Earthquakey People (Generation X vol. 2 #8 Review)

Hungry! M-Plate is Hungry! Correction, M-Plate is hungrier than ever! He/She plans to target and capture a student at Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters!! But things went unexpectedly bad when an earthquake hits New York, not only for M-Plate but for the X-Men too! But where does Jubilee and her students, the new Generation X fit into all of this chaos!?

GENERATION X Vol. 2 #08
Writer:
Christina Strain
Penciler: Almicar Pinna
Color Artists: Felipe Sobreiro
Cover Artist: W. Scott Forbes
Publisher: Marvel Comics

Previously: Kid Omega, Morph and Hindsight managed to steal what they thought was a canister filled with Nano-Sentinels from the Fenris Twins. They were able to escape Kade Kilgore’s Super-villain filled Weapon Auction, Alive! Elsewhere, Chamber and Jubilee had, what seemed to be, a sweet moment together after taking out a few muggers in Central Park. Their moment, however, was interrupted when Jubilee bit her own tongue. This left us with an awkwardly frustrated Chamber with baby Shogo laughing at his misfortune. Later that evening, the three boys arrived at Xavier’s school in one piece. Kid Omega pushed Morph to make a move on Hindsight but ended up having cold feet. Kid Omega then tells Morph that the difference between them is that he knows what he wants and takes action without hesitation- a trait that’s absent with Morph.

What You’ll Find Out:

Nature Girl and Eye-boy were tasked to babysit Shogo, but for some strange reason, Nature Girl had the idea to do that at Central Park Zoo, inside the Bears Den. Eye-boy expressed to Nature Girl that this was not a good idea, babysitting Shogo surrounded by bears. Shogo is seen having fun playing with the bears when suddenly, the bears sensed danger, stood up (dropping Shogo) and roared viciously. Eye-boy picked up a crying Shogo and carried him. Eye boy asked Nature Girl what was that all about as they watched the bears go back inside their cave. Lin (Nature Girl), then warned him that something is coming and that they need to get back to the school fast.

Back in Xavier’s Institute’s Counseling office, Bling! had a therapy session with the school’s in-house counselor, Paige Guthrie (A.K.A. Husk). She expressed her frustration and anger toward the experience she had when she was captured back when the children encountered M-Plate (back in issue 4). She expressed how weak she felt and denied the fact that the reason she couldn’t fight back might be because of the past trauma she experienced when she first encountered Emplate (X-Men Legacy Annual #1, X-Men: Legacy #228-230.) She then told Paige that she knew why Jubilee and Jono brought her to counseling. She further expressed that her power set is like Emma Frost and that she is a perfect candidate to become an X-Man. With that, she strongly disagreed that she had to think about a “life after the X-Men.” Paige then shared to Roxy that she too had once thought she was a perfect candidate to become an X-Man and when she did become one she thought that her powers were ready, but eventually it took a toll on her. She shared that she eventually spiraled down losing herself with her powers and that it nearly broke her. But now that she had recovered, looking back at the thought of what she had been through, she wondered if being an X-Man was her real purpose or was it just a security blanket she used to cover herself from the rest of the world. After their therapy, Jubilee who waited outside with Chamber (Jonothon Starsmore) asked Roxy how it all went. Roxy shrugged Jubilee’s attempt to get through her and told Chamber that she wanted to leave. Chamber thanked Paige and went after Roxy. Paige then told Jubilee to not put too much meaning on Bling!’s belligerence. Paige then addressed the big elephant in the room, which was M-Plate and why she was not informed about the current situation. Jubilee reassured Paige that she and Chamber were already working on saving their former classmate, Monet. She also added that Paige is already starting a new life and that they wanted her to live it.

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Somewhere underground, we see D.O.A. drag a random Morlock to an abandon train cart where M-Plate was currently hiding and feeding off one of the captured Morlocks. D.O.A then delivered the freshly captured Morlock. M-Plate (as Emplate) expressed that feeding off random Morlocks was not enough for them (talking to the Monet internally) to remain anchored in this plane of existence. M-Plate (as Emplate) then explained that he/she need to feed a marrow of the mutant with substance. M-Plate (as Monet) then asked her brother if he was suggesting again to capture one of the students at Xavier’s school. She then said that she plans to find a better solution, a solution that would solve the problem permanently. Their strange conversation was then interrupted by an earthquake.

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Back at the school, Hindsight talked to Morph regarding his annoyance toward Quentin Quire (Kid Omega) who was sunbathing wearing a speedo in front of the school lawn. He wished that he could pull off what Quire was doing. Morph then asked if it was Hindsight’s power that was stopping him from doing the same. Hindsight responded that it was not his powers, but he just did not have the guts to pull it off. Morph was about to ask a question to Hindsight when suddenly, they were interrupted by the earthquake.

Carried and dropped by vultures at Xavier’s school, Eye-boy, Nature Girl, and Shogo arrived at the school informing Kid Omega that something was digging its way to the school looking for him. Kid Omega, the realized that it was the living island, Krakoa who he previously left in an island, instructed to wait and promised that he’ll come back for it (last seen in The Mighty Thor #18.) Headmistress, Kitty Pryde was shocked and asked Quentin what was Krakoa doing back on school grounds again. Quentin responded in a joking matter, which Kitty reprimanded telling him that this is no joking matter and making him realize the damage that Krakoa has done.

Elsewhere at the Museum of Natural History, Chamber, Jubilee, and Bling! were saving civilians and facilitating their escape due to the earthquake. Jubilee saved a child from a falling Sue (T-Rex skeleton fossil) while Chamber saved the child’s unconscious mother. Chamber told Jubilee and Bling! that they need to leave the building already. Jubilee agreed with but before they could, the ground that she and Bling! were standing on collapsed. The two fell, Jubilee called for Chamber and threw the child at him for safety. Chamber was able to grab the child who and watched helplessly as his comrade and student fell. The child he saved then called her mother and Chamber, decided to move on, carried the child and her unconscious mother to safety.

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Back at the school, Kitty had instructed the students to group themselves and sent them to find and rescue civilians trapped inside damaged buildings and sinkholes caused by Krakoa’s earthquake. Kid Omega asked her, what about him and Kitty answered that it would be best for him to just stay put with Krakoa. Morph reacted to this and asked back at Kitty if she was really benching Quentin off because of Krakoa, or was it because he was already written off like the rest of them. He then added that while he does understand Kitty’s intentions, it did not make enough sense to exclude them helping on a rescue mission. Broo suddenly cuts in the conversation and reported to Kitty that aside from the current crisis, there were also reports of N’Garai sightings around the area. Due to that unexpected update, Kitty then told Morph that it looked like his wish was granted and instructed them to look for their mentor, Jubilee and to follow her orders. The kids then realized that ever since the incident had happened, they do not know the current whereabouts of their mentor. They asked their fellow schoolmate Blindfold if she could locate Jubilee through her powers. Blindfold informed them that she does know where Jubilee was located, however, she only saw darkness and that it will get worse if they do not do anything as soon as possible. Meanwhile, below the Museum of Natural History, Roxy woke up looking for Jubilee who responded back to her. When Roxy sat up, she saw Jubilee impaled with a rebar, bleeding, and telling her that the good news was that the rebar missed her heart.

What just happened?

Another winning issue from Christina Strain and the creative team! First of all, it’s good that the story is now focused again on M-Plate. Secondly, it was great to see Christina incorporate the character build-up/pairing she had built up from previous issues. Now blending each of those into the main arc, it will be interesting to see the synergy of these lovable losers as the story unfolds in next coming issues. The highlight for me though is the fact we are starting to see original Generation X characters coming back and being featured in the book (i.e. Husk and D.O.A.). The best part is that Strain is able to add on the current development of the existing characters and fleshing them out more for us to see how things were different back then from their perspective such as how Husk was able to express her thoughts and struggles when she shared her similarities with Bling! during their therapy session specifically when she opens up that there was a time she, too, desperately wanted to become an X-Man and subsequently got consumed by her aspirations. Another interesting focus on the series is the relationship between Jubilee as a mentor towards Bling! and how the tables turned. Although it was implied in the book that she did not mind Roxy’s rebellious treatment towards her (which she used to be back when she was a student herself), she felt fortunate that Roxy responds rather well with Chamber. Jubilee sees this as an opportunity for Chamber to have a better chance at getting through to Roxy. It’s quite evident at this point that Jubilee really cares for the kid and is sort of affected that she could not reach through her (Husk even tried to downplay Roxy’s belligerence in an attempt to console Jubilee).

Although this issue was previously advertised to focus on M-Plate, the issue wasn’t able to deliver and fell flat with my expectations. It was more of the same formula wherein Emplate (merged with his sister M) is constantly hungry and the goal to feed off a substantial young mutant in order for them to stay tethered in our reality. However, I would like to take some time to appreciate how fantastic Pinna’s art looked perfect during the M-Plate scene. His style worked pretty well on the horror kind of look that the scene definitely required. It was one of the moments that Sobreiro’s coloring matched well with his art. Lastly, the book also tackles the way the new headmistress, Kitty Pryde, is handling Jubilee’s class. Although it was understandable how she had to scold Quentin (for having Krakoa look for him and tracked him all the way to New York), it was kind of unfair that she kept sidelining him and the rest of Jubilee’s class. The way she manages the school is headed towards a different direction than Xavier’s, Scott’s, Logan’s & Ororo’s style. She is being a bit more cautious and careful by marginalizing the non-combatant mutant students. In the end, the children felt that they were unfairly cut off from their own kind. This was best shown when Morph suddenly retorted at Kitty’s dismissal of Quentin’s interest to help the civilian rescue mission. All in all, this issue packed enough character development (with the exception of M-Plate), drama and action to keep fans interested for more. I am glad that Strain is now speeding up the pacing of the story without sacrificing character development.

Although I gave some praise to Pinna’s art mixing with Sobreiro’s colors, there were other instances where Sobreiro’s palette choice does not blend well with Pinna’s style. Let’s take for instance when the scene was set at the park or school. The background felt lifeless and dull especially when the characters were surrounded by trees. Although my critique is more of his intention rather than skill, I hope his choices become more palatable over time. At the end of the day, this issue was definitely entertaining and hopefully, things get more interesting in the next issue (especially when it was teased that it will focus more on the Gen X alumni, Husk.)

Pros:

  • Pacing of the story is now improving
  • Another original Generation X alumni, Husk, was featured in this issue
  • The team’s relationship is now growing and developing well
  • Interesting conversation during Roxy’s therapy with Paige
  • Pinna’s art was actually good (and improved) in my opinion, especially during M-Plate and D.O.A’s moments

Cons:

  • Pinna’s art & Felipe Sobreiro’s coloring did not blend in too well in some pages (especially when it was focused on the school and the park)
  • Bling! still looks kind of like Bart Simpson in Pinna’s style

Rating: 8.9/10

Final Thoughts: The pacing of the story improved and is now finally moving forward. Strain did not waste the opportunity to integrate the character relationships she had built in previous issues which now adds an interesting perspective to the main plot. It definitely was also great to see Gen X classic characters being featured i.e. Husk and D.O.A. Things are definitely getting interesting and might potentially re-capture the skeptical fan’s attention and alongside the loyal readers, keep both excited on how things will unfold in the next issues to come!

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