X-Men Gold By Loz Cook
- An Emma-led core team of four X-Men sponsored by Landau, Luckman & Lake, and a potentially revolving door of younger student X-men and guest stars.
- An alt-universe where IvX happened years ago and ended with all Inhumans and X-men being banished off-world by the world’s main protector: The Sentry.
- Former X-Force Villain, King Bedlam who wants to take over the world by introducing the sliver of the 616 Void, that Cyclops had locked away in his mind, into Sentry World’s Sentry.
After IvX, Emma needs a new direction. After everything that happened she needs a back to basics approach to her life. Get back to what she truly enjoys, teaching. Emma is contacted by several individuals.
First, Banshee who has made a deal with the extra-dimensional law firm Landau, Luckman & Lake for some alt-world tech that will help heal his body after the death Seed. He also needs Emma’s help healing his mind after such a horrific experience. The only way he gets the tech is if Emma agrees to work for LL&L, specifically Zoe Culloden for undisclosed reasons.
With everything that happened with Cyclops, Emma decides this is as good an opportunity as any to reestablish the gold standard in mutant academics in the post IvX world. She knows the new X- academy/school has moved to New York, but after IvX wants a lower profile and prefers to work with a smaller number of students where she can do her best.
Second, Artie and Leech. They are fed up with being treated like kids when they’ve been around for a long time and Artie needs some serious one-on-one tuition to finally develop.
And Third, Magik drops off a young girl for Emma to tutor, Bo the young girl found on Monster Island. She doesn’t feel like she can invest herself in another young girl after Sapna’s fate. As part of Emma’s deal with Zoe, she offers positions to X-Men who she believes will aid her in her mission while helping her discover what Zoe is really up to. The team will move into L,L&L’s California High-rise which doubles as a gateway to the Alternate universe: Sentry World and will fulfill certain missions for Zoe.
Last Pitch Week I stopped myself from using Emma in favor of Sage, but Death of X, and IvX has reminded me that Emma’s absence has indeed made my heart grow stronger. Emma should be at least a co lead of the flagship X book. Emma will be the Co-lead of this book. She’ll be the focus of LL&L’s attentions and specifically the mastermind (see below for his identity) behind this particular Alt-world office.
After being told by Beast that his recovery is going to be slow and possibly years in the healing, Banshee goes to the one person who may be able to help him: the Morrigan. The Morrigan, his daughter Siryn, points him in the direction of LL&L as a means to heal him with other world tech. He is told that if he can convince Emma Frost to front an affirmative action team for the firm, he will get his tech. He convinces Emma who after what happened to Cyclops cannot fathom losing Banshee again. She agrees to front the team as long as he joins her. His arc will focus on healing and reestablishing his relationships with Emma and Forge.
Emma approaches Psylocke to be the muscle on her team, impressed with how Psylocke has handled herself pre- and during IvX. Psylocke in turn realizes that she needs a break from everything that has been going on recently in her life. Her battles with Magneto over that team broke down into violence and now she wants a change. She will develop a mentor-like relationship with Artie Maddicks.
The big thing I enjoyed from Lemire’s Extraordinary run was Forge and Cerebra. These two were wonderful and I’m never going to be able to get over the fact that Forge taped Apocalypse’s mouth shut. Forge will continue to be the ultra competent backbone of the team while still trying to overcome past demons and mistakes. He will befriend KidW one of the Alt-world techies at LL&L, who is an alternate version of WizKid.
Leech and Artie Maddicks
Leech and Artie have been Marvels eternal moppets for too long. I enjoyed them in FF but feel they have way too much potential for me to ignore them longer. For the purposes of this pitch, I made them teenagers and will develop their characters beyond anything that has happened to them in the past 10 years if not longer. We’ll have a bit of separation of the two also. Emma will take Leech under her wing giving him a level of control of his powers and an ability to direct it, while Artie will get a major power upgrade and will develop a friendship with Psylocke.
I loved Bo’s single appearance from Bendis’s Kitty and Magik adventure. I wanted to age her slightly (anything goes after Secret Wars right) and develop her character and power set. Her powers will be able to breach Emma’s diamond form which will be crucial later in the book. She will befriend the alt-world version of mutant Karasu Tengu.
King Bedlam – Bedlam was always one of my favorite X-Force villains and he has a natural protection against psychics which makes him a great foil for Emma as they have a history. He is the Mastermind behind everything that happens in this book. All the villains in this book originate from Sentry World and Bedlam is responsible for the Sentries breakdown. He wants to use the Void Sliver to introduce into the Sentry and discredit him, leaving Bedlam and his Hellions to take over as supposed “protectors” as new sentries of Sentry World and in turn rulers.
Tarot – Wherever Bedlam goes; Tarot will not be far behind. Tarot will not be the subservient woman familiar with 616 readers. She will be a sadistic Queen to King Bedlam and will mess with Banshee as he tries to recover. She is Bedlams top assassin and lover, and She has quite an extensive trophy room filled with keepsakes from opponents she, Karasu and KidW have defeated.
Karasu Tengu – In Sentry World, The Inhumans and Mutants came to blows much earlier in their history. The Sentry intervened and most of the Inhumans and X-Men were exiled. Karasu was one of the first mutants to take advantage in the new world all but devoid of Mutants and Inhumans, especially X-men. Karasu is an assassin of former X-men villains who might threaten the Hellions. At first she will be the benevolent Other world projects manager at L,L&L, but will eventually show her true colors. She befriends Bo and makes plans for an aggressive expansion of the trophy room she shares with Tarot to include Earth 616 items.
KidW – Like Karasu, KidW (pronounced Kih-dub-yah) is nothing like his 616 counterpart. He is an assassin who has infiltrated L, L&L like the other Hellions and works as tech support. He befriends Forge and the two work on several projects to help L, L&L with their Sentry “Problem.” He has been slowly transforming the Gateway high-rise in to a maze of traps should the occasion become necessary.
The Void – The sliver of the Void will reject and destroy Sentry and will look for a new host. King Bedlam will become that host and he will threaten the destruction of the whole world and possibly the 616 world in turn due to the Gateway.
First Year Summary
- Emma-Centric issue. We’re introduced to the status quo pretty quickly. Emma’s team is already established and is already living and working out of the L, L&L Gateway High rise in L.A. The Gateway has two halves. Earth 616 half and Sentry World Half.
- Emma Mentors Leech. She feels the Void cry out. The X-Men investigate Cyclops Grave and battle a mysterious assailant, Tarot, who manages to contain and evade them all.
- Scott’s head is missing from his grave. Emma is obviously enraged and vows to find the culprit.
- Banshee Issue. Banshee is having a healing session with Emma. Along with his technology he is starting to feel like himself. He recalls how his daughter got him here after being told his health would be a long time coming.
- Emma is called to a medical facility on Sentry world. Banshee, Psylocke and Bo accompany her. We realize that The Sentry is not feeling his usual Self and feels like a part of his mind is missing. This can’t be a coincidence. The only difference in this world is, this Sentry never had the Void and was free to be the protector the world needed. Zoe questions Emma about the remains of the Sentry in 616.
- While in Sentry World they battle members of the Purity group. While fighting, Bo attacks and Emma and Banshee are rendered unconscious. Emma is in her diamond form at the time. Psylocke defeats the remaining Purity Members and Bo.
- Psylocke Issue. Psylocke realizes each purity member was a psychic black hole. She thinks that their attacker at Cyclops grave was similar. She is fixated on the notion of psionic black holes and people stuck in systems of thought and action, unable to change who they are. Can she choose the way of peaceful warrior as opposed to her recent violent streak?
- Forge has been doing some research on Sentry world’s Inhuman/Mutant crisis. One of Zoe’s tech Support, a teen named KidW tells him all about how most of the Inhumans and Mutants were forcibly removed off-world after their war.
- Psylocke researches Sentry World, and Artie goes with her. They investigate Purity and are attacked by King Bedlam who disrupts their minds and Psylocke’s telepathy has no effect on him. She sends a telepathic message to Emma, but is not sure if it was received.
- Forge Issue. Cerebra alerts Forge that something is wrong on Sentry World and the source of the disturbance is from Psylocke’s last known coordinates. Secretly KidW uploads a virus into Cerebra. She is unable to speak or relay information. Forge get’s Kids help trying to figure out what it is, and Kid says they just have to figure out the equation that fixes it.
- Emma and Banshee train with Leech on Directional Power nullification. Power nullification is just one aspect of his powers and is able to negate specific aspects of others abilities making others stronger. He turns off Emma’s Telepathy, making her diamond form harder, heavier, and stronger. He then leeches the diamond boosting her telepathy. Emma hears Psylocke’s butterfly S.O.S.
- Forge recalls a time when he’d felt like he had a virus himself. When he had a ghost box and the fate of the world was in his hands only for it to be taken from him. How he had been abandoned, but then he’d heard a small voice, and it had been a tiny program named Cerebra.
Issue 5: There is a Drum
- Emma, Banshee, and Leech race to the L,L&L lab where Forge is trying to fix Cerebra. Forge can’t quite fix cerebra but can use her teleport function. Forge stays behind to fix Cerebra. Emma orders Bo to stay behind. She is too untested.
- Emma, Banshee, and Leech battle King Bedlam and Tarot. However they are Sentry World’s Bedlam and Tarot.
- Tarot Attacks Banshee and Leech Emma Fights Bedlam. Both Tarot and Bedlam have tarot cards tattooed across their backs and can manifest multiple abilities.
- Artie awakens and binds and muzzles Tarot. Banshee Strikes out at Bedlam disrupting Bedlam’s tarot and his psychic static. Emma orders him to tell her where Scott’s head is. She can feel the psychic drum of the Void sliver in her mind, even through her Diamond form.
- Forge Bo and Karasu Tengu, another LL&L employee, arrive as backup, but Psylocke realizes Karasu has possessed Bo and Bo attacks. This time Emma is protected in her Diamond form and Banshee has evaded the attack. Everyone else is unconscious. Bedlam escapes with Tarot and Scott’s head as Emma Knocks Bo unconscious.
- Banshee and Emma give chase. Psylocke, in Astral form, battles Karasu to protect the fallen X-Men.
Issue 6: The Longest Memory
- Each member of the x-men are stuck in a telepathic nightmare influenced by a past traumatic memory from their past. Forge is detonating a nuclear bomb attached to a ghost box. Bo is being abandoned again on monster island. Leech is a living taxidermised exhibit in his dad lab. Leech is stuck in a loop being shot to death next to Annalee his Morlock mother.
- Finally Psylocke succumbs and is instantly stuck in a nightmare where she has killed all the X-men and is living in a dystopian future, Old Woman Betsy style.
Issue 7: All Bets are Off
- Bedlam and Tarot race towards the medical center housing The Sentry. Banshee fights Tarot as Emma chases Bedlam to The Sentry’s hospital room.
- Emma is about to defeat Bedlam when The Sentry and Zoe Culloden burst in separating them. Emma tries to reason with The Sentry, but he seems confused and gradually he starts speaking with the crazed mannerisms as Bedlams victims. Zoe meanwhile picks up the container that Bedlam was carrying Cyclops head in. She holds it close to her chest. She is under Bedlams control.
- Emma warns The Sentry, but he blasts an energy beam at Zoe disintegrating her and Scott’s head releasing the Void sliver. The Void corrupts the Sentry and the whole floor erupts in a fiery blast.
Issue 8: Real Later Starters
- Leech and Artie break free of Karasu’s telepathy and together sever her connection with everyone. An odd side-effect of Karasu’s mental tampering has awakened Artie’s ability to speak.
- Karasu escapes. The team rushes to catch up with Emma and Banshee and the team battle a contaminated and extremely unstable Sentry. Finally Artie manifests a containment unit that puts the Sentry in a coma. Emma Speaks to the Sentry telepathically and he pleads with her that she must protect Sentry World while he is incapacitated and holding the influence of the Void at Bay.
- Things go wrong when the Sentry suffers a void induced stroke/heart attack and promptly dies in the containment unit. Emma tries to hang onto the psionic trace of the Void sliver which has definitely not died with the Sentry, but loses all trace of it.
Issue 9: History Boys
- The team have to deal with the responsibility of protecting Sentry World now their main protector is gone. Back in his lab, Forge notices newly installed Ghost box tech. The Gateway on the Sentry World Side is built with the same tech.
- Emma and Banshee are interrupted by a couple of LL&Ls lawyers, come to talk about the new status quo. It seems that the sentry’s last act was to telepathically make Emma’s promotion binding.
- Forge has a flashback to his Karasu nightmare when doors start sliding, and walls start moving. KidW appears and attacks Forge.
- Other doors open from other locations in Sentry World directly into the Gateway. The Void has taken on a new host, King Bedlam, and he’s bought Tarot and Karasu with him.
The last three issues will feature some revelations and lessons learned for all characters plus some V.S battles:
- Psylocke and Artie v.s Karasu
- Forge/Cerebra and Leech v.s KidW
- Banshee and Bo v.s Tarot
- Emma v.s Bedlam/Void
- Emma becomes host to a sliver of the Sentry left behind when he died and uses this power to help each individual on the team.
- Banshee has called in Siryn/The Morrigan who saves Pyslocke.
- Morrigan v.s Karasu, one crow deity versus another.
- Bedlam/Void v.s Everyone. Bedlam activates a Ghost box in the centre of the Gateway base threatening to destroy Sentry World.
- A weary Psylocke wakens and with the focused totality of her psionic powers in knife form to bedlams head, Gives bedlam a taste of his own medicine. This gives Emma the opportunity to finally destroy the Void sliver.
- Emma is now responsible for Sentry World. She rallies the team to be this world’s protectors. Leech, and Artie become fully fledged members of the team. Siryn sticks around to spend time with her father. Forge rebuilds the Gateway. Banshee and Psylocke agree to stay.
Going forward, X-Men Gold would deal with threats the Sentry hadn’t taken care of, and also the possible return of Sentry World’s X-Men or Inhumans. More Followers of King Bedlam would also show up to cause trouble.
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X-Men Gold logo designed by the talented Jerrod Pittman.