Generation X (1st series) #39

Issue Date: 
June 1998
Story Title: 
Return From Forever

Larry Hama (writer), Terry Dodson and Dan Lawlis (pencilers), Rachel Dodson and Jon Holdredge (inkers), RS & Comicraft (letters), Felix Serrano (colors), Ruben Diaz (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In a valiant effort to save his newfound friends, Dirtnap swallowed M-Plate whole. However he cannot digest the multiple DNA codes and he explodes, releasing the forms of Emplate and the twins, once more separate. Emplate tries to kill his sisters, but is thwarted by Generation X. Chamber sends a blast towards him, but misses and hits the altar instead. The citadel starts to break down and all the people try to evacuate. Emplate and DOA escape with a lepton imploder, a device that can tear a hole in the dimension fabric of space-time, while Generation X loads back onto the interdimensional train except for Synch, who wants to stay and help the chained Gaia. Banshee tries to help him, but as they are unable to break the chains, he knocks Synch out and takes him on the locomotive, but the effort does not go as planned. Synch wakes up and retaliates on his leader, jumping out of the train with Penance following along. The train pulls out of that dimension, heading into another vortex back towards the Biosphere. Upon arrival in a subway station, they are greeted by Skin and Emma, who walked down there through a trapdoor in the treehouse. Banshee urges Elwood the Pooka to find a way to go back for Synch and Penance, but he answers that the train is for the Token now, and they drive off. Just before the train vanishes into the next vortex, Elwood tells the team to try the Warp Chamber in the Diner. In the other dimension, Synch and Penance cuts through Gaia’s chains, and they escape the crumbling citadel through a hidden portal underneath the altar, which leads to the storage room at the Diner. The trio of mutants onto the heads of Dorian and Weasel, who were curiously prying at the stone on the ceiling of the room. Gaia and Penance rush out of the diner, leaving Synch to take the brunt of the bullies’ wrath. The sadistic pair beat Synch until he is hardly breathing, and then leave him for dead on the side of the road, where the rest of the team finds him on the way to the Diner.

Full Summary: 

The members of Gen X stare in shock at the figure of Dirtnap. He has swallowed the form of M-Plate and the team just came to the realization that if M-Plate is destroyed, then so are Claudette and Nicole, and by consequence Monet who was the joined form of the two. D.O.A. frantically jumps on the swollen back of Dirtnap, ordering him to spit out his boss before his/her DNA is absorbed into his body. Dirtnap replies that it isn’t likely he can absorb someone that he can’t digest, especially since everyone is trying individually and in pairs to break free. The lingering question is who will be the dominant personality? Claudette, Monet, Nicole, Emplate or M-Plate? Dirtnap yells at his digestive captives to stop trying to escape because his molecular structure can’t take the strain. Dirtnap swells to an even greater size as energy courses around him. With a giant pop he explodes, spewing forth a green gelatinous substance and the forms of Claudette, Nicole, and Emplate.

Nicole speaks to her brother, Marius, and her sister, joyously exclaiming that they are separate once more. Emplate tells his sister that Marius doesn’t exist anymore, and that since he had been a combined being with the girls he now knows their innermost fears and secrets. Nicole snaps back that the unity worked both ways and now she knew what happened to the real Monet. Everyone ponders what the little girl said and try to work out the situation: if the combined form of the twins was not the real Monet, then who and where is she?

Emplate harshly grabs his little sister by the face, intending to siphon off her energy for sustenance. Jubilee quickly generates a display of pyrotechnics, forcing Marius to let go of Nicole. He shrugs off Jubilee’s attack, calling it pathetic, but Banshee jumps into the fray with a sonic scream to stun the horrid creature. Emplate once more rises from defeat, standing by the altar of Gaia taunting Banshee by saying he has been diverted long enough from his hunger.

Chamber powers up for a bio-blast saying that he will give Emplate something to chew on. Gaia frantically yells to Synch that Jono cannot discharge an energy blast near the Amalgamator since it is too dangerous. Synch concernedly asks where the structure is; Gaia replies that it is the entire citadel. There is no time for a warning as Chamber releases a devastating blast at his foe. Agilely, Emplate dodges the blast, sending it crashing into the altar behind him. The citadel spasms in response to the destructive energy, triggering a chain reaction that directs pieces of the structure down towards the team. Banshee yells at Everett to hurry up and collect himself, the team needs to get out of the reality quickly. Synch faithfully stands by Gaia’s side at the altar. She tells him that he needs to evacuate as soon as possible; the citadel has never taken this kind of damage before, but Synch refuses to leave the chained up girl.

On the other side of the citadel, Jubilee blasts one of the Plasma Wraiths advancing towards her, setting up the being for Penance to slash. Chamber decimates the other Wraith with a bio blast. He asks Husk if she has the twins to safety, and she positively replies carrying the unconscious Nicole in one arm while guiding the autistic Claudette with the other. Paige walks towards the floating train and, much to her surprise, Elwood throws a rope ladder down to her so that she can board the transport.

Banshee continues to bat Emplate and D.O.A. around with his sonic emissions. Snivelingly, D.O.A. cries to his boss to do something, but soon comes up with his own plan of attack. He pulls out a lepton imploder, rearing back to throw it at Banshee when Emplate stops him. He snatches the imploder out of the hands of his minion, telling him not to waste it on Banshee, but to use it for a good escape. With that Emplate hurls the piece at the ground forming an aperture in space that the two run through.

Jubilee sees this and tells Sean that that was a pretty good sign for them to leave as well, asking him if he is going to leave with the rest of Generation X or not? Banshee helps the others up the ladder, saying that he is responsible for the team’s lives, so he will be the last one out of there. He yells at Everett to get a move on. Synch stubbornly refuses, stating that he isn’t leaving without Gaia. Banshee sprints toward the center of the citadel, saying Gaia must be freed then.

Inside of the locomotive, Jubilee finds a piece of paper, and asks Husk what it is. She replies that it is a schedule, and that the last stop on there was C.O.T.U.A. Jubilee grabs the sheet and disagrees; the last stop on the schedule is the Biosphere and the arrival time is in one minute!

Below, Banshee valiantly tries to break Gaia’s fetters, but the struggle is useless since they are made of some unknown metal. Gaia tells them that what they are trying to do is wrong; she was never meant to be free! Sean yells up to Jono in the train, asking him if he could direct a blast at the chains. Gaia disparately screams for him not to do it since the residual energy would seriously damage the Amalgamator. Chamber wants to know what is going to happen; they need to decide soon since the train is beginning to pull out. Everett still tugs on the chains, ignoring Gaia’s pleas to stop. She says that he doesn’t know what he is doing, but he tells her that he isn’t going to leave without her.

Banshee cracks his knuckles and tells Everett to think again. With a shattering punch to the jaw Sean knocks Synch out cold. He tells the boy that a man has to make hard decisions and in this case there was no way that he could save the girl and Everett, so he chose Everett since he is the one that he is responsible for. Sean throws the boy over his shoulder and grabs the ladder as the train heads out. Once inside the train, Synch wakes up. He tells Sean that he should have hit him harder because it would have stopped him from synching with Banshee’s sonic abilities. With an ear-piercing wail Synch turns on Sean, knocking him aside and then leaping from the speeding train.

Chamber yells helplessly after his friend, telling him that there is no way he can cut the chains by himself. Penance thoughtfully listens to the conversation right before she throws herself out of the door. Jono yells after her, but it is too late to go back for her or Synch since the train is unstoppably plunging into the colorful vortex. Penance lands flawlessly on the crumbling foundation of the citadel, making her way towards the altar.

With a newfound appreciation, Gaia looks up at Synch. She tells him that his gesture was beautiful, but futile since there is no way to break her chains. Suddenly, the chains fall apart in a silent swish. Gaia sits up with a start, the realization hitting her that she is finally free. Penance stands smiling by her friends’ side. Synch now realizes their predicament; they need a way to escape. Gaia quickly tells them that there is, there is a warp chamber hidden underneath the stone slab of her altar.

In the Massachusetts Academy Biosphere, Skin finds something difficult to believe. Sticking his head out of the window of the tree house, he tries to find a logical answer to how there can be a trapdoor that leads to a subway station in a tree house. Tracy calmly explains to him that space is different to the Tokens. Emma agrees with the girl, saying that some people believe that Tokens and other beings live outside of our dimensional awareness. The group saunters down the stairs into a massive and intricate subway station. Skin asks in amazement how the Token made it, but his query is met with laughter. Tracy tells him that Tokens don’t make things they just open the doors.

At that moment, a train comes whizzing into the station, unloading a frantic lot of passengers. Banshee yells at Emma that they have to find a way to turn the train around since Everett and Penance are still trapped in the other reality. Elwood, now the conductor of the interdimensional train, shot down their hopes of rescue by telling them that only Tokens are allowed on that ride. The train starts to pull out of the station. Banshee yells after him, asking what to do about Synch and Penance. Elwood screams as the train enters another vortex to check the warp chamber in the back of the diner.

In a glowing closet in Mr. Timmons’ Diner, Dorian and Weasel pry at a strange stone slab on the ceiling. Dorian jams a crowbar at the stone, guessing that Mr. Timmons didn’t want them to go into the closet because he has a life savings stored in there. In a landslide of bodies, the three wayward travelers collapsed on the heads of the miscreants. Penance, Synch and Gaia fly into the storeroom, ruining the previously clean room. Gaia slowly lifts herself off of the floor, excitement boiling over in her. She utters a single word, free. Grasping her freedom she darts out of the diner, screaming “free” at the top of her lungs. Everett bellows at Penance to follow Gaia, which she does willingly.

Synch picks himself up from the floor, untangling himself from Dorian and Weasel. He tries to explain that he has to follow the girls, but Dorian firmly grasps him by the collar when he tries to leave. He is infuriated with Synch; Weasel and him spent all day straightening up the storeroom and now Everett is about to leave without even saying that he is sorry. Everett tells the guys that he will come back later to help, but Dorian interrupts his speech. He notices that Everett is “one of those geeks from that fancy school” calling him a boy and telling him that he has a lot of nerve. Everett asks if he heard correctly, Dorian snaps back with a witty reply. He asks if he has upset poor Everett, saying that they wouldn’t want him to have his feeling hurt. With that, Dorian punches Synch in the stomach, then the face. A brawl ensues as Weasel jumps in on the action.

A few minutes later, Weasel asks Dorian if maybe they went too far; it doesn’t even look like Everett is breathing. Dorian shrugs it off, telling Weasel to help him stuff the body in his trunk so that they can dump it off somewhere.

The rest of Gen X jumps in the car to head down to the diner. Banshee asks if someone would explain the fact that there is a warp chamber in the local diner. Emma says that he is the one who needs to be explaining why he came to be on an other-dimensional train. Jubilee hurriedly tells parts of the story, but she is stopped by Skin, who tells her that she isn’t making sense. Husk points out that their story about the subway station and the Token doesn’t make much sense either, but her question never gets answered. Emma screams at Sean to stop the car, there is something on the road ahead of them. She tells Sean to pull over because it is a body. In a flash of lightning in the night sky, the shadowy form is revealed to be the badly beaten body of Everett Thomas.

Characters Involved: 

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

Tracy Authier
Dorian, Weasel

Elwood the Pooka
The Token

Plasma Wraiths

Story Notes: 

Jubilee’s callous behavior towards Dirtnap’s death is deplorable. Last issue she proclaimed to be his friend, even saving his life from a giant spider. He returns the favor, endangering himself by swallowing M-Plate, and saving the entire team from certain doom. In this issue, no tears after he explodes, no remorse at all, she just licks the goo from her nose exclaiming that it tastes like tapioca. Shame on you, Jubilee!

Emplate was revealed to be the brother of M (and therefore of Claudette and Nicole) in Generation X (1st series) #12.

Dorian and Weasel were sentenced to community service in Generation X (1st series) #37 after Chief Authier caught them trying to steal from Mr. Timmons and eavesdropping on his conversation with Ms. Frost.

Jubilee incorrectly states that she, Jono, and Paige met Elwood the Pooka in Generation X #36, but really it was just herself and Chamber. Paige left our reality with Banshee, Penance, and Dirtnap via a lepton imploder that Chief Authier found on the talking rat (Dirtnap).

Tracy came to be at the Biosphere when she was kidnapped by the Token, along with Artie and Leech in Generation X (1st series) #34.

In issue #34, it was written that Nicole was the autistic twin. In this issue, Nicole is the one talking and Claudette is the autistic one. In subsequent issues, even in flashback sequences set before the twins ever merged, it is always Claudette who is the autistic twin, so it’s safe to assume that Generation X (1st series) #34 was an error.

The place where Gaia was chained to is called the Citadel of the Universal Amalgamator (C.O.T.U.A.). She has never left the altar, in fact she has been chained to it her entire life to serve the purpose of triggering the Amalgamator device when the time would be right.

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