Archive for the ‘Characters’ Category

Jean-Paul Beaubier aka NorthstarCharacter Spotlight: Jean-Paul Beaubier aka Northstar

Jean-Paul was the last addition to the team. I had already decided that I wasn’t going with the original line up or any of the newer teams because I had specific ideas where I wanted certain characters to be. Yet, I knew the team needed one more member in the core team, it just wasn’t feeling right as is.

So I got to thinking about my villains and who would be a good thwart for Quicksilver and I thought to myself ‘another speed mutant’. I looked at a list of those with speed and Northstar jumped out at me as a character with a great background who would work perfectly into the universe I was creating.

Coming from Canada and Department H, I have a plethora of possibilities, story wise, to draw from. His sister, Jeanne-Marie, sets up my ideas for Dissociative Identity Disorder. Jean-Paul himself is a perfect analogue for Mutants and current equality parallels. He’s also a bit of a jerk which nicely rounds out all the personalities.

Unfortunately, due to the realistic take I’m doing, I had to nix his ability to fly. But he can still run really fast, has endurance and invulnerability. This still makes him pretty formable.

Series Biography:
Growing up in Quebec with his twin sister Jeanne-Marie, Jean-Paul was kicked out of the house at 18 when he came out to his parents that he was homosexual. Not sure where to go, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces along with his sister Jeanne-Marie who also left their parents as a form of protest. Their mutant abilities were easily discovered and the siblings were then moved up into elite training and became some of Department H’s finest soldiers.

When Jean-Paul realized that his sister was being pushed too hard and being mistreated by those who only saw Jeanne-Marie as a weapon to use against other mutants, he took her and fled South, ending up at Xavier’s. Seeking refugee, Xavier welcomed the twins, giving Jean-Paul a job as a teacher at the school.

There is much Jean-Paul left behind in Canada but he blames himself for his sister’s current dissociative state and will do anything he has to in order to help her.

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Character Spotlight: Robert “Bobby” Drake aka Iceman

Robert "Bobby" Drake aka Iceman

Robert “Bobby” Drake aka Iceman

Iceman is one of the original X-Men and I debated for a moment using him. He makes a great foil to Pyro (or Pyro makes a great foil to him?) in the whole Ice vs Fire thing. This was used in the movies and it worked, mostly, but I got annoyed at how forced it felt since they basically re-wrote Pyro to fit. That’s when I realized that I was balking on Iceman because of how much I like Pyro which is totally not fair.

The character of Bobby is that of a prankster (though he’s grown up a lot over the past few years) and he’s the one with the most sense of humor and now I realize I would have been an idiot not to include him. He brings a lightness and fun to the series that I would have found sorely lacking. Yes, this does mean that Bobby gets to be the butt of some classic slapstick, but at the same time he’s the heart of the team. He’s the one who inadvertently holds everything together.

This is how I’m running with Bobby’s characterization. He’s a bit younger than everyone else, very much still a ‘kid’ without actually being a kid, but at the same time, there is a maturity in him just waiting to come of age. He’s the jokester who when he has his moments… he has his moments.

Series Biography:
Bobby grew up in Long Island, the visual aspect of his mutation manifesting a little later than usual. Your typical class clown, his world is turned upside down as his own family doesn’t seem to know what to do with him and just dump him off with Xavier.

The first mutant he met was Scott and the two have become best friends. He’s extremely hopeless, relationship wise, most of the women within dating range at the School thinking of him more as a brother than anything else.

Still earning his degrees, Bobby is a certified Accountant and performs this job for the school. If you are going to buy anything class related, make sure you always save the receipt. If you don’t, you’ll probably find yourself the victim of his latest prank.

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Character Spotlight: Jean Grey

Jean Grey is one of those characters that you love or you love to hate. Whether it’s wishing that she stepped up and was as awesome as she could be, or maybe you just want her to stop dying, everyone has a pretty opinionated opinion of her.

She is a strong character, being a telepath and a telekinetic means she can pretty much do whatever the heck she wants. In my realistic-ish universe, most powers, such as cryokinesis, terrakinesis, basically anything with kinesis at the end, is just a type of locked telekinesis. Meaning that anything Magneto, Iceman, Pyro, etc, can do, she can do, if she puts her mind to it.

That is dangerous ‘over power’ territory which is arguably why in the comics the Phoenix turned into the Dark Phoenix and it all went downhill from there. They had to reign her in somehow? Well, that’s a theory anyway.

In the movies, they decided that instead of Phoenix being an alien-like entity, they simply gave Jean a split personality ala Jeanne-Marie aka Aurora from the comics. I think this was a good move to replace the Phoenix’s cosmic origins with something more realistic. Whether or not they meant to rip off Jeanne-Marie, I don’t know, but I like the concept.

This is why in my universe there is MIDID, Mutation Induced Dissociative Identity Disorder. It’s a very real disorder to worry about as we will see from Aurora in the first season and something which holds Jean back. It’s not that she has MIDID, but she knows she could easily suffer from it, if she pushes herself too fast and too hard. So Jean is only limited by herself. This keeps her within a reasonable power threshold while adding some character traits and development tools for me to use.

As for Jean Grey not having a nickname, I couldn’t exactly use Marvel Girl in a realistic universe especially as Marvel still exists in this world. I can’t use Phoenix because she’s not Phoenix. I decided to simply not give her a mutant name because not everyone out there has a nickname nor wants one. It also allows for a mixture of character styles which keeps things interesting.

Series Biography:
Jean Grey grew up in upstate New York the daughter of a wealthy and influential lawyer who has served on several State and Congressional Councils as well as on the boards of Fortune 500 companies. She was Xavier’s first student when the first part of her mutation, telepathy, manifested at a rather young age. A few years later, her telekinesis manifests during an attack on herself, the Professor, and Scott.

Even though she is teaching and helping at Xavier’s, she’s studying to get her PhD in Genetics to better understand how mutations work and how to help her fellow mutants.

Jean has two potential suitors, Scott Summers and Warren Worthington III. Her best friend is Betsy Braddock, also a telepath, and she thinks of Kitty and Jubilee as younger sisters.

Currently Jean is the biology, natural sciences, and social science teacher at Xavier’s School for Higher Learning.

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You might think that since all these characters have been pre-named, I don’t have to really worry or think about that aspect of their character, if only.

Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, otherwise known as Aurora, is one of those cases that is troublesome. The main question being, how do you pronounce Jeanne? Is it Gene or Genie? This is a pretty important question because we already have a major character named Jean, i.e. Jean Grey.

I did a poll of my friends and their vote was pretty much unanimously “Gene”.

Now, visually, there is an obvious different in the names and under normal Fan Fiction circumstances I’d leave it at that. However, if this is played out like a tv show, then audibly we have two characters named Jean. Granted, two people with the same name working/living together is not uncommon, I’ve even worked with another woman who shared my name. And it’s because of this I know that something is going to have to give and some kind of alternate name/nickname is going to have to be used. (how do you think I earned the nickname JayCee?)

We can nix the use of Jeanne-Marie outside of specific circumstances because, well, we’re lazy. We like to shorten names and give nick names. Jeanne has one, Aurora, but that is her alternate personality so I have to reserve that name for that personality.

I considered JM but it doesn’t roll off the tongue or seem as fitting as John-Paul’s JP. I thought about turning it into Jem, but that’s way to 80s and something Jubilee would do.

My last thought, which is probably the one I’ll have to go for, is Marie. The problem with Marie is that we sorta/kinda have another Marie. Rogue’s name in the comics is Anna Marie and her name in the movies is just Marie. Thing is, no one knows her real name in the comics and it won’t be revealed for some time (if that really is her name in this series, spoilers, it’s not, one of my changes I’ll highlight in a separate post on a later date).

I still have time to think about this before I have to settle on exactly what everyone will call her, after all, the first episode doesn’t go live for another year. However, I’m looking at six months till every episode is ready to go bar last-minute grammar edits.

This is just another small little tweak that may seem insignificant but makes this series that much more than your average fan fic.

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If there is one thing that everyone knows about Jean Grey, whether they are fans of the X-Men or only know it in passing, is that she dies… a lot… and comes back… a lot…

Would you expect anything less from a character named Phoenix?

However, a recent discussion on another forum ended up in complaints that comparatively, Jean hasn’t really died and came back a whole hell of a lot. It’s usually argued that she’s only really come back from the dead three times after only having died twice:

  1. Dies when after the Dark Phoenix Saga she commits suicide.
  2. Dies when Xorneto forces a stroke in Jean/Phoenix

Of course, she’s back for her third time in All-New X-Men as a time-traveler (which would mean she’ll eventually die a third time).

These are the two times where the character is ‘removed’. It’s not a trick, not a ‘psych’, they simply got rid of her until they decided they wanted to bring her back again.

So the question is, how many other characters can you name were ‘removed’ and brought back at a later date? Okay, now how many of them had that happen twice? Personally, all the ones who were killed off as a permanent (or as permanent as the comics can get) situation, it only happened to them once. (And really, does Kurt count since it’s his Alt who is back?)

And then you add all the times where she has died, though in full knowing that she’ll be back shortly, the ‘psych’ moment if you will.

  1. Dies on the space ship saving everyone, comes back as Phoenix.
  2. Killed by Sentinels, survived by putting her mind in Emma Frost.
  3. Mercy killed by Logan when Asteroid M is hurled at the sun but Phoenix brings her back.
  4. During that same comic there is a flash 150 years in the future where she is brought back through a Phoenix egg, time travels to after Xorneto incident and dies again…
  5. Comes back and also dies in Endsong comics

I suppose that’s not a lot either, I mean, all the X-Men were thought to be dead in Texas that one time… Kitty was thought to be dead but she was actually kidnapped by the Morlocks… and I’m sure there are a ton that I’m forgetting for the rest of the cast…

So again, why is Jean special? Why does she even say to Scott, “all I ever did was die on you”.

I think the crux of it is that Jean not only dies, but she dies with flare. I mean, she goes totally dark side in the Dark Phoenix Saga, destroys a solar system! Then has to take herself out… that’s pretty epic. Then the second time she dies it’s in the middle of a love triangle with Scott, who is kinda a douche at the time.

The Dark Phoenix Saga is one of the most memorable moments in X-Men history. Everyone, pretty much, has heard of it, and that pretty much is the answer, as simple as it is.

Jean is forever haunted by the ‘dies and comes back’ groan because she died first in the biggest, most epic, way possible. All deaths afterwards pale in comparison.

Oh, and she has the name Phoenix… that helps too.

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Scott Summers aka Cyclops

Scott Summers aka Cyclops

Scott Summers aka Cyclops

Concept Stage:

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not a big fan of the X-Men leader, mostly because he seems to get the short end of the stick whenever the writers decide that they want to do something different in the storylines. I’m not totally convinced that he’s really supposed to be as bad as he is in the comic, what with the ‘dumping his wife and son for a girlfriend whom he later cheats on anyway and oh he kinda looses it when the mutants start to become extinct’.

Actually, that last part kinda makes sense considering how much he’s been put through over the years, something was bound to make him snap.

Regardless, as much as I don’t care for a character, I still want to do right by them and Scott is no exception. He’s billed as the leader of the X-Men, the stalwart boy scout, and that’s what I’ve created in X-Men: The (fan fic) Series. A man who earns the alt nickname ‘the Boy Scout’, but at the same time is not the ultimate stick in the mud either.

How do I do this? By making him a true leader. He’s the one who everyone turns too when they know that things are going wrong. He’s the one who takes on the responsibilities for creating the team, it’s his idea even. He’s the one who comes up with the plan of action in a situation. He’s the character willing to make the tough and sometimes unpopular decisions because they are the right thing to do, and not because the Professor or anyone else told him to.

Also, one storyline from the comics and movie I’m going to do away with is the Scott/Jean/Logan triangle. Part of the reason is that it was done to death in the movies (literally), but mostly because I don’t want Scott’s role as leader being defined by that relationship. When he butts heads with Logan it will be because these are two fundamentally different people who look at the world from skewed perspectives. I don’t want their conflict basically watered down to a “stay away from my woman” trope as it so often is.

In the end, Scott will be the leader because, as Jean will put it, “you got [the role as leader] because you’re the right man for the job.”

And of course the best leaders are often reluctant.

Character Background:

Scott has a closely traditional origin of being from Hawaii then after having lost his family in a plane crash he moves to Alaska to live with his grandparents. He finds his way to Xavier’s as a teenager where he grows up with Jean Grey and Warren Worthington III. Of course he has a little thing for Jean but never really thought he had a chance, not that Warren got much farther himself.

In an effort to cure himself of a fear of flying due to the incident which killed his family, Scott took flying lessons once he was old enough and is now a licensed pilot with his own personal plane.

After graduation he did a couple of years of college while helping out at Xavier’s seeing as the school has grown vastly in the past few years, picking up the likes of Robert “Iceman” Drake who becomes his best friend.

Currently Scott is Xavier’s math teacher, Algebra, Calculus, Trigonometry, etc.

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I have never cared for Scott Summers as a character, though I thought he got a bit of a bum rap in the X-Men movies. But why my ‘meh’ attitude towards the X-Men leader? You can pretty much boil it down to everything mentioned in this hilarious blog post Cyclops: the Worse Leader (an interview).

And a specific example:

The first time?

Yes, the first time, I married her exact physical duplicate who wasn’t related in any way, and quit the team.


Well, technically I was forced off the team by Storm, who thought I should concentrate on my wife and son.


But then I heard my original girlfriend was still alive, so I abandoned my family with no explanation to join a new team with the original girlfriend.


Of course, I didn’t tell the original what was going on, either, and swore everyone who knew I was married to secrecy so I could go back to dating my resurrected girlfriend in peace.

You have got to be fucking kidding me.

When my wife came to find me, demanding to know what the hell was going on, things looked pretty grim for a while.

Hard to believe that would bite you in the ass.

But fortunately it turned out that she had been a clone all along.

So you mean totally identical, unrelated women aren’t that common?

Also, maddened by jealousy, rage, and grief at our son’s kidnapping—

Kidnapping?! You didn’t think this was worth mentioning?

—she had struck a bargain with a demon to give her incredible powers so she could take revenge.

Why ever would she want to do that?

So we just defeated her like any other supervillain, and she committed suicide. Things sorted themselves right out after that!

To be fair though, I really think Cyclops got a raw deal. I don’t think his story was meant to become as bad as it did… kinda what happens when you have several decades and different writers involved in the story telling.

But really… the whole thing about Maddy… that’s when I start with the epic face palming.

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