Disambiguation: This is the article outlining the Joint Venture Universe in broad strokes. For the category containing specific articles pertaining to this universe, click here.
X-Men: Joint Venture is a fanfiction being written by Ingonyama.
Its setting, the Joint Venture Universe, is an Earth of an indeterminate number, a variation on the Marvel Universe. Here, mutants, magic, and superhumans have been a part of human society since the beginning, but there has never been more than a handful with each generation -- a small enough number that the human population has remained largely ignorant of their existence.
Nonetheless, superhumans have contributed to, or been a part of, society in varying ways. The infamous Luna Regina, last Empress of Rome, was a mutant and a sorceress, and Captain America's Sentinels of Liberty, the first official team of powered superheroes, were instrumental in many Allied victories in World War II.
Then, in a time period roughly analogous to the 1990s, humanity experienced an inexplicable boom in superhumans of all kinds -- including ones gifted with genetic mutation. Now faced with a new reality of beings with the powers of gods (figurative and literal), humanity is afraid and mistrustful, though some organizations have attempted to bridge the gap between human and superhuman.
The X-Men are one such organization.
Ten years after the Mutant Boom, in the late 2000s, multi-disciplinary Professor Charles Xavier and his colleague and close friend, Erik Magnus Lensherr, founded the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning together, alongside Scottish geneticist Moira Kinross and her Irish boyfriend, former Interpol agent Sean "Banshee" Cassidy. Their goal was to find and assist mutants in the use of their powers. The school was called an Institute for Higher Learning because Xavier was aware that, while mutant powers could often manifest at puberty, some mutants were mutants at birth, and some, like Erik, did not develop their powers until they were well into adulthood.
Their original class consists of the four members of the staff and seven students:
- field leader Ororo Munroe (Storm) from Kenya,
- Jean Grey (Psyche/Phoenix) from upstate New York,
- team strategist Scott Summers (Cyclops) from Nebraska,
- Wanda Maximoff (Scarlet Witch) from the Bavarian Alps,
- Henry Phillip McCoy (Beast) from Illinois,
- Mortimer Todd (Toad) from London,
- and Shiro Yashida (Sunfire) from Japan.
Each of the X-Men came to the Institute under their own unique circumstances. The team was rife with personality conflicts early on, but over time began to coalesce, most notably when they saved Russian siblings Peter and Illyana Rasputin from the arcane dimension of Limbo, and the two joined the newly-formed X-Men as Colossus and Magik.
The primary antagonists for the "Joint Venture" X-Men currently consist of:
- The malevolent psychic entity called the Shadow King,
- Mutant supremacist Bennet du Paris (Exodus) and his Brotherhood of Mutant Liberation,
- The Black Queen Selene and her allies, the Hellfire Club,
- Weapon X, an international shadow-organization created to turn humans and mutants into living weapons,
- Twisted scientist and sorcerer Nathaniel Essex (Mr. Sinister),
- And the person responsible for both Exodus and Sinister, the ancient Egyptian mutant En Sabah Nur, better known as Apocalypse.
However, they also have allies, in the form of the New Orleans-based Clan Darkholme, led by an old acquaintance of Xavier and Lensherr, and Sunfire's extended family of Clan Yashida, who are based in Fukuoka, Japan and led by Sunfire's cousin Mariko Yashida, and her husband, Canadian mutant James Logan.
The world at large is still wary of superhumans and mutants alike, but the X-Men hope to ease that apprehension by keeping the world safe...no matter how much it may fear them.