X-Men (2nd series) #37

Issue Date: 
October 1994
Story Title: 
“Generation Next” - part 4: The Currents Shift

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Ryan/Sellers (inkers), Bill Oakley (letterer), Kevin Somers (colorist), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Clarice is caught up in a fight with the Phalanx, but when she uses her power along with the might of Monet the techno-organic creature never stands a chance. Unfortunately for them that’s when Harvest shows up ready to kill. Elsewhere, traveling in two separate groups, Banshee and Everett, and Emma and Jubilee make their way onboard the ship in the hopes of rescuing the captured mutants. That’s good news for the quartet on deck because Harvest is ready to perform his finishing move. That is until he hears a low growl. It’s Sabretooth and he leaps into action against the Phalanx entity. He’s slowly losing the battle, but then Banshee and Everett show up and turn the tide, obliterating Harvest where he stands. After some discussion, which leads to Paige ridding herself of the transmode virus with some assistance by Sabretooth, Harvest returns, bigger and stronger. Banshee and Sabretooth perform a frontal assault, intent on getting the children to safety. Clarice, who’s seen enough and is tired of it, won’t run away. Instead she uses her power to separate the ship, and with it the rest of the group, leaving her and Banshee to deal with Harvest. She then uses her power one last time to destroy their near-immortal enemy. In the process Blink is killed. The rest of the group who were floating in the water gathers up Banshee and head to dry land. They ponder the future of the world and the roles they’ll be playing in it.

Full Summary: 

Clarice is embroiled in a battle with the Phalanx. They pull and twist at her with their techno-organic appendages. She feels a pop in her shoulder followed by pain and knows it’s been dislocated. Her newfound friends try to free her from the Phalanx’s grip, but they’re getting nowhere. Paige pleads with Clarice to use her powers, but Clarice, squinting in pain, refuses. She is too scared.
Paige yells at her once more to “blink” the Phalanx entity to pieces. Blink cries out and within an instant her foe is cut to pieces and silence falls ever so briefly on the ship’s deck. Clarice falls into Angelo’s awaiting arms. The Phalanx begins to scream in agony as its body has been rearranged and is causing it difficulties. Monet steps forward and with one punch destroys the discombobulated creature, sending it’s various parts every which way.
Angelo asks Monet if she thinks she killed that man. Monet doesn’t know, but questions whether he would still be considered a “man”, or even alive for that matter. Their time for discussion is cut short, however, as Harvest makes his grand entrance.
Harvest tells them they will be the first of the mutants to be cut down by the Phalanx. Paige tells him they’re not ready to be killed. Harvest is amused by her defiance. He explains that just like mutants were with humans, the Phalanx are a notch up on them on the evolutionary ladder and will soon replace them.
Paige tells him they were born mutants, imploring that they were meant to be, and asks him how the Phalanx came to be. Harvest tells her he volunteered for the transformation, to become better than mutants and help remove their existence from the planet. His goal is to serve the collective. Paige comments on his usage of “I” and “me” when the Phalanx are all supposed to be interconnected. Harvest admits that his bond to the Phalanx hive has been severed for reasons unknown, but he will continue with his mission and there will be nothing to stop him.
At that exact moment an arm reaches out from the water below and grabs onto the side of the ship where the young mutants are being held. It’s Banshee who is soon followed by Everett. Banshee cautions the young mutant on being quiet, as they have no idea how many Phalanx are on board. Banshee hears at least one of them and relays it to Everett. Everett complements him on his hearing to which Banshee replies, “With me powers bein’ what they are, son it’s either hear very well or be deaf, aye?”
The two hopeful rescuers gain entrance into the decommissioned ship following the chain connecting the ship to one of its anchors. Banshee reiterates their need to find the captured mutants and his hopes the Emma and Jubilee made it on board as well.
Meanwhile, Jubilee and the White Queen are on board and are below deck searching. Jubes asks Emma if she’s picked up any mental trace of the missing mutants. Emma says she can read them and that they are all together and frightened. Also, Emma continues, she is picking up weaker Phalanx signals than what they’ve encountered before. Jubilee decides to light up the place for a better look and tosses out some fireworks.
Nearby on the ground are a bunch of rats infected with the transmode virus. Both of the ladies are disgusted and Jubilee blasts away, knowing she won’t feel guilty about possibly killing some rats. With the rodents scurrying for safety, Emma asks Jubes if the reason she doesn’t let loose with her powers is because she’s afraid of hurting someone. Jubilee tells her how she once blew up a house in Hong Kong. Emma tells her it’s perfectly normal for her to be wary in the use of her powers, but she also thinks it’s about time someone train the next generation of young mutants and do a better job of it than teams of the past.
Back up top, the four kidnapped mutants find themselves huddled together, backs against the wall, as Harvest approaches for the kill. Angelo asks his new friends if anyone else heard fireworks. Harvest tells them it’s the sound of futility, that the X-Men have arrived, but it will do them no good. A low guttural growl emits from nearby. Harvest turns around and asks where that sound came from. He is pounced upon and his arm severed before he can manage to say the name “Sabretooth”.
The Next Generation look on with wide eyes. Angelo asks Paige if this is one of the X-Men she was talking about. She tells them he’s no X-Man she ever saw. Sabretooth, hearing their conversation, tells her she’s right and that she should be thankful he’s not an X-Man. Sabretooth keeps slicing away at Harvest, but it’s now pointless as Harvest is regenerating and growing faster than Sabretooth can cut. Sabretooth doesn’t quit and goes at it more ferociously. Harvest reminds him that he can draw mass from those he’s already assimilated and questions who will grow exhausted first. Clarice watches on in horror, beginning to realize there may be no way of stopping him after all.
Monet, Paige, Angelo and Clarice wince in pain and cover their ears. Paige tells them that scream is from an X-Man she knows. Harvest is suddenly blown to pieces before their very eyes. Banshee greets the band of teenagers and introduces them to Everett, who he says is just like them. “But better” Everett adds. Banshee sets down and tells Sabretooth how surprised he is to see him there. Sabes asks him if that’s a problem. Banshee tells him it’s not to which Sabretooth adds that the kids would be dead if he wasn’t there.
Banshee acknowledges Sabretooth’s accomplishments, thanks him and tells him rather disappointedly that they’re in his debt. He asks Creed how he was able to find the kids. Sabretooth doesn’t feel like going into detail and tells Banshee that he has his ways and has had them for a long time. Banshee, still curious, wants to know why he came back to help. Sabretooth, rather savagely, tells him that young meat tastes better, to which Angelo who is standing nearby questions the seriousness of his comment. Paige tells him she doesn’t think so, but doesn’t look too sure herself.
Paige gets Banshee’s attention and introduces herself. She makes sure to mention that she’s Sam’s sister and also knows his daughter, Theresa. She starts telling him about their ordeal, but Angelo interrupts her and points out sarcastically that they already know that stuff. Banshee agrees that he knows who she is, but wants to know what’s going on with her stomach. Angelo answers him, explaining how she was infected with the transmode virus by Harvest and that it’s been spreading the whole time.
Sabretooth overhears their conversation and moves closer to Paige. He moves right in and starts sniffing her, which makes Paige nervous. She asks why Sabretooth is sniffing her. Sabretooth tells her she has two scents and that he has a pretty good idea why. Without warning, he slashes her across her midsection with his claws, tearing through the transmode virus and her skin. Banshee, aghast, demands to know what he’s doing. Banshee threatens him if Paige is hurt. Sabretooth snidely tells him he saved her life.
They all stand in awe as they watch Paige begin to tear away at her flesh, revealing a silvery form underneath. Once she’s finished she assures everyone she’ll be back to normal in a few hours. She admits it’s sorta weird, but that’s her mutant power. She is now free of the transmode virus.
Banshee admonishes Sabretooth, telling him he took a big risk with that stunt. Maybe for her, but not for him, he tells Banshee. Everett interrupts them with an important discovery. He points out the fact that the techno-organic mesh on Paige should have been obliterated when Harvest was destroyed. A bigger and more powerful Harvest arrives to answer the question, by announcing his return to the fray.
Banshee tells everyone to get moving and not give him any stationary targets. He barely manages to avoid an attack himself as he dives to the right. Harvest announces that he’s taken back all the techno-matter he used to create his Phalanx assemblage. He also tells them that he is currently isolated from the Collective, but he will remain true to their mission. If they can’t assimilate mutants, they will be destroyed.
At the ground near Harvest’s feet lie some of his recent human victims. Clarice spots them and can’t believe that Harvest killed them just so he could become stronger. Monet reminds her they’re not fighting a person anymore. Banshee tells the kids to get going as he draws more of Harvest’s fire.
Emma tells Jubilee to keep pressing her attack while she telepathically contacts Banshee. Jubes obliges. Emma informs Sean that Harvest shows no sign of human thought patterns, that he’s completely Phalanx. He asks her what the plan is. Emma tells him they need to get the children off the ship first. Banshee tells her he’ll provide the distraction.
Banshee comes swooping in behind Sabretooth. He tells Creed they’re going to team up for a frontal assault. Sabretooth jokes that he’s almost to the point where he doesn’t hate his guts anymore. Emma groups everyone else together, and despite their worries of what will happen to Banshee and Sabretooth tries to marshal them on.
As the battle rages, Harvest blathers on about wiping mutants from the face of the Earth and cleansing the planet. It is not false bravado, though, as Harvest seems to be winning the fight.
Clarice looks back at the ongoing brawl in desolation. She asks the White Queen if Harvest can ever be stopped, if he will only continue to go after them until he finds them. Emma agrees that they are only delaying the inevitable. Clarice’s eyes well up as she tells Emma that it must end right now then.
Sabretooth’s unconscious body comes flying at the group. Clarice continues her previous thoughts, supposing that once Harvest eliminates all mutants he will probably move onto humans. Everett agrees with her, but asks her not to make it sound so depressing. Paige tells her to smarten up, that they can’t stop Harvest right now, that they don’t have the firepower needed. Clarice tells her she’s wrong, that she has the power.
Clarice starts marching towards Harvest and Banshee. Paige reaches out to pull her back, but Emma grabs Paige instead. Paige pleads with Clarice that she can’t beat him. Clarice determinedly tells her she knows she can. She turns back to her friends and with tears in her eyes tells them “goodbye”. And with that Clarice “blinks” a section of the deck and ship’s hull, separating everyone else from the confrontation. Emma, Jubilee and the remaining Next Generation mutants have no choice but to run for it. They reach the end of the deck and dive overboard into the water.
Banshee, currently struggling within Harvest’s grasp, spots Clarice and tells her to get away. She apologizes, but tells him she can stop Harvest once and for all. She reaches out with her arm and touches Harvest on the side of his face. She “blinks” and suddenly Harvest and Blink are sliced up and rearranged. Banshee falls, unaffected by the transportational power.
Harvest can’t understand what is happening and why he can’t analyze the spatial-shearing mutant abilities of Clarice. Banshee is unconcerned with that as he notices Blink is being caught up in her own powers. He flies back towards her and grabs ahold of her wrist. He tells her he won’t let go. Looking scared, she tells him she can’t feel anything. Banshee pleads with her to hold on. Sections of her body start disappearing and soon enough Banshee finds himself holding on to nothing at all. Banshee falls limp from the sky towards the water below. He lets out a sonic wail of anguish unlike any before.
Everyone else, including the still unconscious Sabretooth, lies afloat not far from where Banshee splashes down. Emma suggests someone get over there before he drowns, she doesn’t want to lose another member today. Everett mimics Banshee’s power and flies over, pulling him out by his arm. Banshee proclaims that Harvest is gone, that Clarice did it.
They all make their way to a nearby dock. As they walk along they discuss the safety of the world and the responsibilities they each face. Comforting each other, sullen looks on their faces, they realize they’re dealing with a more challenging tomorrow.

Characters Involved: 

Jubilee (an X-Man)

Banshee (former X-Man)

Angelo Espinosa, Clarice Ferguson (Blink), Paige Guthrie, Monet St. Croix (M), Everett Thomas (all Next Generation)


White Queen (former member of the Hellfire Club)


Story Notes: 

This issue is part four of the "Generation Next" storyline of the Phalanx Covenant crossover. The events depicted in the Crossover will lead in to the new Marvel series: Generation X.
Each issue of the Phalanx Crossover had two editions. One edition came with a vertical foil strip across the cover and the other one did not.
Harvest volunteered to become a member of the Phalanx in Uncanny X-Men #308.
Jubilee blew up that house in Hong Kong in Uncanny X-Men #258.

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