Generation X (1st series) #41

Issue Date: 
August 1998
Story Title: 
Massachusetts Chainsaw Massacre

Larry Hama (writer), Alé Garza (penciler), Cabin Boy (inker), RS/Comicraft/LA (letters), Felix Serrano (colors), Ruben Diaz (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The kids of Generation X have been left alone at the mansion for several days while Banshee and White Queen are out of town on business. They decide to have a movie marathon, a horror marathon much to the girls’ displeasure. The whole team teases Jubilee about being too young to watch these movies because it will give her nightmares and could cause “terminal dream syndrome”, which refers to the theory where if you die in the dream you die in real life. Jubilee decides to watch them anyway and sure enough has a nightmare. Bastion is the man from Psycho and he kills Paige after blowing himself up. Sabretooth, dressed as Freddy Kruger from the Nightmare on Elm Street series, kills Skin and M before Penance kills him. The victory is short-lived as Omega Red, playing Michael Myers from the Halloween series kills Penance, Chamber, and Synch. The final villain shows up as Emplate playing Jason from the Friday the 13th series before Jubilee manages to rouse herself from the nightmare. She wakes up to see the faces of her friends, and as she explains the nightmare she discovers that they were planning on putting on masks to scare her.

Full Summary: 

At the Massachusetts Academy, the students find themselves the sole inhabitants of the mansion. Sean and Emma had to go to New York on business, leaving the teenagers all alone. The girls have taken over the living room, painting their nails while waiting for the boys to return. Angelo walks in the room with an armful of movies. Paige asks him if they rented any movies that the girls would want to watch, but Monet tells her that she is expecting too much of him. Angelo yells as he trips, letting movies fly everywhere. Husk says that they probably should have flattened the rug out after they swept the dirt under it, while Jubilee gets mad at Skin for throwing the movies all over the living room.

As the girls help Angelo pick up the movies they are horrified to find out that they are all “slasher” films; all except Jubilee of course. Monet screams at him that they wanted to watch girl movies, but Skin defends himself by saying that there are plenty of girls in his movies. Monet gives him that fact, but states that all of them are eviscerated though. She gets up from the couch and heads into the kitchen to check on how the concessions are coming along, which are being handled by the least capable.

Synch and Jono are in the kitchen struggling with each of their snacks. Everett tells Monet to lighten up because he has the situation under control. Jono, on the other hand, is fuming at the microwave in a string of British derogatory terms because it is broken. He asks Monet if she will rip open the bag of popcorn so that he can cook it in a frying pan, but Monet just holds up her hands and refuses to do anything until her nails are dry. Jono decides to ignore her snobbishness and handle the situation by himself by popping the popcorn with a small blast from his power. The effect is disastrous as popcorn goes flying in all directions, landing on and ruining Monet’s nails. Jono apologizes for his mistake. Everett finishes the “sugar bomb treats” just as the argument erupts between his two friends.

Shortly later, the teens sit in the living room about to start their movie marathon. Paige is still in disbelief that they are going to watch all of those slasher movies; it would take days! Angelo says that it won’t if they fast forward through all the boring junk, like the plot, and skip to the gore. A scene flashes on the TV of a murderous man with an axe upraised. A scream follows, followed shortly thereafter by a disgusted groan from Jubilee. Skin remembers that all of the movies are rated R or NC-17 and quickly covers Jubilee’s face with his extended skin, saying that she is too young to be watching such things. Jubilee tears Angelo’s hand off of her face, saying that all of them have seen worse things in real life. Jono agrees, but says that it is still bad to subject young impressionable minds to such hyped up violence because it can warp them irreversibly.

Synch adds that movies like this have been known to cause seizures or even “terminal dream syndrome.” Jubilee’s confusion shows as she asks if he means nightmares about airports. Monet scientifically clears up the mishap by explaining that Everett is referring to the theory that if one dies in their dream then they die in real life as well. Husk shows her skepticism towards the idea, but Skin immediately backs up his claims. A TV show, “Strange Universe” did an entire segment on it, and it is completely true! Jubilee starts to become uneasy, and Husk tells Angelo to stop “messing with the kid’s head.” Jubilee becomes offended by this comment, and decides to prove herself by telling Angelo to skip all of the tame stuff and fast forward straight to the blood and gore.

Much later that night, Jubilee wakes up from a deep slumber on the couch. She gets up and begins to search for the rest of her friends, walking out into the main hallway. She asks herself who the person is on the stairs that is carrying a large butcher knife because they are dressed like an old woman. She bumps into Angelo at that point and asks him if he saw the same thing. He asks if there is any chance that it could be Ev, Jono, or Monet in disguise, but Jubilee reminds him that none of them have a sense of humor.

Upstairs, Husk sings to herself in the shower as a menacing shadow appears outside of the curtain. Skin screams a warning to her that there is a psycho with a knife outside, but she just thinks that it is a lame excuse for Angelo to barge in on her in while she is in the shower. The maniac tears the curtain back with the knife raised high. Paige acts instinctually, husking into a partial brick form as the knife collides with her chest, leaving her unharmed. Jubilee shoots a plasma blast at the villain’s head, knocking off a wig. The criminal turns around to reveal that he is none other than the villainous Bastion. Skin rips off the rest of Bastion’s costume revealing his unique apparel. To his chest he has strapped a bomb with the detonator in his hand. He tells the teens that he will do anything to rid the world of gene trash like them as he depresses his finger on the button, causing an explosion that knocks Angelo and Jubilee out of the bathroom. Inside of the chard ruins of the bathroom, Paige desperately clutches at the remnants of the shower curtain with her remaining strength. The curtain rips down, leaving Paige collapsed on the bottom of the tub, dead.

Skin says that this cannot be happening, and Jubilee says that it isn’t. She says that this is all a bad dream that she is having from eating too many sweets and watching too many scary movies. She comes to the conclusion that all she has to do is wake up and everything will be normal again. She re-enters the bathroom and splashes water on her face from the sink, but dream water doesn’t have much of an effect. Skin suggests that she try pinching herself when someone burst through the floor. It is Sabretooth, dressed like Freddy Kruger and he tells the kids that no one is going to wake up from this dream as long as they have him to claw them to sleep.

Skin yells at Jubilee to wake up, but she tells him not to worry. She says that Sabretooth is just a figment of her imagination that way fueled on by too much sugar. Sabretooth starts to advance towards Skin. Angelo tells Jubilee that it may be her dream, but he is the one about to be killed. Sabretooth agrees with him as he lifts his claws about to swipe. Skin futilely tries to save himself by wrapping his arms around Creed’s, but to no avail. He is soon cut into ribbons. Jubilee sprints out of the bathroom with Creed fast on her trail.

She screams to herself to wake up as she comes to the bottom of the stairs where Monet waits blowing on her nails. Jubilee tells her to “head for the hills”, but Monet replies that the hills are rather dusty and she just put a fresh coat of lacquer on. Jubilee tells her to suit herself as Sabretooth makes it to the bottom of the stairs, stopping to bite Monet’s face off.

In desperation, Jubilee cries out to Penance for help. The young girl comes to her aid, using her razor-sharp claws to tear Victor Creed to pieces. Jubes thanks her friend while talking out loud to herself. She says that it is too bad that Penance can’t yell or slap her so that she could wake up. While she is talking, the form of Omega Red with a plain mask and an axe stands behind her ready to strike. He soon does, crashing his axe into the skull of Penance. Jubilee once more tells herself that it is just a dream, but she remembers that if she dies in her dream…the ominous figure looks down at her before he starts to chase after her.

Jubilee continues her run down the hall, bumping into Chamber as he comes out of the kitchen with a platter full of sandwiches. He tells her to watch where she is running and she yells at him to blast the guy coming down the hall because he just axed Penance. “Asked her what?” he replies, but Jubilee clears up the mishap. Jono decides to take care of the masked menace and scorches him with a blast from his mouth. He places his bandages back over his face and turns his back on the blaze as he marvels at his abilities. Bad mistake as the form of Omega Red bursts from the flames, decapitating Jono with one blow.

The frightened girl runs into the kitchen, telling Synch to hide. Everett brushes her off; telling her that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to let her watch all of those horror movies. Jubilee frantically looks for a place to hide; Ev thinks that she is overreacting. Jubilee asks how she can be overreacting? There is a bunch of homicidal people running around! Her ranting is interrupted by a mysterious sound, which shakes her to the core. She sheepishly asks Ev what that noise was, and he calmly replies that it was a chainsaw.

At the door stands Emplate in a bloody butcher’s robe with a revved chainsaw and D.O.A. at his side. Jubilee slams the door shut, but Emplate just saws through it, making a lame crack about how he wants his meat prepared. Everett synchs with Jubilee to try and stave off the attack, but he complains about how it would be easier if he didn’t have to use such a lame power. They continue their assault, but Emplate tells them that they are only delaying the inevitable as he saws through the stove. Omega Red agrees with him as he slams his axe into Synch’s head. From the floor and the walls, the other two murderers appear with fits of maniacal laughter. Jubilee backs into a corner where she assumes the fetal position. The killers surround her, their laughter continuing. She tries valiantly to wake herself up, finally screaming it at the top of her lungs.

Back on the couch, Jubilee wakes from her dream to see that the concerned faces of her friends surround her. They ask her if she is all right, and she replies that she is, but a little shaken up. She tells them about her dream and how she was afraid that she wasn’t going to wake up. Then, she confides in them that she even suspected that all of the slashers were the rest of the team wearing masks to play a trick on her. She detects a subtle change in their expressions and asks them why they are looking guilty. Then, she notices that they are all hiding things behind their backs and asks them what they are. She takes a peek behind their backs and sees that they are all holding Scream masks. Infuriated that her friends would play a trick on her, she releases a score of “pafs” around them as they run away with smiles on their faces.

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Husk, Jubilee, M II, Penance II, Skin, Synch (all Generation X)

In nightmare:
Bastion (as Norman Bates)
Emplate (as Jason)
Omega Red (as Michael Myers)
Sabretooth (as Freddy Kruger)

Story Notes: 

Even though this issue seems very violent, it is up to interpretation. They never actually showed any of the gruesome violence; only through shadows, onomatopoeia, and blood spatter did the reader grasp the painfully obvious implications. So don’t get your feathers in a bunch!

The four people that appeared in Jubilee’s nightmare were placed there for a reason, as they have some history with Generation X, or her in particular. Sabretooth tried to kill her in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #311. Bastion took her captive and tried to extract information on the X-Men from her in Generation X (1st series) #25 and #27. Emplate has tormented the team from the beginning and has always picked on the uselessness of Jubilee’s power. Finally, Omega Red took on the team in Generation X (1st series) #10.

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