Credits: Larry Hama (writer), Terry Dodson w/Dan Lawlis (penciler), Rachel Dodson w/Jon Holdredge (inker), Comicraft (letters), Felix Serrano (colors)
Summary: Dirtnap explodes, unleashing the elements of M-Plate: the St. Croix twins and Emplate. Chamber attacks Emplate, unaware his energy burst will destroy the Citadel. As the Citadel collapses, Emplate and DOA teleport away, while Gen X boards the train with Elwood. Synch and Penance disobey orders and stay behind to free Gaia. Gaia takes them through a hidden Warp Chamber, as the Token leads Skin and Emma to a train station, where they’re reunited with the team. Meanwhile, Synch, Penance, and Gaia emerge from the Warp Chamber in the diner. Synch encounters Dorian and Weasel, who mercilessly beat him.
Continuity Notes: The Token possesses some form of magical power that enables him to lead Emma and Skin to a train station that magically appears under the Biosphere’s treehouse. Gaia runs away as soon as she reaches Earth, and Penance follows Synch’s order to chase her. Dorian and Weasel are angry at Synch for causing a mess when he falls through the Warp Chamber. They throw in a “boy” when talking to him before suddenly turning violent.
Review: Wow, this never ends. This story has so many disparate elements, just touching base on each thread takes up over half of the issue. Taken on their own, most of these ideas have potential. Gaia feels she has an obligation to stay in the Citadel, even as it collapses. Synch risks everything to save her, granting her her first taste of freedom. Dirtnap learns about friendship and honor from the team (who don’t seem broken up about his apparent death, by the way). The daughter of the police chief blackmails her way into the school and runs into an extradimensional Token. Two teenage punks discover a Warp Chamber in the local diner. All of these stories could work as Generation X issues…but why are they all crammed into the same arc? And why shove all of them into the origin story of M, Penance, and Emplate? What do Tokens, or Universal Amalgmation, or Synch getting a beatdown by local hoodlums have to do this? This is the major mystery that goes back to the first issue of the series, and instead of focusing on the central characters in the story, the series devotes issue after issue to unrelated, half-formed ideas. I disagree with the people who hated these issues with a burning passion, but I can understand why they were disappointed.