Things Just Got – X-TREME!

Greetings Legions of the Unspoken!  We have a special guest author today, Sir Tawmis of Comic Relief Podcast has come on by to give us a write-up on one of, if not the, most 90’s characters, ADAM-X…THE X-TREME!!!!  Thanks for the great work, Sir Tawmis, and don’t forget to scope out the great work they do over at Comic Relief Podcast!

Things Just Got – X-TREME!
Written by: Sir Tawmis

adamx-1 (1)Allow me a moment to talk about X-Treme, or as I like to call him, simply Adam-X. While I talk about him and his origin – I will also highlight some of the things that put Adam-X at the top of my favorite character list – of all comic book characters.

First, I admit. I am a sucker for the obscure characters. I think a lot of that has to do with, deep down inside, I am a writer yearning to flesh out characters who are just begging to have their origins explored – then unleash that untapped potential!

There are few characters that have more potential to be an amazing character than Adam-X.

The character known as X-Treme was created by Fabian Nicieza and Jeff Johnson, and he first appeared in X-Force Annual #2 (October 1993).

adamx-1 (2)When Adam-X appeared, he was the embodiment of a lot of what the 90’s comics represented – he had long hair, backwards hat, blades on his shoulder, wrists and hips. He was a character with a mysterious background, and a lethal hunter. Now, I am not a Child of the 90’s – I consider myself a Child of the 80’s – but I actually liked how Adam-X looked when he first appeared. (Granted, in hindsight, a little less blades on the shoulder and belt/waist might make him marketable in a more modern comic book market, but still!)

In his appearance, Adam-X is hunting down a friend named Michelle Balters (who also happens to be a mutant by the name of Neurotap). X-Force, led by Cable, arrive at the scene and attempt to take down Adam-X. However, Adam-X is easily able to defeat all of the members of X-Force by cutting them, then igniting the electrolytes in their blood.

This is one of the things that really made me like Adam-X. Don’t get me wrong. I was reading and collecting X-Force (and enjoying it!), but I was not a fan of Cable. (Still not a fan of Cable actually…). Come to think of it, overall I am not a fan of time displaced characters (such as Cable, Stryfe, Phoenix {Rachel Summers}, etc.)

So when Cable gets taken down – and not by a team – but a single individual – along with the rest of X-Force? That added so many marks on the “Positives” side of the character, that perhaps, to this very day, that’s why Adam-X remains my favorite character.

Naturally, Adam-X eventually teams up with X-Force, and together, they discover that Adam-X’s employer, Martin Strong is a little shady. And in “natural comic book team up fashion”, Adam-X and X-Force take down Martin Strong.

By the end of the issue, Adam-X is offered a position to join X-Force, but he declines the offer, explaining he wants to find more clues to his past.

adamx-1 (3)It wasn’t long before Adam-X would encounter one of the members of X-Force again. As luck would have it, Adam-X found himself being abducted and dragged into MurderWorld, where he was forced to fight Shatterstar, from X-Force. The two were equally matched, forced to fight to save a woman’s life. However, it finally came down to the two heroes teaming up and realizing the only way out of this was to fight the one behind it all – Arcade himself!

Together, Adam-X and Shatterstar were able to infiltrate Arcade’s hideout in MurderWorld. Arcade quickly (in order to preserve his own life), gave up the information as to who had hired him to abduct them and put them against each other.

As it turns out, someone by the name of Mr. Milbury had wanted Adam-X to be tested, and what better warrior that was evenly matched with Adam-X’s skill than X-Force’s Shatterstar. (Well, if you’re an avid read of the X-Men books, you know Mr. Milbury is an alias for none other than the most sinister of X-Men villains – Mr. Sinister himself!) But what interest would Mr. Sinister have in Adam-X? We’re getting to that, don’t you worry! This entire fight takes place in X-Force #30 – and if you enjoy a good fight between two heroes, pretty evenly matched, I’d recommend picking this up.

adamx-1 (4)The next time Adam-X appears is in X-Men #39, when he witnesses a plane crash in Canada. He rushes to the site of the plane crash and pulls out the pilot, who just so happens to be Phillip Summers, the grandfather of Scott Summers and Alex Summers (better known as Cyclops and Havok, respectively). Adam-X manages to use his power of igniting electrolytes to keep Phillip Summers warm throughout the night as the freezing temperatures continued to plummet. Fashioning a gurney, Adam-X pulls Phillip across the frozen tundra and gets him to a hospital where Scott and Jean rush to the hospital to check on Scott’s grandfather. Adam-X is there and asks Jean Grey to share his memories with Phillip – allowing him to vicariously live through Adam-X’s memories.

Unbeknownst to Adam-X, Scott, Jean – they’re being watched on a monitor, by someone with a red glove (later to be revealed as Erik the Red). Even stranger – Erik the Red is being watched because he is watching over Adam-X, by none other than Mister Sinister.

After Jean links the mind of Adam-X and Phillip Summers, there’s a narrator’s note of: Scott can’t help but feel that his fractured family lines have been made stronger because of this near-tragedy. Little does he know how terrifyingly right he is.

Now this would tie to X-Men #23, when Sinister had told Cyclops: “… but I care enough to wish you and your brothers to be protected from this illness.”

adamx-1 (5)Fabian Nicieza was laying down the ground work to make Adam-X related to the Summers family. As a matter of fact – Well, I am getting ahead of myself. Let me show you more of that ground work that Fabian had created to make this work.

Adam-X’s tie to the Summers family continues next in the pages of Captain Marvel, which stars Legacy (the 90’s version of Captain Marvel and the “genetic son” of Mar Vell). Once again, the typical hero fighting hero is how the issue begins – with Adam-X, being mind-controlled by Erik the Red to attack Legacy. Adam-X manages to become free of Erik the Red’s control, but still finds the urge to fight Captain Marvel.

adamx-1 (6)Eventually, Adam-X and Legacy team up and go after Erik the Red. Fighting through the Sidri (which appeared in Uncanny X-Men #154), Adam-X and Legacy manage to find Erik the Red who takes a moment to monologue about Adam-X’s true destiny:

You have been dubbed the Forsaken One, Adam – but that was a mistake on the Majestor’s part, those many years ago. Truly had you been rightfully admitted into the family, we would not be in this predicament today… I am talking about your destiny here… and that is something obviously enough by the intricate plans of the Crystal Claws which should not be rushed! Empress Lilandra sits on the throne this day only because Majestor D’Ken was driven mad by his experiences inside the M’Krann Crystal! She was not meant to guide the Imperium. You see Adam, YOURS is the destiny of power – for you were bred to introduce a HYBRID of specific genetic potential into the Shi’ar monarchy! Adam-X, you were born to rule the Shi’ar Imperium! Who else should be the heir to the throne of the Imperium but you – the only living child of Majestor D’Ken!

adamx-1 (7)So, let me just put it out there. As a huge fan of the (old) Uncanny X-Men, I can’t put into words how much I love the Shi’ar. So now, here’s this character – that I am already digging for quite a few reasons – and now they’re telling me he’s related to someone of the Shi’ar Empire – and not just someone – but to D’Ken himself!

And note, it says that he’s a Hybrid. So this is where the idea that D’Ken (either through genetic or other more vile ways), had a child with Katherine Summers, who had been abducted by the Shi’ar, as revealed in Uncanny X-Men #156 when Corsair explained:

“… until a teleport beam yanked us aboard the starship. It was a Shi’ar scouting mission. To them, Anne and I were zoo-logical specimens, representing the HIGHER ORDERS OF LIFE ON EARTH. We were separated. On the Imperial Throne World, I escaped the slave pens and set out to find her. She was with the Emperor [D’Ken]. My mistake then was in trying not to kill him with my bare hands instead of shooting him down where he stood. Guards came to his rescue, they wanted to execute me on the spot, but D’Ken had other ideas…”

Fabian, unfortunately departed the X-Books before he could complete the story. When asked, Fabian said:

“The character [X-Treme] WAS created to be the 3rd brother, but once I left the x-books, the following writers/editors chose to ignore the sub-plot(which is their call to make). the good news is that no writer/editor contradicted the storyline plans I had, so maybe someday I could still pick it up.”

 Unfortunately, as fate would have it, in 2006, Ed Brubaker introduced “a mutant that would shake the foundation of the X-Men” – none other than Gabriel Summers, better known as the mutant, Vulcan.

Vulcan was introduced in X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1 which essentially rewrote a large portion of the “Bible” of X-Men comic books – it rewrote Giant Size X-Men #1, stating that after Cyclops and his team had been defeated by Krakoa – Professor Xavier sent in Gabriel’s team – which consisted of himself, Petra, Darwin, and Sway – all of whom, save Gabriel were killed.

And then that’s when Cyclops came back and the new X-Men (Wolverine, Storm, Thunderbird, Banshee, Sunfire, Nightcrawler and Colossus) were formed to save the original X-Men. Now, in order to make this work – one would ask themselves – “How come no one ever mentioned Gabriel before?”

The answer. Mind blowing (literally!). Apparently, so driven by guilt and shame of sending Gabriel’s team to the slaughter (though it was revealed later that Darwin survived), Professor Xavier erased everyone’s mind who knew anything about Gabriel – and the other members of the team. Now, let’s bring this into scope a little. Erase every single person’s memory who knew about Gabriel (or any of the other members of his team). This would include Scott’s parents, brother (Alex), their grandparents, friends, teachers – the scope is mind-blowingly massive – and he would have had to done this for each of the members who perished from Gabriel’s team.

To this very day, I try to figure out – what the editors were thinking. Here, we have Adam-X, already being eluded to being related to the Summers family. Over there, we have Gabriel, who we have to rewrite Giant Size X-Men #1 and come up with this whole ploy that Professor Xavier has wiped out the memory of everyone who knew Gabriel. (Makes you wonder why he never wiped out the memory of anyone who knew John Proudstar, when Thunderbird died so soon after the Krakoa incident fighting Count Nefaria)!

Years would go by before Adam-X would appear again, unfortunately. Marvel had shuffled him away for a number of reasons – one of them being that they were worried that fans would become “confused” because at the time there was an X-Treme X-Men being published monthly. (Because fans wouldn’t be confused by the ten other “X” books and Avengers books being published monthly apparently… the fans could figure that out, but apparently couldn’t figure out why a character named X-Treme wasn’t in X-Treme X-Men… because… that rational of thinking sounds logical). It’s because of this, that I refer to X-Treme as Adam-X instead.

When he next appears, it’s in Uncanny X-Men #513 / Dark Avengers #7 (in 2009). He’s joined several other mutants (Hellion, Match, Lorelei, Avalance, Meld and Sunspot) in an attempt to over throw Norman Osborn who is essentially running everything. Norman Osborn sends his “Dark X-Men” after the small team of resistance – which consists of Cloak, Dagger, Weapon Omega, Namor, Mimic, and Daken.

While I was thankful to see Adam-X surface again, I cringed at the dialogue he was given, as he was essentially written as over the top parody of himself (and all things 1990). It’s painfully clear that Adam-X was added just to mock himself. But again, at least it was nice to know he wasn’t completely forgotten.

adamx-1 (8)He’d appear one more time, in Uncanny X-Men #542 (October 2011) during the time that the Norse God of Fear grants incredible powers to a number of super powered beings – one of them being Juggernaut. Cyclops calls on Adam-X, who appears (back to his original attire) to try and stop Juggernaut.

Several others attempt to stop Juggernaut before Adam-X arrives. Avalanche attempts to separate the road; but Juggernaut continues to walk. A mutant named Face, blasts him with his ‘annihilation beam’ which proves ineffective; Pixie attempts to teleport Juggernaut away, but it’s ineffective; Rogue attempts to absorb his powers and render him unconscious; she is instead, rendered unconscious and rescued by Magneto. Mercury tries to fill his lungs; but she’s expelled, when she realized she was being dissolved while inside Juggernaut; Pyslocke tries her psychic blades, but they too, prove ineffective. Adam-X is the only one, who proves effective in doing anything to Juggernaut; he manages to ignite his blood, however, the downside is that Juggernaut, for fifteen minutes burns anything he touches.

I had hoped, if the latest Cyclops series had continued (which had the time misplaced Scott Summers traveling around with the now living Corsair) – that somewhere in their space adventures, the writer would bring in Adam-X and perhaps elude again, to the family connection (and perhaps have a Shi’ar adventure).

Such was not my luck. I look forward to Adam-X appearing again. I’m hopeful that one day, someone will write him again – and develop him as Fabian had intended. After all, while everyone debated who the third Summers brother was – Sinister had said brothers – never indicating just how many “brothers” he had meant. So it still stands to reason that Adam-X could be connected to Katherine Summers and D’Ken. It’s already official that he’s connected to D’Ken as Marvel now officially names his real name as “Adam Neramani.”

Until then. I will continue to fight for Adam-X.

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5 thoughts on “Things Just Got – X-TREME!”

    1. First! Thanks for reading and coming by to comment! Always feels good when someone takes the time to read something you’ve written!

      As for the backwards hat; I, ironically enough, frequently wear my hat backwards. (Though I don’t have long, golden, flowing locks of hair! As a matter of fact, these days, I completely buzz my hair off!) But when my partner in crime, Maico, from our podcast wears his hat backwards, I will call him out on it and tease him that he’s a closet X-Treme fan. (He doesn’t appreciate the character on the same level I do!) 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Great rundown on a character whose mysterious backstory once captivated X-Men fandom until (like so many other times in the 1990s) the subplot got dragged on for too long, the creative teams changed, and everyone eventually more or less forgot about Adam-X.

    I see that Fabian Nicieza gave you a straight answer to your question. When I met Nicieza at a store signing in the late 1990s, a few years after he had left the X-Men books, I asked him if Adam-X was the brother of Cyclops and Havok. Nicieza sort of sighed in exasperation and then responded “God only knows!” In hindsight, I get the feeling that he was getting asked that question A LOT back in those days, hence his reaction!

    I do agree that the retcon of Giant-Sized X-Men was really cumbersome (“Everything you know is a lie… again!”) and also that Adam-X could still eventually be revealed to be a sibling to Cyclops and Havok. As you say, Sinister never specified how many brothers there were. There could be an entire army of them out there! Maybe they could form their own team 🙂

    Like

    1. Awesome reply! Thank you so much for giving it a read and a nice, long, thoughtful response!

      It’s pretty funny that Adam-X is frequently mocked about his look being so 90’s – but so many people seem to have forgotten that – for example, Gambit during the Clairemont/Lee run – looked pretty 90’s himself with his super fashionable sunglasses that screamed, “I’m from the 90’s!” But, Gambit was popular enough to continue to appear, and have his appearance modernized as he continued to appear. (Another example is Longshot, who is the king of mullets!) So I think (as I said in my article!), that given a chance, Adam-X could be “modernized” to look more appropriate – and could potentially be an excellent character if allowed to develop. Ties to the Summers, the Starjammers, and the son of D’Ken. That’s just a story waiting to be explored.

      Liked by 1 person

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