GENERATION X #17 (1996)

This is a great issue. I liked Tom Grummet’s art on prior issues, but having Chris Bachalo return to the team he cocreated definitely puts a charge into this story. Plus, Stan Lee writes the “carnival barker” framing sequences (even on the cover, above).

Just about every character in this series has mystery associated with them. Husk’s powers keep developing. Chamber is just bizarre. Monet keeps freezing up, and is the sister of the team’s first enemy, Emplate. Penance won’t say where she came from, but she was held captive by Emplate for a long time. Even long-established character Banshee is revealed to have been an Interpol agent who arrested Omega Red before he got his powers.

This issue develops the character Skin, who is being chased by mutant avenger X-Cutioner hunts him for the murder of Angelo Espinosa. But Skin is Angelo. His skin changed and, we learn, he had to hide his identity therafter to protect innocents.

Through the issue, Skin reforms his skin into the image of the Universal Studios famous monsters (Wolfman, Frankenstein, Mummy, etc.) while running from his would be assassin.

Skin, while he is running, has a dialogue with X-Cutioner about killing innocent people, causing X to doubt his own mission. He also learns more about his powers, one of which is that he can “fly” by pulling his own skin back like a slingshot. We see Skin get more and more comfortable with his abilities, which is fun.

Skin escapes in the end.

Other characters, of course, get their moments. Jubilee is still missing her friendship with her father figure, Wolverine.

And Emma, who can’t read Monet’s mind, is still trying to get to the bottom of the mysteries of that character.

Emma seems to speak Yiddish (“Chutzpah”). And Monet pushes back hard.

And Banshee is settling in to his mentor role.

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