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Generation X #63

Writer(s): Warren Ellis & Brian Wood

Penciller: Steve Pugh

Inker: Sandu Florea

Colours: Kevin Tinsley

Cover: ?

Rating: ***

So this is it, the Counter X Shockwave running through Generation X, X-Force and X-Man. Helmed by Warren Ellis, the purpose is to give these three books new direction and focus. We'll just have to see if it works.

Six months have passed since issue #62 and the team has changed drastically. The human students are gone, as are Artie, Leech, Penance and Synch. Parts of the school are in ruins, the GenXer's have brand new uniforms and different attitudes.

Not much actually happens in this issue, it merely sets the scene for the rest of the 'House of Correction' story arc as well as hinting at some of the causes of the radical change to the team. Banshee takes M & Skin training in the ruins of part of the school, but M is still upset about what happened to Synch and it's making her sloppy. The awkwardness that used to exist between Chamber and Husk is no longer evident and they get on well. Emma acts as though she's suffering from a hangover, calling Paige 'darling'. It also appears that her financial worries are over and Adrienne may be dead. (Emma tells someone, over the phone, that Adrienne doesn't need the money now. Take whatever meaning you want from that.) Elsewhere a boy named Jonathan Somers is taken from his holding cell in a police station by two strange men and forced into a van.

Comments: I'm not sure about the new costumes, M's skirt in particular, but I'll probably get used to them eventually. I think the art could be quite good but it's let down by dull colouring and splodgy inks. Pugh does draw the best Jubilee I've ever seen, she actually looks Asian; a fact that seems to have been forgotten by many artists. There isn't much action in this issue and Paige only discovers the House of Correction, over the internet, towards the end. (The House of Correction is where 'rebellious' teens are sent, it is governed by Warden Coffin. Those who are sent to the HoC never return home.) Thank God the Chamber/Husk semi-romance is over, I was afraid that it was going to drag on forever. They're much better as friends anyway. This issue didn't blow me away, but I am curious about the disappearance of almost half the GenXer's and how the team's new attitude will affect their future battles.