Generation X (1st series) #25

Issue Date: 
March 1997
Story Title: 
none (the chapters are subtitled)

Scott Lobdell (writer), Chris Bachalo (pencils), Al Vey and Scott Hanna (inkers), Richard Starkings / Comicraft (letters), Vancata (colors), Bob Harras (editor, editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Black Tom’s plan of revenge against Banshee goes into full swing when he kidnaps M, Husk, Chamber, Synch and Skin, seizes control of Emma’s body and lets the evil Mondo lose on campus. Secretly Bastion arrives and kidnaps Jubilee before killing the evil Mondo, while Franklin, Leech, Artie, Howard the Duck, Beverly Switzler and Tana Nile are rescued from Black Tom by the Man Thing. Tom enjoys himself having Emma and Sean battle against each other, but in the end Penance attacks and slices him apart. The kids are missing, with the location where Tom took them being unknown.

Full Summary: 

Chapter 1: The End
The issue opens with Banshee being hurled through a window, and beaten up by a massive Mondo, who has filled the room in an organic state. He traps Banshee and tells him that while they were learning about Mondo, Mondo was learning how to kill them. A stunned Banshee tries to talk to Mondo, to try and find out were the kids are but Black Tom appears, and tells Sean that from this moment on, Generation X are no longer his concern - they now belong, body and soul to Black Tom !

Chapter 2: Behind The Eight Ball
Meanwhile in L.A, Torres receives a mysterious call from Emma, who tells Torres that she has changed the rules of the game and she’ll be in touch. Emma hangs up, and her driver tells her to look at the school as they arrive - it has been completely over run with vegative plant life. Sensing that the perpatrator is still around she calms herself. She pushes the thought of the children suffering from her mind. She will let him come to her. Then Bumpkin, her Driver is sucked into the mass of vegatation and Black Tom appears to her. At first she dosen’t recognise him, but then he gives a speech about how he is the new headmaster and how she is fired. Emma, confidently tries to use her powers on him, but it causes some kind of psionic backlash that stuns her.

Chapter 3: Cutting to the Chase
A petrified Jubilee is running from the school, severly injured and bleeding. She cant fight Mondo on her own, she must get help. Running through the woods, trying to figure out what to do, she runs into Bastion who tells her to be silent. She tells him its a bad day to attack and he grabs her holding a knife to her throat. Just then, Mondo comes up through the woodland floor and attacks them both. Bastion shoots Mondo twice, killing him. A shocked Jubilee is then put asleep by Bastion who tells her she has much to tell him about the X-Men.

Chapter 4: Putting Out The Fire With Gasoline
In the Biosphere, Franklin, Beverly, Leech, Tana, Artie and Howard are all hiding in the treehouse from Black Tom. Thinking he must have left, Howard goes to leave when Black Tom atacks them. The crowd flee the treehouse leaving Howard to fend Black Tom off, but Artie, angry over someone else ruining his home and killing his friends, creates an image of Sabretooth which startles Black Tom and gives them a chance to escape. Black Tom soon gives chase again but Howard has been smothering all the plants he could with Gasoline and now he sets fire to it, causing Black Tom great pain.

Chapter 5: The Great Escape
The group run through the Biosphere, only to find the exit blocked by another green vegative mass. The mass soon turns into the Man Thing, whom Howard recognises as the Nexus of all Realities. Man Thing has come for Franklin, who must be protected at all costs and absorbs all of them and then dissapears. Black Tom finally re-emerges, wondering where they could have all got to in such a short space of time.

Chapter 6: Point Of No Return
Tom reasons that he didn’t want the small ones anyway, and sinks back into the earth to his underground chamber. Watching from the otherside of the Biosphere, Penance suddenly leaps to where Man Thing and the others disapeared. She picks up Franklin’s shoe but is startled to see Gateway watching her. Gateway feels sorry for Penance. Indeed, he didn’t even mean for Penance to be called that. He brought her to the school by means of redemption, to make amends for his part in the slaughter of the school’s origional students, The Hellions. He would like to explain to her, but he knows she wouldn’t hear him. Instinctivly, Penance knows what must be done and burrows into the earth, after Black Tom. Gateway, knowing his time with the children is done, teleports away.

Chapter 7: Enemy Mine
In the underground cavern, Black Tom awakens Sean and loosens the vine round his neck slightley so he can speak. Sean vows that whatever happens, he will kill him for what he has done this day. Black Tom tells him that he cannot be killed for he is no longer bound to his original form. He is part of something bigger, better and the kids that were Gen X are now part of that too. Sean sees Synch, M, Chamber, Husk and Skin all lifeless and half absorbed by the vegative matter in the cavern. Sean knows he has seen this before - but where ?? Sean tells Tom that he’s insane, and Tom tells him that he’s probably right - why else would he have done this to himself? But its Sean’s fault. He tore out Tom’s heart and soul the day he took Theresa from him. Sean tells him that she’s he’s daughter and he had no right to keep her a secret. Tom tells Sean that he had to protect Theresa after Sean did such a bad job of protecting his wife, Maeve. Sean tells Tom that if he wants revenge he can - kill him, but let the kids go - it has nothing to do with them. Tom tells him that it has everything to do with the kids. He’s not fit to care for them, and he’s only kept him and Emma alive for long enough so Sean can kill Emma.

Chapter 8: Duel
Tom releases Sean, knowing that his sonic powers are useless against him. Then Emma hits him. She apologises and tells him that Tom is controlling her body and to kill her before she does serious damage. Sean tells her there’s gotta be a better way, but she starts unwillingly laying into him, beating him untill he’s a bloody mess. Emma begs him, kill her - foor the sake of the children - she cant bear to watch another group of students die because of her. If he doesn’t do it - she will ! Sean begs her not to throw her life away - Tom must be lying - but she seizes his mind and forces him to release a sonic scream that shatters her body. She slumps to the ground and Black Tom laughs.

Chapter 9: Splitting Heirs
Sean clutches Emma’s broken body and Tom goes even more insane slashing Synch in half, but Sean realises something is up when maggots fall out of Synch’s body. They wern’t real, they are all fakes. Black Tom tells Sean that the real kids are far away and perfectly safe. Tom has been watching and planning from the Biosphere for months, even before his version of Mondo joined the team. Sean tells him that he’s forgotten one thing - Penance - as she leaps out of the shadows and slices Black Tom in two. With Tom defeated, Sean craddles Emma while Penance looks at the shells of her friends. Sean tells her he dosen’t know where thay are, but he’ll find them - no matter how long it takes.

Epilogue: On Land Or Sea Or Foam...
Thousands of miles away, without Black Tom’s influence, a pod releases itself from the ocean floor and quickly rises to the surface where it opens to reveal M, Skin, Synch, Husk and Chamber all adrift in the middle of nowhere!

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Husk, Jubilee, M, Mondo’s double, Penance, Skin, Synch (all Generation X)
Banshee, Emma Frost (Generation X‘s teachers and tutors)
Leech, Artie Maddicks and Franklin Richards (as Generation X’s wards)

Howard the Duck

Beverly Switzler
Tana Nile

Bumpkin, Emma’s green chauffeur
Black Tom

Story Notes: 

The fake Mondo was killed by Bastion in this issue, however the real Mondo (who never even met Generation X) returns along with Black Tom in Generation X (1st series) #60-61.

Man-Thing appears to protect Franklin due to the fact that Franklin saved the Avengers and Fantastic Four from Onslaught by creating an entire duplicate world where Earth’s greatest heroes currently reside. They all return in Heroes Return (four issue limited series), but first Franklin, Leech, Artie, Howard, Tana and Man Thing star in Daydreamers, a 3 issue limited series spinning directly off this issue.

Bastion has kidnapped Jubilee to plunder her mind for infomation on the X-Men. Her next appearance is in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #343, before her story continues in Generation X (1st series) #26.

Gateway was once used by Donald Pierce and his cyborg team, the Reavers to teleport around the world and commit crimes. He unwillingly aided Pierce when a group of renegade Sentinels attacked the Reavers, teleporting them right into the Hellfire Club’s headquarters where the Sentinels murdered the Hellions and left Emma Frost in a coma for many months. [all in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #281]

It is hinted that Penance may be deaf in this issue.

Sean and Tom’s rivallry over Theresa (Siryn, former X-Force leader), dates back to when Sean’s estranged wife Maeve was killed in an IRA bomb before she could tell Sean about their daughter. Tom raised the girl and trained her for a life of crime until she came into contact with the X-Men and father and daughter first met. Theresa turned her back on Tom and his evil ways.

A text bubble and Artie’s mental image of Sabretooth have been forgotten. The corrected panels are shown in the letters page of #26.

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