Credits: Tom DeFalco (writer), Mark Buckingham (penciler), Al Vey, Jon Holdredge, & Scott Hanna (inks), Comicraft (letters), Chris Sotomayor (colors)
Summary: Husk convinces Gen X to visit the local fair, unaware that the Circus of Crime is the headliner. Chamber is immune to the Ringmaster’s hypnotism, which leads to a fight between Gen X and the Circus. After defeating the thieves, Jubilee takes pity on them. She agrees to let them go if they agree to donate their profits from the performance to charity. Meanwhile, Banshee travels to Muir Island to give Moira MacTaggert genetic info on the twins that comprise M. He convinces her to take a break for a picnic, where they share a kiss.
I Love the ‘90s: Jubilee would rather play the videogame Quake than see the circus. She also lets out a “NOT!” during the fight scene.
Review: This is a fill-in issue, although it’s obviously not something that was pulled from inventory. Tom DeFalco acknowledges the ongoing subplots surrounding M’s true identity and the team’s distrust of Emma, so this is actually a smooth transition from the previous issue. Mark Buckingham inked most of Chris Bachalo’s run, so he’s a logical choice to do a guest issue, and probably should’ve been selected to become the regular artist. The tone of the story is pretty close to the lackadaisical mood of the Lobdell run, as the team is given a rather goofy group of villains to face; villains that are hesitant to actually go back to crime and don’t even come across as particularly mean. I’m not sure if the Circus of Crime was always portrayed that way, but DeFalco manages to make them likable enough. Reuniting Banshee with Moira adds some significance to the story, since the characters rarely interacted during the Generation X days. DeFalco also remembers that Moira’s suffering from the Legacy Virus, which Banshee has barely reacted to by this point. Banshee doesn’t bring the M twins with him for fear of infection, which is a rather frank handling of the disease, one that the other writers seemed to ignore. So, yes, it’s filler, but it’s pretty good.