Monday, March 22, 2010

Mid-90s - The X-Men

The X-Men: Cyclops (Scott Summers); Jean Grey-Summers; Archangel (Warren Worthington III); Iceman (Robert "Bobby" Drake); Beast (Hank McCoy); Storm (Ororo Munroe); Wolverine (James "Logan" Howlett); Rogue (Anne Marie); Psylocke (Elizabeth "Betsy" Braddock); Gambit (Remy LeBeau); Bishop (Lucas Bishop); Cannonball (Samuel Guthrie); Magneto (Joseph); Maggot (Japheth); and Professor X (Charles Xavier).

1994 - X-Men1

This team of X-Men went through the most disastrous events the team had ever seen. They had to face two of the most powerful mutants alive - Professor X and Magneto - as the combined entity known as Onslaught. They needed the help of various heroes - Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, Green Goblin, The Avengers, The Punisher, the Hulk, and Daredevil. Many of these heroes were seemingly killed in battle.

They also created the timeline known as the Age of Apocalypse after Charles Xavier was killed in the past. In that timeline, Apocalypse had taken over the world, and it took a united front of villains and heroes alike to come to terms that this world was different, and try and get it back to what it once was.

After all was said and done, members decided to retire, and newer mutants joined Xavier's dream. It seemed as long as there was trouble, there would be a group of X-Men dedicated to making the world a better place.

After members from both squads left the team, the rosters were re-organized to include new members to the fold. Both teams were co-led by Scott and Ororo. New to the Gold Strike Force was Samuel Guthrie. He had proved himself by leading the New Mutants from its inception to its end, as well as leading X-Force when Cable was away. Thus, Xavier asked him to join the X-Men.

They also had to stop Xavier's illegitamite son Legion from trying to change the world. He thought if he could go back in time and stop Magneto from causing the world such pain, the world would be a better place. However, when he did that, Xavier saved Magneto's life by having Legion kill him instead 20 years in the past. This caused the future to be changed temporarily - the heroes in the new timeline found a way to restore past.

This group of X-Men had to deal with their regular enemies, as well as discover the identity of a bring known as Onslaught. For weeks, the various X-teams had been taunted by a being that seemed to know exactly how to defeat them, yet they could never get a fix on what it was. Finally, Jean Grey discovered his identity, but Onslaught attacked and seemingly killed the X-Men.

As Jean was the only one left, she made a transmission to Alex Summers aka Havok of X-Factor, Nathan Summers aka Cable of X-Force, Kurt Wagner aka Nightcrawler of Excalibur and Sean Cassidy aka Banshee of Generation X, to tell them who Onslaught was and to try and stop him. It was this message that Bishop saw in the future before he joined the present day X-Men. Because of Bishop being able to put this all together, he managed to save Jean, as well as the Gold and Blue teams of X-Men. Onslaught was the result of Xavier shutting down Magneto's mind after his Avalon failed. The psychic residue become a physical being, having Magneto's and Xavier's mentalities - wanting a better place for humanity, but by any means necessary.

The X-Men also discovered the Xavier Protocols - a listing of all super heroes, and how they would need to be killed. This shocked the X-Men as they realized that the many nights Xavier had spent studying there powers, he had also come up with a means to kill every one of them.

However, the ensuing battle left the entire universe in chaos. Heroes from around the world came to aid in the battle. It seemed that Onslaught was very interested in the second generation of X-Men and the Fantastic Four; Nathan Summers and Franklin Richards respectively. United, they managed to beat Onslaught.

As Bishop realized the Gambit was not the traitor, as he had once thought, he decided to make up for his mistakes and work alongside him. At the same time, Bobby discoveded that his father had been beaten while trying to defend mutant rights, and decided that this life was too much for him now, and quit the team. Wolverine had devolved into a feral animal, and it was only with the help of Elektra did he manage to find himself once again. Cable realized that Cyclops was his father, and that he and Jean, as well as his missing sister Rachel, had raised him in the future.

With Onslaught beaten, Xavier gone to jail to pay for his crimes, and members leaving the fold, the X-Men needed to recruit newer memebers to continue the good fight - as it seemed to get deadlier with each day they lived.

This team of X-Men was led by Scott and Ororo, but functioned more as a team when in the field, will all members providing their input as most of them had served a long tenure with the team. However, with Jubilee gone to Generation X with Sean Cassidy, and Kwannon's death, and Logan moving to the Gold team to help out Scott more, this team needed more members. Along came Joseph and Maggot.

With Magneto believed dead after the fall of Avalon, Rogue was surprised to find a younger, amnesiac version of him in Europe. Having had a relationship with Erik Lehnsherr back when she was confused with the Ms.Marvel persona, she immediately decided to help the young man, as he no longer remember the life he once led, and could therefore be taught to walk a different path. At the same time, the real Magneto was alive, and sent a mutant known as Maggot to get rid of this imposter. However, after a battle with Psylocke, he repented and let Joseph go, and was allowed to join the team.

Rogue was having a hard time sorting out her feelings between Joseph and Remy, but the answer soon came to her in the form of an old villain. Sabretooth came back to the mansion to settle the score with Betsy, and killed her in battle. At the same time, he left subtle hints to Rogue about Remy's past with Mr.Sinister, when Sabretooth and Remy were both part of his Marauders. Warren and Logan left on a hunt to find a way to ressurrect Betsy, and managed to do so with the help of the Crimson Dawn. She was now able to shadow teleport, as well as have stronger psychic powers. When they returned, the truth about Remy's past was revealed.

During the mutant massacre of the Morlocks, Remy was one of Sinister's men who led the Marauders to the sewers to kill the mutants. Remy claimed that he did not know why he was going down there, and when he did, he tried to save as many Morlocks as he could. However, the damage was done. Warren especially, as it was during this massacre that his feathered wings were ruined and he was transformed into Archangel, had a hard time forgiving Remy, and abandoned him after a mission in Antarctica, refusing to let him stay with the X-Men.

Betsy faced one of her worst enemies yet, the Shadow King. She managed to shut him down on the astral plane, but at the same time, she shut down all psychic abilities worldwide. Any hero with psychic powers was now without them, until their minds healed over time. Betsy lost hers for good, for if she used them again, she ran the risk of letting the Shadow King free. After her recent death and resurrection, and the psi-war, Warren and Betsy decided to retire from the X-Men.

This team also helped out during the Onslaught crisis by helping the other heroes of the world stop the various attacks Onslaught was causing. However, since many of the heroes believed this to be Magneto's fault, they had trouble working with Joseph, and decided to fight him instead. Rogue had defend him against everyone else, especially Magneto's children, the twins Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch of the Avengers.

With Warren and Betsy gone, Xavier behind bars, and Remy wandering the world alone, the Blue Strike Force was no more.

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