Christopher Summers (Corsair)

corsairfilmAnother secondary character in X-Men: Apocalypse had quite a bigger role in the comics…and it’s unlikely that the movie version will follow the original one’s footsteps. When Alex goes to check his younger brother Scott, who has just manifested his mutant powers, we get a look at the boys’ parents, with Mr. Summers being portrayed by Ryan Hollyman. We only see him in this single sequence, worried for Scott and later letting him go to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters with Alex. In the comics, Christopher Summers is Scott’s and Alex’s father, of course, but his story is quite wider, and he eventually becomes a superhero in his own right. Let’s see together who this renowned space pirate is.

Not much is known about Christopher Summer’s early life: he was the son of Philip Summers, a pilot, and of his wife Deborah. Philip passed down his passion to his son, and even when an accident forced him to stop flying, Chris didn’t give up to his dream of following his father’s footsteps, and when he came of age he joined US Air Force. Summers became one of the best pilots of the Air Force, and rose to the ranks of Major; since his true passion was flying rather than airfighting, he joined NASA as a test pilot, putting his skills to the test with experimental planes. In his free time, Chris worked on a de Havilland Mosquito, an old plane he was rebuilding from scraps. Still a young officer, Christopher met Katherine, a girl he fell in love with, and who soon became his wife; he had two sons from her, Scott and Alex. Chris worked a lot with NASA, and often had to stay away from his family: finally, he and Kate decided to have some family time, and when his vintage plane was completed, he made himself and his family a gift, organising a trip for everyone. During the flight, however, something unexpected happened: a spaceship attacked the plane, and damaged it enough to make it crash. Before the Mosquito fell, Kate managed to make Scott and Alex jump with the only parachute at disposal, preparing to die with her husband…but the aliens who had attacked the plane had other plans, and kidnapped both Chris and his wife. The aliens were corsaircomics1Shi’ar, and they were scouting Earth in search for usable goods…and they had found exotic slaves. Once on Chandilar, the empire’s throne world, Chris and Kate got separated, as the woman was sold as a concubine to the empire’s Majestor, the cruel D’Ken Neramani. The pilot managed to escape from his captors, and reached his wife in the imperial palace…just in time, as D’Ken was trying to rape her. Enraged and unable to think straight, Chris attacked D’Ken, trying to kill him, but he was stopped by the guards: the Majestor, vengeful, decided to commutate his penalty, since killing him would have been too soft for him. The tyrant stabbed Kate right in front of Chris’ eyes, ripping their unborn child from her whomb with a knife: after that atrocity, he condemned Christopher to live with that image forever printed in his mind.

Distraught, alone with his grief and his rage, Christopher Summers was locked into the Pits, forced to work in the mines until he died of exhaustion. Full of resources and still not bent, Chris met other prisoners who had committed various crimes against the Shi’ar: a beautiful Mephitisoid whom he nicknamed Hepzibah (since her true name was unpronounceable), a massive Saurid named C’hod, the Lupin (a squirrel-like alien) Cr’reee and a Shi’ar cyborg, Raza Longknife. As different as they could be one from the other, the prisoners shared a deep grudge against D’Ken and the Shi’ar Empire in general, and Summers, who had regained his self-confidence and his will to fight after saving Hepzibah from a guard’s abuses, managed to organize them all into an efficient team: together, using each one’s unique abilities, they managed to escape the Pits and to steal a spaceship, the Starjammer, which they used to abandon Chandilar. Renaming themselves the Starjammers after their own ship, Christopher and his new friends started an asymmetric war against the Shi’ar Empire, attacking isolated ships and damaging D’Ken’s affairs throughout the galaxy, committing several acts of piracy and becoming the most wanted criminals in the empire. Taking inspiration from his world’s stories of pirates and buccaneers, Chris renamed himself Corsair, and started wearing a costume that gave reason to his own identity: in a matter of a few years, he became a living legend, a symbol for everyone who opposed D’Ken’s tyrannical rule. The Starjammers were hated by the government, who corsaircomics2considered them outlaws and pirates, but they gained popularity among the population, as they opposed abuses and prevatication from the Shi’ars and were always careful not to cause victims among innocent bystanders or peaceful travelers. Plus, after being long together and sharing many adventures, Corsair and Hepzibah grew close to each other, and they eventually became lovers. Quite unexpectedly, Corsair met other humans in the Shi’ar Empire as the X-Men arrived in space to repair a M’Kraan Crystal in their possession. X-Men and Starjammers united forces against the Imperial Guard, and Corsair was stunned in recognising in the heroes’ leader, Cyclops, his long-lost son Scott; he however asked to the telepath Jean Grey not to tell his son who he really was: he would have had to explain much, and that was not the time for a family reunion. It was time for war.

Christopher Summers is a brave adventurer and a man of honor, who lives to oppose a powerful tyrant and to avenge his beloved wife and his unborn son. As Corsair, he’s an extremely skilled pilot, just as formidable with a normal plane as with a spaceship; he’s also a trained tactician and combatant, a proficient swordsman and a precise marksman; with pocket dimensions hidden in the gems on his gauntlets, he has always along an arsenal of Shi’ar weapons, from his trademark saber to a couple of blasters. A corageous pirate who lives outside the law to fight injustice, Corsair is a symbol of hope and righteousness throughout the Shi’ar Empire, a living legend bent on a personal crusade against Majestor D’Ken.

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