Generation X (1st series) #53

Issue Date: 
July 1999
Story Title: 
Land of the Rising Sons: part 1

Jay Faerber (writer), Terry Dodson (pencils), Rachel Dodson (inks), Kevin Tinsley (colors), RS & Comicraft’s Lis Agraphiotis (letters), Jason Liebig (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Scott Lobdell & Chris Bachalo (creators of Generation X)

Brief Description: 

Paladin reveals to Jubilee that he was hired by Adrienne to retrieve a samurai sword that was taken from her earlier, and that it’s now on Madripoor. But Paladin failed on his mission, and was ambushed by the Rising Sons and left for dead. He takes some time to recover, and promises Adrienne to go try again, once his wounds have healed. As the day goes on, Jubilee fails to concentrate on any of her classes, and convinces her teammates to help Paladin out. After he has recovered, the kids get permission from Adrienne to tag along with Paladin. On the way to Madripoor, Paladin reveals to the kids who their enemies are, and what exactly the members of the Rising Sons are capable of. Once on the island, the team splits up: Jubilee and Paladin go to keep an eye on Noy, the leader of the Sons, and Paige and the others have to sneak up into Noy’s house trying to find the sword. While they continue the search, Monet has stayed at the school, preferring to rather spend time with her sister, Penance, as M had promised to spend time with her and help her get settled in her new room at the basement. Back on Madripoor, it appears that the kids have been set up. Chamber is almost killed by Nightwind, but is luckily rescued just in time. Jubilee and Paladin notice Noy getting aboard a train, and it looks like he’s got Adrienne’s sword with him. Paladin reports Paige to follow their signal, while they already head on the train. Unfortunately, Noy has been suspecting Paladin, and has his Rising Sons ready for battle!

Full Summary: 

Paladin explains what happened to him on his most recent mission. The Rising Sons had him running for cover along the shipyards. He jokes that he has been in Madripoor a few times before in the past, and that it as good a place to die as any. But Paladin wouldn’t just surrender, as he’s got a world reputation to keep up. So, he took out his gun and fires it, hitting one of the Sons.

Another sees an opening, and uses his power over lightning to strike him! With Paladin not moving after the strike, the Rising Sons stood over him, doubting about what to do with his body, uncertain if he was alive or dead. So, Paladin chose to play dead, even though he thinks he could have handled those kids. But realizing what might happen if he would lose, he chose to gather all his Intel and brief Adrienne about the situation.

Paladin mentions he came as far as the school grounds and feels lucky that Jubilee found him before anyone else saw him, as he would hate to have the school’s secret that it trains mutants to be made public, thanks to him. Jubilee asks Paladin to stop, as she is awed by the fact that he survived the attack of super-powered people. She wonders if Paladin might not have any kind of super-powers he isn’t telling them about, and also wants to know his real name, since he seems to know all of theirs. Paladin smiles, mentioning that his real name is his own business and, as for super-powers, he just adds that he has stayed rather… fit. Adrienne smiles as well, and agrees.

Jubilee still doesn’t understand why Paladin would want to see Adrienne, thinking that she is just their headmistress. Adrienne explains that Paladin is something like a soldier of fortune, and that she sometimes employs his… services. And in this particular case, she had sent him to Madripoor to retrieve a samurai sword that belongs to her. Jubilee recalls her time with Wolverine in Madripoor, and remembers that it’s crawled with villains and the likes. She wants to know how Adrienne fits in the picture.

Adrienne reveals that, like her sister, Emma, she too has a rather colorful past. She has done business in Madripoor before, and tells Jubilee that’s all she needs to know. And as for Adrienne’s sword, she thinks it’s enough when she says it has a sentimental value to her. And she also adds that there exist people who don’t want her to have the sword. Jubilee doesn’t think that’s good enough, and wants to know what’s going on. Adrienne doesn’t want to continue the conversation, as she thinks that Paladin needs to have a little rest, and pushes Jubilee out of the room. Paladin asks Jubilee not to tell anyone that he’s here, because as soon he’s recovered, Paladin plans to go back to Madripoor and try again to get Adrienne’s sword back.

As the day passes, Jubilee can’t focus in any of her classes, and keeps thinking about Paladin. When she finds the time, she goes back to his room. She explains to Paladin that she doesn’t want to see him hurt when he goes back to Madripoor, and thinks she knows a way to help him out.

Later, most of the Generation X team is together on a plane with Paladin! Skin doesn’t like the idea, as now they are skipping class, and he remembers the hard time he had convincing Jubilee to go to Boston a while back, and now she just wants to go to Madripoor?! Jubilee corrects that they won’t get into any trouble, as they are helping Paladin out and were given Adrienne’s permission, who is now one of their headmistresses. Paige also corrects that it’s weekend, so they won’t get into any trouble for skipping any class. Plus, the circumstances are now different since they won’t be attacked by Gene Nation. Synch also isn’t sure if he likes the idea and is also disappointed in Monet, who isn’t with them right now. Everett presumed that she was part of the team.

Meanwhile, Monet is sitting in Penance’s room, and doesn’t want to give her the “part of the team” speech. Monet has promised to spend time with Penance and help her get settled in into her new room in the basement and, with the fact that her twin sisters are now trapped into that razor-sharp body, the least she can do, Monet thinks, is bring her all the new magazines and such. Monet mentions that it isn’t her fault that the twins got trapped in there. Penance sarcastically looks at Monet.

She realizes the mistake, and changes the subject. She thinks that whatever little joyride Jubilee and the other “X-babies” have went on, they can handle things perfectly without her. Monet thinks that they just agreed on this mission to kiss up on the new headmistress, and Monet thinks that isn’t like her at all. Penance again looks at Monet sarcastically. Monet realizes what she said, and admits she might have kissed up once or twice in the past, but claims those were for good reasons.

At the plane, Jubilee mocks that Monet doesn’t have a good reason for anything. Paladin wants to skip discussing Monet, and brief the team into what they are about to face. The kids agree and are all ears. Paladin asks them to listen carefully, as he is about to reveal what the Rising Sons are all about. Their leader calls himself Dragonwing. He is a quasi-shapeshifter, able to substitute his own body parts for dragon body parts, including things like wings and claws. He can even breath fire!

Spoilsport is Dragonwing’s younger sister. She has special inline skates and, when she wears them, she can defy gravity. Paladin doesn’t know if the skates do that all by themselves, or if there’s a power inside Spoilsport or something, or a combination of the two possibilities. Though Spoilsport may look cute, she is full-on trouble. The Sign is some sort of magician, from what Paladin has heard, and his body is covered with tattoos. Each tattoo represents a different spell, which the Sign can cast.

Jet-Black is a cyborg whose legs and waist can be reconfigured into a motorcycle. And once Jet-Black has done that, he is literally a living hell. Nightwind is a ninja with a little something extra. She can shape Darkforce material into the form of a sword. That sword is potentially lethal, but it can also attack a person’s nervous system. Lastly, they’ve got Tough Love. He can bench-press a small country! But, the guy would rather read, and is a true intellectual. The person who has Adrienne’s sword is called Noy, and Paladin has spent some time studying Noy’s habits. He eats three times a week at a Posh restaurant in High Town, and will be there tonight. Paladin surprisingly asks Jubilee what her dress size is.

Later, Jubilee and Paige find themselves on one of Madripoor’s many shop districts. Jubilee has already spent quite some time picking the right dress. Paige reminds Jubilee that she isn’t going on a date with Paladin, and that the guy is old enough to be her father. Jubilee smirks, but is finally ready: she looks astonishing in her new, black and shiny dress!

Some minutes later at the restaurant, Jubilee is amazed about how cool the restaurant looks. Paladin calms her down, and reminds her that they are on a mission, and that they can’t be drawing attention to themselves. He suggests that she just follows his lead, and act like they have done this hundreds of times before. Jubilee quietly says she would follow him anywhere. Not having heard her clearly, Paladin asks Jubilee to repeat herself, but she says it was nothing.

Paladin asks Jubilee to look over his shoulder. Jubilee sees a man and Paladin mentions that the man is Noy, the man who’s got Adrienne’s sword. Jubilee notices all the bodyguard standing around Noy, and Paladin mentions that this won’t be easy. He opens his shirt a bit, and talks into his communicator and tries to contact Husk. Paige, while standing on a skyscraper, responds. Paladin informs her that Noy is just starting his dinner, and that they are good to go.

Paige understands, and informs Paladin that they are ready to commence operation. Skin laughs at that sentence, but Paige tells him to be quiet. She explains the plan: Skin, Synch and she will go down below and search Noy’s place for the sword, and wants Chamber to stay behind for the lookout. Jono gets offended by this, and mentions he doesn’t like being bossed around. Everett calms Jono down by explaining that his telepathy will make it able for them to keep in touch in case of trouble. Chamber sarcastically says he understands.

Skin opens the skylight, just like Paladin told them. Once they are down, Chamber continues his sulking. But, as he does, he doesn’t notice Nightwind sneaking up on him! She strikes her sword, but Jono can just in time dodge it! He warns his teammates that they have been set up, and they rush to Jono’s rescue. Nightwinds knocks Jono off the craper, and he falls down! Skin dives after him, and stretches his arms to grab Jono, and shapes his toe so that he can grab himself on a billboard! Paige attacks Nightwind but, before she can, Nightwind jumps off the roof! What was that all about?

Jono and Skin return back to the roof. Paige thinks she best reports the situation to Paladin, and does so. Paladin tells Paige not to worry, as he’s got some developments on his part of the mission. Standing outside the restaurant, Jubilee notices Noy standing towards a nearby train and gets aboard, and it looks like he’s got the sword with him. Paladin reports the change of events back to Paige, and that they are taking the 7:00 train, which is headed towards the other end of the island. He wants Paige and her team there ASAP! Jubilee notices that the doors of the train are closing. Paladin grabs her hand and runs towards it, and reports to Paige to be ready. She wonders how they are supposed to stop a moving train.

Back at the school, an angry Emma enters Adrienne’s office, and wants to know where “they” are. Adrienne mocks that it’s nice to see her sister again, and wants to know who the “they” are Emma is speaking of. Emma doesn’t have time for these games. She mentions that with Sean now being in San Francisco, she’s got more work than normal, and that’s when it hit her: it’s too quiet at the campus for the fact that it’s a weekend, and she doesn’t spot any of the Generation X kids are. And she suspects that Adrienne has got something to do with it. Adrienne smiles, and asks Emma if she just doesn’t hate the fact that her telepathy doesn’t work on her.

At the train, Paladin tells Jubilee that Noy boarded near the rear of the train, so they’ll search in those wagons. They do, but after a while run out of cars, and with the fact of not having found Noy yet, they must be getting close. They reach the final wagon, but it’s private and the door is locked. Paladin mentions that, on a good day, he can lift a Volkswagen, and so has no problem breaching the door.

They go through the door, but are ambushed: Noy sarcastically welcomes Paladin, and tells him he’s in big trouble, as the Rising Sons have been waiting for him!

Characters Involved: 

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

Adrienne Frost


Dragonwing, Jet-Black, Nightwind, Noy, the Sign, Spoilsport, Tough Love (all the Rising Sons)

various people, human students (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

First appearance of all the Rising Son members.

The kids went to Boston on Skin’s invitation in Generation X #50, where they truly were attacked and kidnapped by Gene Nation. Luckily, they got rescued by Emma, Gaia and X-Man afterwards, and ended up unharmed, as seen in X-Man #50.

The Darkforce, which Nightwind uses, is also used as a weapon by former New Warrior Darkhawk, as well as the Russian Darkstar and villain, Blackout.

Banshee is currently in San Francisco to take care of his powerless daughter, Siryn, as seen last issue. Sean appears at this point in X-Force (1st series) #91.

Monet’s “X-babies” remark to her fellow teammates when she’s talking to Penance is a joke reference to Mojo’s actual X-Babies, who are baby versions of actual X-Men members.

Jubilee visited Madripoor before in the past, together with Wolverine and Psylocke, as seen in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #261.

Paladin is a mysterious mercenary, sometimes hero and private investigator. His real name and origin are until today still unknown, and his major enemies are King Cobra and the Midnight Sons. In the past, he has also clashed with heroes such as Daredevil, Moon Knight and the Punisher, though he also met Excalibur, as seen in Excalibur (1st series) #36.

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