LAND GRAFTS AND FRACTION REDUCTIONS
(NB: As with so many of my stories, I cornily, trollily use various units of the United States to represent Marvel writers, pencilers, etc. Here, the Governor of Fractiorida is none other than Matt Fraction, who wrote that X-Story-Arc about five years back wherein Madelyne Pryor led a Sisterhood of Evil Mutants against the Xers while the latter were hanging in San Fran. The Governor of Claudlandorado is Greg Land, who has drawn many female characters to look exactly the same—and in fact has alleged used the face of Claudia Schiffer as a template for these faces. As such, Land has been accused as not so much making faces, but rather traces—tracing the same goddamn contours for every set of femme features.
This story takes shots at both Machine creators, as well as some of the things they did in this story arc particularly, namely the yet-again elimination of Madelyne's character from the ranks of the living, as well as the yet-again jettisoning of European Psylocke's body AND Asian Kwannon's mind. (And I know I did the whole "celebrating Betsy and Kwannon in mind and body alike" thing in my Revanches and Reversions story, as well as in my Queue the Cosmetic Constancy story…and even sort of in my Somnambulance Sovereignty story, as Betsy there hints at her Fraction-forced butchering (not to plug these stories again shamelessly or anything, but…)—however, IMO here it bears repeating again in an effort to hold Fraction as directly responsible for these atrocities as possible.
I really hope you guys enjoy this one, in any case. I'm not writing these stories forever, by the way…I just feel that there are a number of statements I want to get out through them, both positive and negative alike, and this is my medium).
SOMETIME IN 2009 IN WESTCHESTER, NEW YORK
Although it was effected in the course of one of the lady's most evil iterations, the sight of Madelyne Pryor dying again was rather difficult for Scott Summers to bear this time. Watching her ebbing out in infinitesimal increments, her generous carmine figure erasing here in motion much slower than the relatively rapid vaporization in the 616 sketch of this story, was actually agonizing in fact.
Lady Madelyne, despite her entire existence as a photocopy of a pristine poppyhead known sometimes as Phoenix, had been the first to bear the matrimonial title of Mrs. Cyclops. She and Scott had met back in the Bronze-Age innocence of 1983, and they enjoyed marital bliss for about as long as the contemporaneous Video Game Crash lasted at the time.
Yea, just as Nintendo and ROB came to end said drought of digital diversions, so too did X-Factor and Jean Grey arrive to preempt Miss Pryor's Alaskan Elysium, to wreck her hearty homestead with Scott. Understandably, Madelyne was a bit more than miffed at this, and she came around even to striking deals with demons back in the day (albeit unintentionally), back before a time of Animated Serieses and other unbearable overexposures of the franchise—a much more scandalous and never-revived age of tattered sapphire cloaks, gleaming gold medallions, and almost-unprecedented scantiness of clothing otherwise…all fitting for an unforgettable Goblin Majesty.
But that time was long past as of the moment of this story (as well as the reader's and this author's present)—that Goblin Queen, if not cremated shortly after the Inferno, would today have been as decomposed as the faux Jean that this Maddy found now in the grave not far from Graymalkin Lane. Here and now, upon psionic contact with the corpse, this Red Queen Madelyne, as with the vermilion vixen in 616…she found that her quasi-corporeal self could not quench the thirst for a host body with the inferior shell that Domino had dropped in Jean's coffin, as per Scott's request. Nay, the Sisterhood Mistress of Ceremonies now found herself falling away from life once more, after having foolishly committed herself to the crude crimson carcass before her, a carcass that was no Jean indeed.
Once more, though, in this reality Mad's demoralization proceeded in a pronouncedly more gradual, excruciating way. Scott watched in horror as his former lady not just fading, but fragmenting, the flesh shirking from her face, the clavicle crackling, the breast breaking apart. And he realized here that he couldn't coldly stand by and allow it to continue to happen.
Consequently the Clops leapt into the air once again, as he did so often in missions to tackle someone out of harm's way, to wrest some poor soul from the mandibles of mortality as was the standard procedure for a leader and hero such as himself. It mattered all the more here that the one he was colliding with now, in the course of her dissolution, was a lady for whom he genuinely loved and cared for her own self, as she was, in spite of the jaundice of Jean that ever curdled in the man's mind.
Upon colliding with his once-connubial-companion in her state of disincorporation, Scott found that the two were coming together
in a manner most unexpected, the red haze consuming Madelyne in her psychic decay now enveloping the both of them. Each could feel his or her body…shifting into the other's, in a way that went beyond any of the carnal knowledge which each learned from the other.
In the midst of all this, the lady's whitened eyes met with her ex-man's, which were red behind the spectacles…and in the ensuing instants, both their eyes went from these white and red extremes, to an in-between hue of rose. Neither of them noticed, through this supernatural second of eye contact, that their forms were not only melding together—they were also being jaunted from the very confines of the crummy planet Earth upon which their reality was based.
Some beats later an edenic atmosphere, with lush green grass and limpid blue water—but a magenta sky to cap it all—greeted the pair of crushed-together essences that were Scott and Madelyne.
The amalgam of S and M hovered there in the alien air for another moment; then the two became disengaged from one another. Scott looked warily at his once-wife, as she did to him, as their forms floated slowly to the verdant floor of this odd environs.
There was no doubt about the fact that Scott still saw red wherever he looked, behind his quality quartz lenses of the ruby ilk. It was just that…there was no sensation of the pressure that was normally there, between his potent opened eyes and the tough spectacle material.
It was enough to make him take off said glasses, very warily, and ever so squintingly check them, to make sure that something wasn't wrong with the crimson cheaters. He then noted when he opened his eyes, toward the lush verdant floor, that the usual optic emissions weren't coming.
He looked around, away from where he registered Madelyne's form in his peripherals, noting that his ex was just reaching her feet herself. What in the world was going on…
Said Summers wrenched his head around to acknowledge the postmillennially-malevolent Miss Pryor.
"Believe you're, ahh…looking for something?"
The man looked across to his first spouse and found himself making eye contact with a Red Queen whose eyes now matched her hair—the peepers now poppy even beyond the irises, spilling into the whites.
"I'd say this swap beats even the bodily exchanges we used to have back in the day," said Miss Madelyne, to a rather consternated Summers. "In fact…I don't think I've ever seen so…"
ZARRRRRRK as she lashed out suddenly with her new optic blasts, swiped off of Scott in their interdimensional mingling, the lasers spreading out to make a line in the ground between the woman and her ex-man.
"…ever seen so very clearly, Scott."
Meanwhile, in another dimension much closer to that of the reader's, as well as this author's, most unfortunately, an unscrupulous Governor or two continued their concoction of this awful arc of stories…although here, in this reality, events happened a bit out of time with that of the 616.
At the moment, one European Elisabeth Braddock was about to square off with both James Logan Howlett as well as one Alison Blaire, the good grapity governess about to be maimed well beyond moderation, in keeping with the sickening script of one Governor of Fractiorida. Everything from claws to concussive force blasts would rip apart the face and the body of the Betsy, while within the lady would be facing off with the essence of Kwannon, the Asian assassin whose psyche was as marginalized in the mythos of X as was the original corporeal form of Elisabeth herself.
Because, really: Who the fuck cared about what became of a boring white body, or the mind of some random ass Easterner, when it came to Teh Sexy peanut butter cup combination of a Japanese chick with a British accent.
Even though the idea of the European original's evisceration appalled many an oldtime X-Fan, whatever turned the dual fascistic faucets of sensationalism and sales, it ruled the day. It could happen to anyone of the X, honestly; the atrocities ranged from killing a Jean (again and again and again) to maiming a Betsy to severing the uneasy acquaintanceship between Logan and Scott through a needlessly scandalous Schism.
Meters away from the Caucasian crusader Elisabeth, Alison and Logan alike bristled a bit, uncertain and uneasy about following Fuhrer Fractiorida's dictates regarding what was to go down in the script regarding the old Outback Psylocke. To be certain, older readers who thrilled at the prospect of Psylocke in her older, Anglo mauve maiden form—and who took an overwealth of umbrage at the Nineties tease of said body barging back in as Revanche, only to take an abrupt exit once more shortly thereafter—these readers did not wish to have their chains jerked once again…and for certain, surely the Fraction would not reduce himself to such dreary depths in his narrative.
Miles away from all of this, another awful creator known here as the Governor of Claudlandorado reclined easy in a posh home funded by undeserved wealth, all flowing from the teats of the Machine. Who ever knew that tracing every female face to make Xteen thousand shades of Schiffer would afford someone such a living? When it came to fixing the same fucking supermodel's face to every frau upon the X-Pages at this time, this Governor was a Land of Opportunism indeed.
Within the next several minutes, this egregiously uninventive Governor would be joined by his wife and children in their nightly triple-feature-viewing of Love Actually, Zoolander, and Black and White—all of these celluloid charms containing that same face that framed the features of every female in the X-Verse. The man of this house always had to have the visage at the forefront of his art's vision, after all.
As a fire-haired harbinger of fate would have it, though, the story would be shaken up a bit—and all because one Scott Summers, granted through his impulsive actions a new extension on the existence of an old flame.
And now said old flame was still in that magenta-skied milieu of a pocket dimension, staring down her man with eyes of most ebullient ruby, giving Slim the kinds of gazes that he might have foisted upon foes behind his so-solid spectacles all these years.
There were no blasts that burst forth from the maroon maiden's eye sockets, though—only a scarlet stare that held Cyke in place as much as would any telekinetic tethering.
"Kind of a kick that I can control my ocular emissions, isn't it, Scotty?"
Mads followed this terse statement up with a red-eyed wink, then a turn of her head and
another belted-out bolt that leveled an old, withering tree nearby.
Scott held his hands up, sensing the flavor of fuckedness he was to taste imminently. "Maddy…please…I don't want us to…"
The original Xer suddenly found his form flopping onto its side as Madelyne impulsively pulverized the large stone upon which her once-husband was propping himself. The queenly former pilot found it rather amusing to see Scott foundering in the rock's remains.
"Scotty, Scotty, Scotty," said the lady, taking a couple haughty steps to approach the Clops, "…I've no interest in…eliminating you, with the very energies that have powered you through so many of your petty mutant pursuits."
Her boots stopped right up against the face of her former spouse. She could feel his useless form beginning to tremble a bit at her feet, not so much from fear as from an overwhelming weight of guilt that galled at him for decades.
"I just think this is a very…interesting development, we've found ourselves in…and I intend to make the most of it."
TO BE CONTINUED