- "At least it was lower on the danger meter than a Times Square crawling with Sentinels."
Ult-X #1 has the formation of the team: existing members Cyclops and Marvel Girl joined by Colossus, Storm, and the Beast coming to the rescue of Bobby Drake, who had run away from home after manifesting his mutation. They find him as his bus is pulling out of the Port Authority bus terminal [Nevermind that a bus wouldn't be trying to get through Times Square.] as Sentinels are coming in for the kill.
The Sentinel program is a government-sanctioned effort; mutants are killed on identification, regardless of whether they have proven dangerous. Collateral damage is acceptable and presumably frequent - these are the old, original giant Sentinel robots. The Sentinel program is decommissioned in Ult-X #6, after the X-Men save the President after Magneto rewired the Sentinels (programmed to destroy the Savage Lands, Magneto's base and a mutant sanctuary) to attack Washington.
- "Storm, too, empathized with the boy on that fundamental level - the unhappy kinship coming from having a power that manifested in deadly circumstances."
Ult-X #1: Ororo warns Scott that the first time she tried to control lightning, she nearly electrified a playground full of kids. [Scott's origins in Ult-X are thus far unexplored; I'm using his core-canon story, complete with Alex and one parachute.]
- "Xavier's voice sounded clearly in his ear. The Professor was monitoring them from Westchester, through radio rather than through Cerebro - even months after Weapon X, he had to limit his usage lest he overdo it and develop another crippling migraine."
The Weapon X arc (Ult-X #7-12) saw Xavier and the team kidnapped and held by Weapon X, a program apparently run by the US military but international in personnel and scope. The X-Men are trained and forced to perform murderous missions while Xavier was strapped into a version of Cerebro (think the subplot from X2). Xavier was a little looped and delirious for a while after the rescue.
- [Scott] "And we both know you damned well can make me do whatever the hell you want."
Fed up with the X-Men's philosophy and deeply wounded when longtime crush Marvel Girl is spotted in the embrace of the Wolverine, Scott hijacks the Blackbird and flies off to the Savage Land to join Magneto. In his final confrontation with Xavier, Scott notices that Xavier is playing with his mind - trying to calm him down. Xavier admits it, but whether Xavier engineered Scott's rage in the first place - the Blackbird is traced, leading the Sentinels to the Savage Land - to undermine Magneto, is unclear. Ultimate Xavier has little compunction about playing with the minds of his students - Ororo is 'encouraged' to reciprocated the Beast's crush (according to Proteus), Bobby receives a nonconsensual mindwipe after he was indiscreet about the school before Xavier took it public - and is totally forgiving of Scott after he returns to the team in Ult-X #6. [In all of my Ult-X fic, I have decided that Xavier did in fact 'provoke' Scott into fleeing to his archrival.]
- "Broad daylight's harder," Jean said. "It's not like when we grabbed Alex. There will be people assigned to watch him; they're prepared for stuff like this. Especially with the Brotherhood threatening to blow up the courthouse if the verdict isn't overturned."
Alex was introduced into my Ult-X universe in Saving Cain; he was kidnapped by the X-Men from right outside his school's courtyard at lunchtime. The Brotherhood survives after Magneto's death in Ult-X #6, but in fractured form. Wanda and Pietro don't inspire the fear their father did and Pietro's portrayed as inadequate to the task of leadership and unaware of others' perceptions of him (think Evolution Pietro); the Brotherhood is together, but pretty much only because of a lack of a better option. This doesn't mean that they are inconsequential - they are responsible for a bombing in downtown Tokyo (presumably not the only one) and manage to suss out some important information by hoodwinking the Beast.
[I'm tweaking the Brotherhood's role - dropping both the entire Beast/Blob storyline and the anthropomorphic membership business - and remembering that just because Magneto was verbally abusive towards his son doesn't mean that Pietro was actually an idiot.]
- "This was where he had seen Magneto playing Frisbee with the children last week. This was where Xavier had proudly displayed his domesticated pet tyrant, like an artist with his latest creation. Which, in a sense, was the truth."
In Ult-X #15, after a discussion with the Maximoff twins at the Guggenheim, Xavier takes Pietro to Central Park to see the mind-wiped Magneto. Piotr, who saw Magneto 'killed' in spectacular fashion in Ult-X #6 - Magneto is first betrayed by Wolverine, whom he had sent to the X-Men to kill Xavier, and then by Pietro before Xavier telepathically forces him to turn his power against himself and basically suicide - doesn't take the revelation well.
Technically, readers have known since Ult-X #12, when a delirious Xavier tells Jean that Magneto is alive and soon they will all be one happy family living together, Brotherhood and X-Men as one. Jean is shocked, to say the least, but Xavier falls asleep before she can question him about it.
Whether this is a true parallel to the Joseph storyline in core canon is up for debate; I'm apparently in the minority by saying that it isn't - Ultimate Xavier is much less benevolent, much more ethically flexible than his core counterpart, and much more ruthless and thus wouldn't have simply stripped away all of the 'bad thoughts' that made Erik Lehnsherr into Magneto without replacing them with something more useful. When we first see Erik in Ult-X #15, he doesn't know he's a mutant, nor does he know that Xavier was once his closest friend (much closer than in core canon) or that he has children - children Xavier was just socializing with a few blocks away. Xavier has apparently set him up with a new life, new memories, and a residence and a job - teaching Down's Syndrome kids and living an unexciting working class existence (especially by NYC standards) and shows no inclination to get him out of it - Xavier uses telepathic suggestion when Erik suspects that he recognizes him. Magneto has been stripped of everything - not just what made him Magneto, but what made him Erik as well. It's a living prison of the mind - Magneto has some choice phrases once he is returned to his faculties in Ult-X #25 and following - and I took it as equivalent to "being haloed" in the film "Minority Report".
- "Piotr hadn't needed a room. On his second stop of the night, a small club on 8th that was not yet part of the Everything Queer supermarket culture of that part of Chelsea, he had met a beautiful little Polish boy who had an apartment nearby and whose roommate was out of town."
Ult-X Piotr Rasputin is gay. It is revealed in uninspired fashion in Ult-X #18, but Mark Millar spared no homosexual stereotype before getting to Jean blurting things out. Piotr draws, plays guitar, loves "Will and Grace", is the sensitive one, and is nothing short of a gigantic queen who has a crush on the Wolverine. I've tried to give Piotr a little of his dignity back in "Dasyatidae" and continue it here.
- "Piotr craved the spotlight no more. He had granted no interviews since their release, posed for no photographs, and answered no fan mail."
After their spectacular rescue at the White House in Ult-X #6, the X-Men go public. Xavier does the whole celebrity blitz thing, tossing the team to the media. Colossus is initially enthusiastic - indeed, he is quite proud of the fact that he rates as the sexiest mutant on a poll of Japanese schoolgirls - but it is on one of these publicity jaunts that Rogue, a tool of Weapon X, touches him and steals the location of the X-Men's base of operations from his memories.
- "The book. They had all known about the book; Xavier had been working on it even as the X-Men had just been beginning."
Xavier's book is pretty much as I've described it - new age bullpoop and a lot of "post-human" ideas that sound a little funky coming from someone who is suggesting equality of the species. "A mutant alternative to boom-bust economics" is the header of one chapter [Ult-X #16] and none of the X-Men seem interested in reading it. The international book tour (the "World Tour" arc, Ult-X #16-19) is the schism point between Ult-X canon and my story; later events are incorporated, but only where they jibe with my universe.
- "They had been rescued and dropped off at a mansion that had been rebuilt in their absence and there had been no debriefing beyond Nick Fury's crew's incessant questions."
That's pretty much what happened at the end of Weapon X. Millar just dropped the ball on any and all aftereffects.
In terms of personnel, both Piotr and Ororo were willing to kill their captors and they were stopped by Marvel Girl and Nightcrawler respectively. Nothing is made of this, either.
- "Earlier in the week, Ororo and Xavier had headed into the city to try to recruit someone for the team. The young man in question apparently was of the right age and power level, but hadn't been interested despite, according to Scott's version of the story, any sign of alternative options. The young man had instead insinuated that Xavier had a much less than philanthropic purpose in mind."
In Ult-X 14, the second half of the two-part Gambit standalone story, Remy, a savvy street kid, is found in a dark alley by Xavier and Ororo. Xavier offers Remy a place at the mansion, but a suspicious Remy declines, suggesting that Xavier's got less altruistic purposes in mind. Ororo is outraged, despite her own street-life experiences.
- "They were eating lunch and doing crossword puzzles and Scott was off traipsing through the park with his Boys & Girls Club charges and Jean was out shopping after having spent the morning with her FBI files on missing children."
In Ult-X 15, Xavier, in an article, details the activities of his students. Ororo is attending lectures with Henry's help, Bobby is feeding the homeless ('compassion lessons'), Colossus and the Wolverine are patrolling the streets late at night, Cyclops is a mentor in some Big Brothers/Big Sisters sort of program, and Jean is showing aiding law enforcement agencies.
- "What do you mean 'it broke'?... Alex, you are such an idi... I don't think so, but I'll ask," Scott was saying into his cell phone..."
In 'Saving Cain', Henry creates a tiny ball-pendant monitor for Alex to wear to keep track of his just-manifested mutation.
"Here," Henry said, taking Alex out of his reverie. He held out a chain with a pendant hanging off of it.
"What is this?" Alex asked as he took it. Squinting down into his palm, he eyed the small silver ball pendant.
"It's the micro version of this," Henry answered, waving the emission monitor with one huge hand. "It's a kind of zone alarm. It's silver now, right? Well, if you start to get dangerous, it'll turn blue."
"What do I do if it turns blue?" Alex asked. He put the chain over his head and tucked the ball pendant behind the collar of his shirt.
"Until you learn to control your powers, I guess run like hell away from anything that you don't want melted down," Henry replied with a shrug.
"That's helpful," Alex snorted, although not unkindly. He knew that an early warning system was better than none at all. "How effective is it?"
"It's been calibrated pretty well, if I don't say so myself," Henry said as he turned off the workbench light. "It runs in stages. Light blue isn't as bad as dark blue. Robin's egg blue should be enough for you to get a good running start. If it hits midnight blue, you're gonna do what you did upstairs. Imminently."
For the rest of Alex's background, see the rest of the story.
- "He had never asked Scott about the telepathic link he shared with Jean, but Piotr sometimes wondered how much Scott wanted it versus how much Jean did."
Scott and Jean hook up in Ult-X 20; the psi-link is shown in Ult-X 23.
- Emma Frost and Shinobi Shaw are, like Alex Summers, original characters as far as the Ultimate universe is concerned. Sebastian Shaw and the Hellfire Club do exist, however. The Hellfire Club arc [Hellfire and Brimstone, Ult-X 21-25] is basically the Ultimatization of the Dark Phoenix saga.
In this version, however, the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle is revealed to be the true financial backers of the X-Men (Moira McTaggart - Xavier's ex-wife - reveals that Xavier is not independently wealthy in Ult-X 17). Their purpose was specific: by means unknown, they sensed the relationship between Jean and the Phoenix Entity and wanted to cultivate the human host in order to control the cosmic aspect. Jean, Xavier, Ororo, and Piotr are captured, the other to be used as sacrifices for the avatar-Jean. It is a plot arc that fizzles early - Jean is not corrupted by the Phoenix Entity, rather she wants to use it for solving all of the world's problems, and she immediately turns on her 'captors'. The Phoenix appears through Jean subsequently to this, but in an uninteresting manner.
- "How much do you know about Xavier?" Wanda asked from his right side. She was looking at him with curiosity. "About where he gets his money or what his 'dream' really is?"
Wanda and Pietro were raised by their father alone - Erik Lehnsherr comes from extreme wealth, but has spurned his family - and were along for the ride after Xavier left his family to join with Magneto in the founding of the Savage Lands. [The background for this is in Ult-X 26, the prequel for - and only decent part of - 'Return of the King', Millar's final story arc.]