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Comics and Culture

[90s Reflection] Generation-X #1 Mirrors the Culture of its Time

Generation-X, X-Men, Marvel, 90s, Comics
Generation-X #1 Cover Art

1994 was an interesting year. The chinese zodiac named it the year of the dog. The year that saw audiences flock to the theater to see Natural Born Killers just as much as the Lion King. It was the year Bad Religion taught us a major record deal could turn the tide for a Punk band’s career. While Nirvana made an MTV unplugged performance synonymous with Rock N Roll godhood. While your typical teenager was contemplating which pair of jeans went with their trashed Doc Martens. Marvel Comics was busy gearing up for a release that would shape the X-Men universe for a whole new generation.

Just like its namesake, Generation-X took on the task of putting together a team of familiar characters who had previously filled the B-list category. While the 90s X-Men cartoon was conquering the animated world – the Jubilee featured Generation-X series was about to take a stranglehold on the comic industry.

[90s Reflection] Generation-X #1 Mirrors the Culture of its Time 1

Generation-X #1 introduced the reader to a youthful X-team that celebrated and echoed the culture of the 90s. From the tone of angst felt by each team member towards one another as they dealt with the complexities of their mutant powers. To their anti-authoritarian attitudes directed at their teachers – Banshee and Emma Frost.

Diversity was a key ingredient in this X-Men series that spanned 6 years before its ultimate cancellation in 2001. Characters ranged from Samoan (Mondo) and African-American (Synch) to Asian-American (Jubilee) and Eastern European (Penance). The volatility and inter-personal conflicts of each character mirrors the culture (and trials) of the time. Just like Jubilee’s distaste for Husk’s skin shredding – there are still issues seeping out of the proverbial furniture. Generation-X #1 establishes this in fine form while glossing over any of its subject matter. For once, a teen who was a minority, felt “proper” representation in an X-book.

[90s Reflection] Generation-X #1 Mirrors the Culture of its Time 2

Acceptance and growth are the key highlights of Generation-X #1. Whether the reader’s take is this is a barely functional superhero team that needs to accept each other in order to learn to grow. Or if they simply need to grow up. Although the similarities are there – don’t simply discount Generation-X as a Teen Titans copycat. Jubilee & Co establish every bit of relevance as the series progresses.

How did we rate Generation-X #1? 4.5 Sodas
Leave a comment below on what you thought about our first
90s Reflection Series.

Generation-X, X-Men, Marvel, 90s, Comics