Generation X/Gen 13 #1

Issue Date: 
February 1998
Story Title: 
Harvest of Evil!

James Robinson (writer), Salvador Larroca (penciler/cover artist), Liquid! (cover artist), Troy Hubbs (inker), Al Milgrom (inker), Shannon Blanchard (colourist), Richard Starkings (letterer), Kelly Corvese (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The Generation X kids arrive in Mexico and, after some confusion, finally find the Casa Del Sol, the place they were invited to. Meanwhile, the Gen 13 kids arrive and are attacked by an ape monster. It disappears just before the arrival of the owner of Casa Del Sol, Mr. Pretorious, who dismisses what they have seen. The next morning, Pretorious introduces the two groups of kids, only to learn that they had met previously. When Burnout, Grunge, Skin M and Jubilee later go to the beach, they are attacked by a giant humanoid sea monster and, after it disappears, they suspect Pretorious is behind it. They sneak back into the castle and spy upon Pretorious in his lab, where they also find the unconscious and captured Skin and Freefall. The group returns to be beach where they are joined by Rainmaker, Fairchild, Chamber and Husk, who have returned from a trip to town. Together, they Pretorious in his lab, only to be taken out by gas. They’re all taken prisoner except for Burnout, who flees to town for help. Pretorious intends to capture the youth with the help of his other hybrids, who will not arouse suspicion, since that night happens to be the Mexican Day of the Dead celebration. However, after he leaves, the group soon escapes, thanks to Freefall’s powers and follow Pretorious into town. Alone, Burnout finds help from neither the town sheriff, nor Mr. Lynch, who is too far away to help. He is attacked by several of Pretorious’ hybrids, but is soon helped by the arrival of the rest of Gen 13 and Generation X. They all realize that Pretorious is controlling the hybrids through collars and destroy them all, freeing them. Now defenseless, Pretorious tries to escape but is caught, though all of his monsters flee into the desert. Once Pretorious is turned over to authorities, the kids continue their vacation in La Jolla, California. As they wonder what will happen to the hybrids, the man-fish hybrid briefly watches them before swimming into the deep.

Full Summary: 

The Generation X kids arrive in Mexico and are all excited about it. Husk and M are surprised that Emma and Sean let them go to Mexico by themselves, but figure that they did so well in Los Angeles on their own, as well as because they did so well on their exams. Synch comments that they all did do well-except Jubilee’s C-average, which almost brought them all down, to which she replies “Hey, I am what I am.”

When they’re all done fantasizing of what to do in Mexico, they go to hire a taxi to where they were invited: La Casa Del Sol. Jubilee tries to ask a taxi driver for a ride, but ends up asking him via bad Spanish for a polar bear. Skin steps in to hire the taxi, but when he informs the driver of their destination, the taxi driver drives away. Skin is certain he asked for directions correctly, but after another taxi driver runs away, an old local woman warns them that Casa Del Sol is a place of the devils. The old woman eventually agrees to sell them her old car for them to get there, and M reluctantly agrees to the one-hundred American dollar price.

After driving in the rain for what seems like a few hours according to Synch, they arrive at night at a giant castle at the end of the road. Via a brief lightening strike, lighting up the night sky, Husk thinks she sees a man climbing a tower, but M passes it off as a trick of the lightning. Though the kids are uneasy about going to the castle, they think they should at least get out of the storm and ask for directions to their destination.

When they reach the top of the castle, the owner is relieved that one of the schools he’s been expecting has finally arrived. Husk is confused, as this was not the castle they expected, and asks him just to be sure if it is the Casa Del Sol. The owner confirms that it is the castle in all its magnificence, and introduces himself as Mr. Pretorious. Husk tell Mr. Pretorious that this wasn’t what she was expecting, and he states that the brochure may have printed the wrong picture of another hotel, to which she replies, “Accidents happen, I guess.”

Mr. Pretorious calls two hunchbacked servants, Nook and Cranny, to help the guests to their rooms in the East Wing. He then tells the Generation X kids that they can meet the other school that arrived earlier tomorrow. Jubilee questions school being singular, as Mr. Pretorious did say schools plural from all over were coming to visit. Mr. Pretorious replies that there were problems with the other schools, namely transportation from the village. When Skin asks why they didn’t phone ahead, Mr. Pretorious replies that Casa Del Sol has no phone. Jubilee begins to retort that all normal hotels have a phone, but is interrupted when Pretorious tells her that this place isn’t normal and that they can talk more in the morning. Later, Synch wonders who the other school is.

(Four Hours Earlier)
The Gen 13 kids have all just arrived to Casa Del Sol. They all comment on how it stinks, except for Grunge, who is excited and compares the castle to one right out of “those old Hammer films with Ray Milland or Vincent Price.” Fairchild corrects Grunge by telling him that those were American International films, and they all stank-just like the castle. She goes on to say she wishes for a stimulating game of chess with a lifeguard but, by the looks of the castle, all that they’ll get is the hunchback Igor assistant types. Almost immediately, Mr. Pretorious arrives with Nook and Cranny and welcomes them, to which Fairchild sarcastically comments that she must be psychic.

Only a short moment later, they are on their own again after Mr. Pretorious introduces them to the west wing, where they will be staying. On their way there, Freefall is glad that they aren’t followed by “that guy and his two troll-boy helper dudes.” Rainmaker agrees and is glad that no one is watching them. Unfortunately for her, she misses a pair of eyes following their movements from an old picture.

Out of nowhere, all the lights are turned off, and the kids panic in the darkness before Burnout finally lights up a flame on his finger for them to see. Burnout is then unexpectedly knocked out by an unknown foe, and the kids are again left in the darkness. Thankfully, the lightning gives them enough light every few seconds. The rest of Gen 13 finds Burnout’s seemingly unconscious body, but an ape monster appears out of nowhere and tries to pull away his body.

The kids scramble in the darkness trying to fight the monster, but are interrupted when Mr. Pretorious turns the lights back on. Fairchild informs him of the monster that just tried to attack them and tells him to call the cops. Mr. Pretorious, however, is already aware of the problem, but assures them it was just an ape that escaped from his lab and that it has been taken care of. Freefall notices a car pulling up, to which Mr. Pretorious assumes it is the other school, and tells them that he will greet them and that they can meet each other tomorrow at breakfast.

The next morning at breakfast, all the students get along well together, surprising Mr. Pretorious, who didn’t know that they knew each other. Hesitantly, Husk confirms that they had met once before. Later, when all of the students are at the beach, Jubilee makes sure she isn’t the only one who thinks that the setup is weird, to which everyone else agrees it is a little creepy. Burnout tells them at least they have the beach, but Jubilee is upset that there are no “sexy Cabana boys,” and Skin and Rainmaker simultaneously add “or girls.”

Farichild wants to go into town, and Rainmaker, Husk and Chamber join her. Meanwhile, Synch and Freefall explore the castle, both agreeing that the stuff in it is old and cool. Suddenly, they are attacked by a knight’s suit of armor, knocking them both out. Meanwhile, as Farichild, Rainmaker, Husk and Chamber arrive in town, they discover that it is the Mexican holiday, the Day of the Dead, and are excited for some entertainment tonight.

Back on the beach, Grunge keeps pulling at Jubilee’s swim trunks, and she threatens to rip his off if he doesn’t stop. Watching from the beach, M asks Burnout if Grunge always acts that way, to which he replies that, since Grunge doesn’t know them too well, he’s actually on his best behavior. Back in the water, Grunge thinks Jubilee is creeping up behind him, but everyone is surprised to see a giant, humanoid sea monster there instead. Grunge, Burnout, Jubilee, M and Skin all fight the creature, but it knocks them on the beach and escapes.

Speaking first, Grunge wonders aloud about the ape-man they fought last night, and now the man-fish they just fought, calling them both hybrids. Skin ponders if Pretorious is behind them after all and everyone soon agrees that they should check out Mr. Pretorious’s lab.

In his lab, Mr. Pretorious scorns Nook and Cranny for allowing the man-fish to escape, even if it was just for a while. Mr. Pretorious credits solely the control collars that he makes his hybrids wear for their return. When Cranny questions his methods, Pretorious explains to them again how he harvests these hybrids to grow human organs to sell to wealthy patrons. He further explains how he bribed a U.S. government official to tell him where he could find those with super-powers. They told him of Mr. John Lynch, who had a school of super-powered children, so he invited them and other schools to not raise suspicion.

Watching from above via a window, the students realize that Pretorious is unaware of Generation X having powers, and that they have to react fast. The students regroup and then attack Pretorious’s lab. Pretorious, however, is prepared with knockout gas and drugged darts to force the students to sleep. When they wake, Pretorious realizes Burnout is not with them and uses truth serum on his teammate to figure out where he is. After Pretorious discovers Burnout was sent into town to call Mr. Lynch, Pretorious decides he will go into town himself with his hybrids, an act which will cause little suspicion from locals as it is the Day of the Dead. Accompanying him are eight hybrids, spliced from various mammals, reptiles, fish, bird and insect.

With only Nook and Cranny to look after them, Freefall uses her powers to surprise the two, lifting her cage and swinging it into the two like a weapon. Now free, the gang run to town to Burnout and stop Pretorious.

Meanwhile, Burnout is talking on a payphone to Mr. Lynch, explaining his situation and how the local sheriff won’t help, since Pretorious is involved. Unfortunately, Lynch can’t help in time, so Burnout realizes he has to take matters into his own hands. He attempts to make the sheriff help but the sheriff only runs away in terror. Confused, Burnout turns around to see what scared him, only to face one of Pretorious’s hybrids, a giant man-bird. Though he manages to face the bird hybrid in the sky, a dog hybrid tackles him from below, dragging him to the ground.

When all hope seems lost, however, the rest of Gen13 and Generation X join the fight. All of the students fight the hybrids, targeting their collars so Pretorious cannot control them anymore. They succeed and manage to stop Pretorious as he attempts to slip away as well. No longer under control, the hybrids run off into the Mexican desert.

After the crazy two days they had down at La Casa Del Sol, the two teams decide to vacation in La Jolla, California. The Generation X kids are particularly happy that Sean and Emma didn’t get mad at them for getting into trouble, and more so that they felt Mr. Lynch could keep them out of trouble for the rest of their vacation. When Freefall wonders what will happen to Pretorious, Husk notes that Lynch handed him over to some government group. He’s going to jail, but in a special place where he could divulge and develop his research into gene splicing. The hybrids they fought, however, Fairchild notes, have evaded capture and Lynch figures they’ll simply become more of the Mexican villagers’ myth and legend.

Nearby, Rainmaker thinks she sees a man far out in the ocean, but brushes it off as a trick of the sun. Unseen by her and the others, however, the man-fish hybrid has slipped beneath the waves and swims off into the deep.

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Husk, Jubilee, M, Skin, Synch (all Generation X)
Burnout, Fairchild, Freefall, Grunge, Rainmaker (all Gen 13)

Mr. Pretorious
Nook, Cranny, and hybrid monsters

Mr. John Lynch

Story Notes: 

Hammer Films Productions and American International Pictures were both film production companies known, among other things, for early horror films. Ray Milland and Vincent Price were both 20th century actors, the latter of whom was best known for early horror films.

From pages 21 to 29, a number of artist errors occur: M and Rainmaker are drawn very similarly, something compounded as their outfits kept changing. Rainmaker, however, is always wearing her yellow earrings, so they can still be told apart from one another. Many of the other character’s swimsuits change colors between panels as well, and some of them keep jumping around from one location to another from panel to panel. Additionally, Skin’s stretched arms are erroneously drawn blue on page 29, and Chamber’s normal telepathic talking is drawn as a normal talking bubble in a few instances. Of all the swimsuit color mistakes, Jubilee’s is the most inconstant, going from yellow, to green, to orange, and finally to red.

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