Katherine Ann Summers

katherinesummersfilmAnother new entry in X-Men: Apocalypse is a secondary character, who appears briefly in a sequence only: Mrs. Summers, portrayed by Joanne Boland. The woman only appears in the movie while speaking with her elder son Alex about the younger one, Scott, who had some problems in school…after blasting away a bully with laser beams bursting from his eyes. She then allows Alex to bring Scott to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, and she’s not seen anymore. Her story is pretty much different from the comics one, especially considering that the original Katherine Summers doesn’t live much, and she mainly appears in flashbacks showing her death. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Katherine Ann‘s early life, not even her maiden name. She was most likely born somewhere in Nebraska, but nothing is known about her family or even her parents. Anyway, at a certain point in her life Kate met Christopher Summers, a US Air Force Major who was also a test pilot for the Army: the two of them fell in love, and they eventually got married. Kate became pregnant soon after, and she gave birth to a boy, Scott. A few years later, when Scott was still a baby, Kate had a second son, Alex: the two boys grew up together, and despite some obvious and normal rivalry they were pretty close one to the other. The first years of the Summers family are not recorded in any way, and we can assume they were pretty normal and happy ones, with Chris often absent because of his work and Kate taking care of her children in the bases they moved to live in. Finally, when Alex was little more than a kid and Scott little less than a teenager, the Summers decided to take some time just for themselves, and Chris chose to take his entire family on vacation, katherinesummerscomics1using his own private vintage plane. The family trip started the best of ways, with Chris piloting the plane and Kate playing with her children, but then something quite unexpected happened: an alien spaceship appeared from nowhere, and attacked the plane setting it ablaze with its superior firepower. With the small de Havilland Mosquito about to crash, Kate thought of her children first, and gave the only available parachute to Scott, tying Alex to him and pushing them out of the plane, instructing her elder boy to take care of his younger brother. Then, she prepared to face death with her husband.

Things again didn’t go as planned, and nor Kate nor Chris died in the crash: the same aliens who had attacked the ship, who belonged to the avian race of the Shi’ar, kidnapped them both and brought them to open space, wanting to sell them as exotic slaves on their homeplanet. Husband and wife stayed together for all the time of the trip, trying not to get separated, but once they arrived on Chandilar, the capital world of the Shi’ar Empire, the slavers brought them into two different directions. A beautiful woman, Katherine was brought to a sex slave market to become a concubine, and because of her unsual features and of her appearance she was immediately recognised as one of the most beautiful “wares” of the day. She was bought by a functionary who worked in the imperial palace, and brought to the centre of the city to enter the harem of Emperor D’Ken Neramani, the cruel tyrant who ruled over the Empire. In the meanwhile, Kate had also found out she was pregnant for a third time. When D’Ken first saw his new concubine, he was smitten by her beauty, and he immediately assaulted her, trying to force her into sleeping with him; in the meanwhile, however, Chris had managed to free himself from the slavers, and he had tracked his wife down to the imperial palace. Upon seeing the Emperor trying to rape Kate, he intervened and attacked D’Ken, but failed to do anything else but to enrage him. katherinesummerscomics2Understanding that a bond linked his assailant and his new purchase, D’Ken killed Kate in retaliation right in front of Christopher’s eyes, then, knowing that the woman was pregnant, he ripped the baby out of her belly with a knife, making Chris believe he had lost both his wife and his unborn child (the baby, in reality, was given to the slavers to be incubated and artificially matured to adulthood, to be later sold as a gladiator). So much for a family trip.

Katherine Summers is a normal woman, thrown from a moment to another into a very abnormal situation. She’s a loving mother for her children, and she’s ready to sacrifice her own life for her boys; she also loves deeply her husband Chris, and just for the sake of being with him she embraces quite a difficult lifestyle. A brave and selfless woman, Kate has faced in a matter of days enough traumas to fill a lifetime.

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