Generation X (2nd series) #5

Issue Date: 
October 2017
Story Title: 

Christina Strain (writer), Alberto Jiminez Alburguerque (artist), Felipe Sobreiro (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), X-Men Group Editor (Mark Panicca), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Jubilee supervises a test that Eye-Boy is undergoing – he is watching several students at the school on computer monitors and needs to keep track of where several colored chips are. He struggles to find the last one, but as he concentrates hard, suddenly he sees Chamber and Benjamin Deeds naked, although Nature Girl appears clothed still. He finds the remaining chip, but doesn't tell Jubilee about this strange development with his power. He meets his teammates in the cafeteria and laments the curfew that is still enacted at the Institute, before learning that Bling has lost a ring. Looking around the cafeteria, Eye-Boy is able to see all of the students, except for Nature Girl, as skeletal forms. Every where he goes at the Institute, he sees others in different forms, except for Nature Girl, and later confides to her that he feels like his powers are in revolt, and for some reason she is the only one who appears normal to him. A strange raccoon suddenly steals Rockslide's wallet, so Eye-Boy and Nature Girl go after it. As they explore Central Park, Eye-Boy asks Nature Girl if she plans to stay at the Institute, but she doesn't know, as living with humans confuses her, but plants and animals see her as human. The raccoon returns and attacks Eye-Boy, so Nature Girl communicates with it and discovers that it has been hypnotized by the Rat King. Nature Girl learns from the raccoon that the Rat King forces all animals in Central Park to pay him with money, electronics, jewelry, whatever they can get. Eye-Boy rallies the local animals, vowing to fight for their freedom. They track the Rat King to the sewers, where Nature Girl and the animals fall under the Rat King's hypnotic spell. Eye-Boy locates the Rat King, but Nature Girl and the animsl are forced to fight him. During the commotion, Eye-Boy realizes tht he might not be able to see Nature Girl the way he has been seeing others because he never felt that he understood her. Eye-Boy physically confronts the Rat King and tells him that he can't force animals to steal for him. The Rat King boasts that he will avenge the death of his father, Piper, but Eye-Boy isn't interested, and snaps the Rat King's flute which he was using to control the animals and Nature Girl, who are freed. After returning Rockslide's wallet and Bling's ring, Eye-Boy and Nature Girl discuss their adventure, and Nature Girl reveals that she feels ashamed for hitting Eye-Boy, who assures Nature Girl that no one will know about the Rat King, as he was super lame anyway.

Full Summary: 

The Xavier Institute, New York City, where inside a communications room, Trevor Hawkins a.k.a. Eye-Boy is looking at several monitors with his many eyes, as Jubilee stands behind him, drink bottle of blood in hand. The monitors depict Kitty Pryde walking through a wall, and Genesis talking to Pixie. Chamber can be seen, as can Bling walking down a corridor, a shirtless Quentin Quire outside, sunning himself. Rockslide and the Stepford Cuckoos appear on two of the monitors, as do Glob Herman and No-Girl on another, while Anole can be seen running on another monitor. Morph and Hindsight are outside on another monitor, and a final monitor shows Nature Girl a bird resting on one hand.

'Sparrow just delivered Benjamin's blue chip to Lin – Nathaniel's crossed his legs, which signaled to Benjamin that – Roxy's about to dead drop at least one red chip in the trash...and Quentin really needs to use sunscreen on his ears 'cause they're totally gonna burn' Eye-Boy calls out. 'For real' Jubilee agrees, before asking Trevor what the tally is. Trevor reports that Roxy has got two red chips, for now, and Lin has a blue one, while Nathaniel has a red and a blue, and Benjamin and Quentin have nothing. 'You're short one chip' Jubilee points out. Trevor looks confused, to which Jubilee reminds him that there are six chips, three red, three blue, so he is short one blue. 'And no pressure, but you've got 49 seconds to find it' Jubilee adds.

Trevor throws his hands into the air and declares that he has been watching everyone so closely. 'Not everyone' Jubilee tells him, reminding him that there are more people in that quad than just his classmates. 'I was supposed to be watching the whole quad? How's that fiar?' Trevor asks. Jubilee reminds him that nor a lot about life is fair, and points out that he is too focussed on what and who he thinks he knows. She suggests that he take a deep breath and look at the whole picture. All of Trevor's many eyes go wide, as he looks at the monitors. He sees Face on one of them, and a bird carrying a mobile phone, while Transonic and Velocidad race each other, and Glob Herman turns to Sprite. 'You've got 36 seconds to tell me – who's got the blue chip?'

Trevor then narrows his eyes and wonders if his 57 eyes can't keep track of six measly chips, then how is he ever going to prove to Jubilee and everyone else that he deserves to be here – that he is useful and can be more than just sme upscale mall security guard. 'Think Trevor, think! Where is it? Who has it?' Trevor tells himself. He turns to the monitor that depicts Chamber and decides that Chamber is around way more than he expected him to be for a mentor to a different class. 'But how can I tell if he's got it?' Trevor wonders, as Chamber approaches Morph and Nature Girl, who holds a squirrel in one hand. Trevor knows that the chip is so small, so it would be easy to palm it or stash it in a pocket without leaving an impression – 'OhmyGodohmyGodohmyGod' Trevor suddenly utters over and over, as both Chamber and Morph appear naked.

‘Why are Benjamin and Trevor so naked?' Eye-Boy wonders, all of his eyes bulging, he covers the eyes on his face and announces that it is Chamber, it is totally Chamber. 'He's got the blue chip!' Trevor exclaims as the timer beeps. 'Is that your final guess?' Jubilee asks. 'Yes! Positive!' Trevor tells her. Jubilee tells Trevor that he is right, and that he did a nice job. 'Cool! Thanks! Bye!' Trevor calls out as he walks out of the room, still covering his face. 'I guess I'll see you tomorrow?' Jubilee asks. 'That's the plan, Ma'am!' Trevor responds, while deciding that he found the last chip, but nearly broke his eyes on the process. He wonders if that really counts as a win.

Shortly, Trevor is slumped forward at the table in the cafeteria. Nathaniel Carver a.k.a. Hindsight sits to his left, and Lin Li a.k.a. Nature Girl sits next to him, while Benjamin Deeds a.k.a. Morph sits opposite them. Pixie and Sprite fly across the room, carrying their trays of food, while Shark Girl, Glob Herman, Indra, Broo and several other students are also in the cafeteria, seated at other tables, or walking around. 'Last thing I need or want is for my eyes to make me even more of an obnoxious weirdo' Trevor thiinks to himself, before telling his teammates that curfew is the worst. As Nathaniel holds two apples, Trevor points out that it has been, like, a week since he has been out past six PM, and that he is starting to feel like a caged animal. 'Trevor, that's offensive to my friends at the zoo' Nature Girl exclaims. 'Oh – s-sorry about that, Lin!' Trevor quickly replies, throwing his hands in the air.

'Here. This one fell off a tree, the other was picked' Nathaniel smiles at Lin, handing her one of the applies. 'You mean murdered...' Lin replies. 'Sure' Nathaniel tells her. Trevor then notices Nathaniel's sleeves are rolled up, and asks him why that is, if he doesn't like touching stuff. 'Fashion is suffering and all that jazz' Nathaniel smiles, putting his gloves back on. 'Honestly, that never made any sense to me...' Trevor remarks, before Roxy Washington a.k.a. Bling walks over to the table and puts her tray of food down. Nathaniel greets her, before the frowning Bling asks if any of her teammates have seen a large, gold signet ring – the one with the tiger on it. As Lin bites into the apple, Nathaniel tells Roxy that he hasn't, and asks her when the last time she saw it was. Looking at her hands, Bling declares that she had it on this morning, and supposes that she must have dropped it somewhere.

Anole walks past Shark Girl, who smiles at Genesis, while Dust can be seen near the back of the room, where Rockslide is walking past, and, looking at the food on his fork, Trevor suggests to Roxy that she might have dropped it somewhere in the cafeteria, or perhaps someone took it. Roxy tells Trevor that sounds crazy, and asks who would want to steal her ring. 'I dunno. I just think – what the -?!' Trevor exclaims as he looks up and sees all of the students in the cafe as skeletons. 'Hey, Trev...' Roxy calls out. 'You okay?' Nathaniel asks, putting a hand on Trevor's shoulder. Lin is the only one who Trevor doesn't see as a skeleton, and she takes another bite of the apple, while Trevor decides that he is not okay – totally not.

Later, the trouble for Trevor and his eyesight continues, as he and his teammates sit in class, everyone except for Nature Girl appears as some sort of synpatic body pattern. Jubilee tells her class that they are covering “The Physics and Mathematics of Street Fighting” to which Quentin Quire a.k.a. Kid Omega asks if she iis going to teach them how to defend themselves against someone armed with fresh fruit.

And, depending on your perspective, it got worse, as Trevor sat next to Benjamin and Nathaniel who were watching television, as Nathaniel asks 'You know what's actually scarier than a talking camera lens with a red light in it?' to which Benjamin declares that that camera lens has a name. 'Well, Ben, Hal's got nothing on a wet girl with hair in her face crawling outta TVs' Nathaniel replies. Trevor watches them, seeing them as blue patterns, with their hearts glowing red.

Trevor realizes that it is as if everyone's inner most feelings were being totally exposed, and walking down a corridor, several walls became transparent to Trevor, who looks in and sees Jubilee and Chamber consoling Bing. He knows that this is stuff people don't want him to see or know – but it is like he couldn't not see it.

Trevor sits down on a bench outside and declares that it is like he is losing control of his sight, as if his eyes were in revolt. 'Why are you telling me this?' Lin asks as a cat rests on her shoulder, and a bird drops down onto her hand. 'Because for some reason, Lin – you're the only one who looks normal to me' Trevor explains, as other students walk past them, all appearing in skeletal forms. Trevor adds that he doesn't know how to explain this to Jubilee without telling her that he has seen things and he knows he shouldn't have – things like Chamber has Smiths lyrics tatooed on his hip – like way down his hip. 'Like, I-now-know-the-cut-of-his-jib, down' Trevor adds. He pulls back the hood of his sweater that was covering his head as he tells Lin that he knows everyone already thinks he is weird and kinda uesless, and that's fine, he is used to it, but he doesn't want anyone to see him as the creepy kid with a million eyes who can't control whether or not he sees through their clothes – because he isn't a perv and doesn't wanna have to look at people's toes for the rest of his life.

'But toes are like people's roots. They're important' Lin tells Trevor plainly. 'Lin, you're missing the point!' Trevor exclaims, clutchhing his chest. He looks at the students walking past, who appear to him as blue shadows, and declares that his powers are bugging out and he doesn't know how to fix it – he doesn't know if this is a secondary mutation, or he just pulled an eye muscle. One figure appears as a pink shadow – a raccoon, and Eye-Boy leaps to his feet as he  sees the raccoon reach into the back of Rockslide's trousers and steal his wallet. Trevor rushes over to Rockslide and asks him where his wallet is. Rockslide pats his trousers and remarks that he must have left it in his room, while the raccoon scampers off into the shrubs. Rockslide tells Eye-Boy that it is weird hhe knew that, but Eye-Boy tells Rockslide that he didn't forget his wallet, and that it was stolen – he saw the whole thing – a raccoon-shaped creature took it.

Rockslide interrupts Eye-Boy, and patting his head, tells him that his eyes are wrecked. 'When was the last time you slept?' Rockslide asks. 'Eh?' Trevor asks. Rockslide suggests to Eye-Boy that he stop looking at porn all night and get some sleep. 'What – no! That's not what I...' Trevor exclaims, to which Nature Girl informs him that she believes him. 'You're strange, but not a liar' she declares, hands on hips. 'Thanks...?' Trevor replies, before Nature Girl starts to walk away, announcing that they will find his thieving raccoon. 'Seriously?' Trevor asks as he runs after Lin.

Later, Trevor and Lin are searching through some trees and bushes within Central Park, and Trevor asks Lin if she is going back to living with humans or animals, to which Lin tells him that neither is ideal, as humans confuse her, but plants and animals see her as human. Trevor tells her that it must be weird knowing what nature thinks of people, while people don't seem to care about nature – outside of animal videos on the internet. 'Dogs catching tacos are hardly nature' Lin replies, before smiling, and telling Trevor that he is right, it is weird. She puts her hands on a tree and announces that the trees say they are close. Trevor remarks that he thought trees couldn't tell people and animals apart, but Lin points out that raccoons with human wallets are unique.

'Duck' Lin suddenly tell Trevor. 'Huh? Where?' Trevor asks, when, up above, the raccoon leaps towards him, screeching as it lands on Trevor, forcing him to the ground. Trevor is shocked, and grabs the creature, keeping it at bay as it tries to claw him, Trevor discovers that the raccoon is furless. The raccoon latches on to Trevor's hooded sweater, and pulls on it, forcing Trevor to let the raccoon remove his sweater, while he calls out to Lin, asking her to do something, to call it off. 'Mr Raccoon?' Lin asks, but the creature just growls at her. Lin reports that the creature is not responding, and that she thinks it might be hypnotized.

Nature Girl picks the creature up by the scruff of its neck. The creature tries to bite her other hand, 'Bad Mr Raccoon' Lin tells the strange creature, who then begins to whine. Lin tells the creature that she is sorry and asks it if it is all right now. 'Skree skree' the creature replies. 'I thought so' Lin remarks, before asking the creature why it stole Rockslide's wallet. 'Skree skree' the creature utters. 'The Rat King?' Lin replies, wide-eyed. The furless raccoon begins to tell Nature Girl its story, and Nature Girl learns that the Rat King is the animal don of Central Park, that every animal has to pay him to live here – they have no choice – money, electronics, jewelry, anything that is worth anything. They are forced to steal from the living and rob from the dead – the Rat King wants it. 'Holy crap' Eye-Boy utters, before turning to Lin and telling her that they have to do something.

'What are you -' Lin begins as Eye Boy rushes onto a large rock and stands on it, exclaiming 'My fellow animals, I see a whole army here in defiance of tyranny. What will you do withour freedom? Will you fight? Sure, fight and you could die. Run, and you'll live...for now' Etye-Boy calls out. Lots of animals start gathering around, to Lin's surprise, as Eye-Boy tells the animals that, years from now, when they are dying in their nests, for one shot, just one shot, at coming back here to tell this Rat Kinf that he may take their stuff – but he may never take their freedom! 'To the Rat King!' Trevor exclaims as birds chirp and other animals chitter in agreement.

Soon, Eye-Boy leads the way through the sewers beneath New York City. Nature Girl follows him, and all sorts of animals run along the edges of the sewer, while birds fly alongside Nature Girl. 'The Rat King lives in the sewers...I feel like I should've seen this coming' Trevor tells Lin, who asks him why that is. 'I'd say dramatic irony, but really, at this point – I just think God hates me' Trevor replies, seemingly unaware that a black rat is watching he and Lin, two tells Trevor that she doubts it, and from what she has seen, there is no God.

Suddenly, Nature Girl and all of the animals and birds fall under a spell as music resonates through the sewer. 'What's that? Lin, do you hear that -' Trevor begins, before all of the birds and animals start to bare their teeth and stare at Trevor. Nature Girl growls, and points forward, and the animals begin attacking Trevor. 'Lin! What are you – ow ow ow ow ow! It's me – ow ow – Trevor!' Eye-Boy calls pit as the birds peck at him and the animals claw and scratch him. Trevor manages to run from the animals, pushing them off of him as he splashes his way through the sewer water, he continues to run, until he comes to a dead end - '%&#$! The Rat King!' Eye-Boy shouts as he sees a a makeshift throne, piled up with stolen electronics and other personal belongings, while the Rat King, appearing to him as a blue shadow, sits on the throne, playing a flute.

Nature Girl and the creatures arrive at the dead end, and Trevor tells Lin to snap out of it. 'He's using the fact that you're fluent in animal to hypnotize you!' Trevor points out. He knows that he has to get out of here, but he is knocked over by a large rabbit as the music continues to flow around them and so the animals continue their forced assault. Suddenly, Nature Girl slams a fist into Eye-Boy's face, knocking him back again. 'How did I not see that attack coming?' Trevor wonders as rats rush towards him. He is able to get to his feet, and thinks that being able to analyze movements and see attacks coming at him is, like, the one thing he has going for him. 'It's practically the only reason I'm still al – wait' Trevor thinks to himself, splashing through the water as several animals follow him, he realizesthat he has never tried analyzing Lin because he never felt like he understood her, and wonders if that is why he can't see through her.

Eye-Boy tells himself to relax, to breathe deep and not to overanalyze what is in front of him – to look at the whole picture. He goes wide-eyed (all over) as the blue shadow before him suddenly is replaced by the Rat King. 'The whole – are you friggin' kidding me right now?' Trevor asks himself, discovering that the Rat King is just a dude in flip-flops and a plastic crown. A rat suddenly bites Trevor's hand, and Trevor reacts by inadvertantly flinging the rat across the chamber, where it lands on the Rat King's face, causing rthe villain to drop the flute, which clangs to the floor. Nature Girl and the animals are freed from the Rat King's trance, as Eye-Boy asks 'What the hell is wrong with you? You can't just force animals to steal for you!'

Eye-Boy holds the Rat King by his collar, the Rat King is now sitting in the sewer water, while Eye-Boy has the flute in his other hand. 'I, the Rat King, will avenge the death of my father, the Piper, as well as his alligators, who -' the Rat King begins, but Trevor interrupts him: 'Do I look like I care about who yourdad is?' he shouts, before snapping the flute as he exclaims 'No one wants to hear your stupid d-list villain backstory!' and the Rat King howls as the flute is broken. Nature Girl and all of the animals rally together, as Nature Girl informs Trevor that they can take it from here, and the Rat King backs up against the stolen items he has collected as Nature Girl and the animals loom over him.

Later, Nature Girl sits on some grass, a raccoon at her side and a bird resting on one of her horns. 'BAM!' Eye-Boy exclaims as he punches the air, smiling. 'Hope that Jerk King wasn't planning on having kids, 'cause I don't know if he can after that owl dive-bombed his wedding bells!' Trevor jokes, adding 'Holy crap, Lin! The way you got the animals to organize and find Roxy's ring and Santo's wallet – amazing!' Trevor declares that he can't wait to tell everyone about it, before asking Lin how she is even in this class when she is such a badass. 'I'm not' Lin responds. 'I told birds to gouge your eyes – and a rabbit to chew out your heart. And I hit you in the face. I'm ashamed' Lin reveals. Eye-Boy quickly tells Lin not to be, and that he will tell Roxy he found her ring in the hall. Trevor smiles and remarks that no one has to know about the Rat King, as he was super lame anyway. Lin smiles and thanks Trevor. 'And I won't tell anyone you saw Chamber's wedding bells' Lin promises. Eye-Boy frowns and scratches his head, remarking that he had forgotten about that.

Characters Involved: 

Bling, Eye-Boy, Hindsight, Kid Omega, Morph II, Nature Girl (all Generation X)

Anole, Broo, Dust, Ernst, Face, Genesis II, Glob Herman, Indra, No-Girl, Pixie III, Rockslide, Shark Girl, Sprite III, Stepford Cuckoos, Transonic, Velocidad (all X-Men students)

Kitty Pryde

Rat King

Story Notes: 

The characters / movies that Nathaniel and Benjamin are discussing are Hal from “2001: A Space Odyssey” and Samara from the “The Ring” franchise.

Rat King refers to his father, Piper II, a Morlock with similar powers who was killed during the Mutant Massacre crossover.

Written By: