Generation X (1st series) #17

Issue Date: 
July 1996
Story Title: 
The Skin of our Teeth

Scott Lobdell and Stan Lee (writers), Chris Bachalo (penciler), Mark Buckingham (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Steve Buccellato (colors), Malibu (enhancement), Bob Harras (editor, editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The X-Cutioner wants Skin dead for the murder of an innocent boy and assuming his identity (Angelo Espinosa, who he is himself). After a battle throughout an old circus, where Skin gains alot more control over his abilities, Skin finally defeats the X-Cutioner by making him doubt his motives and intentions. Banshee has a row with Ev’s dad over the way he is being cared for at the school, Synch feels very sorry for himself over the recent Emplate events but Jubilee manages to reach him. M and Emma have a battle of wills over M’s secrets.

Full Summary: 

Skin climbs through the undergrowth wishing for the first time in ages that he was back in L.A., when he finds Chamber in agony lying under a tree. Using his extra skin, Angelo fastens Jono to his back and gets moving. He asks Jono if he has any idea why his psionic power is going haywire, but Chamber hasn’t a clue. Chamber asks Skin who the maniac chasing them is, but Skin says he dosen’t know. They arrive at an abandoned circus and Chamber tells Skin to go on without him, as he’ll only slow him down. So, knowing Jono dosen’t have to breathe, Skin submerges him in a muddy pool to keep him safe from the X-Cutioner. Skin then recalls the events of the last hour or so when they were heading to the Xavier Institute because they couldn’t get them on the phone. They were run off the road by the X-Cutioner who was trying to kill Skin. Angelo dropped a match in the wrecked car and as it exploded, it gave Skin and Jono a chance to escape.

Back in St Louis, Stan Thomas is loosing it with Banshee, after what has happened to Everett with the whole Phalanx thing and now the Emplate thing. Ida tells him to calm down, but Stan wants this out with Sean. Sean promised to look after Everett and has broken that promise. Sean manages to talk some sense into Stan, while outside, Jubilee is beginning to wish she was back hanging with the X-Men. There she was the happy go lucky mascot, now it is her job to cheer up all the rookies. She reasons that at least its Everett who she has to cheer up, the closest thing she has to a best friend. After Wolverine, of course. Jubilee finds Ev on a swing in the back yard. She asks him to talk to her, but he tells her to go away. Jubilee says she understands what he’s gone through, but Ev tells her he cares for her so much, and Paige and Monet, and he almost killed them all with the powers he is supposed to be protecting people with. Jubilee cant respond to that, but asks Ev to give her a hug. Banshee watches them, feeling happy that things are finally working out.

The X-Cutioner finally tracks down Skin and tells him that they have some unfinished business to discuss. He tells him that he has made it his business to execute mutants who kill, and all evidence points to Skin over the murder of Angelo Espinosa. Skin asks him where he got his infomation from, and X-Cutioner tells him that according to government records, Angelo Espinosa was gunned down on the streets of L.A. and three months later Skin turns up in Massachussetts using his name and identity. X-Cutioner demands Skin explain himself, but he tells him that it isn‘t any of his business and uses his extra skin to pull down part of the tent, which collapses on X-Cutioner.

Meanwhile, whilst being driven in a limo, Emma is trying to talk to Monet about the recent events in her life. At first she is sympathetic but when Monet ignores her and continues sucking her lolly, Emma loses it and grabs her hand telling her that the time for secrets is over. She’s sick of M spacing out every five minutes, she’s sick of her attitude, her lies and she wants to know why M has been playing them for fools since day one. Was it out of strength - or fear? Monet tells Emma not to push her, and throws her across the limo shouting at her that she dosen’t like to be pushed. Emma’s driver asks if she’s ok, and Emma tells him she’s fine. She then enters Monet’s head, which Monet dosen’t like. She tells her to get out, but Emma refuses and tells her that she lost the Hellions because she didn’t prepare them enough, and she’s not going to lose Generation X the same way. She will not let M’s secrets threaten the other kids. If she has to, she’ll save M from herself, even if it means frying her own brain. The pair break off psionic contact suddenly and Emma is thrown against a window. Monet tells her it was never her intent to hurt anyone, and she’ll tell her what she can.

At the circus, the X-Cutioner is thinking to himself how long it has been since he assumed the role of the X-Cutioner after inheriting Fred Duncan’s case files and equipment. He reasons that mutants have deviated from nature, so he can deviate from federal law to police them. He finds soem dead skin from Skin and analyses it, but is shocked to find it matches the DNA profile of Angelo Espinosa exactly. Skin hides in the wax museum and X-Cutioner follows him in. X-Cutioner tries to goad Skin by calling him a coward, but fails to find him, as Skin is disguised as the Mummy wax work. He thinks to himself, that the one time he ever did anything selfless just keeps coming back to haunt him. X-Cutioner tells Skin that if he comes out he may just take him into custody and not kill him, but Skin has other ideas and stretches his skin upwards and takes himself up to the roof. He is amazed that its getting easier to control his powers the more he uses them and even the migraines are receeding.

X-Cutioner spots Skins shadow though and begins to fire at him. Caught on the shock wave of an explosion, Skin is thrown into a tank of water. Crawling out, Skin’s skin is begining to lose it tightness which reminds Angelo how much of a freak amoungst freaks he is. He runs into the hall of mirrors, and X-Cutioner follows him telling him he will avenge the poor boy’s death. Skin tells him his story is crap, and X-Cutioner tells Skin he knows the facts - a boy was killed and Skin is posing as that dead boy. Skin asks him if he’s sure - how can he be the X-Cutioner if he’s not 100% totally sure of his facts.

X-Cutioner loses it and starts smashing the mirrors, unable to find the real Skin, he is angry because what Skin says is true. He’s wrong about Skin, so what if he’s been wrong about other mutants he’s killed? That would just make him a murderer. X-Cutioner shouts that he is important, that he does stand for something, while Skin wraps his fingers round X-Cutioner’s face mask and fires his energy lance causing a blast to riccochet around the mirrors and finally strike the X-Cutioner, knocking him out. Leaving the Hall, Skin drags Chamber back out of the pool and prepares to leave. Asking how they’re gonna get to Xavier’s, Skin tells Chamber they are gonna hitch hike.

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Jubilee, M, Skin, Synch (all Generation X)
Banshee, Emma Frost (Generation X‘s teachers and tutors)

Stan and Ida Thomas, Synch’s parents
Mr. B., Emma’s chauffeur


Stan Lee, who narrates the story

Story Notes: 

The reason the Xavier Institute can not be got on the phone is because Onslaught has severed all communications.

The Hellions were Emma’s origional class of mutant students. Almost all of them were massacred by renegade Sentinels in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #281. Emma was also rendered catatonic for many months after that attack. She has never got over the guilt of losing them.

The mystery of Angelo Espinosa / Skin and the dead body is revealed later in the series.

A caricature of Stan Lee appears throughout the entire issue, narrating the story.

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