Aug 31, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 188: Generation Next #2, April 1995

Okay. Back on track.

First, as I'll probably do with any of the issues in this series, I have to say that reading a comic illustrated by Chris Bachalo after having read some of the more typical superhero art in the prior comics is an absolute treat. His sense of page composition and aesthetic is unparalleled in superhero comics of the nineties. It's obvious that he came out of the Vertigo renaissance, but the fact that Marvel were willing to take someone whose aesthetic was so completely different to anything else being published in the mainstream at the time and let him loose on an X-comic is pretty amazing.

I admit, I'd forgotten all about the "let's rescue Illyana because she might be able to time travel" story. As much as I love the regular Generation X series, I found this particular iteration of the team a bit forgettable. It might be because they take my beloved Kitty Pryde and make her into an unlikable character. More likely is that there's been precious little reference to this thread in any of the other crossovers titles so far. Most of them, to this point, have at least, in passing, referenced the events of other comics in the crossover, enough to keep said threads embedded in one's consciousness. I think, if I'm remembering right, there's been maybe one reference to the rescue attempt in any of the other comics. I'm not sure why this might be, but I'm almost certain it's why the rescue was not even in the back of my head while reading the other series.

Far from being a bad thing, though, this actually works in the narrative's favour. It's obviously a deeply covert affair, as we see from the heist-like nature of the plot in this issue. So to keep the narrative not only quiet in its own title, but in the rest of the crossover, highlights the absolute need for secrecy about this mission. In many ways, this is the lynch pin to the whole plot. In order to reset the timeline, there is a need for time travel, and Illyana seems the best choice for such power. If they can't rescue her, then it's all for naught. So while there are the more overt missions, the rescue of Chicago, the assist to the human evacuation, they are simply distractions to keep the more secretive missions from popping up on the radar of Apocalypse's security systems.

I'm probably reading far too much into that, but that's what this particular story, and reading order, have facilitated for me, so I'm going to go with it. Reading really is as much about what we bring and it is what's set before us.

We'll continue on with this covert mission tomorrow. See you then.

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