Generation X (1st series) #38

Issue Date: 
May 1998
Story Title: 
Mystery Train

Larry Hama (writer), Terry Dodson (penciler), Rachel Dodson (inker), RS & Comicraft’s Liz Agraphiotis (letterer), Felix Serrano (colors), Rubin Diaz (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In a strange dimension, M-Plate continues in his/her plans for universal control. As Gaia, the young girl who triggers the universal amalgamation, will not submit to M-Plate’s will, he/she plans to force Synch to copy her powers. Synch however is not willing to help either. Upon hearing these arguments, Chimera changes her opinion on the universal amalgamation; she isn’t to keen on the idea of being a part of one giant mind. M-Plate kills her for her insolence, and then threatens to do the same to everyone in Everett’s life if he does not help him/her with his/her plan. Elsewhere, Jubilee, Chamber, and Elwood try to outrun the train carrying their teammates. Husk and Banshee slow down the train when they recognize Jubilee and Jono in front, but it is too late. The train runs over the half-Snark that they were riding on, leaving them to cling to the front of the train. They manage to climb inside the locomotive, when they realize they have another problem - an elephant-sized spider is chasing after them and gaining fast. They accelerate the train without thought to Dirtnap, who goes flying off of the back of the locomotive. Jubilee, Jono and Penance get on the roof and manage help Dirtnap back onto the train before he ends up as spider food. He is touched that they save him at the risk of their own lives. The train runs into a glowing vortex and emerges at the citadel of the universal amalgamator. The members of the team jump out of the train to come to the rescue of their friend Everett and encounter the new powers of M-Plate. He/she places an impenetrable force field around them and begins to constrict it, crushing the team. Everett starts to give in to M-Plate’s demands when he sees his friends in pain, but they are saved from an unexpected friend. Dirtnap jumps off of the train and swallows M-Plate whole, breaking his/her concentration on her force fields. Banshee wants to know how they are supposed to get Monet out of Dirtnap’s stomach, but they won’t have to worry about that very long. Dirtnap warns his friends that he feels like he is about to explode. Back in Massachusetts, Emma and Skin talk with Tracy about the Token. Emma is somewhat annoyed that the Token considers the Biosphere his property, but lets it rest when she learns that the Token knows how to get the rest of Generation X back from that other dimension. A trapdoor in the treehouse reveal a stairway to some sort of subway station. Meanwhile in the diner, Dorian and Weasel finish their clean up. Despite Mr. Timmons warnings to stay away from the W.C. door they curiously open it. Inside they find a room made of light with a ceiling of a giant stone slab.

Full Summary: 

Banshee furiously shovels coal into the train’s engine. Husk interrupts the monotony with short horn blasts as she sees a shadowy figure ahead on the tracks. They can’t stop the train at the speed that they are going, Banshee says, they will derail if they do. In front of the train, Jubilee, Chamber and Elwood ride hard on their half-Snark, a dinosaur like creature native to this dimension. Jono tells Elwood to make it go faster, but he says it would be a lot easier if Jono had not vaporized the half with the ears. Jubilee, clinging to the front of the half-Snark, wishes out loud that Sean was there with them. Elwood warns her that wishes have a remarkable way of coming true in unpleasant ways in this dimension.

Paige looks out the window of the train, trying to recall the familiar figures in front of her. She recognizes that it is Jubilee and Chamber and Sean tries to slow down the train. It is too late for breaks, however, as the train runs over the half-Snark. Banshee asks Paige if they ran over the kids, but she is having trouble seeing things because the headlamp went out. Jono clings to the front of the train with Elwood and Jubilee clutching his legs. Jubilee asks if she can open her eyes, and Elwood says that he wouldn’t advise it. They are slowing down and that is not a good thing. Chamber wants to know what he means by that.

In another part of the strange dimension, Chimera lazily sits on a slab of stone with her head in her hands. She inquires as to what M-Plate’s master plan is once more. M-Plate walks over to the young girl that is chained to an alter and rambles over his/her plan to join all sentient beings in the universe into a single “omni-personality”, with the help of Gaia. It will be the dawning of a new godhead. Gaia tells M-Plate that she will never cooperate with a plan like that since it will be the end of all things, not the beginning. M-Plate smiles wickedly as he/she reveals to Gaia that her cooperation is not needed since Synch is there. Everett, inside of his force field bubble, says that there is no way he will collaborate with M-Plate either. Chimera joins the fray when she puts her two cents in. She doesn’t want to be part of a universal amalgamation, why should she want to be absorbed into a pooled consciousness. D.O.A. tries to silence his master’s ally, warning her not to get the boss angry. A beam of energy leaves M-Plate’s eyes as he/she tells D.O.A. that that kind of negativism will be obliterated when they establish the universal order. The beam directly hits Chimera, reducing her to a bloody splattered mass. M-Plate then turns his/her wrath towards Synch, threatening to incinerate everyone that he even acknowledged if he doesn’t cooperate.

Jubilee, Jono and Elwood manage to shimmy along the side of the train to an open window where Sean waits to help them inside. Sean asks Jono who the furry guy is and Jono replies that it is a long story. Jubilee questions Elwood as to what he meant earlier about it being to bad that they were slowing down. Dirtnap, who had climbed to the roof of the train, answers the question with a shriek, saying that he probably was referring to a giant spider the size of an elephant that is gaining on them. Jubilee shouts at Sean to get off of the brakes and speed out of the tunnel. Paige takes the brakes off and pushes the train ahead to its full speed. On the roof, Dirtnap bounces as the train accelerates, falling off of the back of the locomotive with a nonchalant comment on the group leaving him. He turns around to see the giant spider gaining ground and takes off at a frantic sprint, screaming for the train to stop.

Jubilee tells Sean that he cannot leave Dirtnap on the train tracks, but Sean says that it is either their lives or his and he isn’t going to risk his charges for the likes of Dirtnap. Jubilee, Chamber, and Penance resolve to save Dirtnap by themselves, and go to the back of the train. Jono hangs onto the back and extends his hand to Dirtnap. Dirtnap almost has hold when something wraps around his neck, pulling him backwards. It is a strand of webbing that is as strong as steel cable. The situation seems hopeless, but then Penance reaches down and slices the webbing with her razor-sharp skin. The spider still is gaining on Dirtnap and would have eaten him if not for a bio-blast from Chamber that knocks the spider away. Dirtnap is able to make it to the train and Jubilee pulls him onto the roof. He is struck with disbelief at the act of kindness that was done to him; nobody had ever went out of their way for him ever before.

Back at the Massachusetts Academy, Emma and Skin are surprised that Chief Authier’s advice of leaving silver and porridge to reveal the Token worked. Tracy, Artie, Leech, and the Token are all sitting around the table in the Biosphere tree house drinking tea. Angelo doesn’t like the situation, but Tracy reassures him that the Token is nice once you get to know him. He only kidnapped her and the two young mutants because he was upset about them trespassing on his property. Emma blows up when she hears this fact; the Biosphere is not his property but theirs. The Token gets up from his chair and begins to head for Emma. Skin warns her to watch her tone of voice so as not to upset the mythological beast. Leech intervenes on behalf of Emma, telling the Token not to take her attitude personally because she is like that to everybody and she doesn’t understand that everything inside of the Biosphere belongs to Tokenkind. Tracy tells Emma that she has to calm down because the Token says that he can help Emma and Angelo to get their friends back from that other dimension. The two stare in disbelief at the news.

In town, Mr. Timmons gets ready to close up his diner and leave, but first talks to his special workers Dorian and Weasel. Mr. Timmons congratulates them on their good work, considering that it is community service imposed on them, and says that they can take a break after they finish stacking the bottles. As he leaves, he once more warns them never to touch the door marked “W.C.”. The boys agree, but as soon as Timmons is out of sight they turn around to look at the glowing door.

On the train, the group speeds ahead to an uncertain ending of the tunnel. An intense glowing vortex pulsates at the end of the tracks. Sean tells the kids to lean on the brakes since they have no idea where that vortex will take them. They obey his command, but the brakes have begun to fail them. The train skids into the vortex.

Above the citadel a glowing vortex crackles opens. D.O.A. asks M-Plate what it is and he/she answers as a train launches out of the vortex above their heads. Jubilee leans out of the train window and spots Everett in the containment bubble. Everyone leaps out of the train wielding their powers. Jono tells Everett that he will get him out of the bubble right away, but Sean tells him that they have to be careful since Monet is still trapped within the body of M-Plate. Elwood and Dirtnap sit on the roof of the train watching the ensuing battle. Dirtnap shows genuine concern for the Generation X members.

With their kidnappers busy, Gaia desperately pleads with Everett not to submit to the will of M-Plate. Many other people had tried to force her to trigger the universal effect, but she withstood them. Her entire galaxy was wiped out, but she still refused. Surely Everett could do no less. M-Plate scoffs at the show of concern and weakness as he/she turns around and constructs a containment bubble around Everett’s teammates. They are shocked and astonished by this; neither Monet nor Emplate could construct force fields. Sean explains the M-Plate is more than just Monet and Emplate, but a combined force with his/her powers changed and magnified. M-Plate lets Synch witness this spectacle, asking him if he really cares for his friends and doesn’t want to see them hurt. He/she then starts to contract his/her force field on the team, crushing them against each other. Jubilee asks if Jono could blast them out of the force field, but he says that being in such confined space would fry all of them in the blast. Gaia again pleads with Everett not to go through with M-Plate’s plan, but his will seems to be cracking as he sees his friends‘ lives in peril.

Above, Dirtnap goes into a fit as he sees his friends in danger. They are the only people who ever were nice to him and now they are going to die. Elwood tells him that that is not true because he doesn’t have to let it happen. Dirtnap seems startled by the idea of him being a hero, but soon falls into his role as he builds himself up. Dirtnap leaps off of the train with his jaws extended to full size heading towards M-Plate. He/she stares in disbelief as the gigantic jaws plunge towards him/her. They make contact and Dirtnap swallows the evil mutant whole. The force fields that contained Generation X simultaneously pop, freeing their captives. The team deduces that the force fields need M-Plate’s constant attention to function correctly.

Dirtnap, like a bloated tick, lies tottering on the floor. D.O.A. unceasingly pounds on the rat, trying to free his master. Dirtnap tells him to lay off or else he will eat him next. With his containment gone, Synch tries to free Gaia from her chains on the altar. She looks at him incredulously as he does so for she is in utter astonishment. She could tell that Everett was beginning to synch with her powers to save his friends. Gaia asks him why he could do it with an entire universe at stake, and he replies that he isn’t as strong as she is. He couldn’t deal with the thought of his friends suffering, even if it meant the universe. The universe and all sentient beings living in it is just to abstract of an idea for him to contemplate while the immediate consequences of his friends suffering was at hand. He once more tries to loosen Gaia’s chains, but she doesn’t want him to free her. Her chains are her responsibility and she isn’t meant to be free.

The rest of the team stands around Dirtnap in his portly state. Banshee wonders how they are supposed to extract Monet from Dirtnap’s stomach, but his contemplation is interrupted by the moans of the rodent. M-Plate isn’t digesting well, he says, and now he feels like he is about to explode. Dirtnap warns his friends to step back away from him as his body begins to swell.

In the treehouse, Tracy tells Emma and Skin that the Token said all they have to do is wait for their friends at the station. A trap door opens in the floor of the tree house with stairs leading downward. Emma and Skin inquire about the station, and Tracy tells them that she guesses that it is a subway station.

At Timmons’ diner, Dorian and Weasel open the radiant door. Weasel asks his friend what he sees, and Dorian tells him that there is a giant stone slab where the ceiling should be, and the rest of the closet is made out of light.

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Husk, Jubilee, Penance, Skin, Synch (all Generation X)
Banshee, White Queen (Generation X‘s teachers and tutors)
Leech, Artie Maddicks (wards of Generation X)

Tracy Authier
Dorian, Weasel
Mr. Timmons, owner of the local diner

Elwood the Pooka
The Token
half of a Boojum Snark
a giant spider

Plasma Wraiths

Story Notes: 

M-Plate is the amalgamation of Emplate and the M twins, Claudette and Nicole. This happened in Generation X (1st series) #34 when the twins awoke to the sound of their brother’s voice.

Synch was kidnapped when M-Plate and her cohorts stormed the academy in Generation X (1st series) #35.

Jubilee and Chamber met their magical friend Elwood the Pooka in Generation X (1st series) #36.

The Citadel of the Universal Amalgamator is a device where Gaia lives chained to an altar. It is an apparatus that can join all sentient beings in the universe into one single consciousness. M-Plate wanted to do this and become the supreme consciousness of the “god-head.”

The Token first appeared and was chased out of the Biosphere in Wolverine (2nd series) #94 and resurfaced in Generation X (1st series) #34 when he kidnapped the police chief’s daughter, Tracy.

After Dorian and Weasel were caught trying to steal from Mr. Timmons last issue, Chief Authier arrested them. On their way to the station, they stopped at the Academy and the chief caught them eavesdropping on his and Emma’s conversation. He volunteered them for community service then and after a while at the station, sent them to Mr. Timmons to serve the rest of their time.

Written By: