M II: Page 2 of 8

Publication Date: 14th Feb 2019
Written By: Peter Luzifer and Gremlin.
Image Work: Peter Luzifer and Gremlin.


After S.H.I.E.L.D. shut down Operation: Zero Tolerance, Penance and the two headmasters safely returned to the Massachusetts Academy, and the missing students too made their way home. In the meantime, though, an explosion had caused “Monet” to split apart, revealing her to be the twins Nicole and Claudette. Apparently, Penance seemed to recognize them as she was rather protective of them. When the school was broken in by a pair of thieves, Penance stashed away the sleeping twins in a closet before scaring the burglars away. Later, she even provided her teammates with a clue to the thieves’ identity, pointing towards a picture of Bill and Hillary Clinton in a newspaper. As it later turned out, the burglars were indeed wearing Halloween masks in the images of the former US President and the First Lady. [Generation X (1st series) #33]

When the school was next attacked by Emplate, the twins found a unique way to stop him. After merging with each other, they physically engage Emplate and incorporated him into their composite form too. Now referring to themselves as M-Plate, the androgynous creature claimed to be an entirely new individual that  was more and different than the sum of its parts. Having a secret agenda of their own to follow, M-Plate assumed command of Emplate’s minions and escaped to another dimension. Generation X followed and eventually the merger was undone. However, having shared one body, Nicole and Claudette had gained insight to Emplate’s memories and they now knew the fate of the real Monet – that she had been by their side all along in the form of Penance. [Generation X (1st series) #34-39]

After their safe return home, the twins filled in the rest of Generation X on their situation. Feeling guilty for kind of having stolen Monet’s life, Nicole knew of only one way to make up with her sister. First, she and Claudette merged once more, only to then merge together with Penance. Diverging again, they had traded places. The real Monet was freed from her prison, though now it was Claudette and Nicole who were stuck inside the body of Penance. [Generation X (1st series) #40]

Oddly enough, there was barely any difference after the transition. Whereas some might have assumed that the real Monet wasn’t as arrogant as the twins had portrayed her to be,  she proved to be even more so. Monet antagonized the other members of the group as well as the teachers. For example in front of the whole class, she told Emma Frost, former villainess and member of the Hellfire Club, that she did not believe people could really change. Instead, M claimed, people just get better at hiding who they truly are. When Jubilee had enough of Monet’s attitude, reminding her that she had shown her nothing but kindness while she was stuck in the mute form of Penance, Monet accused Jubilee of having treated her more like a pet rather than a friend. This fostered a renewed feud between Jubilee and the new M. [Generation X (1st series) #45-48]

Monet wasn’t annoyed by all of her teammates, though. During a trip to Boston, she took Everett St. Thomas, aka Synch, to a tattoo parlor. She explained that, after being stuck inside Penance for so long, unable to touch or be touched, she would consider getting a tattoo as celebration of being able to be touched again. Further opening up to him, Monet showed to have some feelings for Everett and was about to kiss him, however the attack of a villain interrupted the romantic moment. [Generation X (1st series) #50]

Although she didn’t show it, Monet felt terrible about her sisters’ sacrifice and she promised to them that she would do whatever she could to help them,  until they could eventually find Emplate and make him undo the spell. While Nicole and Claudette wanted to be patient, the situation took a turn for the worse. Soon thereafter, the Massachusetts Academy was opened to a human student body, forcing the twins to hide in the basement all the time, as their Penance body would have been too conspicuous to move around on the campus. [Generation X (1st series) #46, 53] Despite Monet regularly visiting her siblings, they eventually grew frustrated and trashed the room that had been decorated for them. Obviously, the eight year old girls couldn’t handle being stuck inside the razor-sharp body very well.

Around the same time, there was a school dance at the Academy, but none of the students on the campus dared to ask Monet to be her date, thinking she was way out of their league. She ended up going with her disfigured teammate Angelo Espinosa, aka Skin, thus helping him to remind him of his life prior to the manifestation of his mutant abilities, when he was quite handsome and together with a hot looking girl. Emplate chose the school dance for his next attack and, while he distracted Generation X, his minions were supposed to re-capture Penance for him. Generation X saw through this plan, though, and a fierce battle began. Eventually, Jubilee blew up the building they were all in and, while everyone else was under a protective dome, Emplate and Penance were fully hit by the blast. At first Generation X believed the twins dead when they saw Penance’ lifeless body, but the explosion had not only caused the twins to split, they had also been freed from their prison. To everyone’s surprise, the Penance body was no empty shell though and, while it was never cleared up who was now residing inside the Penance body, she remained animate and continued to work with Generation X. [Generation X (1st series) #57]

As soon as he learned of the good news, Cartier St. Croix came to the Massachusetts Academy to pick up the twins and also to arrange for Emplate to receive the medical treatment.  He felt badly for having neglected his children for so long, and he blamed himself for the monster that Emplate had become. Monet, on the other hand, would have rather seen her brother dead and in her anger she told her father that it was too late to make up for past mistakes. She later apologized to him, though. [Generation X (1st series) #58]

Still, her father decided to withdraw her from the Massachusetts Academy, arranging for her to go to some boarding school in Switzerland instead, so that they could see each other more often.  Startled by her father’s decision at first, Monet soon came to admit that she had always felt she didn’t quite fit in. Additionally, there were a lot of bad memories of her time as Penance linked to Generation X, and she welcomed the chance to leave that all behind her. Everett being the only one she would really miss, Monet confided in him that she was pondering to leave the school and asked him if he would miss her as well, but he was too surprised to reply. When she and her family left later that day, Monet finally kissed him in front of the whole class, before answering for him that he would miss her just as much. [Generation X Annual ‘99]