Sunday, August 4, 2013

Generation Next #1

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Generation X was still a fairly new series when the Age of Apocalypse happened.  They were a team of young mutants lead by Banshee and Emma Frost, training to be the next X-men.  With the exception of Jubilee who left the X-men to join, these were all new recruits and not many of them have gone on to be major players.  The closest they ever got to mainstream was that horrible movie adaptation.  Jubilee is not a member in this AoA version, but many of the other kids remain.

We're dumped straight into the middle of the action where a boy who identifies himself as Chamber narrates for us.  He looks an awful lot like Gambit here, or perhaps Havok with brown hair. The Havok comparison is probably better. In the main continuity, Chamber was named because he has a big gaping hole that starts around his mouth and goes all the way down his torso because he's not immune to his own energy blasts. That happened to him the first time he ever used his powers. Apparently in this reality they found him a little earlier and gave him that suit to use so that he's just got a smaller hole in his chest instead. Really, his origin in the normal universe doesn't make sense. Havok explodes energy from his body, but he has no holes. Cyclops has incredibly forceful blasts streaming out of his own eyes at all times, but his eyelids are perfectly capable of holding them in. So it seems like Jono here really got the short end of the stick when it comes to mutation.

To get back on point, Chamber is in the middle of a "training" exercise where he has literally been instructed to kill his teammates. However none of them are particularly interested in following that order. Husk would much rather make out with him and call him dumplin'. That may be the most annoying of all the "southern" nicknames the X-men have ever come up with. Like her teammate, this Husk is also much better off than her main continuity counterpart, as she's capable of changing into a much wider array of forms, including liquids and gasses.


Mondo joins them next, and he's not the happy go lucky laid back guy I remember him being. The three of them fight a bit until Colossus shows up to yell at them for not killing each other yet. Seriously. And apparently Shadowcat has been riding around inside him, because she phases out of him shortly after.


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That's a whole new level of kinky.

Neither of these two characters are anything like the X-men I know. They are cruel and heartless, and Kitty is ready to kill Husk just because, from what I can tell. Skin and a mutant named Vincente also eventually join the fight. Skin is another member of Generation X and once again has greater control of his powers here. Vincente I'm unfamiliar with but according to what I can see online he was part of an enemy group originally.

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 Watching over all this madness is Know-It-All, who was better known as M in the normal continuity and was not permanently attached to a computer either. Her change in name is fun - M was essentially Superman with a genius intellect, but I'm not really sure why they would chain her down like that. Finally at the end of the issue Magneto makes a grand entrance and stops the fighting, saying he needs the team for a special mission. They're going to go find Colossus's sister, Illyana, who up to this point was believed to be dead and not a mutant.

This comic is all set up and absolutely nothing else. We have a bunch of characters thrown at us and honestly none of them are terribly likeable. We have no indication of just what has made Colossus and Shadowcat into such miserable people, though I suppose we're supposed to believe it's the environment they've been living in. We know precious little about the younger generation, and what we do see strongly suggests that what we know about them from the normal reality can be thrown out the window. Here's hoping this series finds a bit more focus in the following few issues. For now I'm just happy that they kept Jubilee out of this one.

2 comments:

  1. I'm pretty mixed on this one. I've always wanted but have yet to get around to reading Generation X, and while I deeply love Bachalo's art here, and find the young cast interesting, you're right that there isn't much to this story, and what's there isn't particularly likeable. I enjoy the kids pulling together despite the best efforts of their trainers (granted, that's most likely the ultimate goal, for the teachers to paint themselves as the enemy for the kids to bond against), but Colossus and Kitty are completely unrepentant bastards, and even when Magneto steps in, he ultimately forgets to discipline them in any way before moving on to info dump.

    I get the idea of introducing everyone through a training session, but to have that be the entirety of the issue feels like a waste, and with everything going on in this world, I wish we could have dug into it a little deeper.

    And willing suspension of disbelief and all, but why are the various teams still composed of their people from the main universe? Shouldn't the alternate timeline mix it up a little? Especially with the younger crew, who came in even deeper into the wave of timestream changes.

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    1. I think a lot of the other teams did a better job of mixing up the cast, reintroducing some characters who were either out of the books or dead in the main reality. But yeah, here we just have a few missing members and one new one who was a member of the Hellions. Page's appearance is also confusing when you see where two of her siblings are in another of these series. I get the feeling they really didn't have a great idea for what to do with this series as compared to some of the others.

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