Welcome to X-Men: Bland Design, the weekly multi-part recap column that answers the question: “What if Ed Piskor had no art skills, a juvenile sense of humor, and less classic material to work with?”
This week there are five regular-priced X-Books on the stands, which will run you a total of twenty bucks to buy and, thanks to modern comic book decompression techniques, probably take about ten minutes to read in total (if you read slowly). If that seems like a waste of time and money though, you can keep your money by reading our recaps for free. We make no promises about the use of your time, however, which will still be poorly spent.
This week, the X-books are: Generation X #87, X-Men Gold #22, Astonishing X-Men #8, Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan #5, and… *shudders*… Venom #162, which we have to read because it’s crossing over with X-Men Blue for the Poison X crossover. We’ll start with the saddest recap of the week…
Generation X #87 (of 12)
Writer: Christina Strain
Artist: Amilcar Pinna
Colorist: Felipe Sobreiro
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Cover: The Dodsons
The sad day has finally arrived. After 12 issues and one legacy-number relaunch, Generation X’s final issue is out. One of the best X-books of the ResurrXion era, Generation X received a lot of praise in our coverage of the previous issue, and we don’t need to repeat it. Let’s just jump right into the story and try to savor it.
The penultimate issue saw Quentin Quire use up his remaining Phoenix powers to cure Jubilee of Vampirism. This issue picks up with Jubilee confirming that she is no longer a vampire and has her mutant abilities back instead. All is right with the world. Er… except that Monet, merged with her brother Emplate, is still trying to kill the students and drain their life forces.
Monet is attacking Quentin inside a classroom, which would be understandable even if she weren’t a supervillain now. Chamber tells her stop, but she’s not listening. Then Jubilee bursts through a wall like a rainbow-firework-powered Kool-Aid man. Monet drops Quentin and goes after Jubilee, and points out that Jubilee’s powers always kind of sucked.
Inside the classroom, Roxy, Benjamin, Nathanial, and Quentin engage in some X-pository dialog. Apparently, Emplate won’t let Monet steal any other mutants’ powers because she’s already stolen Nathanial’s, which allow him to see people’s memories when he touches them. If Monet creates that kind of connection with others, it could cause Emplate to lose control of her. The kids formulate a plan to grab Monet and force a link, but Quentin is unable to let Jubilee know telepathically because his powers aren’t working!
Outside, Husk, Jubilee, and Chamber (Generation X Old School) are battling Monet/Emplate. Roxy charges in, which only amuses Monet. But it was actually Benjamin looking like Roxy as a distraction. Roxy grabs Monet and a connection is formed and Roxy’s memories flash before Monet’s eyes, including several of her being attacked by Emplate and Monet. Monet is freaking out, and Lin adds to it by ordering a bunch of animals to attack her. Jubilee tells Gen-X Old School to grab Monet. They do, which gives us an opportunity for a Gen-X flashback page! Yay!
That’s enough to evict Emplate from Monet. Emplate tries to get her back, but Jubilee steps in and sends Emplate back to his own dimension. In the infirmary later, Jubilee is chatting with Monet, while Quentin, whose powers still aren’t working, is agreeing to spend the night being examined by the red-headed Cuckoo sister, which we’re pretty sure is Phoebe. Monet compliments Jubilee’s teaching abilities since Quentin was willing to sacrifice so much for her.
All seems to be forgiven for Monet. You know, back in the day, Jean Grey was being controlled by a bird-themed cosmic death god and murdered a planet, and the X-Men were all unsure of whether they even wanted to fight the Imperial Guard for her life on the moon. Now, Monet can try to kill a bunch of students while being influenced by her brother and nobody even thinks it’s a big deal. Times have changed.
Meanwhile, Quentin assures Benjamin that even though his powers aren’t working now, he knows he will become the Phoenix in the future, as a caption notes (another reason this book rules), because he saw that in Wolverine and the X-Men #37. Foolish Quentin. He believes continuity matters at Marvel. Jubilee thanks Quentin for curing her, and he agrees to stay at the school, earning a hug from Benjamin. Awww!
Outside the infirmary, Husk is talking to Chamber, who is holding baby Shogo. She hints that Jono and Jubilee make a cute couple. Jubilee arrives, and Paige excuses herself. Shogo is happy to see Jubilee now that she’s not a bloodsucking vampire anymore, which is good. Jubilee invites Chamber to eat take-out and sleep over. Chamber reminds her that, as a non-vampire mutant, she can eat food again.
Upstairs, Benjamin and Nathanial are sitting on a bed. They decide to share a kiss, willingly flooding Nathaniel with Benjamin’s memories. Many of those memories appear to be of Nathanial. A few days later, the entire cast gathers i the park for a going-away party for Roxy, who’s going home to visit her family for a while. Kitty Pryde arrives to congratulate Jubilee on keeping her class alive. Jubilee convinces Kitty that they need to reevaluate allowing the misfit class to become X-Men if they want. Love and friendship are in the air, everyone is better off than when they started, and that’s a wrap for the revival of Generation X.
We’ll miss this book, but we get the feeling a major reshuffling of the X-books will be happening in the next few months anyway. It would be nice to see this creative team, and this cast, separately or together, given more opportunities when that happens.