Generation X (1st series) #73

Issue Date: 
March 2001
Story Title: 
Four Days - part 3

Brian Wood and RS & Comicraft (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Sandu Florea (inks), RS & Comicraft (letters), Kevin Somers (colors), Matt Hicks (editor), Frank Dunkerly (assistant editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Skin tests out some new moves on Banshee, impressing his mentor. They plan to meet later that morning to go into Boston, as Banshee has some business there. In his office moments later, Banshee phones Moira MacTaggert, only he speaks to Charles Xavier, and gets some shocking news. Banshee storms out of the mansion, and ignores Skin as they get into Banshee’s jeep. They travel in silence, as Skin can tell that something is bugging Banshee. When they almost miss their turn off, Banshee snaps out of his mood, apologizes to Skin and drives to a pub. Skin is pleased that he is allowed one beer, before Banshee announces that Moira MacTaggert is dead! Banshee vents some emotion, talking about his and Moira’s relationship, and Skin compares it to his former life. They begin discussing their business, and Banshee instructs Skin to wait in the jeep and when he phones him, to bring the suitcase from the boot inside. Waiting in the jeep, Skin sees whom he assumes to be Banshee’s associates enter the pub, and decides to go to a store nearby. Only, when he returns from the store, he finds Banshee is being abducted by his associates. Skin quickly follows them in the jeep, unaware that the thugs have gagged Banshee so he cannot use his mutant powers. Banshee struggles to defend himself, and ends up with a bullet in his thigh. Skin takes control of the situation, by ramming the jeep into the thugs’ car, and forcing it into a ditch. During the process, several of the thugs are taken out by the impact, and Skin quickly takes the others out by using his powers against them. Skin rescues Banshee, who congratulates him on a great effort, while the wounded Banshee tells Moira that he will see her soon, but not just yet.

Full Summary: 

The grounds of the Massachusetts Academy, Angelo “Skin” Espinoza is going for a jog. Using his mutant abilities to extend his skin, Angelo extends his fingers and wraps them around a tree branch, which he then swings over, and leaps across the ground. Angelo is an ex-hoodlum from Los Angeles, turned wannabe black ops spook. Aside from his extra six feet of skin, his defining characteristics include being a wiseass and his inability to score with the ladies. Suddenly, Sean “Banshee” Cassidy catches up to his pupil. ‘Hey, Mister Cassidy. What’s up?’ Angelo asks. The former X-Man congratulates Skin on a nice move back there, and remarks that he seems to be taking his advice to heart and experimenting with new uses for his abilities.

Skin replies that time they fought the House of Correction cyborgs he was feeling pretty useless, so figured he should try and build up his arsenal of moves. Sean asks Angelo if he has anything else he can show him, to which Skin smiles and replies ‘I was hoping you would say that!’. ‘This isn’t another one of those things where yeh want me to take a shot at yeh, is it?’ Banshee asks. Skin smiles and tells Banshee not to be a wimp and to try and hit him. ‘”Try” and hit yeh? Most of the times we do this, lad, yeh are out cold before yeh ever saw it coming!’ Sean reminds Skin, who asks ‘We gonna do this or not?’

‘Fine. I dunno what it is with yeh kids this morning, just begging me to knock yeh down!’ Sean replies as he moves his fist towards Skin, who suddenly extends his extra skin out from the palm of his hand, wrapping it around Sean’s fist before flipping Sean around and knocking him to the ground. ‘Pretty sucky, huh?’ Angelo asks as he releases Sean from his grasp, explaining that he balls up the extra skin in his palm to absorb the impact first, then just extends it over his hand. Banshee congratulates Skin on a good job, and tells him not to dislocate his shoulder, as he has a long drive ahead of him today.

Getting to his feet and brushing his shoulder, Sean tells Angelo that in all seriousness, that was really good. ‘I had no idea it was coming . Took me completely by surprise’. Skin thanks Banshee and tells him that he really tried to think about what he has told him. ‘Good to know’ Sean replies, suggesting they get back to the mansion and get ready to head into Boston. Sean asks Angelo if he is still up for coming along, as it is just a quick business trip, he suggests that Angelo might have more fun in New York with Monet, Jubilee and Chamber. Skin replies that he is really looking forward to “hanging” with Banshee today. As they make their way back to the mansion, Sean tells Skin to meet him out front in about 20 minutes, as he has to make a phone call first.

In his office, Sean sits at his desk, some files in front of him, he looks at a photo of his long-time lover, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, world-renowned scientists and greatest ally of the X-Men. Sean smiles before picking up the phone: ‘Charles! Charles Xavier yeh old bastard! I didn’t expect yeh to answer!’ Sean exclaims. Banshee remarks to Xavier that he is actually a bit embarrassed, as he has owed Moira a phone call for months, and has never managed to get around to it, what with all that has happened. ‘I had thought this was her line, but I must have misdialled. Is she in?’ Sean remarks. Suddenly, Sean’s expression goes from happy, to shock. Wide-eyed he whispers ‘…eh? What’s that?

Moments later, out front of the mansion, Skin is waiting for Sean, who suddenly storms past him, striding towards his jeep. ‘Hey, Sean. Wait up. What’s the rush, man?’ Skin calls out as he follows Sean. A stern-faced Banshee takes the wheel of the jeep as Skin gets in, and slams his foot on the accelerator, speeding away from the Massachusetts Academy. ‘Uh…Sean?’ Angelo calls out, but he gets no response.

Later, Angelo turns from looking out the window, to Sean, asking him if he is okay. ‘You haven’t said anything for hours’ Skin points out. ‘Whatever, man’ Angelo mutters when Sean doesn’t respond to him. Suddenly, Angelo urgently alerts Sean to the fact that he is missing the exit. ‘Bloody hell!’ Banshee exclaims, as the jeep swerves. ‘What the hell is wrong with you, man?’ a frustrated Skin asks. Sean apologizes and tells Skin that he is right. ‘I should explain. But first let’s find a pub. I need a pint’ Sean remarks.

Soon, in Boston, at the pub “Ryan’s Daughter”. Sean and Angelo sit across from each other, and Sean tells Angelo not to go thinking that he will be making a habit of buying him beers. ‘This is just the one, right?’ Sean declares, explaining that it is only because he doesn’t like drinking alone. ‘Cheers lad. To lost loves and all that crap’ Sean remarks as he and Skin clink their glasses together. Drinking the beer, Angelo remarks that he has never had this kind before and tells Sean that it is good. ‘It’s Guinness’ Sean reveals, signalling to the waitress to bring him another, before telling Angelo that he owes him an apology for what happened back there.

‘It’s cool, man. I can tell something pretty serious is on your mind, though’ Angelo replies. Sean looks sad as he replies ‘Yeah’ and asks Skin if he remembers Moira. The waitress brings Sean’s drink over and asks Angelo if he is ready for another, but Sean tells her that he is just having the one. ‘So? Moira?’ Skin jokingly asks if she finally figures out what a loser Sean is and dumped him. ‘No. I only wish it were that’ Sean replies, before closing his eyes and announcing that Moira died. ‘I just found out this morning’ Sean explains. A wide-eyed Angelo tells Banshee that he is so sorry. ‘I feel like a total idiot…’ Angelo remarks.

Sean tells him not to and that it is okay. ‘I always keep my personal life so private, most people don’t expect this sort of talk out of me. But I need to get this out. Bear with me, lad’ Sean adds, to which Angelo tells him that it is not a problem. ‘I loved her, Angelo. That might sound odd considering we hardly every saw each other anymore, but trust me. I loved her as much as any one man has ever loved a woman’ Sean exclaims. Sean declares that from the first moment he laid eyes on Moira, he knew she was the one. ‘Ever had that feeling before?’ he asks Angelo, who replies ‘Yeah’. ‘Yeh know what I mean, then. It doesn’t matter if yeh’re apart for long periods of time, when yeh do see each other, nothing else matters, not even time’ Sean exclaims. ‘I hear ya’ Angelo agrees.

‘Yeh do, do yeh? What are yeh up to now. All of seventeen?’ Sean asks. Angelo reminds Sean that he knows his history. I’ve been there. Don’t you think I miss Tores? My family and friends from back home?’ he asks, pointing out that faking his own death means he never goes back. ‘I’m dead to them, and in a way, they’re dead to me’. ‘Aye, I suppose so. Still yehr only seventeen. Yeh have quite a ways to go, lad’ Sean tells Skin, suggesting he finish his pint as it is time they got down to business. Skin asks Banshee if he is sure he is up for it, to which Sean replies that it doesn’t matter, as the Academy needs the security upgrades, and informs Skin that his contacts should be here shortly.

‘Are these friends of yours?’ Skin asks, to which Sean replies ‘Not really’, explaining that they are acquaintances from the old days - not exactly the most trustworthy of men. ‘But I should be fine’ he assures Angelo, telling him that he needs to go sit out in the jeep and wait a bit. ‘When I call yeh on the mobile, bring the suitcase from the boot to me’ Sean instructs Skin. ‘That’s the money, right? Wow, you really don’t trust these guys, do you?’ Angelo asks. ‘I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have by being a fool’ Sean smiles.

Shortly, Angelo leaves the pub, and notes four tough men walking in. ‘Sean’s contacts, I guess’ Angelo tells himself as he gets into the jeep. Skin smiles when two young women walk past: ‘Hey, ladies…’ he exclaims, to which the girls just laugh. ‘God, that was lame!’ Skin tells himself, smacking his palm against his forehead. Angelo sees a store across the road and leaves the jeep.

Moments later, Angelo exit’s the store carrying a bag and makes his way to the jeep, only to see Sean - gagged and cuffed - being led away by his contacts. Angelo ducks for cover as he hears the contacts talking: ‘Check the car’ one of them remarks. ‘Is he alone?’ someone else asks. ‘Looks like it. Do you see it anywhere?’ someone exclaims. ‘Here it is. We got it. Let’s roll!’ one of them declares as they take off in their vehicle. ‘Oh man oh man!’ Skin mutters as he leaps into the jeep. He tells himself not to panic, to keep calm. ‘Where’re the keys?’ he mutters. But finding no keys, he picks up a screwdriver, deciding that it is no problem. He sticks the screwdriver into the ignition, and the car starts up. ‘Alright! Man, some things you never forget!’ Skin tells himself.

In the other vehicle, Sean has a metal gag covering his mouth, while his contacts point weapons at him. ‘Yeh gotta lotta nerve, Cassidy!’ one of them remarks. ‘Waltzing back into the old neighborhood like nothing happened. Wanting to cut a deal with us like nothing happened!’. The thug declares that they don’t forget so easy, and remarks that Cecil worked up the device covering his mouth special, just for Sean. The thug pulls something from Sean’s pocket and asks him what wondrous secrets it holds. ‘What has the infamous Sean Cassidy been up to all these long years?’ he asks. Scrolling through the electronic device, the thug asks ‘What’s the “Massachusetts Academy”?’. This causes Sean to rip through the bonds tying his hands, and grabs the gun off one of the thugs.

Sean elbows one of the thugs in the face, and does the same to another, only to be shot at by the fourth. Sean dodges the bullet, which smashes through the rear windscreen - and goes right into the jeep behind them, missing Skin’s face by inches. ‘What the -?’ Angelo gasps. ‘Right, if that’s how you wanna do this…fine by me!’ he exclaims as he speeds up in front of the enemy vehicle.

Inside the other car, the thugs have overwhelmed Banshee, two of them hold him down while another points a gun at his face. ‘Calm down, Cassidy!’ one of them exclaiming, telling him to play nice, before suggesting he give them the password to the files. ‘Don’ make it any harder on yeh than necessary’ he suggests. Sean just stares back at the thugs, ‘What’s that? A bit louder, Sean, yeah?’ the thug retorts as Sean mutters something from behind the gag. The thug then proceeds to shoot Sean in the left thigh, causing Sean to scream from behind the gag.

Skin tells himself to keep it together. ‘You can do this’ he tells himself, remarking that it is no different than the street races back home. ‘No sweat. Done this dozens of times!’ he boasts, exclaiming that he must stay one step ahead and focus, to think of Tores waiting for him at the finish line. Skin smashes into the sidewalk, knocking over a rubbish bin, and tells himself to focus. ‘You’re not in East L.A. This is Boston. Tores isn’t waiting for you. Sean is. Sean needs you!’ Skin tells himself that there is no going home anymore, as L.A. isn’t home, Generation X. The Academy is. Sean is. ‘You already dead. Man. So what’re you waiting for?’ Skin asks himself.

In the other vehicle, the thug asks Sean for the password once more, while Sean covers the bullet hole on his leg. ‘Yeh’re bleeding to death, lad, and we are the only ones able to get you to a hospital in time. Sean? The password!?!’ the thug demands. A desperate Sean looks at him, and uses his fingers to signal “1, 3, 5”. ‘135, is it? Smart lad’ the thug replies before typing it into Sean’s device. Security Lockout Level: Absolute. All Systems Secured states the message that flashes up on the screen. ‘Bastard! I’m through with you!’ the thug exclaims as he swings the gun back in Sean’s face, only to drop it when the vehicle is knocked sideways.

The driver looks back and sees Angelo bumping into them. One of them starts firing at Angelo, show just rams their car once more, then extends his fingers through their window and grabs the wheel of their car. Taking control, he forces both vehicles into a ditch. The thugs get out of their vehicle, ready to challenge Skin, who creates a cat-of-nine-tails whip from his extra skin, and uses it to lash them into unconsciousness. Skin looks into the vehicle where another of the thugs lies unconscious, alongside a motionless Sean.

Concerned, Skin pulls the gag from Sean’s mouth, and calls out to him. Sean opens his eyes, and wearily alerts Skin to his wounded leg. Skin sees blood pouring from Sean’s thigh and tells him to hang on. Sean tells Angelo that in the jeep there is a med kit, and instructs him to get a pressure bandage, as it will keep him alive until they can get to hospital. ‘Right!’ Angelo exclaims, smiling as Sean tells him that he did well and that he is proud of him. As Skin rushes over to the jeep, Banshee whispers ‘I’ll see yeh soon, Moira my love…just not quite yet’.

Characters Involved: 

Skin (member of Generation X)

Cecil and other enemies of Banshee

In Photograph:
Dr Moira MacTaggert

Story Notes: 

This issue takes place after Generation X (1st series) #67, and parallel to Generation X (1st series) #71-72, 74.

Generation X fought the House of Correction cyborgs in Generation X (1st series) #70.

Dr. Moira MacTaggert was murdered by Mystique in the “Dream’s End” crossover. [X-Men (2nd series) #108]

Banshee and Moira first met in X-Men (1st series) #96, and by #129 Banshee had left the X-Men to retire with Moira.

Banshee’s final line this issue was quite prophetic, in that, some time after this issue, he is killed in X-Men: Deadly Genesis #2.

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