Of Leather & Lace
Credits: Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb (writers), Wood & McManus (breakdowns), Lightle/McManus/Sienkiewicz/
Cordelia Frost, Emma Frost’s teenage sister, meets with Shinobi Shaw in Boston. She’s kidnapped Mondo, and demands a place in the Hellfire Club in exchange for him. Suddenly, armed men working for someone named Barrington take Mondo’s unconscious body away from Cordelia. Soon, Cordelia arrives at Xavier’s School, looking for Emma. She tells her that she came to America with her friend Mondo to enroll at the school, but he was kidnapped. Emma is suspicious, but agrees to send the team on a mission to find him. Meanwhile, Mondo escapes from Barrington’s men and wanders throughout Boston. Emma and Generation X arrive to help him as the armed men chase him down. After Mondo easily defeats a group of the men, Barrington monitors the situation and decides to end their mission. The men teleport away, leaving Mondo with Generation X. Cordelia decides that she came too close to being found out, and decides to leave Mondo with the team. Mondo says goodbye to her, not realizing that she was the one who kidnapped him from their island in the first place.
This is the first full appearance of Cordelia Frost, who made cameos in previous issues as the girl living on an island with Mondo. According to Cordelia, Emma Frost’s telepathic powers don’t work on her (which of course makes it easier for this issue’s plot to work).
Barrington is the name of the mystery man Maverick was working for in his first appearances. He makes an appearance in this issue, but he’s kept in shadow. The men working for him have armored suits that resemble Maverick’s.
Jubilee is drawn without any feet on page twelve, which is pretty noticeable since this is a giant splash page of her diving into the pool.
Approved By The Comics Code Authority
This issue opens with sixteen-year-old Cordelia lounging in skimpy lingerie, smoking a cigarette and drinking wine.
I did buy this issue when it was released, so I guess I’ll do a full review of it. The story can’t be described as typical annual filler, since it involves a new member actually joining the team, but the art is typical of the haphazard messes that double-sized issues often turn out to be. Aside from needing so many finishers their names can’t fit into one credits box, the editors have also assigned incompatible artists like Bill Sienkiewicz and Dan Panosian to work on pages right next to one another. One scene has moody pages drenched with ink featuring expressionist characters, while the one next to it has poorly formed figures made out of super-thin lines standing around in awkward poses. It’s such a disorganized mess, Cordelia looks different on almost every page. In some scenes it’s impossible to tell her and Jubilee apart. The dark, moody pages stand out as the best-looking ones, even though that style really doesn’t suit the story at all. The story itself is mostly fluff, but I think I would’ve enjoyed it more if the art was more consistent. Mondo isn’t that bad of a character, and his extremely laid back attitude can be amusing. Cordelia is sharply written, getting some good lines in during the first scene (“You want me. You want me so much that it bores me”.). Bringing back Barrington, one of the numerous mystery characters introduced during the pre-Image era, would’ve been a nice payoff, except that the story doesn’t offer any answers about him and keeps everything involving him (literally) in the dark.
The Very Personal and Very Private Journal of Monet Saint Croix
Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), Jeff Matsuda, Vince Russell, & Rurik Tyler (artists), J. Babcock (lettering), Dana Moreshead (colors)
Skin reads M’s diary, which is filled with child-like drawings and descriptions of her early days with Generation X. M figures out that he’s read the diary, but is confident that he won’t be able to deduce her family’s secret.
This back-up story is hand-lettered, which stands out now that all of the titles are using computer fonts.
M’s draws an image of her saddened father in a twins’ bedroom. M is pleased that he’s sad because “it is his fault, after all”.
It’s a very short back-up story so there’s not a lot to say about it. It reinforces a hint from an earlier issue that M writes and draws like a small child, and offers a very vague clue about her past. Most of the pages consist of a recap of Generation X #1, which seems excessive when you consider that this issue was only a year old at this point. Some of the cartoony drawings are fun, but there’s really nothing going on here.