CABLE #16, EXCALIBUR #82, UNCANNY X-MEN #316-317, X-FACTOR #106, X-FORCE #38, X-MEN #36-37 (1994)

This event is best known as the launchpad for Generation X–a series that is probably #2 on my list of of my favorite ’90s X-books (second to Peter David’s X-Factor, of course). And although it spans many titles, it’s plot is wonderfully simple and easy-to-follow.

The Phalanx have been established as techno-organic creatures seemingly capable of reanimating the dead (like Douglock). In the event, we learn. that they’re actually the humans Cameron Hodge and Steven Lang, who managed to use Warlock’s techno-organic virus to turn humans into anti-mutant, hive-minded, shape-shifting assimilators.

Part one took place in Uncanny and adjectiveless X-Men–although the stars of those books are barely in it. It starts with an introduction to Monet.

The Phalanx try to assimilate her, but they cannot absorb mutants, so they capture her instead. They articulate their new mission as preventing the next generation of mutants from maturing into heroes.

Meanwhile, the Phalanx being known as Harvest (I just tagged all Phalanx Covenant beings under a single tag because they’re a hive mind) attacks X-Mansion. Banshee, Jubilee, the newly awakened (and converted-to-good) Emma Frost, and the newly rehabilitated Sabretooth are the only ones home. They escape and decide to save the young mutants being targeted by Phalanx. The mutants are the future members of Generation X. Synch…

…escapes capture when he is rescued by the Banshee team.

They then track down Phalanx and rescue the other members of Generation X, who are held captive–along with Sara Grey, Jean’s nonmutant sister, and Blink, who seems to die in the conflict.

The Generation X team is thus formed. Great way to introduce new characters–great use of an event.

Part two goes across X-Factor, Excalibur, and X-Force, where the Phalanx’s connectivity begins to fray as we learn that their alien DNA is overriding the program installed by Hodge and Lang.

Phalanx beings take over Muir Island to stop Moira MacTaggert’s scientific studies in curing the virus.

The X-Men/Force/Caliburs liberate Muir Island and get to know Douglock–their newest ally and attend to various Phalanx incursions.

In the final issues of the tie-in–Cable, Wolverine, Jean, and Cyke infiltrate the Phalanx’s main base and destroy it–with Lang and Hodge dying in the process.

The “twist” ending has the alien Phalanx, in a distant universe, sensing the death of the Earth-based Phalanx and deciding to head toward our planet.

The second and third chapters of the story aren’t nearly as fun as the first, but overall this is one of the better events of the ’90s. And there were a LOT of X-events in the ’90s.

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