Talking about comic books, TV shows, movies, sports, and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

X-amining Generation X #19

"Don't Wait Up..."
September 1996

In a Nutshell
Toad attacks as Emma realizes what she's done

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo
Inker: Mark Buckingham 
Letterer: RS / Comicraft / DL
Colorist: The Bucce
Enhancements: Malibu
Editor: Bob Harras

Emma calls down Monet, Paige, Jubilee, & Everett to breakfast, each dressed in a silly costume & blissfully unbothered by anything. They are watched from outside by Toad, who is trying to come up with a plan. Meanwhile, Banshee is met at the abandoned headquarters of Alpha Flight by Sasquatch, who thinks he may have a device that will help Banshee locate Emma and the kids. Back at Emma's estate, the kids are attacked by a mass of cybernetic toads sent by Toad, as Monet's subconscious, in the form of a small girl, telepathically convinces Emma that she's being subconsciously affected by Onslaught, leading her to instinctively protect her students by placating them. But she needs to release their hold on them in order to save them from Toad. Snapping out of it, Emma admonishes Toad for his actions, just as Banshee & Sasquatch arrive. Having heard the news about Onslaught, Banshee absolves Emma of any blame for kidnapping the kids, while Jubilee & Monet agree to a truce. 

Firsts and Other Notables
This issue reveals that Emma is acting on a subconscious drive to protect her students, triggered by getting caught up in Onslaught's impact on the psionic plane, and thus has her working to keep them away from New York and perpetually docile/unafraid. 

She makes this realization thanks to the telepathic intervention of a seemingly-young Monet; this is another hint as to her true identity, with the young girl here representing not a de-aged Monet but her young sister Claudette, one of the two sisters who merged to form the Monet who has been active throughout this series.  

Toad serves as the principle antagonist this issue, having presumably fallen on some hard time since his last appearance, as he's much less the maniacal leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants here (complete with a Bachalo makeover casting him more in the light of his "social outcast" Silver Age appearance). 

This marks the first and only appearance of a character called "the Surgeon", who helps Toad modify a group of toads to do his bidding and carry out attacks on Generation X. I have no idea if Lobdell had plans for the character beyond this issue, but he has yet to appear again to date. 

Similarly, Emma has two people on staff at her Canadian estate, a pink person and a green person; they go unnamed, and I have no idea if they appear again outside this issue. 

Long standing Alpha Flight member Sasquatch guest stars in this issue as well; his appearance comes shortly after the in-universe disbanding of Alpha Flight in the final issue of their series. 

The Chronology Corner
Toad last appeared in X-Men Annual #2 (and/or X-Men: Time Gliders), when he allied his Brotherhood with Empyrean; between his appearance here and Blob throwing in with Onslaught over in X-Force, it can be assumed that iteration of the Brotherhood has come to an end.  

Sasquatch last appeared in Alpha Flight #130, the last issue of that series. 

A Work in Progress
Feels like Lobdell is taking some shots at the recently disbanded/cancelled Alpha Flight here. 

Despite his attack (rightly) garnering international media attention (as seen in Excalibur #101), everyone in this issue seems more or less ignorant of what is going on with Onslaught. 

Similar to her crayon-drawing filled journal earlier in the series, the telepathically-docile Money can be seen writing "help us" in crayon in this issue.

Emma says that she offered her estate to Toad as a sanctuary after he was laughed out of the Hellfire Club in the wake of his application for membership in the Inner Circle (an event which happened entirely off-panel). 

She then compares Toad's attacks on her students to be no better than Magneto lorded it over Toad back in the Silver Age. 

Jubilee & Monet call a truce at the end of the issue. 

Artistic Achievements
The first page of this issue is a title page of sorts, featuring Chamber & Skin (who don't otherwise appear in this issue) breaking the fourth wall astride a large toad. 

Meanwhile, the distracting white X logos on black filling the gutters on each page are back. 

Austin's Analysis
A bit like X-Force #58, this is a little bit of a tonal palate cleanser in the face of the larger "Onslaught" crossover. To Lobdell's credit, by keeping the series away from the minutiae of the larger story's plot beats (and working the very act of staying clear of those beats into the plot of this tie-in story), he allows the series to largely continue doing what it's always done - tell more whimsical, character-based, low stakes stories - via a plot that is impacted by the crossover but not changed by it. Toad's role here is emblematic of that: he is technically a recurring foe of the original X-Men (and one who more recently bedeviled X-Force) but his threat here is fairly minimal. The moment Emma comes to her senses, the fight, such as it is, is over; the real threat was the impact Onslaught was having on Emma's subconscious. Thus, it allows the series to continue the "students, not superheroes" approach while still generating dramatic conflict in the midst of the crossover, while the redesigned Toad and his cybernetic toads (plus dressing up the four students in assorted costumes) let Bachalo do his thing, keeping things light & fun, but also energizing some otherwise low-action scenes. 

Next Issue
Tomorrow, Wolverine #105. Next week, X-Men (vol. 2) #56 and X-Men Unlimited #12!

Like what you read? Then support us on Patreon & gain access to exclusive reviews of Ms. MarvelX-Men: The Animated Series and more!


  1. Could it be Artie & Leech loitering around the estate?.. off-model and aged up - by OnSlAuGhT!!

    love the opening splash page

  2. This is definitely a more solid tie in than the usual "Impact" tie-ins. Probably because it actually has a solus story hook that isn't "...and then a Sentinel appeared!"

    Toad fits really well into the Lobdell/Bachalo aesthetic of the book and hesh a little more fun here than he was in early issues of X-Force.

    1. I wish I could edit these posts. "solus" should be "solid". Oops.

  3. I wondered about the Pink/Green dudes too. They look too similar to Artie and Leech for it to be a coincidence and when they show up again in a few issues, it's still not explained what the connection is. Weird.

  4. The pink one doesn't even talk either, like Artie.

    1. Marvel Database just lists the green one as Emma's driver.

  5. Yeah, this is another one that feels like it should be an issue of GENERATION X. It fits the mold of a Lobdell/Bachalo issue to a tee.

    I find it interesting that Lobdell, one of the architects (if not the chief architect) of the "Onslaught" event, spends the tie-in issue of his second book keeping the characters as far away from that event as possible!

    "Emma has two people on staff at her Canadian estate, a pink person and a green person; they go unnamed, and I have no idea if they appear again outside this issue."

    As others said above, I also thought these two had to be somehow inspired by Leech and Artie, given the green one talks and the pink one doesn't, and they're, uhh... green and pink. But why??

    "Feels like Lobdell is taking some shots at the recently disbanded/cancelled Alpha Flight here."

    This is a little weird, because Lobdell had a decent-length run writing ALPHA FLIGHT in the early 90s -- I wonder if he resented the assigment.

    Sasquatch will also show up in DEADPOOL #1, just four months away. I guess when Alpha Flight is disbanded, he becomes the default guest star to remind readers it used to exist. (Alpha Flight vol. 2 is just about a year away at this point, too -- issue 1 was cover dated August 1997).

    "Despite his attack (rightly) garnering international media attention [...] everyone in this issue seems more or less ignorant of what is going on with Onslaught."

    I had that thought too, but then there's really nothing in this issue to tell us when it takes place relative to everything else in the crossover. By issue's end, Banshee says he's heard about Onslaught via "reports from the States" -- perhaps last issue and this one occur while the X-Men alone are battling Onslaught in ONSLAUGHT: X-MEN, and his assault on New York and corresponding media coverage only comes near the end of this story.

    "Emma says that she offered her estate to Toad as a sanctuary after he was laughed out of the Hellfire Club in the wake of his application for membership in the Inner Circle (an event which happened entirely off-panel)."

    And also, when did it happen? Certainly not recently, as Emma hasn't been in the Inner Circle since the early 280s of UNCANNY -- which was right around when Toad went into "alpha leader" mode and formed his Brotherhood, anyway. I assume this is some event from the distant past, and Toad has had free use of the manor whenever he wants ever since.

    1. One can't help but wonder if these two were supposed to be Artie and Leech from the future.. Something Lobdell tossed in and then completely forgot about or didn't get to address since he's only on the book for another year or so.

  6. So I randomly started wondering while reading this issue, "Approximately how old is Banshee supposed to be at this point?" I think what prompted it was noting that since Bachalo gave him a spiffy haircut upon returning to the series, Sean looks significantly younger than he did previously.

    Aside from Wolverine, Banshee was the oldest of the new X-Men, a contemporary of Xavier and Moira rather than of his late teen/early twenties teammates. By the eighties, he still seemed to be keeping pace with Professor X, who had been "aged up" due to the sliding timeline keeping certain elements from his past intact. I feel like Xavier was probably considered to be in his fifties through most of Claremont's run, and on the rare occasions he popped up, the retired Banshee read (and usually looked) like he was, too.

    But by the end of Claremont's run, when he was out gallivanting around with Forge and fighting alongside the X-Men again, Banshee felt younger -- possibly in part due to Jim Lee giving him a somewhat more youthful appearance than he'd had in a while. And then by the time we pass through Andy Kubert's, Joe Madureira's, and finally Chris Bachalo's depictions, Banshee becomes this young-looking, barrel-chested, square-jawed type.

    Clearly he was actively de-aged somewhat after he came out of retirement and became the mentor of GEN X. I just wonder by how much? I don't think Lobdell intends him to be the same age as most of the eternally no-older-than-thirty X-Men at this point, but I suspect he's probably, what, late thirties or maybe early forties?

    This is all my way of saying that outside of Xavier and Wolverine, I used to consider Banshee the "elder statesman" of the 1990s X-family, and now I've come to the horrifying realization that during this era, he's probably actually about the same age I am right now!

  7. As someone who never read Alpha Flight, I enjoyed Sasquatch in this issue. Has anybody here read Alpha Flight and can recommend storylines to a newb like me or should I start from the beginning?


    1. I read and mostly enjoyed the first three years of the original Alpha Flight series — #1-28 helmed by John Byrne, #29-36 by writer Bill Mantlo and a few different pencilers, starting with Mike Mignola, under Gerry Talaoc inks. Once Mignola left a large part of the appeal was gone for me and the stories Mantlo wanted to tell couldn’t keep me around, which is not to say Byrne’s run before that was uniformly stellar. I can’t speak to the next ten years’ worth.


  8. That was… bizarre, and not particularly good, although muddy printing aside it sure looked swell.

    I neither appreciate nor understand the aspersions that Lobdell has Sean cast upon Alpha Flight.

    Emma is sexier fully dressed, sighing over her cookbook and sporting a pretty face courtesy Bachalo & Buckingham here, than in any shot of Frank Quitely’s ridiculous cutaway New X-Men uniform.


Comment. Please. Love it? Hate it? Are mildly indifferent to it? Let us know!