In Generation X, there were two mysterious characters on the team.
First, there was the mute mutant with razor-sharp skin called Penance, because that is what the mutant teleporter Gateway said when she first showed up.
Next, there was Monet St. Croix, who had lots of weird character tics, and was hunted by a mysterious villain named Emplate.
After Lobdell left the title, Larry Hama revealed that Emplate was the brother of Penance AND M, and that M was actually made up of two young twin sisters who merged together to form a duplicate of their older sister, Monet.
Monet, in turn, was trapped in the form of Penance, unable to tell people who she was.
At the end of the story, the twins switch places with Monet, and became trapped in the Penance skin themselves, allowing Monet to return to being herself again.
That origin, though, really did not fit the clues that Lobdell had laid in the book, and when asked about it, Lobdell explained his actual plans. Here are his answers (courtesy of an interview with Nate Raymond):
Raymond - What was YOUR plan for the revelation of M?
Lobdell - Well, it unfolded pretty much the way I wanted it too up until the moment that M split. From BEFORE her first appearance, the plan was to have her split after that wall fell on her . . . they would go through the wreckage and find the TWINS! After that, EMMA and SEAN were going to be forced to make a truly difficult decision: Do you allow the TWINS to stay together as the supper powered M--thereby putting their lives in constant danger--or do you force them to stay apart and live relatively normal lives (except that would mean the autistic one would never know the freedom she enjoyed as M! Ahhhh, the tragedy.) As you can see, they strayed as FAR away from the original idea as possible.
Raymond - Why is Emplate called 'Emplate'?
Lobdell - It was short for TEMPLATE--the idea was going to be, as we saw in his first appearance, that he was going to be something of a tabula rasa . . . so that as he feasted on the genetic marrow of mutants, he would eventually take their powers from them as well. Imagine a vampire who could become the person he bit, so to speak.
The hard part about EMPLATE too, is that he only looks cool when Chris draws him. Like SUGAR MAN./p>
Raymond - Who/what was Penny going to turn out to be?
Lobdell - Penny was short for PENANCE -- the only word GATEWAY spoke when he dropped her off after kidnaping her from EMPLATE. But it wasn't her name, it was GATEWAY explaining this was his penance for his part in the murder of the Hellions. It would ultimately have been revealed that her name was YVETTE, and that she was a sixteen-year-old survivor of the warring in Yugoslavia. She was deaf since birth, which explained her childlike naivete as well as he inability to communicate with others. She was supposed to be the first deaf mutant . . . I think it is kind of sad that she was never allowed to be who she is.
That IS too bad. Sounds like it would have been an interesting origin.
Thanks to Nate Raymond for the interview and Scott Lobdell for the answers!
Okay, that's it for this week!
Feel free to drop off any urban legends you'd like to see featured!