Announced this week as part of Marvel’s slate of ResurrXion titles, “Generation X” will make a return in 2017 after an absence of over 15 years. While we don’t yet know the creative team or character lineup for the new “Generation X” book, the announcement of its return means it’s worth taking a moment to look back on the first — and so far only — other series to bear that title. There’ve been multiple volumes of “X-Factor,” “New Mutants,” “X-Force” and “X-Men” — but there’s only been one “Generation X.”
Launched in 1994 immediately following a set-up in the “Phalanx Covenant” crossover, “Generation X” marked the first X-Men team book set at a functioning school — one where students actually went to class — since the New Mutants parted ways with Magneto around five years prior. The book was set at a new location (for superheroes, anyway) and featured two polar opposite headmasters in Banshee and the ex-White Queen. The book lasted for 75 issues, and the team’s members have traveled a rocky road ever since. Fifteen years after “Generation X” #75 hit stands, let’s take a look at where the book’s cast is now.
“Generation X” gave Banshee a purpose again. After he left the X-Men in the late ’70s, Sean Cassidy mostly kept a low profile hanging out with his partner Moira MacTaggert on Muir Island. He came back into the fold for a brief space adventure as a member of a reconstituted X-Men, but stepped back to reserve status once the team restructured itself in 1991’s “X-Men” #1. With the launch of “Generation X,” the line finally had use for a character with Banshee’s years of experience. Sean helped guide the team through it’s seventy-five issue run, and once the team folded, he too was left without a direction. He founded the X-Corps, which fell apart due to the manipulations of Mystique, and a few years later Banshee was killed by the mad mutant Vulcan in his quest for revenge against Banshee’s generation of X-Men. Sean was recently resurrected in the pages of “Uncanny Avengers,” though, as one of the Apoclaypse Twins’ Four Horsemen of Death. Even though the Avengers Unity Squad stopped the twins and recovered Banshee’s body, but the team noted it would be a long time before the effect of Apocalypse would fully leave the hero. Banshee’s status remains uknown.
The former White Queen of the Hellfire Club woke up from a coma just in time to put her teaching skills to work with Gen X. Of course her history as a notorious X-villain and headmaster of the Hellions made her an unlikely choice and made Banshee incredibly uneasy. But Emma Frost’s road to reformation began in “Generation X,” with her harder edges being slowly softened over the course of the book’s 75 issue run. Emma lucked out and didn’t slide into limbo when the series ended, either; instead, Grant Morrison drafted her into his “New X-Men” book, further cementing her status as the X-Men’s queen. Emma became a major player in the X-Books, starring in a few volumes of “Uncanny X-Men” alongside her lover Cyclops. But her reign came to an end following last year’s “Secret Wars” event. Emma’s current whereabouts are unknown, and fans are only now finding out what happened to her thanks to the revelatory “Death of X” limited series.
The second-oldest Guthrie sibling, Husk followed in her big brother Cannonball’s footsteps by joining Generation X and staking her claim as the team’s leader. Paige tried hard to become an ideal superhero, even going so far as to phase out her southern drawl. She got her wish for a bit after her tenure as a student when she joined the X-Men. And like her big brother, her initial stint with the X-Men didn’t go as well as she’d hoped. Barely over the age of 18, she started up a relationship with the significantly older Archangel (one of the original X-Men) and disappeared from the team’s roster not long after. She later reappeared as a member of the faculty at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, but a change in her metamorph powers left her mentally unstable — and in a relationship with the ex-villain/then-janitor Toad. Her mental health continued to deteriorate, leaving her nastier than ever and she defected to the Hellfire Academy. Eventually, her mind reverted back to normal after a few more of her “husks” were removed. She was last seen in the background working at the Jean Grey School, but her whereabouts following “Secret Wars” are unknown.
Buckle up, readers, because Jubilee’s been through a lot. Jubilee actually took a bit of a demotion to go from being a full-fledged X-Man to studying with mutants her age at the Massachusetts Academy. But after she stopped regaling everyone with tales of her X-Men adventures, Jubilee formed deep friendships with her classmates and stuck it out with them until the end of the series. And then M-Day happened, a pivotal moment when the reality-warping Scarlet Witch used her powers to rob thousands of mutants of their powers — including Jubilee. After serving with the New Warriors as a human, she returned to the X-Men — and got turned into a vampire. And after coping with those changes, Jubilee found herself in charge of a mutant orphan named Shogo. Unsure of where to turn, Jubilee sought help from her family — the X-Men. Jubilee (and Shogo) moved back into the X-Mansion where Jubilee served as a member of Storm’s rapid response team. Jubilee can currently be seen in the pages of “Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat!”
For a character with an incredibly confusing origin, Monet St. Croix has exhibited an incredible amount of staying power. With the mutant power of being perfect, M was the Massachusetts Academy’s social queen, making her the arch rival of the uncouth Jubilee. And M, despite how aloof she acted, stuck by her Gen X teammates Jubilee and Husk as a member of Banshee’s X-Corps. Monet then became a mainstay of Peter David’s “X-Factor” series, keeping her in the spotlight from 2006 to 2013. That stretch of time gave her as much — if not more — exposure than her entire stretch with Generation X. Following that, M’s status increased and she became a full-fledged X-Man and member of Storm’s team (alongside Jubilee, again). And more recently, she lent her considerable muscle and mind power to Magneto’s team of X-Men in “Uncanny X-Men,” where she currently appears.
And here’s where the tragedy begins. Everett Thomas started out as a promising young superhero, one of the team’s most easygoing members and a great friend to pretty much everyone he met. That makes sense considering that his mutant power was being able to get “in synch” with the mutant powers of those close to him. But Synch did not survive the series’ initial run. In the final year of “Generation X,” Emma Frost’s actually evil sister Adrienne planted bombs around the Massachusetts Academy. While the team worked to evacuate the school, Everett stayed behind to make sure everyone got out. Synch died because he stayed behind to save some of his teammates, losing his life in the explosion. Defying all superhero logic, Synch has actually stayed dead.
And here’s the other tragedy. Angelo Espinosa, a mutant gifted with six feet of extra skin giving him Mister Fantastic-like abilities, joined the team and kept everyone at super-stretchy-arm’s length. He deflated situations with sarcasm and teased Husk for her country upbringing. But as hard as he tried to push people away, the rest of the team accepted him and gave him the kind of family he’d always wanted. When the school closed, he and Jubilee tried to start a new life in Los Angeles as roommates. But that wasn’t meant to be; instead, a hate group kidnapped both of them and crucified them on the front lawn of the Xavier School. While Jubilee survived (and would later de-powered and turned into a vampire), Skin did not. Jubilee and Husk saw to Angelo’s remains in an issue that also misidentified Angelo Espinosa as “Angelo Torres.”
Chamber’s also had a rough time since the end of “Generation X.” Jonothan Starsmore, a British punk mutant whose lower face and chest were blown away by his furnace of bio-energy, actually found a home with the mutants of the Massachusetts Academy. He even started an on-again/off-again relationship with Husk, providing plenty of teen angst and soap opera for the series spanning pretty much its entire run. When the series ended, Jono reluctantly joined the X-Men for a bit before signing up with Weapon X, a shady government agency that actually fixed his face and chest. And then began the cycle of Chamber getting his body fixed — and then his powers blowing it out again. Weapon X fixed him, and then his powers destroyed his face; then Chamber lost his powers on M-Day (like Jubilee), leaving him a human with no jaw or chest — and then followers of Apocalypse restored him back to health because Chamber’s actually a descendant of the immortal mutant. He ditched the Clan Akkaba and joined Jubilee’s all-human New Warriors squad for a time — and then after that, his powers exploded again. Most recently, Chamber was seen teaching at the Jean Grey School alongside Husk, although very little time was ever dedicated to the two of them interacting. And like Husk, Chamber’s whereabouts following “Secret Wars” are unknown.
The mute, diamond-hard mutant known as Penance was brought to Generation X’s attention by the teleporting mutant Gateway. He wished to save her from being the prisoner of M’s brother Emplate, and Generation X welcomed her into their ranks. And then Penance became tangled in the same confounding origin story confusion as M. Short version: Penance was the real M, and M was really merged twins, and when everything was set right Generation X was left with a set of twins that was M, a new M that was Penance, and a new Penance that appeared out of nowhere. This new Penance remains a mystery, and one that’s never close to being solved thanks to Penance’s few appearances since the end of “Generation X.” For one thing, the character is now called Hollow because the ex-New Warrior Speedball briefly took up the Penance name following the first “Civil War.” Hollow appeared in the mid ’00s “Loners” limited series where she was a prisoner of a drug ring using her to make mutant growth hormone. More recently, she showed up in the background of “Avengers Academy” as one of the school’s students. Hollow’s whereabouts following the end of “Avengers Academy”? Unknown.
Mondo, a Samoan mutant with the ability to absorb matter, was originally including in promotional materials as being a member of the team that would join shortly after “Generation X’s” introductory arc. Mondo did join the team, but his story unfolded in an unexpected manner. It turned out that the Mondo that signed up for classes was actually a copy of the real deal and also a mole for the villain Black Tom Cassidy. That Mondo was killed in “Generation X” #25. The real Mondo briefly showed up in “Generation X” #60, where he was also loyal to Black Tom Cassidy and fought the team. So despite being included in promotional materials, getting his own action figure and appearing in the “Generation X” TV movie (that definitely exists and definitely deserves your attention), Mondo never actually served as a true member of the team. Mondo, the real Mondo that briefly fought Generation X, hasn’t been seen in over 15 years.
The reality-warper named Gaia joined Gen X about halfway through the series’ run after she spent thousands of years imprisoned in an alternate dimension. Her stay with the team was also brief; she enrolled at Xavier’s, had feelings for Synch, and helped the team tangle with the powerful mutant known as Nate Grey. That encounter inspired Gaia to pick up her newly-planted roots and travel the world, seeing it for herself and taking it all in. Gaia was last seen in 1999’s “Generation X” #51. Not only are her current whereabouts unknown, but it seems like the entirety of the Marvel Universe has even forgotten she existed.
Marvel’s new “Generation X” title arrives in spring 2017.
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