What I Remember:
My uncle gave me all four of the issues of this crossover, of course after he read them. “The Phalanx Covenant” is the crossover that ran through the X-titles in 1994 and deals with a techno-organic virus and eventually leads to a new Banshee-led X-team, the aptly named for the 90s, Generation X.
Uncanny X-Men #316 “The Phalanx Covenant, Generation Next Part 1: Encounter!”
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciller: Joe Madureira
Inker: Terry Austin & Dan Green
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
X-Men #36 “The Phalanx Covenant, Generation Next Part 2: Drop The Leash”
Writer: Fabian Nicieza
Penciler: Andy Kubert
Inker: Matt Ryan
Letterer: Bill Oakley
Color Art: Digital Chameleon
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-In-Chief: Tom DeFalco
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Publication Date: September 1994
Cover Price: $2.95
Re-Collection Price: Original
A car zips through the streets of Monaco and inside Colonel Gayle Cord-Becker, former MI-6, is inside with a young girl named Monet St. Croix. Monet has been catatonic since an incident that left her without a family. As Cord-Becker mentions enrolling Monet in a school for gifted youngsters in Westchester, the car is attacked by the Phalanx, a techno-organic collective creature that absorbs its victims and they become part of the system. The creature absorbs the driver, kills the former spy and takes Monet and she is scheduled for termination.
Banshee returns to Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters for the first time in a long time and comes face-to-face with the White Queen, who is subjected to tests by Iceman and Storm after she took over Iceman’s mind.
Sean thinks that Iceman and Storm are not the people to run tests on Frost since they have both had run-ins with the telepath recently. He voices his concern to Storm and she tells him that the professor okayed it and hurries him out to return to their work.
Sean begins to notice that things are "icey" for him at the mansion, something seems off at first he writes it off as him returning after a long absence and being an outsider. But his interactions seem to get weirder and weirder.
First he answers a call from Cyclops and Jean Grey who are on their honeymoon. Archangel bursts in telling Sean to not give out information on the professor to “unauthorized personnel”
Then he can’t get into the Danger Room because Jubilee, a minor, is running a training program by herself, which Sean thinks is a violation of protocol.
He also sees Psylocke walk out of the Professor’s Ready Room when the professor is away, he also thinks it odd that he managed to not be noticed by a telepath. He investigates and finds Bishop and Gambit working on adjustments for Cerebro which freaks him out and as him run a check to see which X-Men are in the facility and gets a Startling answer: Jubilee, Emma Frost and Sabretooth are the only occupants.
Moments later, he attempts to call out for help but finds the Communications Room completely dissembled by Beast. Banshee decides to work with what he’s got.
He heads to the security level and confronts “Rogue,” showing her to be a Phalanx and frees Sabretooth who finishes her off. Banshee tells Sabretooth to free Jubilee and Emma Frost
Banshee attacks “Gambit” and “Bishop,” who are downloading Xavier’s files from Cerebro. He learns that the "X-Men" were trying to locate young, untrained mutants and targeted them for extermination. Banshee decides the rag-tag team needs to protect the next generation of mutants from the Phalanx.
End Part 1
Monet is inside the Phalanx with the other mutants marked for extermination. Mutants are proving to be hard to assimilate into the collective and Monet St. Croix is no exception. Steven Lang, creator of the X-Sentinals, now part of the Phalanx says that this is why the next generation of mutants must be stopped essentially because they are too powerful to be controlled.
In St. Louis, Thomas Everett is facing down an entire police precinct with their guns drawn. The cops are on alert because Thomas yelled and an entire block’s windows were blown out. They doubt Thomas’ story that he was being chased by creatures that were made of liquid metal until it turns out that half the cops were Phalanx!
The “X-Men” consisting of Banshee and Sabretooth arrive and save Thomas from the Phalanx’s clutches. Banshee unleashes the scream of screams to take the monsters out. White Queen and Jublilee are waiting this one out and verbally spar and wait it out from a distance, until they are attacked!
In Kentucky, Paige Guthrie and her family are attacked in their farmhouse and Paige is taken away by the Phalanx.
Back in St. Louis, Banshee, Thomas Everett and Sabretooth attempt to save White Queen and Jubilee. Banshee realizes that if he changes the frequency of his scream that the Phalanx cannot compensate, but Banshee and Sabretooth are quickly overwhelmed as the Phalanx just cover’s Banshee’s mouth.
White Queen, in an act of desperation, links the minds of Jubilee and Thomas Everett to her’s realizing that Everett’s power is to amplify others powers and they create a blast of energy that takes out the entire Phalanx!
As the Phalanx reconfigures, Banshee sees Lang, who reveals himself as a mastermind behind the Phalanx. He shows them Jean Grey’s sister Sara, who has been assimilated, as well as Paige Guthrie before disappearing. Emma gets a glimpse into Paige and learns of her location within the Phalanx, but they have bigger problems…
End Part 2
Continued After Ad:
So far, this series has been fairly entertaining. It is nowhere nearly as compelling as the the one chapter of “Inferno” from last week. There is is just something about Cyclops love life mixed in with magick.
Banshee just isn’t as compelling of a main character as Cyclops. It is interesting to see such a hodge-podge of remaining mutants to save the day in the X-Men’s absence.
We’re used to seeing Emma Frost involved with the X-Men these days but in 1994 she was primarily a villain and had just lost the Hellfire Club. Jubilee was the newest of the X-Men and very much a trainee, and Sabretooth is Sabretooth, the guy is a lunatic.
In the eyes of Stephen Lang, the Phalanx is his last ditch effort for humans to defend themselves from mutantkind. All while selling it’s soul and threatening mankind itself. He sees humanity as so threatened by mutants he seeks to link up each of them to overpower them once and for all. The only sacrifice would be our individuality, making man slave to the new techno-overlord. The totalitarian overtones are pretty apparent and you could see the idea of giving up freedom for protection is common theme today, maybe more than in 1994.
The art on these books are okay. Both books are very 90s in style, which should be expected. I enjoyed the art on part one more because In part two Kubert was trying too hard to be Liefeld which was all the rage at the time, but makes it seem dated.