Written by: Tawmis Logue
See the article I originally wrote: https://theunspokendecade.com/2015/06/02/things-just-got-x-treme/
Now you’re reading that title and either screaming I am wrong – because Sinister even hinted as much in X-Men #23, when Sinister had told Cyclops: “… but I care enough to wish you and your brothers to be protected from this illness.”
Fabian wrote that fateful issue in X-Men #23 where Sinister is speaking to Scott Summers (Cyclops) and mentions “brothers” – as in plural. The world was ablaze with speculation as to who the “Third Summers Brother” was… most people seemed to speculate that the intended one was none other than everyone’s favorite Cajun mutant – Gambit. Which could make sense, with the red eyes (like Cyclops) projects energy (like Havok). But not what Fabian had in mind. Quoting Fabian –
“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.” – Fabian
Fabian even added:
“I threw the ‘brothers’ line into Sinister’s dialogue mostly for fun and to make him come across like the smart-ass that he was. Editor Bob Harras liked that, since he always liked mysteries he would never let us resolve, so I started to give it some more thought. I knew we were going to be introducing a slate of new characters in all the Annuals we were publishing that year, so I tied the two ideas together.” – Fabian
However, when asked about the “Third Summers Brother” Fabian had this to say:
“I became a bit thrown off when the comic book media of the time, like Wizard, dubbed it ‘the Third Summers brother,’ and it took on a life of its own. I had always thought of it as simply ‘the Third Brother,’ because I knew that, technically, if the DNA was coming from Kate, he wasn’t really a ‘Summers,’ brother. But it didn’t matter, it became ‘The Third Summers Brother’ in the minds of everyone. And without the chance to actually tell the story, it was impossible to wrangle that horse back in the barn. Never in print did anyone say ‘third brother.’ Sinister said brothers, so it could be one, two, or 52.” – Fabian
As the years went by, most characters continued to evolve; however, Adam was forgotten – except for people who seemed to be stuck on his appearance and how he looked. The thing is he never got to continue appearing, so yeah – he got locked into that 90’s look he had – and everyone seemed to be focus on “oh, he’s so extreme – he burns blood!” And I feel like none of those people read X-Men #39 which was a very touching tale and showed how Adam used his powers very differently (it also showed a very compassionate side to him). But I even talked about the minor changes I’d make to Adam’s costume to make him fit in modern comics.
As we know, in 2006 – Ed Brubaker did the X-Men: Deadly Genesis which told of a story of a team of mutants that existed – and went after Cyclops and the team (when they’d been attacked on Krakoa – before Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Storm, etc., appeared in Uncanny X-Men #94/Giant Size X-Men #1) – this team considered of a specific mutant named Gabriel Summers, better known as Vulcan. His team had been killed on Krakoa trying to rescue Scott and the others. When the next round of X-Men we all know and love ejected Krakoa into space, Gabriel had been imprisoned (unknowingly) and somehow kept alive (he – somehow? some reason? Suddenly absorbed all the powers of his teammates – including a mutant named Darwin who could adapt to any danger). Professor Xavier so ashamed of the loss – wiped everyone’s memory of all of the members from Gabriel’s team.
Now let’s pause there for a moment. Xavier was so ashamed he wiped the memory of everyone who ever knew Gabriel (Vulcan), Petra, Sway, and Darwin (all the members of Gabriel’s team who “perished” trying to save the original X-Men from Krakoa).
So – I have a question. Why wouldn’t he have wiped everyone’s memory of John Proudstar who would die on the very next mission (after successfully rescuing the X-Men)?
OK – that’s not the point – let’s focus again.
House of M happens, “No More Mutants” – a ton of mutant energy (listen people, this is comics!) goes into the air – hits Vulcan and awakens him. And the entire story of “The Third Summers” story is resolved, as far as Marvel is concerned.
Now, Gabriel we learn shares a number of similar “planned origins” as Adam (despite what we see when Katherine is abducted, it’s retold later in the retcon to make Gabriel’s origin fit that she was actually pregnant when abducted by the Shi’ar). Overall, I just saw Gabriel as a super powerful mutant you couldn’t beat, so I never truly cared for the character, but the Emperor Vulcan and the Kingbreaker Shi’ar related stories were actually good reads. So I will give credit where credit is due, for those stories.
But fast forward to 2021 – the day I never thought would happen, finally came to be.
I loved what Fabian had to say –
“The real oddity of this situation was the nature of the book itself, new stories set in canon from the time of the original continuity, and the fact I was being allowed, encouraged even, to finally write the story of Adam-X. My story is exactly what I had planned to do in 1995. Beginning, middle, and end, it’s all the same. Because I had originally planned for a four-issue limited series that would have meant 88 pages of content. The two X-Men Legends issues are 50 pages of content, so I had to cut some scenes and trim some of the ‘slow down’ moments originally planned. That quickened the pace of the story, but muted a little of the downtime I had wanted between the brothers. My editors Mark Basso and Lauren Amaro were integral in helping me piece that together in a way that worked best. So, maybe it’s a bit less quiet in parts, but I hope its pace and scope offset that in an exciting way. As for the current fourth brother [Vulcan] in continuity, it has zero impact on my story for Adam’s story in X-Men Legends, since Adam’s story is being told at the time it was originally planned to be told, which precedes any character awareness of Vulcan.” – Fabian
This is a lot of needless backstory – just to get to where I was going to go – talking about X-Men Legends #1 and 2. I am not sure what gods finally smiled down – but it was finally announced that Fabian would finally be able to tell Adam’s story in a new series entitled X-Men Legends with the first two issues focusing on Adam’s origin.
The issue takes place in the past and opens with Eric The Red, who we’ve seen pestering Adam (namely back in Captain Marvel featuring Genis Vell) commanding the Crystal Claws to attack (in Alaska – and if you know your X-Men history – you know the grandparents of Scott and Alex live here) – at the same time, Cyclops and Havok find themselves attacked as well – so this isn’t a coincidence. Scott and Alex learn that their grandparents have been taken and a note has been left that says “Deliver the Forsaken One” (something Eric the Red called Adam in the Captain Marvel issues).
The issue cuts over to Adam at a farmhouse just having a zen moment when a young boy encounters him. But it’s not just the kid who is there – Cable also shows up and says that they need Adam’s “help” and explains the situation. We do see some backstory where Adam was genetically made in a test tube – where there’s other tubes that are (presumably destroyed in the ensuing fires and explosions) marked “Eve.” (Fun Note: In the recent Secret Wars, Fabian wrote the X-Men portion – and Adam became known as Burner – and similar tubes were seen where there was an “Eve”, “Seth” and “Able”).
Adam’s angry – and thought that he was done with Eric the Red (he believed he perished in the explosion in the aforementioned Captain Marvel issues). Adam eventually finds himself attacked by Raza and Hepzibah of the Starjammers before Cyclops and Havok show up and try to end things peacefully. Adam uses his power in yet another unique fashion and bolts – but can’t get ahead of Corsair who – after saying that Adam is the brother of Cyclops and Havok – shoots Adam in the head.
In the following issue, Corsair does correct himself and explain that technically Adam was their half-brother – and is surprised when Adam stands up again. Corsair explains that Adam was a part of the former emperor’s D’Ken’s eugenics program. Merging Shi’ar DNA with that of other specifies in search of way to advance the deteriorating evolution of the Shi’ar race and that D’Ken had used Katherine Summers (his wife and the mother of Scott and Alex) cell samples, mixing it with his own, creating Adam. Corsair mentions that the bounty on Adam was from Eric the Red and that gave Adam a plan. Our heroes take Adam “prisoner” and meet Eric the Red on the Moon. Once Eric the Red and the Crystal Claws reveal themselves to pay for the bounty, Adam “breaks out” of his shackles an tags each of the Crystal Claws and Eric the Red before the others can react – and then triggers his power to render Eric the Red and the Crystal Claws unconscious.
And it seems that Corsair is about to betray Adam when he calls upon the Shi’ar Imperial Guard…
But Adam has an idea – and the others all agree to it. They use Oracle powered further by Mentor to erase the memory of how Adam was genetically related to D’Ken, and technically, perhaps the true heir to the throne (especially if you asked Eric the Red and the Crystal Claws, who had wanted to put Adam on the throne).
Adam then returns to the farmland that we see him at in the first issue, and he speaks with the boy about the boy’s father who has trouble standing – so Adam decides to hang out and be a helping hand.
As an avid Adam-X fan, X-Men Legends #1 and #2 gave me what I needed. It finally reveals and confirms Adam’s true origin. It gave me the Shi’ar whom I have always loved, it gave me the Starjammers (who could have easily been the X-Men’s Guardians of the Galaxy for the FOX movies). It gave me a wonderful, amazing story. Gave me great art and inks. Gave me everything I needed wrapped up nicely. This was an incredible story – perhaps, I am the sole person, aside from Fabian who has waited the longest for this day to finally come. I want to thank Fabian, Brett and Adelso who were always so supportive of my Twitter account focused on Adam. (Remember when I started this talking about being obsessed? Listen, I wasn’t kidding!) I’d made movies, shared images – all of which they kindly shared, retweeted, liked, and gave more exposure to my account – but also Adam-X.
My heart is very happy.
You might say… X-Tremely happy.
When asked if Fabian read or what he thought of Vulcan, Fabian was very clear –
“As for anything in regards to Vulcan – Never read it. Don’t think I ever will. That tells you all you need to know about how I feel about that. Sometimes, the lack of respect that can be shown by subsequent editorial and creative decision-makers resonates with some things more than others.” – Fabian
Looks like Fabian just drew blood and whispered “Burn.”
Keep it X-Treme, folks!
- Sir Tawmis