Thursday, September 22, 2011

GENERATION X #45 - Early December 1998

Lost & Found

Credits: Jay Faerber (writer), Terry Dodson (penciler), Rachel Dodson (inker), Nic Musolino (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)

Summary: While Emma continues to sulk, Jubilee and Skin try to cheer up Chamber, M questions Artie and Leech on the Biosphere’s disappearance, and Gaia flirts with Synch. During a boxing match, Banshee goads Emma into talking about her feelings. After she declares that she doesn’t need her telepathic powers, they return. Soon, the team realizes that Chamber’s powers have also returned. Later, Emma gathers the team and makes two announcements -- Gaia is joining the school, and the team will adopt new uniforms.

Continuity Notes: Emma’s telepathic powers actually returned at the end of the previous issue. That scene is dismissed as a brief “telepathic fluctuation” this issue.

Review: I remember reading that this was done as a try-out issue for Jay Faerber, who editor Frank Pittarese was considering as Larry Hama’s replacement. Faerber got the job, ending Hama’s long history of monthly freelancing for Marvel. The internet was indignant over Hama’s run, and overall sales were down by this point, so I’m sure Pittarese thought that a new writer could slow the bleeding at least.

Faerber’s run was quite popular amongst X-fans, even though his initial fill-in is pretty unremarkable. There’s apparently some behind-the-scenes confusion going on, since the entire story centers on Emma finally regaining her powers, an event that already occurred in the previous issue. Sure, they try to cover it with a few lines of dialogue, but I think it’s a safe bet that this issue was commissioned before the ending of #44 was written. The lengthy build-up to her powers’ return is a bit superfluous, and the gratuitous use of splash pages and large panels leads me to believe that there just isn’t enough of a story here. The brief cutaway scenes with the rest of the cast aren’t so bad, though. M’s upset that no one’s asked her how she feels about losing her telepathic powers, which serves as the once-a-year reminder that she also has psychic powers. Faerber handles Synch’s response to her attention-seeking well. Chamber, it’s revealed, actually regained his powers three days ago. He just didn’t feel like saying anything. He was brooding at the beginning of the issue because he missed Husk; a nice twist and character beat. Faerber’s real strength is characterization, and his dialogue is usually sharp, so I think he’s a decent choice to appeal to the fans of the Lobdell days.


Matt said...

I really liked Jay Faerber's issues, but as with a lot of the stuff you review, I haven't touched them since they first came out, and I barely remember anything about them. I'll be looking forward to seeing what you think of them now!

(For the record, and I may have said this previously, I had nothing against Larry Hama's run. I found it ranged from good to fair, but was rarely as terrible as the rest of the world seemed to think. But I also haven't read it since it came out either.)

wwk5d said...

Faerber's run was good, but could have been better. Still, the "hellion" story was great.

Lebeau2501 said...

I loved Generation X for about the first 40 issues. I think Chris Bachalo and Terry Dodson were the only good artists for this title.

kerry said...

I don't remember thinking much of Faerber's run at the time, though I suppose teenage-me would have considered anything a step up from the Hama, which I despised (especially after loving most of what he did on Wolverine). Faerber always struck me as a writer who was never actively bad and got scripts in on time, of which there were quite a few at Marvel in this era. But then again, I'm told he really came into his own on Noble Cause. My judgment on Faerber in this period is probably questionable, as I had applied the same kind of tag to Brian K. Vaughan after reading Swamp Thing, and man, was I ever wrong on that one.

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