Pitch Week X: X-Sanction

Guest Pitch

By Craig Black and Matt Skipworth

Just as a brief intro to the pitch, I would like to say how much Craig and I have enjoyed constructing this team and playing in the plentiful toy box of X-related characters. We hope you enjoy some of the ideas and designs we have spun for this gathering of powers and personalities. Thanks, Matt & Craig.

 Teambacked

THE PITCH

In the wake of Secret Wars, a lot has changed. Mutantkind is once again in dire straits and Inhumans are on the rise with the terrigen mists affecting mutants in unforeseen ways.
Storm and her team are attempting to hold all of mutantkind together and Magneto and his team are taking care of what only Magneto and his team can.However, someone must keep the peace as tensions run high between the vying races as someone begins to pull the strings; attempting to orchestrate a race war in a bid to once again rise to power. In light of this shadowy new threat, the government has sanctioned Val Cooper to put together a new mutant team to try to maintain peace.

 THE CAST

ValCooper - Copy
Val Cooper
She’s our operations handler and the team’s liaison with the government. She leads from the view of the higher-ups and she dictates what can and cannot be done. Val gets the final say on matters, but it’s Cable who leads the team in the field tactically.
Val starts the team at the request of government officials, but it’s not long before Cable crosses her path and then the team truly gets underway.
Cable - Copy
 Cable is our field leader and tactician. While Val may have been authorized to create the team and gets the last word on what happens in the bigger picture, Cable is the boss on the frontline. Cable made sure he got onto the team and put himself in Val’s line of sight due to his ongoing precognitive flashes of future events.
Cable’s precognition is still shaky at best; prior to the team, Rachel and he have been spending some quality time together strengthening his abilities as they currently stand. He is finally free of the techno organic virus and is no longer dying for what feels the first time in ages. He feels more alive than ever and knows something big is coming; that Selene is involved and he is keen to get back in the field.
Rachel Grey - CopyRachel Grey is our 2nd in command in the field. Should Cable be incapacitated in any way, Rachel takes charge. Taking some much-needed down time from recent events, Rachel has been spending some rare quality time with her brother, touring the Australian outback. It’s not often they get to hangout, but no time like the present, or past or future in their case. During their time away Rachel has been helping Cable strengthen his abilities with some telepathic therapy, hoping to get some insight on their dad’s whereabouts. Both are concerned about Cyclops’ disappearance and have been keen to locate him. However, when Cable gets a precognitive flash of a race war being ignited, Madripoor, Selene Gallio and the world going to hell, sadly their dad has to wait. Someone’s got to keep the peace and defuse this ticking bomb before it’s too late.
Blink - Copy
Blink is our long-range teleporter; she provides the team with an instant response factor. She is our scout and evac agent. Blink actively sought out the team herself and was the last to join the unit, but after hearing from Amara that Selene was involved, she wanted to be part of the team. Blink is looking for some payback for Necrosha and Val is wary that this may prove to be an issue when the time comes.
Magma - CopyMagma is the heart and voice of the group. Val brought on Amara as a tactical investment. She has an in-depth knowledge of both Empath and Selene due to their past machinations in her life. She is invested, but not emotionally unstable. To Val, as mission handler, this is incredibly valuable.

Additionally, Amara has been at the forefront of mutant philanthropy in recent months, aiding with natural disasters and areas of crisis. Like the much publicized earthquake disaster near Wakanda, for which she was at the forefront to act. Amara is a hero in the world press now; her presence on the team helps reduce any animosity the public have for any operating international team.
Due to this, Amara is acting as spokeswoman. She delivers the team’s statements to the public forum, explaining the threats emerging and the need for X-Sanction to act. At the end of the 1st arc Amara issues a team press statement in front of thousands:

 ‘The world is a new, more threatening place. Rather than fracture and allow our people to fall into the oblivion of conflict, we must act; draw together and mend. Human, Inhuman and Mutant. Forge alliances, not make wars. X-Sanction are here to assist in that goal. Strengthen with unity, lead the charge with compassion and protect and preserve the Earth and all those who inhabit her.’

Rockslide - Copy
Rockslide is our muscle, the bruiser of the team. Rockslide also brings some much-needed comic relief, his sense of humour helps break those tense moments when the others are getting just a little too over serious. When Cable and Rachel came to recruit Ink, Santo wasn’t prepared to let them leave without him too. Santo, feeling the need to prove he’s just as capable as Ink, argued that whatever they want Ink for he wants in too. Santo wants so bad to be the hero that he doesn’t realise he already is.
Rachel in the end argued Rockslide’s corner and stated he was just as good a candidate for the team and agreed he should come as well.
Ink - CopyInk is our field medic among other things. He has been learning parkour to allow him to swiftly navigate the field of combat and carries ammo reserves should Cable or Val find themselves’ short. Rachel has been helping him hone his telepathy. Ink is invited to the team by Cable as he sees potential in him and thinks his abilities would be better served out in the field. Bored with being stuck at the Jean Grey School, Ink jumps at the chance to see some action again.
The Bad Guys:
Selene - Copy
SELENE GALLIO is our main villain. She’s the baddest bitch in town. Since her resurrection she’s wasted no time setting her plans in motion. Reality ending was a minor setback, but now she’s full steam ahead. She has swept in and declared herself in charge. Anyone who challenged her was either drained of their life force or brought around to her way of thinking. Within an incredibly short space of time she established the new Hellfire Corporation and erected a headquarters in the heart of Madripoor. Some of the factions did try to fight, but thanks to her Black King, Empath, opposition soon had a change of heart.
Selene found Empath and offered him power and his sight in return for his loyalty and obedience. Adamant not to repeat the same mistakes, she is leaving no stone unturned. She doesn’t want to have a repeat of fleeting godhood only to have it snatched away again.
The current situation with the Inhumans left her an opening to go about some off the books business. Hoping to ignite a race war between the already strained relations between the races, Selene coerces a one time enemy, now turned murderous ally with the help of some magic and mental manipulation. Set to target unsuspecting Inhumans for execution, Selene hopes to turn all attention away from her and her plans.
EMPATH is Selene’s right hand and has taken the title of Black King to her Black Queen. Selene has repaired Empath’s sight using darkest magics, correcting the damage done by Pixie’s soul dagger.
Empath abuses his powers to the full, taking any opportunity to make people dance to his tune. None dare anger him, not just for fear of him turning his power on them, but also for fear of Selene catching word of any insubordination.
When it comes to his new queen, Empath is totally subservient; obeying her every desire. Empath oversees the general running of the organization and functions as the public face, often swaying the opinions of any competition or benefactors to Selene’s advantage. Various factions within Madripoor are working for the Hellfire Corporation and Empath personally likes to be involved in these meetings. Anyone who even considers plotting against Selene is made an example of.

 FIRST ARC SUMMARY

It’s been 8 months since the world came back into being. Tensions between mutants and the ever growing Inhuman race are high.

Ancient mutant sorceress Selene Gallio, once goddess and black queen of the Hellfire club, has returned. She has removed Kade Kilgore’s little band of children from play, permanently, and has established the new Hellfire Corporation in their place. With the aid of her new Black King, the mutant known as Empath, she has ignited a race war between humans, mutants and the Inhumans. Filling the power vacuum left in Madripoor since Mystique’s operation came to an end, Selene and Empath have taken over and set up their base of operations in the heart of Madripoor; attempting to seize control of the various factions to suit their own ends.

A string of inhuman murders has been inciting riots between the races. Fingers are being pointed at mutants as the guilty party and the human race are starting to get caught in the crossfire. Val Cooper and her government backed team have been called in to investigate and diffuse the threat.

Since Selene founded the Hellfire Corporation, Cable and Rachel have been monitoring her activities. Cable’s precognitive visions of the future are sketchy on the details, but he knows she is up to no good.

Cable begins orchestrating events to bring him to Val’s attention just as she is looking to form her team. Cable becomes the 1st member of Val’s team and quickly brings Rachel on board due to her past experience with Selene, unbeknownst to Val. Cable helps Val construct a team he feels will not only be sufficient to put a stop to Selene, but will also function as a tight-knit team to quell the tide of hatred sparking between the races. That is, only if the team can get past some of their own problems first…

Discovering the murderer’s identity helps give the team the focus they need to get the job done. Between them, Selene and Empath have managed to manipulate an old friend of the team to carry out their dirty work; mentally conditioning them for their purpose.

Once the identity of the murderer is revealed, Rachel and Ink (whom Rachel has been training with his telepathy) both work to undo the brainwashing and save the mind of their friend, all without risking further damage to their psyche.

With old scars that run so deep, it will be a fine line walked by X-Sanction between justice and personal vengeance.

WHY TO BE EXCITED FOR THE BOOK:

We want to make this a team book with a classic feel. Strong bonds of family and friendship are at the heart of the team. However, like all people who are close, they are not without their disagreements.

Old grudges will resurface and when you have more than one person looking to bury the hatchet, it is a race to see who will blow up first. Will the bonds of the team ultimately prevent them from doing something they will regret?

Selene, Empath and their Hellfire Corporation would be long-term, recurring villains for the book. They aren’t going to be easily dispatched in just one arc. They are here to be a constant thorn in the side. Selene is a driven woman. She knows what she wants. She has been a goddess, died and come back. She is not looking to make the same mistakes. She’s playing a long game, but just how far does the rabbit warren go before her plans reach their culmination?.

Some old faces will resurface to antagonize the team (can I say the Hellions and a revamped Nasty Boys…) and just how much of a hand does Selene have in what our team are up against or are other forces at work against them? Old friends to the team would look to team up on occasion and some would look to become mainstays to the team after a time.

We want to bring a strong sense of unity to the team and their friends. These aren’t just characters that have been flung together. These are old friends who have known each other in different ways over the years and that history between them would be brought to the forefront. We want to work with those bonds, forge some new ones and even break some. Not only do they have that history together, but they have twisted history with our bad guys and that’s going to test those bonds hard.

If you like this post. feel free to comment. We love comments and discussion.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. chamlet5127 says:

    Great art and lots of intrigue, looks like a solid book to me!

    Like

    1. Matt says:

      Thanks! Really appreciate the feedback 😊

      Like

  2. loz says:

    This is a pretty Lush looking team. I love that Rachel and Cable are working together. I loved the interaction between Cable and jean Grey after Cyclops dissapearance but this makes a lot of sense to me. Also Ink is a great addition.
    Selene looks So Diva I can’t stand it. Well done guys.

    Like

    1. Matt says:

      Thanks Loz! It was great fun to get the chance to take part in this. 😊

      Like

  3. Ginny Osha says:

    Surprised so many people are going for Magma, but her design is SICK. Love both her and Rachel’s outfits.

    Like

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