Sep 15, 2015

The 40 Years of Comics Project - Day 203: Generation Next #4, June 1995


So we finally reach the end of the story that started off the Age of Apocalypse proper (after all that prefatory matter, I mean). Generation Next is a creepy comic. The villains in it are truly repulsive and, what's more, so are some of the heroes. This series does a spectacular job of making Kitty Pryde and Colossus two of the most unlikable characters in the X-universe, AoA-style. The main title from which this series derives has a similar sort of feeling to it, but nothing quite as nihilistically bleak as what happens in this series.

As we know, the next generation of X-Men have been tasked with rescuing the time-travel capable Illyana Rasputin. What this comic suggests is that this next generation will also face a next generation of villainous mutants. In the beginning, characters like Toad and The Blob were pretty repulsive, or meant to be. So as the newer mutants become more and more edgy, for lack of a better term (think Chamber's blown-apart chest, or Husk's ripping off of her flesh), so too will their enemies evolve with them. It's like that suggestion the Joker makes in Nolan's The Dark Knight. One's villains and oneself are not always so far apart.

But let's get back to the Kitty and Piotr thing. I've suggested in earlier posts that there are certain characters whose representations are moving iconically through the different iterations of the universe. Cyclops is the one who springs to mind, his heroism, his seemingly unerring sense of right versus wrong. Do Shadowcat and Colossus have that? Something that does carry through in the characters and, aside from their powers, really the only recognizable thing about them, is their love. They love each other. You can see it. That's not to say that they seem to like each other very much. But they love each other. So while I was, in some places, disgusted with Colossus' behaviour, I could see shades of the individual he could be in the "proper" universe.

I will miss reading the Lobdell/Bachalo corner of the X-universe, AoA or no. As I noted earlier, it's really like this little chunk of the X-Men franchise broke away and fell in with those Vertigo ne'erdowells and brought a little bit of that charm back to the House of Ideas. I'll get to the Generation X series eventually, but perhaps not for some time.

We'll move on to another pre-Finale finale tomorrow with X-Calibre #4. See you then.

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