Generation X (1st series) #60

Issue Date: 
February 2000
Story Title: 
Christmas Fear Part 1

Jay Faerber (Writer), Terry Dodson (Penciler), Rachel Dodson (Inker), Kevin Tinsley (Colorist), Richard Starkings & Saida Temofonte (Letterers), Lysa Kraiger (Assistant Editor), Jason Liebig (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Jubilee, Chamber and Skin are spending Christmas at the school with Banshee and Emma while the others have returned home. Tom Corsi talks to Banshee about his daughter Siryn’s current strange behavior before leaving to spend Christmas with his own family, while the kids wonder what is wrong with Penance who runs away from them. Emma’s younger sister Cordelia Frost suddenly crashes through the lounge window, being chased by someone who after fighting the mysterious enemy they learn is Mondo, who they all thought was dead. Mondo is not alone, and soon Black Tom and Juggernaut make their presence known. Meanwhile, Monet realizes that she misses her old teammates now that she is at a new school, but uncovers a mystery preventing her from returning to them, one involving a vampire that just attacked her roommate’s friend.

Full Summary: 

Cordelia Frost runs through the snow-covered woods surrounding the Massachusetts Academy. Tears stream from her eyes, she is quite scared. She trips on a fallen branch and as she tries to gather herself a figure approaches her, and tells her not to be afraid, as it will only hurt for a second.

Meanwhile, at the Massachusetts Academy itself, a school which the general public believe to be an elite boarding school, but to a select few special students that attend it, it is a place where they learn to live with their mutant powers in a world that hates and fears them because they were born different. Normally the mutant students need to keep their powers hidden from the human students who attend it also, but it is Christmas time, and the human students have all gone home for the holidays.

Three special students, Jubilation “Jubilee” Lee, Jonothan “Chamber” Starsmore and Angelo “Skin” Espinosa are currently engaged in a snow fight. Skin proclaims that Jubilee is ‘going down hard’ to which the plucky former X-Man replies that he should not let his extra skin protect him from her patented “snowballs of death”. Chamber asks Jubilee if she doesn’t mean “Conversation of death” and tells her to shut up and throw the snowball.

Jubilee complies, and throws the snowball at Jono telling him to try and bio-blast his way out of it, to which the British mutant replies that he doesn’t need to and merely ducks out of the way, leaving room for Jubilee’s snowball to hit Leech, the Morlock ward of Generation X to be hit on the head by it. The young boy declares that he is not amused as Jubilee declares that she can take all the boys on, and uses her mutant “fireworks” to destroy the snowballs before they hit her.

Suddenly though her powers stop, and asking what happened she gets the reply ‘Leech happened’ from the young mutant who cancels out powers. Leech smiles and Jubilee calls for “time out” but too late as all the boys throw snowballs at her. As Angelo helps Jubes out of the snow, she asks if they didn’t think that was a little excessive, to which Angelo replies that it looked fine from where he was standing. Artie Maddicks, another young ward of the Academy displays an image of his thoughts, Jubilee trapped inside snow, and Leech says ‘good one’, until his attention is drawn to the mysterious Penance.

Everybody else looks at Penance as she stands by a sculpture she just created, the sculpture represents the mysterious X-Men ally Gateway. Skin wonders if Penance sculpted it by herself and Jubilee wonders who it is, Jono suggests it might be someone from her past, someone she misses. The mute Penance offers no answers.

In the school gymnasium two old friends, Sean Cassidy, a.k.a. Banshee and one of the headmasters of the school and Tom Corsi, a former police man turned teacher, both once members of the Muir Island X-Men, are engaged in a round of boxing. Tom jokes that he “coulda been a contender, coulda been somebody” but Sean doesn’t get the joke and just tells Tom that he is sure he would have been very good. Tom punches Sean and tells him it was a joke and to pay attention or he may end up taking off his head. Tom ducks when Sean punches back, joking that he will make a fighter out of him yet.

Sean manages to hit Tom this time, and hard too, as Tom asks him to ‘keep this friendly’, but when Sean doesn’t calm down, Tom punches back hard, to free himself from Sean’s attack. Sean is smashed across the boxing ring and Tom goes over to help him up, reminding him that while he may look like an average Native American, his body is super-charged before asking Sean if he wants to tell him what the problem is.

Banshee apologizes to his friend and informs him that it is his daughter, Theresa, and that when he invited her to the Academy to spend Christmas with him she turned him down, and he didn’t think she seemed much like herself. He reminds Tom that Siryn almost had her throat cut out by Feral, a member of the “New Hellions”. Tom tells Sean that all of this has to be rough, as Theresa must be experiencing all kinds of emotional stress brought on by her injuries, and suggests that that is probably what is making her act out of character. Tom tells Sean not to take it personally and informs Sean that after he takes a shower he is going to the airport so he can spend Christmas with his family. He asks Sean if he is going to be okay, and Banshee replies that he will be, and hopes that Tom is right about Theresa.

Meanwhile, the Academy’s headmistress, Emma Frost, walks towards her office telling herself that she didn’t realize the toll having so many students at the school would have on her telepathic powers when Adrienne convinced her to have the school go public. Emma realizes that she had forgotten how hard it is to shut out so many active minds, but with most of the students away on winter break, she can actually hear herself think – literally.

Entering her office, Emma sees something on her desk that was not there when she left her office several minutes ago. The secretary is away and Emma is not picking up any latent thought patterns either. Opening the file she sees it is headed “The New Hellions” and attached to it are photos of its members including, her former Hellions Tarot and Magma, and Christopher Aaronson a mutant who turned down her offer to join the Hellions. Horrified, Emma declares that is someone thinks they can take the name of her dead students and get away with, then they have another thing coming.

In the living room of the main house, the remaining members of Generation X are sitting around the Christmas Tree wrapping gifts. Skin proclaims that it is time for ‘another orphan family Christmas’ Jubilee tells him that he is not an orphan, but Angelo replies that he may as well be, as his father is dead and his mother believes him to be dead. He adds that if his mother knew he was a mutant she would wish he were dead. Chamber declares that his parents probably do not even realize that it is Christmas, as they would be too busy going on an African Safari or climbing Mount Everest or something.

As he is tying a bow on a present he asks Angelo to ‘put a finger here’ so he can tie the knot. Angelo uses his power to extend a finger, doing what Jono asked. Holding up a wrapped box, Jubilee boasts that when Wolverine sees his present he is going to love it. Penance frowns before Skin declares that he hopes Husk likes the present he got her, as she has been acting so weird lately it is hard to predict what she would like.

Suddenly, Penance leaps up and rushes out of the room, much to the surprise of the others. Skin asks the others what they think got into her, and Jubilee replies that she doesn’t know, but asks the guys to think about how frustrating it would be for Penance, as they do not know anything about her. Jubilee supposes that Penance might have parents and probably misses them, or that they might be dead. She declares that either way all the festivities must be tearing her up, and though she hates to admit it, Jubilee reminds the boys that the one person who might have some insight into this, is the one person who knows what Penance is going through … Monet.

The beautiful Monet St. Croix however is half a world away at another exclusive boarding school, this one nestled in the Swiss Alps. Holding up her red and yellow Generation X uniform, Monet tells herself that she must be losing her mind, because if she doesn’t know any better, she realizes she actually misses the kids at the Massachusetts Academy. Monet boasts that as the air is thinner up in the Alps she is probably suffering from a lack of Oxygen, after all, why else would she be thinking she made a mistake in letting her father transfer her here. Monet knows she used to complain about being “out of her element” among the other students at the Academy.

Looking at a photo of herself and the other five Gen Xer’s Monet realizes that the saying is true: ‘Be careful what you wish for’. She turns to the door when someone starts to work the lock, but as the door opens it her roommate, Charlene, greets her. Monet quickly places her uniform under her mattress and when Charlene asks her what she is doing, Monet tells her that she was unpacking some clothes she had just laundered. Charlene grabs Monet by the hand and tells her to forget about that as Tabby had just got a Quija board and they are going to meet in her room and ask it some questions.

Monet makes a feeble protest as she is dragged along, but when the girls reach Tabby’s room, they find no answer. Charlene declares that she just came from Tabby’s room and that Tabby did not say she was going anywhere. Trying to turn the door handle, Charlene learns that it is locked and wonders what is going on. Charlene hopes Tabby is okay as Monet asks to try the door. Shoving the door open, Monet didn’t want to risk using her super-strength but her telepathy is picking up signs of panic behind the door. Behind the door panic did ensure, as Tabby was attacked by a vampire, and when Monet and Charlene burst in they see Tabby sprawled out on the floor.

Back at the Massachusetts Academy, everyone has gathered in the lounge and Leech declares that he and Artie want to open one present early. Jubilee reminds the young boys that they have already been told this is not the way it works, and asks Banshee for some help in telling the boys that they have to wait. Sean just mumbles ‘Uh-huh’, to which Jubes tells him that she has decided to leave the school and become a game show host. He replies ‘Uh-huh’ again, until Jubilee shouts at him. Banshee snaps back to reality and apologizes, admitting that he is a million miles away, thinking about how Christmas changed for him after he found out he had a daughter and the realization that the person who had kept he and Theresa apart was his own flesh and blood, Black Tom!

Still gazing out the window, Sean adds that he just misses his family, to which Chamber tells him to consider himself luck for if his own family even remembers it is Christmas he will be lucky to get a Pair of socks. Banshee smiles and jokes that Jono is always looking on the bright side, before peering hard out the window, thinking he sees something - until that something comes flying through the window.

Sean is knocked back and Jono and Jubilee help him up as Emma looks at their uninvited guest – her sister Cordelia! Tears still streaming down her face, Cordelia tells her older sister that she has to help her, as “he” is after her. Emma asks Cordelia who “he” is, as she should know that she cannot read her mind. Cordelia is about to reveal the name of her assailant when she passes out. Skin and Jubilee look at Cordelia, surprised that they would ever see her again, Skin reminds Emma that they still owe her little sister, and Jubilee declares that it is because Cordelia is the one who brought Mondo to the school, who then betrayed them to Black Tom.

Jubilee adds that Bastion then killed Mondo, so she thinks he got what he deserved. Banshee tells Jubilee, Skin and Chamber to go and suit up, as they need to be prepared for anything in case Cordelia’s pursuer catches up with her. He tells Artie and Leech to go down to the underground complex, as they will be safe there.

Soon, the three Gen Xer’s have suited up and are outside the window that Cordelia smashed. Jubes asks which direction they think Cordelia came from, and Skin replies that it could have been any direction and therefore they need to be on alert. Jono asks his friends who they think is chasing Cordelia and Jubilee jokes that knowing Cordelia’s penchant for getting into trouble, it could be anyone. Skin tells his teammates to knock off their chatter, when suddenly Chamber warns them to look out, when a huge pile of bricks jumps out at them.

Jubilee’s fireworks don’t stop it, and just as he is about to tell the others whom he thinks it is that they are fighting, the pile of bricks knocks Skin back. Chamber boasts that he has whoever it is that they are fighting and tries to blast him with his bio-blast powers.

Banshee flies Emma onto the scene and asks if the kids are all okay. Chamber replies that they are, but after blasting their foe they do not know where he is. Jubilee turns to Skin and helps him up asking if he is all right, and Angelo jokes that he does this for fun. Jono starts to tell his teachers ‘strange as it sounds I think we might be up against –‘ when Emma cuts him off, proclaiming that their opponent is nearby – right behind them!

All five heroes are knocked back by a snow creature and Emma declares that she cannot get a telepathic lock on him as his mind is closed to her. She orders Sean, Jubilee and Chamber to combine their powers attacking him in unison, which they do, causing the snow creature to cry out in pain and as Jubilee points out, begin to melt back into the ground. Emma tells the Gen Xer’s not to let their enemy fool them, as he will still be around somewhere. Banshee declares that his sonic scream seemed to bother their enemy most of all, when the enemy reappears in the form of a wood man behind Emma and Skin, and he tosses them out of the way before attacking Chamber and Jubilation.

Banshee jibes the mysterious foe, declaring that there are no more children for him to fight now, and uses his sonic scream on the enemy, who covers his ears until he falls over into the snow, unconscious. Banshee is joined by Emma and the kids who are all equally shocked to see that their enemy is Mondo!

Banshee asks the kids if they are okay, to which Jubilee replies that they are but cannot believe that it is Mondo, who was supposed to have been killed by Bastion. Cordelia rushes onto the scene and thanks everyone for stopping him, but tells them that they have to kill him before he wakes up, and that it is their only hope. Cordelia starts to cry again as Emma tells her that no one is going to be killing anyone. Cordelia tells her sister to let go of her and that she obviously doesn’t understand how dangerous Mondo is, as he was trying to kill her.

Banshee declares that everyone needs to relax, as the threat is no over, when suddenly someone tells Banshee that he has something that belongs to him. Sean knows whom the voice belongs to and turns to see his cousin Black Tom and Tom’s friend the Juggernaut. Tom asks Sean if he isn't glad to see him, joking that he thought he might like all the family here for the holiday. He hopes no one minds that he brought his old friend the Juggernaut to join in the celebration…‘Hiya kids!’ says Cain smiling.

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Jubilee, Skin (All Generation X)
Monet (Former member of Generation X)
Banshee, Emma Frost (Headmasters of Massachusetts Academy)
Artie, Leech, Penance III (Wards of Massachusetts Academy)
Tom Corsi (Teacher of Massachusetts Academy)

Cordelia Frost

Charlene, Tabby (Monet’s schoolmates)
Headmaster Delacorte (Principal of Monet’s new school)

Black Tom
Snow Statue of Gateway

In Flashback
Siryn (Member of X-Force)
Feral (Member of New Hellions)

In Photographs
Chamber, Husk, Jubilee, Monet, Skin, Synch (All Generation X)
King Bedlam, Magma, Paradigm, Switch, Tarot (All New Hellions)

Story Notes: 

Siryn was severely injured by Feral in X-Force (1st series) #90. The reason she has been acting so strangely is because she has been possessed by Malice. [X-Force (1st series) #99-100]

The New Hellions appeared in X-Force (1st series) #87-90, Emma has ties to three of them, including the resurrected Tarot from her original Hellions team. This is the first time Emma learns of them, however nothing more was followed up on Emma’s reaction to the New Hellions and it was never revealed who gave her the file on them.

Presumably, Husk and Synch have returned to their families for Christmas.

Monet was trapped in the Penance body by her evil brother Emplate until Generation X (1st series) #40, prior to that her younger twin sisters had been impersonating her until they gave up their freedom to become Penance. This new Penance is an all-new being.

Monet was removed from the Massachusetts Academy by her father, Ambassador St. Croix, in Generation X (1st series) #58.

Monet’s story continues in Generation X #61 and concludes in Generation X (1st series) #62.

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