Generation Next #3

Issue Date: 
May 1995
Story Title: 
It Only Hurts When I Sing

Scott Lobdell & Chris Bachalo (creators), Mark Buckingham (inker), Starkings / Comicraft (letters), Steve Buccellato / Electric Crayon (colors, Bob Harras (editor, editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The team digs deeper into The Core to find Illyana, the one hope for changing the future. Skin and Chamber, posing as workers, act as backup for the rest of the team. They almost blow their cover when Chamber loses his temper after a mutant guard mercilessly kills two human workers. Husk and Vincente, undercover as the foreman Quietus, sift through his office to try to find information about little Illyana and are almost discovered by the Sugar Man. Colossus and Shadowcat, with a little help from Know-it-all, keep track of their wards inside the complex. Shadowcat starts to doubt the validity of the mission, but Colossus is intent on getting his sister back. Mondo successfully finds Illyana and attempts to extract her from The Core. Meanwhile, Husk and Vincente, as Quietus, are put to the test by the Sugar Man. He wants them to kill Chamber and Skin to prove themselves as the real Quietus.

Full Summary: 

Skin and Chamber stand at a window overlooking the work yard of The Core. This plan looked a lot better on paper, they say.

The humans slave away in the work yard. They are goaded on by ugly two-headed mutants and intently watched by three curious guards. One guard, from his high perch, spies an old man and a young girl fraternizing in the corner of the work yard. He yells at them as a third glowing eye bursts open on his forehead, telling them that socializing is strictly forbidden. He shoots an energy beam at the two humans, burying the old man. The guard, with a grin on his face, asks the girl if it was worth it. She explains that the man was her father, trying to give her some of his food. She screams at the guard as she picks up a rock, telling him that he had no right to kill him. The guard just smiles and says that he doesn't need rights since he is a mutant. The girl erupts in a fit of rage and throws the rock at the guard, hitting him in the head. The infuriated guard turns to the girl and blasts her off of the side of a cliff.

Chamber watches from the window in utter disbelief. He turns toward the guard outside of his window and screams at him. Skin hurriedly stretches his hands over Chamber's mouth as a patrolman comes up the hall to investigate the disturbance. Skin tells Chamber that there is no way that they could win that fight and that he would kill Chamber before he would let him sacrifice their lives. The patrolman asks if there is anything wrong, to which Skin replies no; they are just checking the perimeter for stray humans. The patrolman walks away and Skin releases Chamber. Chamber says that he can't stand by while the mutant guards get away with murder. Skin tells him that they won't get away with it, but they will have to choose the right time to fight.

Outside the tower, the murderous guard brags to his friend about his recent kill. Suddenly, the supports on the guard's balcony snap loose, sending him hurtling over the edge. He is able to grab the edge in time and he coaxes himself to get up. Mondo's face protrudes from the wall, coming within inches of the frightened guard's face. Mondo tells the guard that he can't pull himself up as he pushes him off of the ledge. As Mondo melds back into the wall he tells the plummeting guard that next time he shouldn't kill innocents; it's bad karma.

In Quietus' office, Husk and Vincente go about their business trying to find information on Illyana. A little old woman peeks her head through the door at their beckon. They want to know what all of the noise is about. She leaves to check as Vincente drifts out of the Quietus disguise. Once again, he discusses the plan with Husk; he doesn't think that they are going to survive the mission. Husk comforts him as she steps out of her outfit and into the shower.

The secretary comes over the intercom to announce a visitor, but is drug into the room by the Sugar Man. He lets her go and calls for Quietus. When no one answers, Sugar Man picks up the clothes and sniffs them. He hears a sound in the next room and goes to investigate, tearing down the curtain that separates the rooms. Sugar Man sees that Quietus is in the shower and tells him to hurry up. It seems that the Shadow King found someone psi-surfing through the archives and Apocalypse wants them to investigate. He thinks that there may be a break-in to The Core. Inside the shower, Husk sits on top of Vincente's shoulders as he takes aim at Sugar Man through the crack in the shower door. Husk says that she doesn't think that anyone would be stupid enough to break into The Core. Sugar Man bursts into laughter and walks out of the room. Husk jumps off of Vincente's shoulders and confides her fear to him. She grabs his face and kisses him deeply.

Outside of The Core, two figures float down out of the sky and shadow the bright morning sun. They land on a ledge above the entrance. Now safely landed, Shadowcat asks her husband what is going to happen next. Colossus says that they are going to wait for the signal, go inside, and come out with Illyana.

Below, inside The Core, Illyana talks to an elderly woman named May as they work. Illyana wants May to tell her about the sunlight but May tells her to hush and work. Work will set them free. May hands a rock to Ace who goes over and drops it off of a cliff. She says that she wishes that she was dropping it on Apocalypse's head. Just then, a guard comes by to ask her if Ace is on her lunch break. She says no and he shoves her, telling her to get back to work. Ace falls over the edge of the cliff and is caught by Mondo. Mondo expresses his sympathies towards Ace; she wasn't even strong enough to scream as she was falling over the cliff. Ace awakens to see Mondo's face and is shocked at the fact that he is a mutant. Mutants don't save humans in The Core. They only hurt them. Mondo explains that he is a good mutant. As he hugs Ace, she thanks him.

Elsewhere in the complex, a non-suspecting guard falls to a blast of psionic energy from Chamber. Skin runs to check his body for keys and finds them. The guys discuss their victory as Quietus comes up behind them and tells them to be less conspicuous; they are going to expose the team. Vincente gets Husk's attention and she acknowledges his concern, quickly apologizing to them as she knocks them out. Quietus turns around to face the Sugar Man.

Outside of The Core, Know-it-all's face materializes on the wall facing Colossus and Shadowcat. She reports to her teachers that the team is not doing so well on the inside, however Mondo is close to Illyana’s location. She recommends that the teachers go in to lend their students a hand. Shadowcat tells Colossus that Know-it-all is taking a huge risk by contacting them, so maybe they should go help their students. Colossus firmly says no, since the children knew the risks when they took on the assignment. He glares at his wife as he says that the only priority that they have is securing Illyana, nothing else.

Quietus holds up the unconscious bodies of Chamber and Skin to Sugar Man. Sugar Man compliments Quietus on his thoroughness and tells Quietus that since he found the intruders then he should have the honor of killing them. He agrees right away and pulls out a gun, but is stopped by Sugar Man. He tells Quietus that he should use his mutation instead and takes the gun away from him. Husk worries to herself since she didn't know what Quietus' mutation was in the first place.

Down in The Core, Mondo places Ace on the cliff, telling her that she is safe now. Ace turns to Mondo, pleading with him to take her with him since she will never be safe as long as she is in The Core. Mondo notices Illyana and tells Ace that he has to go, but he promises to come back for her. Mondo lunges toward Illyana as she screams for May to help her. May tells her that she is on her own as Mondo grabs little Illyana and absorbs her into his stomach. He sinks into the ground, heading for the surface. May smiles as she thinks to herself that maybe now Illyana will see the sunlight. After all.

Know-it-all alerts Colossus and Shadowcat that Mondo has secured Illyana but reminds them of the danger that she faces. The longer that she remains in his stomach, the greater the risk of her being fully absorbed into him. Colossus turns to his wife and asks her if she will stay behind but she reminds him that they are married. Colossus tells Shadowcat how much he loves her as they turn intangible and float down into The Core.

Chamber awakes in the clutches of Sugar Man and spits in his face, courtesy of Generation Next. Sugar Man grins as he licks it off, saying that it isn't as sweet as he is used to. He turns to Quietus and orders him to execute the prisoner. Sugar Man holds up Chamber as Quietus takes aim. A single shot is fired.

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Husk, Know-it-all, Mondo, Skin, Vincente (all Generation Next)

Colossus, Shadowcat (teachers and tutors of Generation Next)

Illyana Rasputin


May, another prisoner
Sugar Man

Hag, Quietus‘ secretary

Various guards

Story Notes: 

Know-it-all psi-surfed online in Generation Next #1 and was the one that the Shadow King caught.

Husk and Vincente went undercover as foreman Quietus in Generation Next #2. It takes both of them because Husk did not have enough mass to fill out Quietus' form, since his head is rather large. Vincente uses his gaseous form to fill out the rest of the mass that Husk lost in the transformation.

May seems to be the counterpart for Spiderman’s Aunt May, however X-Universe #1 shows May Parker’s gravestone.

Issue Information: 
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