Monday, December 23, 2013

Home For The Holidays


Generation X had something of a subdued Christmas Eve in its twenty-fourth issue--where, instead of high-spirited snowball fights or grand gatherings of X-folk, the female members of the team take refuge in Monaco from the anti-mutant hysteria in the states and get to know each other a little better. Though, compared to her younger charges, Emma Frost opens the story with a far more profound interpretation of the holidays:



Together with Monet St. Croix, Paige Guthrie, and Jubilee, you'd almost expect Emma's opening thoughts to dictate a night of Christmas remembrances amongst the four. But we soon see that Jubilee's frankness derails that train of thought:



Instead, the theme of the issue takes a different tack, with Jubilee nudging everyone in the direction of bonding, if informally:



And so we go in another direction from Christmas altogether, pursuing what seems the perfect ice-breaker for "tell[ing] each other anything...even things we never told another person": in this case, how each of them experienced the first manifestation of their power.

For Jubilee, the time came when she and her BFF were a couple of skater mall rats using that particular locale as their own personal skater park, paying little heed to shoppers and recklessly evading security. Only one day, Jubilee took a wrong turn and boxed herself in, with the cops catching up to her and closing in:



Monet, on the other hand--probably to no one's surprise, as much of an enigma as she's been to her classmates--manufactures a story putting her discovery of her powers in the best possible light, with the only thing missing being a ticker tape parade in her honor. Unknown to the other three in the room, however, Monet receives a visit and reprimand from Marius, her brother who's imprisoned in another dimension:



Monet's history is convoluted, to say the least, and would take awhile to play out in Generation X. But the story is content to maintain the status quo where she's concerned, with only a wry comment from Jubilee once Marius's secret presence has been banished:



Next up at bat is Paige, whose power as Husk I've never found either appealing or much of an asset to an X-team. Paige's story of her beginnings is short and sweet--her brother, Sam (as Cannonball) has already discovered his power and travelled to enroll at Xavier's school, and Paige is eager to see what abilities she'll have. And on her thirteenth birthday, her prayers are answered:



Not really feeling the thrill with you here, Paige. By the way, have fun cleaning up your discarded skin from now on.

Finally, we come to Emma, whose beginnings are not unexpectedly darker than those of the others. And while frank with her story, she's nevertheless selective in the details she chooses to include:



It was often a struggle for me to read Generation X, finally stopping well short of completing its run and pulling the plug on it around issue #35. But this issue was a bit of order tucked within its chaotic direction and characters--nothing really too deep or compelling, but a nice read to pass the time. In fact, why not just let the ladies close it out here, since they seem to reflect that general feeling.


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