THE WORLD OF XMEN
HISTORY OF THE INSTITUTE
Charles Xavier first realized he was a mutant while still a youth. Keeping his talent hidden, he nonetheless embraced his new identity, and kept on top of current events as more people were born with powers across the world, being dubbed ‘mutants’ by the scientific community and the media alike. In his college years, Xavier began encountering more mutants, either by chance or intentionally, and came to realize that, just as normal humans felt fear and hatred for them, so too did they dislike and distrust humankind. He began speaking as a proponent for mutant rights, working alongside prominent mutants of the time, either in the spotlight or behind the scenes.
As the mutant population grew, so did the tensions on both sides, and Xavier realized that, as much power as mutants had, few knew what to do with it, and began work on a project to not only help teach his fellow mutants about their abilities, but to show the world that, despite mankinds hatred and fear, mutants could prove to be a force for good, to protect both humans and mutants from any threat. Pooling his resources and calling in favors and contacts, Xavier turned his family’s estate into the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning, under the auspices of a very exclusive private academy, and outfitted the school with facilities to both teach students and train the heroes of tomorrow, as well as protect them from those not yet ready to embrace the concept.
Though slow at first, the school provided a safe haven and educational environment for many mutants, and Xavier was able to help them come to terms with themselves and their place in the world. The first of his students would also become the first X-Men, a team of mutants utilizing their powers to protect others and stop both human oppression and mutant terrorism. As the years went on, the X-Men changed and grew, with old members leaving to pursue other interests or to further human-mutant relations in other ways. Other members graduated into the roles, having studied under Xavier and the older students/members. Still others came directly into the team, having been drawn by Xavier’s message or by the X-Men’s acts themselves.
Today, the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning is a perfected academic environment, with a full curriculum covering both middle-school and high-school levels, with additional courses continuing into the college level. Through generous donations and additional backing, the school is now equipped to train nearly any mutant in controlling his or her powers, no matter how mundane or destructive they may be. Additionally, the X-Men who call the Institute home are outfitted with some of the latest technology to aid them in their worldwide quest of protecting both human- and mutantkind, while assisting Xavier in nurturing the next generation of mutants. Despite adversity, the dream of a peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans persists, taking root wherever it can.
HISTORY OF MUTANTS AND THE WORLD
Overall, the world is in a state of flux, as far as mutants are concerned. Mutations have been recorded as showing up worldwide since the early 1960s, and with alarming frequency in the past few decades. At first, they were believed to be isolated incidents and treated as such, but with more and more mutants being born, governments across the globe have had to address the situation.
In the United States, many motions have been suggested to keep mutants in check, and threatening concepts such as the Mutant Registration Act often resurface after a few rewrites. However, both sides have had strong enough proponents that nothing has come to pass on a government level. Even with this stalemate, mutants face daily hardships from normal humans, from hesitant associations, to discrimination, to downright bigotry and hatred. Groups such as the Friends of Humanity constantly harass known mutants, causing many to hide their mutations or even live in seclusion. Numerous outspoken political figures have pointed out the actions of mutant terrorists, such as the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, as evidence that actions must be taken.
Despite these issues, the US is one of the more ‘free’ places for mutants to live. Countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and China have ‘requested’ that mutants enlist in government programs to serve their country. While treated like heroes to some degree, these programs are not above suspicion, and many people connected to these programs consider mutants to be less ‘people’ and more ‘property.’ Other countries, such as Japan and much of Europe, do nothing to address the issue on a political level, but subsequently turn a blind eye when the populace takes matters into their own hands. In parts of the world, mutants are simultaneously revered and feared, as the gods and monsters of cultural lore.
Genosha is of special note in the history of mutants in the world. An island nation off the coast of Africa, Genosha was known for practicing a form of mutant apartheid, using force to keep mutants as slave labor to the human populace. It was revealed several years ago to have been rebuilt as a mutant nation, with Erik Lensher as its dictator. Tension between Genosha and the rest of the world waxes and wanes over time, but the tension never really goes away. Much like the tenuous relationship between the United States and the former USSR, Genosha seems locked in cold war with much of the world at any given time.
THE PHOENIX INCIDENT
In spite of public outcry over the Los Angeles incident, Project Wideawake went forward completely with the Sentinel program. They were made smaller, and their combat algorithms more focused on reducing collateral damage, but the aim of having these machine men as an anti-mutant task force remained. After the battle against the X-Men and the Nasty Boys in Los Angeles, Project Wideawake's leaders managed to gather information from detained members of the Brotherhood of Mutants to obtain the identities and locations of the X-Men.
What happened next, no one could have predicted. Motivated by fear, anger, and despair, a lone mutant assassin managed to get past the best human security forces in the world and assassinate the president, vice-president, and other officials during an executive address on the growing tensions between humans and mutants in America. The assassin was a shape-shifter, possibly Mystique, and fled into the night They have never been found. But the assassination was the final nail in the coffin. Senator Kelly was very able to convince the Speaker of the House to sign an executive order. To make a statement. To eliminate the largest mutant criminal force in America, and afterwards go to war with Genosha and bring the mutant threat under order.
Massacre was imminent. No amount of political campaigning or combat training would save them. The Sentinels came at night, attacking the Institute. Students were evacuated to the basement levels while the remaining, uninjured X-men and combat-able faculty stood and fought. Charles Xavier cursed himself for being unable to reach Mystique and prevent this course of events. And just as he was about to face certain death, something happened that he could never have predicted.
Jean Grey, who had been killed not moments before, stood before him. Not as herself, but instead as the immortal Phoenix. Her presence caused a series of phenomenon that to this day defies any scientific explanation. Like paper dolls, the Sentinels were shredded up and cast to the wind. The night skies turned brighter than day, as if a new star were being born before their very eyes. And just like that, she was gone again. The Institute, though in ruins, was saved.
Following the incident, Sebastian Shaw testified before Congress that Bolivar Trask and Henry Gyrich had conspired to sell the Sentinel Program to a third party, indicting them for treason. The tide of the current government, as well as a growing portion of the public, turned towards sympathy for the X-men, largely several photos of dirty and frightened children coming forth in the media. Project Wideawake was cancelled and Senator Kelly severed his ties with it and with Friends of Humanity, citing a "change of heart". Graydon Creed disappeared as well into the Friends of Humanity underground, not heard from since.
Diplomatic relations between the rest of the world and Genosha remain tense, however. The Mutant Registration Act is still brought up as a solution to the "mutant problem". Charles Xavier, however, has just focused on rebuilding. The Phoenix Incident's bizarre and unexplained effects had created strange lapses in the "world lines" of some of his students, causing their timelines to 'connect' and 'skip forward'. Hank McCoy has kept them all under stasis and observation until the situation can be resolved...
FIVE YEARS LATER...
The Institute has been completely rebuilt and revamped. A whole new population of students, faculty, and X-Men from around the world occupy its halls. The time-skipped students have all been released from stasis, much to the appreciation of their families (if any) and seem to be completely healthy in spite of having remained stopped in time for five years. A brilliant statue of Jean Grey now adorns the front lawn of the Institute, a memorial for her sacrifice that day.
Mutant-human relations, however, are still tense. War between the US and Genosha seems more real each passing year. And what's more, in five years, a whole new batch of problems have come up for the X-Men to solve. In 2016, Senator Robert Kelly became President Robert Kelly. And more and more it feels as if the world will turn against mutants again, and violence and war will break out once more. Seems it's up to this academy of New Mutants to figure things out.
OTHER ORGANIZATIONS/PERSONS OF INTEREST
The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants
Also known as The Brotherhood of Mutants (or simply The Brotherhood), this organization professes to advance the cause of mutantkind in the face of adversity. While this is a noble goal to proclaim, they take extremist actions and appear to be working towards mutant superiority, or at the very least personal gain at the cost of humanity. While the ‘Evil’ moniker was first utilized by the press, many groups have adopted it to differentiate them from organizations such as the X-Men, though many more simply say that the Brotherhood is more overt about their intentions.
Currently the vast majority of the Brotherhood are incarcerated. Many of them have received trials and been convicted of various crimes, and their very existence seems to justify outcries for some kind of Mutant Registration program. Their most dangerous and powerful members are imprisoned by SHIELD. And while Mystique, the assassin that caused this turn of events, is still at large, rumors are strong that she's building a whole new Brotherhood.
Friends of Humanity
More than your average special interest group, the FoH is an international hate group. While in the US they are largely on the same level as things like the KKK, abroad they are more like an underground paramilitary force that have taken it upon themselves to wipe out the mutant menace threatening humanity at any chance. They are considered to be extremely dangerous, and just like the Brotherhood, many of the international branches are classified as terrorists.
Domestically, they are classified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. President Kelly used to have connections to the group, but those were severed several years ago. Nowadays, no one is certain for sure what they're up to, but you'll still here stories of them being behind riots and violent attacks on mutant ghettos and other hideouts worldwide.
Given recent events, especially the X-Day Riots, the Friends of Humanity no longer operate under tolerance of the government and are considered a violent gang that needs to be stopped. Their connection to Senator Graydon Creed has largely gone unchecked, however.
Emma Frost's School for Girls
An ally to the Professor, Emma Frost is a retired X-Man, former Hellfire Club elbow rubber, and staunch advocate for mutant rights in the eyes of the upper class. Her school is considered to be a top notch boarding school for future female CEOs and world leaders. However, her best and brightest that happen to be mutants are inevitably transferred Xavier's way. As of recent, headmisstress Emma Frost has returned to her duties as an active X-Man and left the school in the care of its vice-principal Sean Cassidy
Years ago, a rash of mutant organ thefts plagued the world. In spite of tireless investigation and pursual by SHIELD and the X-Men, the mystery remained unsolved. That is, of course, until recently. Whispers of a new form of artificial mutants, called U-Men, have come up on internet boards across the globe. Nothing has been confirmed about these "U-Men" yet, but connections between them and the rash of mutant organ thefts are strong.
After their attack on the Institute, their connection to the mutant organ theft incidents were proven, with their leader John Sublime being taken into SHIELD custody. It was revealed the powersuits the U-Men used during their raid on the school were designed and created by Dr. Bolivar Trask using parts from Shaw Industries
The leading military contractor originally responsible for the design and production of the Sentinels and funding Project Wideawake. Dr. Bolivar Trask was an employee working in their design firms before his eventual arrest, and the company is headed up by Sebastian Shaw.
Shaw Industries has been caught playing both sides against the middle, however, with Sebastian Shaw openly admitting to selling weapons to the Friends of Humanity in spite of being a mutant supremacist himself.
The Hellfire Club
The Hellfire Club is the name of several exclusive organizations that have existed since the 18th Century. They are made up of high nobility and the social elite, some of the wealthiest persons in the globe. They arrange their hierarchy similar to that of a standard chess board, with Sebastian Shaw having been the most recent Black King and Emma Frost the most recent White Queen.
The Mutant Liberation Front
A leftist, radical, and violent mutant activist group that was formed as a backlash against anti-mutant violence and discrimination. Lead by the mysterious Claudine Renko, they have captured the hearts of many downtrodden mutants, and their numbers seem to grow every day. Compared to Magneto's Genosha, they are more of a 'people's front', focusing on guerrilla tactics and grassroots organization.
During and address by Renko in District X on March 1st, 2019, the Friends of Humanity attempted to assassinate her and started what has become infamously known as the "X-Day Riots".
The Lost Youth of Paris
Over the last few years, France has become the hotbed of mutant turmoil in Europe. It began with young mutant refugees from across Europe migrated to previously "bohemian" sectors of Paris, and the conflicts between homeless mutant youth and Parisian flatscans became worse and worse, eventually breakin out into violence. France has a very bloody history of mutant/human relations in general, and only seems to be getting worse.