Generation X (1st series) #35

Issue Date: 
February 1998
Story Title: 
Pool of Tears

Larry Hama (writer), Jason Johnson (penciler), Edwin Rosell, Sean Parsons and Vince Russell (inkers), Richard Starkings & Comicraft/Liz (letters), Chris Sotomayor (colors), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Tracy Authier blackmails Paige, Jubilee and Angelo to show her around the Massachusetts Academy. They know it’s a bad idea, but they don’t want Tracy to spill the secrets written inside Paige’s diary. Unfortunately, they arrive right in the middle of a fight between the rest of Generation X and Chimera and M-Plate, the mysterious entity formed out of the merger of the twins and Emplate. Before Tracy can fully grasp at what’s going on, Paige stashes her into the Biosphere and then returns to the main building to help the others. M-Plate is somewhat confused, as Emplate she has a deal with Chimera, while the Monet aspects of her consider Generation X as friends. Ultimately, she decides against Generation X and helps battle them. The kids and their teachers are unsure what to do, as they don’t want to harm the twins inside the new entity. When they finally attack M-Plate, they find that this being, just like M, is much more than the sum of its parts. M-Plate easily deflects the mutants’ attacks and, being in control of the interdimensional flux, he/she creates a dimensional warpgate. Jubilee, the last one standing, is knocked out with a psychic blast and the villains escape with Synch as hostage. In a dream / hallucination, Jubilee finds herself in an Alice in Wonderland scenario with the twins as Tweedledee and Tweedledum and the rest of the team representing the other characters. Coming around, Jubilee wonders if M was trying to send her a message but her thoughts on the matter are cut short by a scream from the Biosphere. The team checks it out but it’s empty. Emma knows that this can only mean one thing - the Pooka is back.

Full Summary: 

Angelo, Paige and Jubilee return to the school with Tracy Authier. While Paige explains to their new “friend“ that their curriculum is a very diverse, gifted program, which Tracy finds strange as her trombone teacher says she is gifted but was never invited, Jubilee secretly says to Angelo that bringing Tracy along is a bad idea – what if something weird happens? Skin tells her not to worry, it’s not like they have Sentinels attacking or Australian Aborigine shamans sitting on their roof every day. Paige turns to Tracy and demands that, as they have now brought her to the school, she hand over the copy she made of her diary. Tracy, however, thinks otherwise. The diary is her insurance. Besides, she doesn’t feel like she belongs yet. Hearing this, Jubilee flips. Does Tracy actually think they’ll like her after she stole their stuff and blackmailed them? Angelo tells her to calm down and heads for the front door.

He opens it but the scene in front of him is definitely not what he expected. Up on the landing of the entrance hall stand two black leather clad figure. One of them, her head totally covered with wrappings is a so-called plasma wraith and, with her clawed fingers, she is about to strangle Synch. The other, a blonde female, listening to the moniker Chimera, releases fiery energy from her hand that takes on the shape of a demonic face, the jaw wide open, scaring the mutants that stand in the hall down below. Banshee and Emma, having just arrived from another room, wonder what is going on. Chamber explains that Emplate and these women came through a dimensional warpgate, whereupon the twins merged back into M only to join bodies with Emplate, forming the strange and somewhat confused entity that is now standing on the stairway. Skin quickly steps inside and closes the door behind him in Jubilee’s face. Both she and Paige are annoyed by his apparently rude behavior and hammer on the door, demanding to be let in.

Inside, Banshee prepares to release his sonic scream at the spiked figure that is now running up the stairway but Chamber urges him not to, after all the twins are somewhere inside that entity. On the landing, the Plasma Wraith argues with Chimera whether their alliance with Emplate is still working, as that form is no longer Emplate but something different. Hearing this, Synch asks how they could be so stupid to make a deal with Emplate, who is a known psychopath and can only survive by sucking genetic material of mutants. Chimera orders him to shut up as she is trying to think but Everett tells her not to strain herself.

Seeing Skin down below, Synch calls out to him to give him some skin. Angelo understands and, shouting “Tag Team,“ he stretches his fingers and reaches out along the stairway, through the legs of the newly formed entity and slaps Synch’s hand. Everett now uses his aura to copy his teammate’s’ powers and, stretching his own skin, attempts to uncover the wrappings covering the Plasma Wraith‘s head.

Seeing her servant in peril, Chimera redirects her energy creature at Synch and it breathes fire at his back. Sean takes to the air and uses his sonic powers on her, knocking her backwards. Outside, Tracy covers her ears. She asks Paige and Jubilee is that is their alarm system. The two mutant girls exchange glances; they know that Banshee would only be wailing if they were under attack. Jubilee suggests that Paige shows Tracy the rest of the campus, while she will check out what’s causing the “alarm.“ Meanwhile, inside, Chimera has already gotten up again and she raises up her first, declaring that she is the Scourge of the Nether-dimensions and a conduit for the cosmic wind that blows between realities. She conjures up several more of her energy demons and one throws Banshee backwards through the window, just as Jubilee is walking in through the door. Paige tells the confused Tracy to join her for a look at the biosphere.

In the hall, Emma has had enough of Chimera and attacks her with psionic blasts. Chimera, now on her knees, calls out to Emplate to help her, as the telepath is too strong for her. The androgynous entity turns it’s head towards Chimera and declares that Emplate is no more. All that exists now is a bio-genetic amalgam of Monet St. Croix and her brother Marius, known as Emplate. From now on they are M-Plate. The merged being looks at both groupings, Emplate had a deal with Chimera but M had a relationship with Generation X – which takes precedence?

Walking across the campus, Paige promises Tracy that she’ll love it in the Biosphere but the girl is still thinking about the man she just saw thrown out of the window and asks if he is one of the teachers. Paige confirms it but, at the same time, explains that it was a physics demonstration. Pretty cool, no? Before Tracy can fully answer, Paige has already shoved her into the Biosphere and, closing the door behind her, says she’ll be right back. Angrily, Tracy calls out to not leave her in there all by herself. Then, hearing something behind her, she gets a little bit nervous. Carefully, she calls out “Hello? Uh... Is there somebody else in here with me?“

Up on the landing, a hole is torn in reality and D.O.A. steps through, happily telling his boss that their warp emulator is working again. However, he then notes the change in his employer and asks what happened. M-Plate states that they have their own agenda now. Just like M was more than the sum of the twins, they are now more than M and Emplate combined and they have needs.

Down below, Generation X starts an argument how to deal with this new situation. Jubilee says that they can’t allow M-Plate to escape with the twins inside, though Emma and Sean understand that as a new entity, M-Plate, has the same rights as any other living being. Just as Husk returns, Skin takes Jubilee’s side; that thing has someone they love inside, no matter how they see it.

On the landing, M-Plate wrests Synch from the Plasma Wraith’s grip, stating that he will fulfill their need. Now, all of Generation X agrees that the creature needs to be detained and Banshee rushes forward. Referring to her/himself as “I,“ instead of “we,“ for the first time, M-Plate explains itself to be far more powerful than Chimera as he/she commands the flux of interdimensional reality itself and can also distort it at will. M-Plate raises a hand and the staircase transforms into some sort of vortex, transporting the approaching mutants back into the hall.

Sean gets angry and vows to stop the creature but Emma thinks of the winds inside and tries a more subtle approach with her telepathy. However, M-Plate is as powerful a psi as she and the attack deflects back on Emma. Shifting his/her attention to Everett, M-Plate states that the portals of space and time are at their disposal. Drawing a circle into the air, a ring of fire appears, forming a dimensional portal. M-Plate tells the others to process, as the universe is expanding without them. Chimera, the Plasma Wraith and D.O.A. all walk towards the glowing doorway.

Skin refuses to let them get away with their teammate and stretches his fingers once more, grabbing M-Plate’s foot. Husk runs up the stairs and rips her skin off, revealing stainless steel underneath. She threatens M-Plate but he/she is not intimidated in the least, as Husk needs to reach him/her before she can even think of harming him/her. Jubilee takes this as her cue, as her powers works from afar and she releases a wave of her fireworks at the foe. With M-Plate momentarily stunned and Skin holding him/her in place, Paige tries to knock her/him out, though M-Plate belittles her for her ineffectual effort and easily knocks Husk over the landing. Shaking of Skin’s extended limbs, M-Plate now turns to Jubilee and, already halfway through the dimensional warpgate, M-Plate releases some real fireworks at the girl. Jubilee is hit by an energy explosion, sending her flying backwards through the door and out in the yard, where she bounces off the ground several times, and ...

(Jubilee’s dream / hallucination)
... falls down a rabbit hole. Still falling, Jubilee passes a crucified Wolverine and a table with a glass on it with a note attached “Drink me.” Jubilee’s falls through some vegetation and, suddenly, the sky clears and she is dumped into an ocean. Next, Jubilee is pulled out of the water onto a raft by the twin girls, Claudette and Nicole St. Croix, both wearing oversized shoes and gloves and having obese bodies. The twins are giggling and overly happy, prompting Jubilee to ask what the two of them are doing here, as they are supposed to be mixed up with Emplate and, besides, isn’t one of the girls autistic? Getting no sufficient answer, Jubilee asks which of the girls is which and the twins pointing at each other both say “She’s Tweedle-Monet and I’m not!”

The raft is washed ashore, where a man wearing a walrus costume (Banshee’s face is looking out of the Walrus’ mouth) is wheeling a barrow full of oysters, trying to sell them. Jubilee asks Mr. Walrus for help in figuring out which of the twins is which as, until recently, they used to merge into her friend Monet and she has to figure out how to help them. The Walrus says that this is beyond his capabilities but he knows some folks down the lane who might be able to help. He tells Jubilee and the Tweedle-Monets to hop on his barrow so that he can wheel them to the tea party his friends are having. There is always an extra seat. The three girls comply, though the twins, still grinning and giggling, know better – contrariwise, there are never enough places for them.

At the tea party, the twins immediately join the characters sitting on the table: the Hatter (Skin), the Caterpillar (Gateway), the White Rabbit (Husk wearing a set of bunny ears), and the Queen of Hearts (Emma). Jubilee repeats her question of which is which girl but the Hatter says they can’t answer, as it isn’t her birthday. The White Rabbit is too busy repairing its watch. “Not enough time”. The Dormouse (Synch) emerges from a tea can and tells them not to look now but the Red Queen has the answer. Of course she does, the Queen responds, the answer to their predicament is:”Off with their heads!”

The Tweedle-Monets agree with the Queen and one of them rips off her head, only to grow a new one – Emplate’s. She asks, “How’s this?” and her twin says, “better,” before she rips it off once more. This time, the head of the girl appears again. Endlessly stating “and better,” the twin girls rip off head after head, alternating between the girls’ and Emplate’s image. Soon, they stand on a pile of their own ripped-off heads. Jubilee finds this all curioser and curioser and wonders what it all means. One Tweedle-Monet answers it means she ain’t seen nothing yet. Next, the twin rips off Jubilee’s head, revealing an Emplate head underneath. Jubilee shouts at her to put her head back on.

Jubilee comes around, with her teachers and teammates standing all around her with concern. They ask her if everything is all right and, when Jubilee sees the extent of damage done to the building and the entrance hall, she asks what happened to Everett and the twins. Banshee explains that M-Plate took Synch through the gate and it slammed shut behind them. Emma notes that Jubilee was struck by a psi-blast and asks if she has seen anything strange. Jubilee says that possibly M was trying to send a message and that they need to get M and Everett back.

Before she can elaborate any further, a scream is heard. Banshee says it sounded like it came from the Biosphere and Husk says that she stashed Tracy in there but totally forgot about her. The teachers give her an angry glance, asking who Tracy is and, along the way, Paige says “a friend.” Several minutes later, an excessive search has revealed the Biosphere to be empty. Emma demands to know how Paige dares to bring a stranger into the school but she dismisses it by stating that it is a long story. Paige calls up to the treehouse for Artie and leech but the boys don’t answer. Paige wonders what happened to all of them. “It’s back,” Emma states. Chamber asks what she is referring to and she answers, “the Pooka.”

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Husk, Jubilee, Penance I, Skin, Synch (all Generation X)
Banshee, White Queen (Generation X‘s teachers and tutors)
Tracy Authier


Plasma Wraiths

In a dream / hallucination:
Caterpillar / Gateway
Dormouse / Synch
Hatter / Skin
Queen of Hearts / Emma Frost
Tweedledee and Tweedledum / Claudette and Nicole St. Croix
Walrus / Banshee
White Rabbit / Husk

Story Notes: 

With “Australian Aborigine shaman," Skin refers to Gateway who, from time to time, hangs around the school though with little to no explanation.

Strangely, Chamber is the only Generation X member not to appear in Jubilee’s dream / hallucination.

The image of the crucified Logan seems to refer to Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #251, where Logan was tortured by the Reavers and experienced some sort of hallucination / fever dream.

As the next issue shows, Emma is actually referring to the Token who has returned.

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