While Marvel’s X-Line has generally revolved around some iteration of the Xavier Institute of Higher Learning and the various Mutant super-teams based out of it, what it normally hasn’t done is spent some time on the actual students attending the school, with some exceptions (like with part of Grant Morrison’s run back in the 2000s). Generation X by Christina Strain puts the focus back on the school side of things, instead of the adventuring super-team side of things – but without going into “Saved By The Bell” with superpowers.
The comic is based around a class of mutants being taught by Jubilee – who was depowered during M-Day, and turned into a vampire during a later crossover event. At her request, when Kitty Pryde opened the new Xavier Institute to the public in Central Park, Jubilee asked to get a class of Mutants, and in turn is teaching a class of mutants who have powers and need help controlling them, but who are generally not X-Team fodder.
Do they still go on adventures? Absolutely. Is there deadly peril – most definitely. However, the stakes are generally more personal than anything else. We have romantic relationships among the students (including two who are gay), we have Quentin Quire shooting for the goal of being the largest entitled douchebag in the Marvel universe (helped by having the same haircut as Richard Spencer), we have characters going to social events and ending up running into supervillains both evil and petty (Fenris), and so on.
It’s a really fun comic. I know that a few of the comics podcasts I listen to (House to Astonish and iFanboy in particular) have been down on this book (and the X-Line in general), but I really enjoyed this book. The writing and art was very solid, and the story was really engrossing. The stakes weren’t as incredibly dramatic and spectacle not as large as with some of the other X-Books, but that’s really the point. It’s grounded, it’s personal, and because of that it was engrossing.
The book has, unfortunately, ended, but I can hope that if it gets some legs over time, the type of story we see here – and some of the new characters introduced here, particularly Hindsight and Morph II (Benjamin Deeds) – will hopefully show up again in the future.
Generation X (2017-18) is currently available in its entirety from Amazon.com. Buying the comic through that link helps support the site.
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