Sins of the Past Part Two: Heal Thyself
Credits: Jay Faerber (writer), Terry Dodson & Karl Kerschel (pencilers), Rachel Dodson, John Czop, and Rod Ramos (inks), Kevin Tinsley (colors), Comicraft (letters)
Summary: M uses her telepathic powers to reenter the fantasy world that’s ensnared Generation X. When Donald Pierce teleports in, he’s followed by an army of Sentinels. Gen X successfully counters the Sentinels in combat. Using M’s telepathy, Synch senses the mental presence of Emma. Combining his powers with M, they release Emma, as the X-Men turn on the team. Emma uses her powers to erase the fantasy and wake the team up. Adrienne Frost appears, boasts about creating the fantasy, and teleports away.
Continuity Notes: Synch remarks that he’s somehow able to use M’s powers better than she can, just as he’s able to expand upon Chamber’s powers.
Review: And now the previous issue’s high concept is explained, which is almost always a letdown. Still, there are some decent character bits this issue, and watching the team relive the Hellions’ final battle remains entertaining. It could be argued that they’re able to defeat the Sentinels far too easily when compared to the Hellions’ quick deaths, but I think this is an intentional point on Faerber’s part to show that Emma really has done a better job preparing this team for battle.
The real purpose of this storyline, aside from playing to nostalgia and setting up an amazingly impossible premise, is to introduce Adrienne Frost as a true villain for the series. She proclaims that she’s going to be the next White Queen, and for some reason, she’s chosen this stunt as her villainous debut. I have no idea what she’s hoping to achieve, but it would be nice if Faerber’s able to resolve this before his run is over.
The only real flaw in this arc is abrupt shift in art style this issue. Karl Kerschel’s pencils are an amalgam of early Salvador Larroca and Pop Mhan...not exactly art styles you associate with Terry Dodson. There are quite a few artists in comics in the Adam Hughes/Gary Frank/Terry Dodson vein (Erik Larsen even found one to replace Adam Hughes on a Savage Dragon miniseries after he grew tired of waiting on Hughes), so I have a hard time believing that this is the best replacement editorial could’ve found. If this arc just had to have an artist with an incompatible style fill in, it might’ve been interesting to have Whilce Portacio himself step in.