Entry 073 – Adam-X the X-Treme

Art by “Calamity” Jon Morris

  • Name: Adam Neramani
  • Code Names: X-Treme
  • First Appearance: X-Force Annual #22 (Oct ’93)
  • Powers: Sets blood on fire
  • Teams Affiliation: X-Force kinda

About

When ratings on The Itchy & Scratchy Show began to decline, executives decided to retool the show with a new character for a new generation, Poochie. He had killer sunglasses, a soul patch, carried a surfboard, played electric guitar, and, of course, wore a backwards baseball cap. He was everything that was “cool” in the 90’s and he was horrible. Audiences immediately turned on him and he was hastily sent back to his home planet and killed off-screen. While this was just a joke on The Simpsons, the X-Men literally did the exact same thing in the early 90’s. His name was Adam-X the X-Treme and he is a glorious relic.

Like the X-Cutioner before him, Adam-X the X-Treme (and no you are never supposed to shorten it) was created for the ’93 Marvel Annuals where book introduced a new character, complete with collectible trading card. Fabian Nicieza and Tony Daniel introduced him in the most X-Treme non-Image book of the 90’s, X-Force, and he blended right in. He was covered in blades, had long flowing blonde hair, and wore a super cool X-Men baseball cap. Time has flanderized the character severely. He wasn’t just a walking Surge commercial, he was a serious warrior from another world, looking for his missing past. That just made him Shatterstar was more blades, but he wasn’t the hyper-distilled parody we all remember him as. It fact he was a lot more boring than that.

Art by Tony Daniel

When Adam-X the X-Treme woke up on Earth he only remembered bits and pieces of his past. He knew he was the sole survivor of something and he knew he was a warrior, but beyond all that he just knew that he could combust oxygenated blood. He was found by Martin Strong, a mutant businessman who was looking to find a cure for the X-Gene. He promised Adam-X the X-Treme help in finding out about his past in return for his employment. Strong used Adam-X the X-Treme to hunt and capture mutants for his experiments. He grew close to one of his fellow bounty hunters, Michelle Balters, but didn’t hesitate to go after ‘Chelle when she tried to escape. This drew the attention of X-Force, who Adam-X the X-Treme quickly defeated.

Art by Tony Daniel, Kevin Somers, and one of the many inkers on this issue

Adam-X the X-Treme was curious about his foes and decided to spy on them, only to be caught by Statterstar and Rictor. X-Force made Adam-X the X-Treme realize that the mysterious man he was working for might not have the best intentions and they convinced him to team up. In generic superhero fashion, they combined their might and defeat Martin Strong, though they left the lab and all the research in the hands of Strong’s top scientist who only wanted to help mutants. Cable offered Adam-X the X-Treme a place on X-Force but the enigmatic mutant declined and continued his search for his past.

Art by Tony Daniel, Kevin Somers, and one of the many inkers on this issue

The mysterious Mr. Milbury (actually an alias for Mister Sinister) hired the wacky assassin Arcade to subject Adam-X the X-Treme to Murderworld. There he was pitted against Shatterstar in a fight to the death that frankly did not live up to the high creative standards Arcade gets paid for. Adam-X the X-Treme tried fighting against Shatterstar but the two remembered that every Arcade story must end with the heroes breaking out and confronting Arcade so they did that instead. Breaking the only rule of being a killer for hire, Arcade told Adam-X the X-Treme who hired him and Adam-X the X-Treme started on a fruitless search for Milbury.

Art by Tony Daniel, Will Conrad, and Maire Javins

His search took him to the great white north where he ran across a plane crash. Adam-X the X-Treme rushed to the aid of the elderly pilot, Philip Summers. He pulled Philip from the wreckage and took him to safety. Adam-X the X-Treme built a fire and shelter to keep Philip warm as the men discussed their strange lives. As the bitter winds blew, Adam-X the X-Treme knew that Philip wouldn’t last the night, so he tried something he had never done before. He took a knife and pushed it to Philip’s skin, it was a small cut, but it was enough. Adam-X the X-Treme used his powers to warm Philip’s blood instead of burning him. It was enough to sustain him through the night and a rescue chopper found them by morning. Philip’s grandson Scott met them at the hospital and Scott’s wife Jean reached out to Adam-X the X-Treme. She thanked him for saving Philip’s life and Adam-X the X-Treme left feeling hopeful for the first time in years.

Art by Terry Dodson, Matt Ryan, and Marie Javins

Unknown to him, Erik the Red was monitoring all of this (and bizarrely enough Mister Sinister was monitoring Erik monitoring Adam-X the X-Treme). Eric soon put his plan into motion and mind controlled Adam-X the X-Treme into fighting the only other ’93 Annual character who kinda mattered, Genis-Vell the new Captain Marvel. They did the Adam-X the X-Treme special and fought briefly until they turned on Erik the Red. Erik finally revealed Adam-X the X-Treme’s past. He was a son of the mad Shi’ar Emperor D’Ken and some human woman who was cast out and raised off planet. He became a warrior throughout Shi’ar space until he ended up on Earth under mysterious circumstances with little memory of his past.

Art by Ed Benes, Mike Sellers, and Marie Javins

It is about here that we need to talk about the actual plans for Adam-X the X-Treme as he stops showing up for over a decade. Fabian Nicieza has been planning seeds that Havok wasn’t Cyclop’s only brother and fans ate that up. Had Nicieza stayed on the books longer it would have been revealed that Adam-X the X-Treme was the son of Katherine Summers and D’Ken, however plans changed and the plot got dropped. It wasn’t until Vulcan was revealed to be a Summer’s brother years later that it was be revisited, though perhaps Adam-X the X-Treme could be the third Summers Brother. For what it’s worth when Nicieza brought Adam-X the X-Treme back in his Secret Wars Age of Apocalypse mini he made it explicit that in that reality they were related.

After the decimation, when most mutants had relocated to San Francisco, Adam-X the X-Treme helped instigate the riot’s again Norman Osborn’s anti-mutant politics. He joined the rest of his race on Utopia and when the Juggernaut, powered by the Nordic god of fear, marched towards the city Adam-X the X-Treme stood on the front line. He was able to set the Juggernaut’s blood on fire but they didn’t realize that nothing stops the Juggernaut and only made it so that everything Juggs touched started to burn. It wasn’t very effective. Adam-X the X-Treme hasn’t been seen since.

Art by Greg Land, Jay Leisten, and Justin Ponsor

Must Read

Look, I’m gonna level with you, Adam-X the X-Treme hasn’t been in many good comics. He hasn’t even been in many alright comics. In fact, the best Adam-X the X-Treme comic completely eliminates all the things you associate with the character. X-Men ­#39 by Fabian Nicieza and Terry Dodson pulls an amazing trick to get you to care about Adam-X the X-Treme and Phillip Summers as they fight for survival in the Canadian wilderness. It’s incredibly out of place in the run but the story hits the emotional beats it needs to and is worth reading just to see the potential a character like Adam-X the X-Treme had.

Art by Andy Kubert and Matthew Ryan

Ranking

Adam-X the X-Treme isn’t good, but he is kinda great. The idea of him being a hyper 90’s dudebro is better than the reality of him being worse Shatterstar. I’ll tell you what though, he is sure better than the aggressively generic Vulcan but he doesn’t rank as high as Marrow, who was 90’s as hell but still dynamic. He is better than Squid-Boy by virtue of not being written by Chuck Austen. That puts Adam-X the X-Treme in as the new number 63 in the Xavier Files.

Adam-X the X-Treme was requested by /u/Crash_Recovery among others. Thank you for the request. If you have a request for how about you send it below? If you want to cut to the front of the two-year long line, we have a Patreon you can support Xavier Files for just $1 to get a line cutting reward.

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