Tessie-Jo

horresco referens

As regular readers, you all know that Sage is my favorite comic book character. Created in 1980 as Tessa, assistant to one of the X-Men’s greatest enemies, Sebastian Shaw, the Black King of the Hellfire Club (rich, mutant, industrialists, devoted to control of the world through ruthless economic domination and manipulation), Tessa was later retconned into having been one of Charles Xavier’s first students. Due to her computer brain and complete control over her own body, Tessa made the ideal spy for Xavier. Reportedly, Chris Claremont planned for Tessa’s role to be revealed in Uncanny X-Men #300. Having written the comic for fourteen straight years, my Tub of Love, CC, felt comfortable snoozing along with plots planned 6 years in advance. Unfortunately, CC became a little too uppity and was forced off the X-Men books 1991. When he returned with inflated fanfare in 2000, the revelation that Tessa had always been an X-Man — while making sense if one revisited her earlier appearances — seemed forced and contrived with Tessa’s off-panel defection from the Hellfire Club back to her home team.

One of Sage’s powers is to type 200 wpm without a keyboard, as well as to spin around on wooden chairs.

I’ve always been interested in the way writers flash their influences around. With CC, you can practically see his Netflix queue with every issue he releases. When he redesigned Sage in 2002, he was obviously a late-comer to the Matrix and a loyal viewer of Alias, as one of the thousands of people who masturbated at Jennifer Garner on a weekly basis. Most writers refuse to touch Sage, leaving the retcon wholly in CC’s hands. Professor Carey, even when visiting Xavier’s past every month, leaves Sage out of the mix. Jeff Parker, writer of X-Men: First Class – a whimsical, all-ages, story about the original five X-Men as teens – refuses to include Sage in any of their adventures. The only author brave enough to touch Sage’s past history with the X-Men was Grant Morrison, who in the above panel alluded to a dark past between Sage and Jean Grey, as they pass one another on campus, giving each other full-on bitch face.

While purists who read the X-Men and cowardly writers treat Sage as if her convoluted history would give them the plague, many people agree with me that Sage’s past with the X-Men deserves to be respected. My friend, Novaya, who mocks Sage incessantly (he considers her a ludicrous and comedic counter-point to the “more important” Dazzler), also agrees that Sage belongs in First Class. To some degree, Sage is ludicrous. Every time CC writes her, she comes off as some sort of sexual succubus. There are superheroines who can fight in high heels, and though Sage tries to use them as a weapon, she is constantly being defeated, tripped, knocked around, mind-raped, or thrown against a wall with a knife to her throat. A couple of years ago CC had her go undercover with one of her team’s enemies, and she went so deep-cover that she forgot that she was actually hero. She “accidentally” decapitated one of her allies. Lately, CC has been watching Pirates of the Caribbean on Netflix and now CC dresses her in a gold bra and a Johnny Depp style pirate outfit. In fact, Sage is deeply ludicrous, yet compelling to me. Probably, she represents one of Claremont’s ex-wives. As you can see in the image below, which Novaya has shown to Jeff Parker, he envisions Tessa as Tessie-Jo, a Goth teenager who yanks around a large 1960s style computer and is mocked by the rest of the cast of First Class. Obviously, most of the original members don’t remember that Sage was with them during their early X-Men adventures because that bastard, Professor Xavier, mind-wiped them (with the exception of Jean Grey, who held a high enough security clearance to remember Tessa).

In response to Novaya’s stunning piece of computer artwork, Gene F has created some gorgeous images, detailing the hidden history of Sage and the rest of the Original Six members of the X-Men. I have asked him for permission to post his work on my blog for greater exposure and Gene has kindly agreed. Since Gene is an Arab (I think. Either way, he’s swarthy) we can add this material to the growing archive of great Arab-American art and its critical reception. The following is Gene’s art as well as his explanation of the images.

The 05’s were real assholes towards Sage. That’s the real reason why she has not yet been included in First Class.

Observe:While the 05s were busting the Brotherhood’s chops, Xavier had special ‘individual study’ classes prepared for young Sage.

Observe:
Though they don’t particularly remember it, Beast and Iceman were almost as harsh on Tessa as Xavier was.

Observe:
Sage’s introductory Danger Room sessions with Cyclops and Marvel Girl.

Observe:More Sage and the 06 photo evidence has been declassified.

Sage was one of the first victim’s of Jean Grey’s irrational temper, and quickly found out how much Jean loves to see girls cry.

Young Sage was one of the first to preview the wrath that would one day become Dark Phoenix.

Observe:
Even Sage’s personal space was violated in the house of X. Cyclops and Jean found it humorous to upset Sage’s reserved emotional status by being blatant with theirs.

Observe:
Angel’s tiny brain was often baffled by Sage’s higher thought processes. In retaliation, he would often take his childish frustrations out on her delicate technology.

Observe:
With his twisted love for Jean fully blossomed, Xavier threatens Sage with “deep cover” work if she doesn’t stay out of Grey’s way.

Sage is aghast at the thought of wearing fishnets and a corset. She is saddened at the thought of being used like this.

Observe:
Sage was eventually excluded from team sports after Beast kept lovingly squeezing the life out of her whenever she got within a five-foot radius.

…much to the horror of Sage and the chagrin of Angel (who hated her for her superior intellect)….

Observe:

Keep an eye on this post for further updates of Sage: First Class!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: