violence. He realizes he needs to build rather than destroys and is convinced he can be the big brother the youths  might need, a better one than Thunderbird was ever for him. He has a secret he can’t share yet with his friends.
In the shelter, James is the health specialist and physical instructor.
Clarice accepts to help them make sure nobody gets to endure what she has, being abandoned by Emma Frost, then used by Selene. She wants to make sure the youths have another choice than to get sucked into the drama of being an x-recruit.
In the shelter, she is the fun big sister who bring the kids all around the world, to help them realize the opportunities they have to fulfill their potential.
Amara wants to be here to support her friends. She too has been used by both Emma Frost and Selene. She has another secret motivation. She is slowly dying from the M-pox and she wanted to stay close to her lover, James.
In the shelter, Magma help the youths to get in touch with their creativity and artistic talents.
Later on, another surprise member joins: Augustus “Gus” a.k.a. Pulse. It is revealed he was actually an orphan who was raised by a distant cousin of Gambit’s father, who was also a thief queen. Having learned his thieves family has been corrupted and work with Alice Tremaine, he decides to take action and uses his connections to help the team counters Alice’s dirty moves.
In the shelter, he teaches “street smart” tactics and ways to stay independent.
other guests include:
Stevie Hunter – as the physical instructor whose work complete James’s
Cecelia Reyes – as the medical referent
Evangeline Whedon – as the legal counselor
Charlotte Jones – the not-a-team police liaison
note: no definite ideas yet on who would be the kids at the shelter.


the first arc will see the not-a-team gathering, the arrival of the first kids (mutants and humans), as well as the emergence of old and new threats.
Unknown to the others, Dani is experiencing severe nightmares that slowly begin to invade her real life.  Slowly the Shadow King it climbing his way up her mind.
James and Amara will keep their relationship secret for a while. But they will announce it, it will feed Dani’s paranoia, and give even more strength to the Shadow King.
Xian will try to balance her life as head of staff, big sister and lover. She will have to deal with Alice Tremaine scare tactics, her girlfriend’s jealousy  and she won’t notice Dani’s situation until it’s too late.
At the end of the first arc:
  • The city orders the closing of the shelter
  • Guided by Dani/Shadow King’s sessions, one of the kid commits suicide.
  • The Shadow King reveals himself to Karma, then disappear, sending her on a dark path of mistrust and paranoia : in which of her friend’s mind does the Shadow King hide?
  • Readers learn that Amara is actually dying
  • Readers find out that Sally is actually being blackmailed to recruit kids for both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the new MLF (led by new character Marielle Fitzroy, the mother of soon-to-be Trevor Fitzroy, and funded by the new Hellfire Club)
  • Readers discover Karma’s benefactor’s true identity : Warren Worthington III
  • Clarice falls in love with one of the kid
  • James drops the Warpath name for just Proudstar
  • Gus has a huge crush on James and comes out as bisexual

If you like what you see here, head over to Maxime’s Tumblr where you’ll find so much X-goodness you might not stand it. If you like this post. feel free to comment. We love comments and discussion.

18 Comments Add yours

  1. This is OUTSTANDING. This, I would read.


  2. loz says:

    It looks so good. Magma’s design is one of my favourites. She is stunning. Just each of them exude attitude.

    This is the same Pulse that Mystique was hoping to hook up with Rogue right?


  3. loz says:

    So here’s the question? Who Forms the New MLF?


  4. that’s the same Pulse yes, from the Peter Milligan issues I think.
    and the woman who formed the new MLF is Marielle Fitzroy, mistress of Anthony Shaw, and future mother of Trevor Fitzroy)


    1. loz says:

      That’s so cool. Who are her minions?


      1. I have some ideas I need to study deeper, to make the MLF much more important and relevant. so I’ll keep you updated as soon as this is more clear and clean in my head

        Liked by 1 person

  5. chamlet5127 says:

    Magma looks fantastic. Well, they all do, but Magma looks the most fantastic of all of the fantastic-ness. The pitch has a lot of potential, Shadow King always makes for a fun time….


  6. loz says:

    I still can’t get over Magma and Proudstar here.Love them.


  7. Evangeline Whedon not Avengelyne Whedon


    1. loz says:

      You check and you check and you edit, and edit again, and you still miss a name.


    2. loz says:

      Thanks London.


  8. Ginny Osha says:

    Absolutely stunning.

    This looks cool and modern and sounds daring and deeply personal.

    Few of these characters would’ve been my picks, but I love the tragic Warpath/Magma romance, the Shadow King rearing his head again, and the general background for Pulse.

    It’s very John Francis Moore X-Force and PAD’s X-Factor meshed together. PRAISING you because those two are some of my favorite comic runs of all time.


    1. thank you, Ginny, I am blushing as red as a strawberry right now!
      you don’t know how much these nice comments mean to me (spoiler : A LOT!)


  9. The designs are all stunning, and the line-up is made almost entirely of favourites of mine, with the exception of Pulse, who I didn’t know until now. Karma and Mirage were always my favourite New Mutants, and Blink was my favourite among the Gen X kids. I would read this in a heartbeat for the cast and art, but the pitch ideas are also really exciting!


    1. Thanks James!
      It’s always difficult to pick characters that would make for a good team dynamics. I chose (with sadness) to not include Sunspot and Cannonball since they were already used in Avengers titles.
      I have always felt Karma was a fascinating character with much more potential as a conflicted leader, I have always liked James and Dani friendship, always thoughts Magma should be more in the center of stories, and level-headed Skids deserved more credit and screentime (is panel time a thing?). and lastly I could not resist adding a relatively “blank” character like Pulse, to throw in some mystery or wildcard, or at least, potential brand new storylines.


      1. Well, I think you did a SPECTACULAR job, man, and I’d totally buy this book! 🙂


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