Credits: James Robinson (writer), Chris Bachalo (artist), Comicraft (letters), Digital Chameleon (colors)
Summary: As Gen X continues to fight the Prime Sentinels, Synch mimics M’s powers, which allows him to learn her secret. Skin’s cousin Gil blows up the garage, hoping to destroy the Prime Sentinels. The team emerges from the wreckage and discovers two girls where M used to be. Meanwhile, Banshee regains consciousness and punches Emma before she can hand Penance over to Emplate. A weakened Emplate disappears after Banshee uses his sonic scream. Emma claims that she was never going to give Penance to Emplate, but Banshee doesn’t believe her. Elsewhere, Daria sacrifices herself so that Jubilee can escape.
Continuity Notes: Skin learns that Tores is a mutant during the fight. Tores, who is apparently Skin’s ex-girlfriend, has the ability to “harness psychic energy and direct it as a weapon.”
Review: That cover is a lie! We don’t learn the secret of M in this issue; we just see her emerge as two girls after an explosion. At the very least, it is a step towards answering the questions about her past, but I’m not sure why exactly it shows up in this issue. James Robinson was apparently just a fill-in writer during the OZT crossover (which raises its own questions, since he was a new writer to the X-books and I doubt he had anything to do with the planning of the Bastion storyline), so it’s strange that he’s dropping origin hints in his final issue. This is Chris Bachalo’s last issue, so maybe he wanted to at least do something with the M mystery before he left.
Just like the previous issues, this is a competently handled action story with art that makes the cast look like background extras on Sesame Street. When M emerges as two different people, I can’t tell if they’re supposed to be little girls, or if Bachalo is just drawing teenage M like a pre-schooler again. And, just like Cable’s tie-in, I don’t think the story justified three full issues. I also wonder why Tores has to be revealed as a mutant, too. Can’t the X-related characters know any normal people? Not only do they currently only hang out with other mutants, but even the figures from their past turn out to be mutants. I do like the Banshee/Emma subplot, which shows Banshee responding realistically to one of Emma’s heel turns. The audience can probably figure out that she isn’t really a traitor, but the actual characters in the story aren’t going to automatically know that. It’s another storyline that’s set up and isn’t resolved, so I’m beginning to wonder if Robinson was supposed to have a longer run on the title.