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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

X-amining Generation X #26

April 1997

In a Nutshell
Jubilee tries to escape from Bastion while her classmates try to survive at sea!

Writer: Scott Lobdell
Artists: Joe Bennet & Joe Pimentel
Letterer: Richard Starkings & Comicraft
Colorist: Marie Javins
Editor: Bob Harras

Adrift on a chunk of vegetation in the middle of the ocean after escaping from Black Tom, Chamber, M, Husk, Skin and Synch fight to stave off the effects of exposure and find a way to reach land, to no avail. Meanwhile, back at the school, Banshee mourns the death of Emma and desperately tries to find his missing students. Elsewhere, Jubilee manages to knock out the Operation: Zero Tolerance guards holding her, but when her powers overreact and seriously injures one of them, she stops to make sure he's okay, much to a watching Bastion's confusion as this delay leads to her recapture. Back at the school, Emma revives following another psychic encounter with Nightmare, revealing to Banshee that she was only faking her death and their students are still alive. 

Firsts and Other Notables
Generation X #26 picks up Jubilee's story from issue #25 and Uncanny X-Men #343, showing her waking up a captive of Operation: Zero Tolerance and fighting to escape (and with her hair having been cut short). Her escape is ultimately scuttled by the fact that, after lashing out with her powers, she stops to revive one of the guards to make sure he doesn't die, an action that befuddles Bastion (and could retroactively hint at his ultimate origins as the fusion of two different robots). 

Nightmare pops up briefly, following on from his appearance in issue #22, mostly to be vague and cryptic. 

A Work in Progress
Monet's condition is described as a sort of "mutated autism".

Later, Chamber thinks that Monet is acting more like a child than her usual confident self. 

Jubilee notes that her power is the most dangerous when she's not in full control of it. 

They're Students, Not Superheroes
When Chamber tries to help an unconscious Husk who is stuck mid-transformation, Monet jumps in, citing a lesson they learned in biology class. 

Later, Jubilee mentions how Emma is always harping on them to make do with what's on hand.

Lobdell hangs a lampshade on the student/superhero divide, showing Banshee using the school's war room to try and find the kids while simultaneously mocking the idea that a school has a war room. 

Young Love
Husk admonishes Chamber for trying to protect her, saying if they're going to die, she wants to do it as equals. 

Austin's Analysis
For two consecutive crossovers now, Scott Lobdell has sidelined the majority of his cast away from the big story's central events. During "Onslaught", he had Emma telepathically hoodwink the kids in order to hide them away from the title character. Here in Generation X #26, he's got the bulk of the cast adrift on a chunk of land in the middle of nowhere, leaving Jubilee as the series' main entry point into the larger, emerging "Operation: Zero Tolerance" event. It's a curious decision, one which perhaps speaks to the series' "students not superhero" ethos in a more determined way than, say, New Mutants ever did (whose cast was similarly meant to be students first and foremost but still got pretty directly embroiled in all the big events of their time), an ethos this issue in particular underscores in multiple places. 

It also likely speaks to the relative surplus of X-Men titles at the time (even just ones being written by Lobdell), that keeping one or two of the books more tangential to the main event creates variety for both the reader and the author. Yet for all that, while keeping Generation X off on their own isn't an inherently bad thing (a handful of issues per year of the kids fighting Onslaught's goons or Prime Sentinels wouldn't really add too much), it does run the risk of making the series feel like a second stringer, off doing it's own thing while the "main" books are tackling the ostensibly more "important" story. 

Next Issue
Adam Pollina returns as Risque steps into the spotlight in X-Force #65!

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  1. Glad to see new content on here! Hoping 2024 has more of the same.

  2. Well, it's the issue after an issue divisible by 25, so that means...fill-in artist!

    "Nightmare pops up briefly"

    As out of left field as it is seeing him pop up in this title, it was somewhat nice to see the title interacting with elements of the wider Marvel universe.

    "Monet's condition is described as a sort of "mutated autism"."

    "Chamber thinks that Monet is acting more like a child than her usual confident self"

    Lobdell really was dropping more and clues to Monet's true nature at this point. I wonder if he ever planned on revealing it before he left?

    "Jubilee notes that her power is the most dangerous when she's not in full control of it."

    I think more accurate to say is at it's most dangerous?

    "Banshee using the school's war room to try and find the kids while simultaneously mocking the idea that a school has a war room"

    I mean, given that they've been attached by everyone from Omega Red to Emplate and his Hellions to Black Tom, maybe having a war room kind of makes sense?

    Also, wasn't it established during CC's New Mutants run that Emma had her own version of Cerebro? I get that she's unconscious and all but it would have been more helpful than a computer running a bioscan...

  3. Welcome back!
    I missed these reviews

  4. Just posting to say welcome back as well! Appreciate and enjoy your work here and elsewhere!

  5. Jubilee’s hair somehow gets shorter as the issue progresses. It’s downright stylish early on, like in that panel you post of her toting the big-ass gun.

  6. Wooh! Awesome to see you back Austin! :D


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