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Literature / X-Men: Chaos Engine Trilogy

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Published in 2000, Steven Roman and Stan Timmons wrote three X-Men novels collectively known as the Chaos Engine Trilogy. Individually, they were known as X-Men: Doctor Doom Chaos Engine Trilogy Part 1, X-Men: Magneto Chaos Engine Trilogy Part 2, and X-Men: Red Skull Chaos Engine Trilogy Part 3. Essentially, the novels each focus on the specific villain in their titles, who have made changes to the world of Earth 616 (the mainstream Marvel Universe) and the X-Men's efforts to stop it. In addition to taking place in the mainstream Marvel Universe, they also take place in the late '90s era of that universe specifically.


X-Men: Chaos Engine Trilogy provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Wolverine's claws, natch.
  • Action Girl: All of the superpowered females (Rogue, Psylocke, Phoenix, Storm, Mystique) and even a few of the non-powered ones fits the bill.
  • Actually a Doombot: The trope namer comes into play here, since the "Doom" that was running the altered Earth-616 in the first novel turns out to be one of these. Magneto tears it to pieces.
  • Alpha Bitch: Saturnyne, big time.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Gambit to Rogue, right before he dies. She's understandably ticked that it took him dying to tell her.
  • Backstab Backfire: Arcade gets this after he tries to betray Doom in the first novel. He ends up fried like a strip of bacon.
  • Big Bad: Doctor Doom in the first book; Magneto in the second; and Red Skull in the third.
    • Big Bad Ensemble: The Skull escaped the influence of the Cube in the first and second book and spend both novels trying to get his hands on it; Doom meanwhile is imprisoned by Roma who tries to find out why his Cube is faulty and destroying the multiverse, after which he schemes to steal her power instead. Both end up fighting each other in the finale for ultimate power.
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  • Big Good: Roma, the Omniversal Majestrix.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: The X-Men team has this going for a short time in the first novel with Carol Danvers (blonde), Rogue (Brunette), and Phoenix (redhead).
  • Boom, Headshot!: This happens to Doom's chief of security, courtesy of Mystique, at one point.
  • Broken Bird: While not exactly the poster child for being put together, Rogue really becomes one of these after Gambit's death.
  • Cast from Hit Points: The real Doom reveals in the first novel that he has to do this in order to use his faulty Cosmic Cube, making him a very, very old man. He is wrong; he had actually merged with an actually older version of himself from an alternate universe that had conquered his world decades ago and aged naturally. Once they are separated, the younger, mainstream Doom murders his older counterpart.
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  • Combat Stilettos: The altered Carol Danvers and Jean Grey have a conversation about them in the first novel after Carol questions their practicality.
  • Composite Character: Psylocke is this in Doom's world, where she is a mix between her normal self and Dazzler, since she's a successful singer in that world.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: The altered Archangel does this in the first novel in the arms of his lover, Psylocke.
  • Evil Costume Switch: Not evil per se, but Rogue wears a red and black costume after her yellow and green one is destroyed in the first novel. It matches her dark mood for the rest of the book very well.
  • Flying Brick: Rogue, since she has her Ms. Marvel powers here.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Outright stated between Psylocke and Archangel.
  • Happily Married: Dr. Doom and the altered Storm in the first novel, though their relationship has some...unsettling undertones to say the least. Cyclops and Phoenix play this trope to a "T."
  • Healing Hands: One of Magneto's Acolytes in Doom's world has this as her power.
  • Hes Mine: Rogue tries this with Doom in the first novel, but Magneto kicks her butt to show he wants to kill Doom more.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: The altered Carol Danvers tries to do this to save the X-Men's lives in the first novel. She's killed almost off-handedly and her sacrifice really didn't amount to much.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Happens to Magneto in the first novel courtesy of Psylocke's psychic knife. If he hand't been wearing his helmet, it'd have turned his brain into soup too.
  • Inner Monologue: The preferred form of exposition in the novels. Characters think about past things such as Rogue's absorption of Carol Danvers, Wolverine having his adamantium ripped out in "Fatal Attractions," etc.
  • Mind over Matter: Phoenix, naturally.
  • Mind Rape: This is done to the X-Men in the first novel while under the thumb of Doom's Psi-Division, who use telepathy to tear at their minds.
  • Morality Chain: Nightcrawler is often assigned to be one for Wolverine throughout the first novel, to varying success.
  • Off with Her Head!: Mystique dies this way in the first novel. Her head even splits in half after it hits the ground.
  • P.O.W. Camp: Doom has these all over the country. The X-Men liberate one at the beginning of the first novel.
  • Ridiculously Human Robots: Arcade's assistant Ms. Locke is this.
  • Ring of Power: Doom seemingly has these, having stolen them from the Mandarin. In actuality, it's his his Doombot that wears them.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Rogue goes through this in the latter half of the first novel, after the death of Gambit.
  • Skunk Stripe: Rogue, per usual.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Happens between Saturnyne and Psylocke. Both are posh, upper class ladies so...
  • Victory Is Boring: The reason Doom allowed Magneto to oppose his regime in the first novel.note 
  • Villain World: The premise of the story- Dr Doom, Magneto and the Red Skull compete for control of a Cosmic Cube and each makes their own Villain World in turn with it.


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