The original Generation X comes calling for the old school X-Men!

In the upcoming X-MEN: BLUE #18 by writer Cullen Bunn and artist R.B. Silva coming December 27, we’ll see the original Generation X crossing paths with the original five team. So how will it all go down? We chatted with writer Cullen Bunn about what we can expect when these mutants all go head-to-head. We’ve got the original Generation X team coming in, but we’re not quite sure whether they’ll help the Blue team, or start a fight. Could you give us a couple motivations they might have for each?

Cullen Bunn: The X-Men Blue team has discovered that time is breaking down and the past, present, and future are changing all around them. So, when they meet up with Generation X, they meet a group of mutant kids who have been dealing with circumstances that are a little different than what you might expect. The Generation X team is on edge and on guard, so when the Blue team appears before them, they don’t trust them at all. In fact, the original five X-Men are seen as enemies for reasons we have yet to explain. If it does come to blows, can you weigh the odds for us? What advantages does each side have? 

Cullen Bunn: Well, Generation X has the X-Men Blue team outnumbered just slightly, but I’d say that at this point in time, the X-Men are much more seasoned. That said, Monet and Chamber are wild powerhouses and Synch and Husk both throw in such a wild card factor that Generation X is not to be underestimated. If it comes down to a fight, it could go either way.

Oh, who am I kidding? They’re gonna fight.

And the matchups between Penance and Jimmy Hudson, Monet and Bloodstorm, and Husk and Cyclops are all exciting for me. In recent X-Men history, there we’ve seen a lot going on with the timestream. Like younger versions of Jean, Scott, etc. coming into the present. So this seems like a really interesting time for the X-Men to do Marvel Legacy stories. How does the timing of all of this influence this arc?

Cullen Bunn: Anyone who reads my [X-Men] stories knows that I’m almost always looking to the legacy of the creators who came before me. I grew up reading UNCANNY X-MEN. The X-Men are very important to me. Stories like this one—and the previous “Mojo Worldwide” story—allow me to dive into that love for the X-adventures of the past in a big way. I would have wanted to tell this tale no matter what, but the Legacy angle was a happy accident. I think a lot of us—including myself!—consider Jubilee a favorite. Can you tease a little about the role she’ll have to play in issue #18?

Cullen Bunn: I was so happy to be writing the Jubilee from this era. For me, she represents everything fun about the X-Men. This chapter of the X-Men Blue story certainly has some dark moments, but Jubilee reminds us that we’re meant to have a blast reading this story. Also, there’s conversation between Jubilee and Bloodstorm that I really enjoyed writing. It’s fun and maybe a little meta, but Jubilee also sums up what I think should be the ever-present philosophy for X-Men tales. Would you like to mention anything else?

Cullen Bunn: Don’t forget that a story featuring Generation X from this timeline also means Banshee and the White Queen have a role to play. In particular, Emma plays an interesting role. In the present, the X-Men see her as an enemy. But when they encounter her in the past, they see a different side of her. Maybe—just maybe—this will inform how they interact with her when—[and] if—they make it back home.

Traverse the timestream with Cullen Bunn and R.B. Silva in X-MEN: BLUE #18, due out December 27!

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Christina Strain reconvenes the original squad for Marvel Legacy!

Reunited and it feels so good!

Or not.

When Monet finds herself in danger of becoming a vampire, the original GENERATION X squad reemerges to help save one of their oldest friends from the undead. On December 20, writer Christina Strain and artist Amilar Pinna jump into Marvel Legacy as they unite the past and present in GENERATION X #85!

We caught up with Christina to learn more about the upcoming issue. Catch us up with what’s been going on in GENERATION X!

Christina Strain: Oh man, where do we start? Jubilee has been doing her best to wrastle her students in line, despite running on no sleep ‘cause she’s the single parent of a toddler. Quentin Quire is…a mess, so that’s not new. Benjamin Deeds still feels too scared to ask out Nathaniel Carver, who’s still too scared of his powers to even think of dating Ben. Roxy is dealing with some trauma from her past, Trevor is realizing he’s a great babysitter, and Lin’s starting to think that humans (particularly Trevor) might not be all bad.

We’re nine issues in and it’s like they’re actually starting to learn things! What does it feel like to write for the original team roster? How does the book’s dynamic change?

Christina Strain: It’s fun! I mean, I grew up with the O.G. GENERATION X cast and, now that I’m older, I’ve applied a lot of lessons I’ve learned through the years to them and it seems to work. And it’s fun taking a character like Paige (Husk) and everything she’s been through and use her as a foil for someone like Roxy, who’s younger and been through less. I’m loving it! What’s the deal with poor Monet?

Christina Strain: Monet learned a bit of a lesson in humility when her brother (Emplate) basically possessed and merged with her the way those St. Croix siblings do. And unfortunately for Monet, her humanity has lost out to Emplate’s hunger, so now she has become basically a mutant vampire. So, like Emplate, Monet now hunts mutants so she can suck on their bone marrow to keep herself and Emplate close to our dimension. What proved to be the most challenging element of writing this issue for you?

Christina Strain: Page count. Honestly, 20 pages isn’t a lot of pages to work with…I’d kill for a few more! And when I look back at old GENERATION X issues, like issue #1—which had 38 pages, by the way—I sob all over my carpet at the thought of how much more I could do if I just had the page real estate! What emerged as your favorite part to write?

Christina Strain: Any of the scenes with feelings. Fighting can be cool, sure. But I’m a big fan of feeling like my heart’s been punched right in the aorta. How does the concept of Legacy come into the story?

Christina Strain: Good question. I just looked at it from the same perspective I’ve had since the very beginning of GENERATION X with Jubilee: “How does this original character reflect the future of these new characters? What can she teach them about who they’ll become?” What does the Legacy of Marvel mean to you—as a writer and as a person?

Christina Strain: GENERATION X has always been a very special book to a lot of people, and being able to write this iteration of it has been such a big honor for me. I genuinely love the original GEN X as well as all our “lovable losers,” so I just hope we’ve made something at least one or two kids will love as much as [editor] Daniel Ketchum, Amilcar, [colorist] Felipe Ramos Sobreiro, [letterer] Clayton Cowles, [artist] Terry Dodson, and I all loved the original run of GENERATION X.

Find out the fate of Monet St. Croix in GENERATION X #85, by Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna, on December 20!

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Amilcar Pinna helps bring back Gen X alumni as part of Marvel Legacy!

Marvel Legacy continues to reintroduce concepts and characters that have played important parts during the House of Ideas’ storied history. When it comes to GENERATION X that means that Jubilee’s crew of outsider mutants will come face to face with their 90s namesakes.

In other words, writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna plan to reintroduce many OG Gen Xers—like Monet, Husk, Chamber and a few other surprises—as they continue with the story began earlier this month in GENERATION X #8. As the book picks up its classic numbering with December 20’s issue #85, everyone will be dealing with M-Plate, the combined might of siblings Monet and Emplate.

We talked with Pinna about integrating the classic characters into the series, returning to work with Strain, and using the “natural approach” to drawing these characters together. You worked with Christina to launch this series, working on the first three issues. How is it returning after some time away?

Amilcar Pinna: It feels good to be back. These characters have a special place in my heart now! I love drawing those kids! As the book shifts into Marvel Legacy territory, you’ll also be dealing with members of the original Generation X team. How has it been working them into the book?

Amilcar Pinna: It’s been really fun for me to have the opportunity to draw such classic characters! The classic Generation X members have had a variety of looks over the years. What was the process like for nailing down the ones this time around?

Amilcar Pinna: I did try to stay faithful to the classic looks and at the same time give them a more “natural approach” since almost every time [we see them] they wear regular clothes instead of classic spandex uniforms. A major part of the story revolves around the bonding of Monet to Emplate. How does this new relationship between the siblings change how they carry themselves?

Amilcar Pinna: Actually, I’m getting to know Monet/Emplate as I work on GENERATION X—such cool characters! They are new to me. All that I can say is that I love to draw that type of character. Monet gives a darker mood to the series and I like that! How has it been integrating the classic Gen Xers with the new crop?

Amilcar Pinna: Christina makes it seem very natural, integrating them with her writing. The relationships between the new and the classic [characters] always [work] fine and natural for me.

Kick it old school with Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna on GENERATION X #85, headed your way December 20!

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Writer Christina Strain details a homecoming for Husk!

Having made her debut as the younger sister of the mutant Cannonball, she became a fan favorite when her own mutation morphed her into the hero called Husk. Now, after a long hiatus, Paige Guthrie returns.

Written by Christina Strain with art by Amilcar Pinna, Husk rejoins her original companions on November 22 in GENERATION X #9!

You’ve got questions—and we got Christina to spill some answers. How would you describe Husk’s essential components?

Christina Strain: I’d say the most important things to know about Paige are that she’s driven, resilient, and an all-around boss. Kind of like the girl next door who’s a born leader. And what about those crazy mutant abilities of hers?

Christina Strain: Her powers are that she can “husk” off her outer skin for “a new form beneath.” Including undamaged skin, metal, stone—the list goes on. I guess she’s kind of like an iPhone with a million different cases you can take off to reveal a new one underneath? I just made this answer really weird, didn’t I? Just how we like ‘em in the X-Universe! So, who would you say Paige has missed the most among her former teammates?

Christina Strain: Jubilee! Ride or die! Who has she maybe missed the least?

Christina Strain: I dunno about missed the least… It’s hard to say because personally, I think enough time’s passed since the original Gen X that whatever bad feelings she might’ve had in the past are in the past? In my mind, she feels fine with Chamber, because they haven’t been a thing in years. I mean, he seems like the boy you date before you know any better—and now Paige knows better. And then with Monet…she just wants to save Monet from her crazy brother Emplate. So there’s that. In the past, Husk could be sensitive about her simple Kentucky heritage. Does that influence her actions in this story?

Christina Strain: Not really. But my editor, Darren Shan, keeps reminding me that she’s from the south so I try to throw in a few things here and there. For him. You’re welcome, Darren. Now, overall, what have you found to be the greatest joy in writing GENERATION X?

Christina Strain: The characters! I knew I loved them going in, but I’ve really enjoyed exploring them more thoroughly. They’re all just such good kids and I’m just so proud to call them mine!

Husk returns in GENERATION X #9, by Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna, on November 22!

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Christina Strain unites the original team with the current mutant squad!

The original team returns in GENERATION X #85—and they’ve come together to help one of their own!

On December 20, writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna cross mutant generations as Marvel Legacy begins! Jubilee’s students at The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning will meet their predecessors as she, Chamber, and Husk look to assist a former teammate, Monet.

Can they save her? What role with Jubilee’s students play? We met up with Christina Strain to find out. How has writing GENERATION X been? List a few of your favorite moments so far.  

Christina Strain: It’s been stressful—but good. It’s crazy juggling writing a monthly book while also writing for TV and being a new mom…but, hey! It’s almost October, which means I’ve almost survived the year!

But through it all, there have been some really rewarding moments. Roxy’s struggles feel near and dear to my heart—and probably most encapsulate what we want to say with this book. The relationship between Quentin, Benjamin, and Nathaniel also represents something I’ve had mapped out from the beginning, so watching that unfold on the page has been so satisfying. And because Trevor and Lin are so much fun, they made writing issue #5 some of the most fun I’ve ever had doing this job.

Then with Jubilee…look, as an Asian kid, she meant a lot to me as one of the few visible—and awesome—Asian X-Men characters. And now that I’m an adult, with an adopted child, juggling a lot of responsibilities, it’s crazy, because I still identify with her—just on a totally different level. So getting to write her right now in particular has been incredible for me. What’s it like working with Amilcar Pinna on the title? 

Christina Strain: A dream! He’s so sweet and so good and he works so hard. His enthusiasm feels totally infectious and every time he turns in new pages, he gives me life.

I’ve been killing myself with work this year, and every time I feel like I’ve about died, Amilcar turns in pages and I am resurrected. Like, it makes me legit annoyed that people haven’t seen the most recent issues he’s drawn yet. They look gorgeous! Who can we expect to see from the old team as part of this new storyline?

Christina Strain: I hate spoilers! So I’m going to say this: You can search for [artist] Terry Dodson’s Legacy covers and that’ll tell you for sure who’s showing up—but something to keep in mind is that he drew it forever ago, before I finished outlining this arc…and I won’t say any more than that. I can’t imagine the new kids will just sit back while Jubilee and her friends go to work. What will their role be in the story?

Christina Strain: No, they won’t. As excited as I am to get into it with the OG crew, this book still feels primarily about Jubilee, Quentin, Roxy, Benjamin, Nathaniel, Trevor, and Lin—and what goes on with them, so they’ll still be front and center. The arc really focuses more on continuing the story we set out to tell while simultaneously using the OG character’s arcs as a foil. What old and new Generation X pairings have you enjoyed most?

Christina Strain: The interactions between Roxy and the group of Chamber, Husk, and Jubilee have probably been my favorite scenes to write. Because, for me, Roxy’s had the most complicated arc of all the characters and it really touches on several of the OG character’s own arcs. So there’s a lot to mine there. There’s also an interaction between Jubilee and Quentin in issue #85 that I’ve really loved writing and I’ll be curious to see how people react to that.

Read Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna’s GENERATION X #85 on December 20!

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Christina Strain and Amilcar Pinna induct a new class of mutant heroes!

Almost 15 years after the final issue of the original series, GENERATION X returns next year by the team of writer Christina Strain and artist Amilcar Pinna! The Xavier Institute for Higher Learning reopens its door to welcome a new class of familiar teenaged mutants.

Created by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo back in 1994, the original GENERATION X ran for 75 issues and featured a host of mutant students—Jubilee, Chamber, Husk, M, and Skin, among others—with their instructors, Banshee and Emma Frost. This time around, Jubilee finds herself in the mentor role for a group who might not quite measure up to the X-Men standard.

We spoke to the creators about what to expect from this new take on an old classic! The title Generation X conjures a lot of fond memories for fans of the original series. Were you a fan? What drew each of you to this project?

Christina Strain: I was! I lived in Korea until I was 18, so I had limited access to American comics, but I did pick up a few X-related books on base when I could. But I’ve been rereading the original Generation X, and holy crap, it’s still so good!

But really what drew me to the project was my editor, Daniel Ketchum. There are no words for how much I love him and how much I’ve missed working with him. When he first asked me if I was interested in working on a teen X book, I was like, “Yes!” But then I was like, “Wait. Are you sure you want me!?” Because Generation X was a landmark title, and relaunching it is kind of a big thing. But the more we talked, the more I realized that I was more than just excited about it, I had to write it.

Amilcar Pinna: I did remember seeing some imported issues with Chris Bachalo doing the art, but at that time, I didn’t understand English very well, and it was very hard to find those comics where I was living; no comic shops in my city back then, and no internet, too. But I remember that I did really like the art and the fact that those mutants were teenagers. I enjoy that kind of approach in super hero comic books, like that title NYX by Joe Quesada and Joshua Middleton—beautiful stuff! Christina, I know you’ve worked on a lot of Marvel’s younger characters, such as the Runaways, as a colorist in the past. What’s it been like for you working as a writer now for Marvel?

Christina Strain: Crazy—but in a good way. Because I decided I wanted to be a colorist when I was 19, so when I started coloring for Marvel at 22, I thought that was it for me. Like, that was as good as it got. So if you’d told 19-year-old me that I’d also become a writer for Marvel, I don’t know that I would’ve believed you. Because writing is hard! I worked my butt off to become a colorist, and I had to basically do it all over again to become a writer. I started writing back in 2010, while I was still coloring, but doing it just part time wasn’t enough. I had to retire, go back to school and start a career as a TV writer first to even feel like I deserved a chance to write for Marvel. But it’s great to be back. It’s different, but then it’s also familiar? Like, I’ve always been a storyteller for Marvel; it’s just that this time I’m doing it with words rather than color. Amilcar, I know this isn’t your first foray into the world of the X-Men. Are there any characters you’re looking forward to working on this time around?

Amilcar Pinna: Yes, I did some X-MEN: FIRST CLASS FINALS with my dear friend Roger Cruz. I did have lots of fun.

About the characters, let me see; the X-Men universe has lots and lots of cool characters. It would be real nice to work with X-23, Psylocke, [and] Storm. X-Men females rock. What’s the premise of the new GENERATION X comic?

Christina Strain: Traditionally, the Xavier Institute’s been the place for societally rejected young mutants to seek shelter. Once there, they’re taught how to properly harness their powers and sometimes, after graduating, some of them have gone on to become full-fledged X-Men. But let’s be real for a second: Not every young mutant is X-Men material. And it’s downright irresponsible to send those kids into battle. Like Cypher. Remember him? His mutant ability was that he spoke a bunch of languages. Of course he died.

Generation X by Terry Dodson

Generation X by Terry Dodson

So the Xavier Institute’s taking this opportunity to re-evaluate their program and their students, quietly dividing the student body into three classes: the next generation of X-Men, the next generation of ambassadors, and the next generation of…other. Basically, the lovable losers. These are young mutants with benign powers, who could be considered liabilities during missions, or even just make for the absolute worst mutant ambassadors. And they include Jubilee, Quentin Quire, Benjamin Deeds, Bling, Eye Boy, Nature Girl, and a new character we’ll call Hindsight. They just don’t seem to fit in anywhere—including the very school where they were promised they would fit in. What role will Jubilee play in the series?

Christina Strain: She’s the head of the team as well as their mentor. She’s literally and figuratively our crew’s teen mom. Because I knew I was writing about a team of “lovable losers,” and I knew I wanted at least one member of the original Gen X team, Jubilee was the first person I picked for the team. I mean, she’s a walking motivational poster; she’s basically the cat from those “Hang in there!” posters. She’s perfect. Besides Jubilee, can we expect to see other characters from the title’s previous run?

Christina Strain: Yes! You will see Chamber. I love him and his face furnace so hard. There are a few other characters I have a feeling will be making an appearance, but I’m still sorting out some of the details. I have a feeling Husk will make an appearance but that doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a Husk/Chamber reunion. Even though the book is focused on the school, we know that sometimes the students end up on field trips. What sorts of threats or villains can we expect to see?

Christina Strain: It’s going to depend on the story arc. Sometimes we go to the villains, and sometimes the villains come to us. The bigger question though, is how we’re going to handle the villains when the core concept of this book is that this Gen X team is ill equipped to fight. Even the school would rather that they hide under some tables in the library [rather] than get out there [and] probably die [or] get someone else killed in a fight. They’re basically Hufflepuffs, and we all know what happened to the most bad ass of the Hufflepuffs…

So what you’re going to see are a lot of character-defining, character-building fights. Coming from threats that force our Gen Xers to prove that they do have what it takes, not just to the rest of the school, but to themselves. Like, we all know Quentin Quire’s a loose [cannon], so what’s it going to take for him to finally admit to himself that no man’s an island? Or, when Benjamin Deeds [is] put in a leadership spot of a covert team mission, can he handle it? Is he strong enough to maintain his leadership status from stronger personalities like Quentin or Bling? Will anyone start listening to anything Eye Boy has to say? Only time can tell. Christina, what does Amilcar bring to GENERATION X?

Christina Strain: So when Daniel and I were talking about pencilers, the one thing I knew that I wanted was a distinct look. The original GENERATION X was such a refreshingly different book, in both the writing and art, that we wanted to capture that same feeling with this iteration of Generation X. We wanted someone with an interesting vibe and emotive style, and Amilcar fit that description. His art just feels like it has a lot to say; I’m super excited to be working with him!

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