Maybe once I get a new phone, I’ll use twitter (@psychodadcomics) more. right now? hard enough to keep regular apps on there. My phone sucks.
As I go right along, there’s some good issues and some bad issues. Trying to decide if I do one issue at a time, or give a few. I guess still trying to find my voice.
Most of my comics have been delivered to my new house. My “geek den” is coming along. Now I’m slowly going through some of my non-x-men boxes, ones that I haven’t looked through in years (seriously…that’s not an exaggeration). Did manage to find some X-Men issues I’d forgotten about that weren’t in my normal boxes (like Phoenix Warsong).
X-Men (vol. 2) #51 (April 1996)
Artist: Pascual Ferry; Writer: Mark Waid
As Xavier and Bishop test out a rebuilt Cerebro (Banshee destroyed it during the Phalanx Covenant, remember?), a sudden spike of mutant signatures in New Jersey (geez, can’t that state do anything right?) suggests a malfunction but Bishop takes Beast and Gambit out to investigate. They find a train filled with people displaying grotesque mutations, all crying out for help. They discover that the mutations are not natural and are spreading to the non-mutants simply by touch. In an effort to stop the train from crashing into the city (and spreading the mutations to the general populace) Bishop absorbs the eye blasts from one of the mutated humans and they climb on top of the train and make their way to the engine. Unfortunately, in the engine car, they find the engineer mutated as well. Beast heads off to try and subdue the mutants as Bishop and Gambit fight off the engineer. Beast puts together a makeshift knockout gas and releases it into the crowd of panicking mutants. Those that aren’t knocked out? Beast simply kills them (this isn’t our Beast, remember X-Men Unlimited 10?). However once Beast stops bouncing around, he finds the one responsible for this horrific scene: Mr. Sinister. Meanwhile, unable to stop the train, Gambit gets an idea. He charges the entire train with kinetic energy, creating a massive bomb…that’s headed right for Manhattan.
Elsewhere, Cyclops tries to subtly test Jean’s niece and nephew for mutant abilities and Jean catches him and scolds him for it. And Xavier plots with Ambassador St. Croix to take action against Graydon Creed, now a presidential candidate.
So…uh…yeah. another issue I don’t have the sequel to. My bad, folks.
This is probably one of my least favorite of the entire X-Men run (except when it became New X-Men). The art is very bland and boring (I’ve seen worse though). The mutated humans on the train are all just silly looking…almost like they were straight out of the Toxic Avenger cartoon. I mean, there were some gems in this issue…like when we see Dark Beast’s brutality. The continuing of the Creed subplot is nice, but as we find out some time after Onslaught, it ends up becoming moot. Sometimes you get stories that leave you clamoring for the next issue. But this wasn’t one of them.
Generation X #15-16 (May – June 1996)
“Death in the Family”
Artist: Tom Grummett; Writers: Scott Lobdell and Todd Dezago
In a St. Louis apartment, Synch stands over a toddler in her crib, waking her parents…Everett’s parents. Of course he isn’t exactly himself. He is still under control of Emplate. As his dad grabs a baseball bat, Everett leaps out the window. As the police investigate, the family lies and claims it was a burglar. Of course the detectives aren’t convinced and even start to threaten the family with losing their daughter. But Emma and Banshee show up, freezing the detectives and forcing them to leave. Of course Synch’s dad isn’t too happy with the mutants as Everett was supposed to be under their care. Banshee explains about the battle with Emplate and Synch’s control. Meanwhile, outside, M, Husk, and Jubilee wait rather impatiently…until M decides that she knows better and flies off.
Some short time later, Synch finds himself in a church. The janitor (Mr. Jan Itor maybe?) finds him and he tries to help Everett, but Synch is so hungry and so far gone, that he immediately attacks! Luckily for the janitor, he is interrupted by Jubilee and Husk, with M flying the janitor away. Unfortunately, we all know what Synch’s power is…and he immediately syncs to all three, gaining a metal arm (Husk), flight (M), and sparkles (Jubilee). This…may hurt…
“Out of Sync”
Artist: Tom Grummett; Writers: Scott Lobdell, Todd Dezago
Banshee and Emma rush off to help out in the fight against Synch but Emma shocks Banshee into stopping several rooftops away, ensuring that they can’t get close enough for Synch to use their powers. They watch the lights from the battle as M, Husk, and Jubilee (can you guess where the lights came from?) try and take down Synch while protecting Mr. Jan Itor (it’s easier to remember than his actual name). Someone blasts a hole in the wall (Jubilee or Synch who knows) and Synch flees through it, forcing his teammates to follow. Husk is the first one to catch him (hoping that he can’t easily duplicate her power). He seems to overpower her at first but then she starts changing forms. He interrupts her by tearing off her current layer (her power is just really gross). That’s normally a vulnerable time for her but as he leaps in for the kill, she fights back, her skin incredibly hard. Unfortunately, the pain is too much and Paige collapses. Everett prepares to feed on her (something to do with Emplate’s possession). But Synch resists and M shows up. But instead of fighting, she invites him to sync to her own abilities. To find out why Emplate could never feed on her. But when he tries, something happens and the effect burns out Emplate’s influence on him. M flies both Synch and Husk back to Banshee and Emma. As everybody starts to recover, Emma comments how it may be M they need to worry about…not Emplate.
Scattered throughout this issue we also see Skin and Chamber (left behind because they could not go unnoticed in St. Louis) trying to help Chamber figure out why Onslaught took an interest in him. So they decide to head out and ask help from Professor Xavier. Unfortunately, at the end, their car crashes and they come face to face with someone who wants Skin dead: The X-Cutioner!
So at this point in Generation X (in fact it’s been like this for several issues) I’m reading these for the first time instead of 20-30 years later. And as much as I’ve heard about how great Generation X is, after Age of Apocalypse…it just wasn’t any good. I’ve only really been interested in a handful of characters (Emma, Husk, and M) and the rest just aren’t…interesting to me. The stories have been wacky (the %$^&ing faeries?) and the art has been sub par. I’ve never been the biggest Bachalo fan, but I liked him on Generation X. And Tom Grummett just wasn’t doing it for me. Some of the scenes are pretty good. The effect of Banshee’s sound waves (see the picture above) was pretty awesome. But I just didn’t care for his style. It’s not horrible…I’ve seen much worse… but I really couldn’t stand it and after several issues of no Bachalo? Ugh…I’ve had it. At least getting these issues are helping to fill up my catalog of comics. The story actually isn’t too bad. #15 helps to build things up as they hunt down Everett. #16 gives us some pretty good battles and really starts to show the mystery of M. But I’m still really having trouble getting into the characters.