Generation X Vol 1, # 5 - 11, Annual '95
#5 - 6 Cover the Gene Nation story from the perspective of this team
# 7 is a typical Lobdell character issue following a crossover
# 8 - 9 takes the team to Cassidy Keep and a world full of magic.
Annual '95 & # 10 - 11 focus on the introduction of Mondo to the team.
Generation X # 5 - 6 (Gene Nation)
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Chris Bachalo
Oops, I probably should have included this with the rest of the Gene Nation stories. Oh well, let's move forward!
The main story takes place with part of the team finding security guards killed by Hemmingway (of Gene Nation) and Emma missing at Frost Enterprises. Marrow and Hemmingway have Emma and Leech captive and in a hilarious escape, Emma kicks Leech in the head to turn off his power dampening. This allows her to use her to put her attackers in coma and free herself. I guess that's really it from the core story, so it really didn't add much to the overall narrative. However, there were some great character things going on.
Gateway is watching TV with Chamber, who lives in the basement, mostly trying to hide from everyone else. Eventually Chamber finds Paige drunk, struggling to handle all of the pressure, and as she kisses him, he accidentally blows up the girls dorm. This is the start of a relationship in the prime universe, which would mirror the already established universe in Age of Apocalypse.
Skin is believed to be dead in LA, but not much comes of this.
Banshee is trying to communicate with Penance, but getting frustrated with his lack of success. Jubilee eventually ends up taking her under her wing and over the course of these arcs will grow quite close with her.
Monet went into another one of her trances while the whole Emma situation was going down, so there is still something percolating there, however that story (assuming we're going to get something from it eventually) hasn't begun yet (and I still don't know what's up with M).
There is also a great moment where Jubilee goes into the woods and has a great conversation with Wolverine, harkening back to how close they were just years ago (in publishing).
Generation X # 7: Character Issue
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Roger Cruz
This is one of those famous post crossover quiet issues that Lobdell is so good at (and Claremont had perfected).
Banshee is struggling with some nightmares and Emma keeps entering his dreams. It's a little unclear whether she's doing it on purpose or not. We learn that Skin was a gangster in LA.
Jubilee steal's M's coloring book, which is another indication of something weird going on with her. Monet also refers to Gateway as "Mentor," so again there is something weird going on here. Jubilee talks about how she assumed she would be the leader, but there still seems to be a power vacuum between Jubilee, M, and Husk.
Synch (who I sometimes forget is part of the team), builds a treehouse for Artie and Leach, who will apparently be wards (or team members) of the team. At the very least, it looks like they will be recurring supporting characters.
Generation X # 8-9: Cassidy Keep and Magic
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Roger Cruz (8) & Tom Gummit (9)
There is a lot of whimsical, lighthearted magic in this one, which kind of reminds me of Excalibur in the early days (which isn't necessarily a good thing).
Cassidy Keep disappears into a magical kingdom and Synch and Chamber disappear into it, followed shortly by the rest of the team. There are many Faeries and Trolls with one fairy who kept cracking me up by lying to the team. She created a scroll to show that their coming was foretold, but in reality she had drawn it herself a few minutes before meeting the team. This fairy asks the team to fix a "Glamour Machine."
Jubilee and Husk get to work, but Monet goes into another trance. This leads to a great quote by Jubilee airing her passive aggressiveness towards Monet:
"I don’t remember Storm ever going catatonic when the X-men needed her."
There is a dragon who doesn't want the team to fix the machine, but Skin distracts/fights it. Banshee and Emma help some evles battle a troll. Eventually Synch and Chamber work together to power the Glamour Machine, shortly before being sent back to their universe. That's it in a nutshell!
Generation X Annual '95 & Gen X 3 10 - 11: Mondo
Plot - Scott Lobdell
Script- Jeph Loeb (Annual '95), Scott Lobdell (10), Todd DeZago (11)
Pencils - Ashley Wood & ShawnMcManus (Annual '95), Tom Gummit (10), and Val Semekis (11)
This 3 issue arc is mostly about Mondo. In the annual, Cordellia Frost (Emma's 17 year old sister) kidnapped Mondo (her friend, who we had seen together in interludes from previous issues) to help her get into the Hellfire Club. She's shown as an empetuous brat and I have a feeling we'll be seeing more of her, which is fine with me. Mondo was then captured by a guy named Barrington (who seems like setup for a future arc). Cordellia asks her sister to help them find Mondo. They do, and then he says that he plans to join the team.
Most of the next two issues take place during Mondo's inauguration party and inside Banshee's head (with Emma). We learn that Banshee had an encounter with Omega Red in his days with Interpol, and even received assistance from Magneto (before both turned into villains). We also learn that Omega Red killed Banshee's lady friend in the past and that in the present, Omega Red is scared of Chamber as the team fights him in the present. I think this is set up to remind us of how powerful and important Chamber is.
Meanwhile, Penance goes into a coma and Jubilee, who is apparently very close with her now, sits by her bedside getting pretty upset. M is being very sneaky about this...there's something going on here.
Lobdell is really trying to push the whole "Skin is a gangster from LA" persona as it's brought up in conversation every issue. Ok, we get it. That's his thing!
My Connections and Creators
I'm going to check in with how I'm feeling about this series. I see a lot of people who have fond memories of this series (even though I had never heard of it until recently). Marvel doesn't seem to value it too highly because there are a LOT of issues missing from Marvel Unlimited. The series isn't quite doing it for me, but don't worry, I'm not giving up like I did with Alpha Flight, Dazzler, Wolverine, and recently X-Factor. I've bought a bunch of issues so I can keep going.
***Friends! I have to share a crazy, editorial note. I literally wrote this section of the blog last night, talked about how I wanted to continue reading this series but the issues weren't on Marvel Unlimited...and poof Marvel added a bunch more on 7.28.22, right in the middle of me writing this entry. It's almost creepy how this aligns with me. This books came out in 1995 and I'm just some random guy reading the series for the first time in 2022 and poof, Marvel decides to add these comics, out of every comic in the world, to their site the exact week prior to me needing them on the service. That's nuts!***
It's not bad either. I'm interested in some of the characters. I know there is a lot of love for Emma. I love her sass and I can't wait to continue to see her featured more heavily. I have a soft spot for Husk/Paige (I can't decide what to call her by default). Maybe it's because I like Sam, but no that's not it. I like strong female characters (hence my obsession with Kitty). And she has a lot of vulnerability, which is interesting. I'm also captivated by M. What is her deal!? I like her attitude too. I think I actually like overpowered characters and she certainly is. Skin and Synch are meh. I've never really cared a whole lot about Jubilee, but I don't dislike her either. Banshee is ok and growing on me. I'm intrigued by Chamber and glad that they are starting to feature him more. I feel like there is a lot of meat left on the bone with him and I want to start digging in. The jury is still out on Mondo and Penance.
I also have something else I'm embarrassed to admit. But when Chris Bachalo stepped away, I kind of liked it. He has a really unique approach to his art, but if you've been following me from the beginning, I'm mostly interested in story. When the art gets distracting, I don't necessarily like it. I don't dislike his art either, but I guess I just felt relieved when Roger Cruz's more vanilla, straightforward, art showed up. Everything just seemed a little easier to follow.
I mentioned previously that I'm really interested in learning more about Emma. I know so many people obsess over her, so I'm looking forward getting to see what the craze is all about. I recently read an essay by Richard Reynolds titled "Emma Frost, the White Queen: Superpowers as the Performance of Gender" and I wanted to comment a bit about it.
When you think of Emma, it's hard not to immediately notice the way she dresses. Upon first glance, you may come to the wrong conclusion that she is a "slut" or a woman who doesn't value herself. But in reality she...
“subvert(s) the established power structures of the genre while simultaneously being the object of the male gaze.”
What I take this to mean is that she weilds her sexuality like a weapon. She revels in the fact that she is attracting the male gaze, and uses it to increase her own power. She doesn't hide from the fact that she's beautiful, she embraces it and uses it to put her in a position of control with powerful men.
“She engages with the world on her own terms, bypassing many of the stereotypes which have attached themselves to superheroines over the decades. She inverts many of the tropes of toxic sexuality, employing them for her own empowerment.”
Not only does she buck the status quo of how females should dress in society (as proscribed by a male dominated society,) but she flips the expectations of a female superheroine on it's head. It's really fascinating. As a father of 3 girls, I can't say that I'll suggest this tactic to any of them, but I certainly respect Emma for this bold approach that has proven successful for her as she clawed her way to the top.
Mondo officially joins the team in these arcs. I say officially because he showed up in a number of interludes and was with the team during Age of Apocalypse, but now he's officially joined the team in the prime universe.
Paige and Chamber
I really, really like that we are further exploring the relationship between Paige and Chamber. As X-creators often do, we were first introduced to them being together in an alternate timeline (like Kitty was shown to be with Colossus during Days of Future Past) and then that feeling of inevitability carries itself over to the prime universe. Chamber is a character that seems ripe to be explored and I'm fascinated to see how he could go about being close to someone, especially a girlfriend when it comes to the fact that he doesn't have a mouth...
Jubilee and Penance
It's interesting that Jubilee seems to have taken Penance under her wing. In some ways, I see this as a failure of the character altogether. Jubilee was a member of the X-Men, but she's not interesting enough on her own, so Lobdell pairs her with Penance to give her something interesting to do. Now I'm not saying that it's bad to pair two characters together. Jubilee paired with Wolverine was fantastic, but Jubilee was supposed to be the tentpole character of this group, and I feel like the fact that we have to resort to gimmicks to make her interesting just shines a light on how uninteresting she is.
Leech and Artie
Leech and Artie have officially joined the comic as supporting characters. I've always felt quite fond of these two characters, so I'm looking forward to seeing where how they are utilized in this comic.