Today’s Super Comic — Generation X #18 (1996)

generation_x_vol_1_18I probably could’ve pulled off this yearlong series of positive comic reviews with X-Men books alone.

The X-Men had about a million spinoffs in the ‘90s, and one of the better ones of that era was Generation X. It brought us back to the X-Men’s roots as a series about teenage mutants learning to control their powers in a highly specialized educational environment. But Professor X wasn’t teaching this latest generation—stalwart X-Man Banshee (Sean Cassidy) and former villain the White Queen (Emma Frost) had that job.

Though the book is ostensibly about the teens, the dynamic between these two very different teachers is one of the best parts…as #18 demonstrates, when Emma telepathically compels Sean to walk off a plane at 30,000 feet in the air (it’s okay; he can fly). Her well-intentioned drive to keep her students safe, combined with her less rigid morality, make her a compelling character and one who plays well off of Banshee’s more traditional superhero type. Instead of spy vs. spy, we’ve got teacher vs. teacher (and teacher vs. students).

And artist Chris Bachalo is in top form here, with creative layouts and memorable images. A scene of Banshee breaking out of Emma’s spell is especially well done, though there isn’t a weak page in the book.

Writer: Scott Lobdell

Penciler: Chris Bachalo

Inker: Mark Buckingham

Publisher: Marvel Comics

How to Read It: back issues

Appropriate For: ages 11 and up