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Generation X
by yo go re

Fun fact: this character was originally going to be called "Sheathe," but it was decided that had too much of a sexual connotation.

To survive a devastating attack upon them, a group of Morlocks - exiled mutants living beneath the streets of Manhattan - were teleported to another dimension. Enraged at being driven from their home, a twisted young woman called Marrow devised a means to return to Earth and exact revenge upon those she held responisble: humans! Dead set on destruction, Marrow will use her mutant ability to rend bone weapons from her own body against anyone who gets in her way!

Marrow was created by Scott Lobdell and Joe Madureira, and first appeared in 1995's X-Men Prime. Where she wasn't drawn by Joe Madureira. She next appeared in Generation x #5 and 6, where she still wasn't drawn by Joe Madureira. In fact, it took until her fourth appearance, in Uncanny X-Men #325 (released August 10, 1995), before her creator ever drew her. Considering that a comic character's creation is most often attributed to the writer and artist behind their first published appearance, it's interesting that Joe Mad gets named at all (and that's before we even get into the question of Cable #15).

This figure, part of Generation X Series 2, represents (appropriately enough) her appearance in Generation X #6, which means she's based on the art of Chris Bachalo - specifically, on the full-body shot of her on page 2. Her costume is basically a blue swimsuit with some asymmetrical armor on her right shoulder and the left side of her chest. She's wearing boots with fringe at the top, and there's a golden pad on her back. Her skin is seriously wrinkly, possibly because it's constantly tearing and healing? Girl pops her bones out - she's got to have a healing factor second only to Wolverine! She has two flat bones sticking out of each upper arm like bracket fungi - another feature taken right from Bachalo's art.

The face could almost pass for a Joe Mad design, but the head is definitely Bachalo. Three short bones poke out of her balding scalp - she'd only grow hair when she hadn't pulled any out in a while - but she still has a tuft of purple hair hanging between her eyes and a curtain of it falling down between her shoulders. She even has sculpted strands running around the back of her head that, in the comic, seemed to be attached to her earrings.

Nobody can ever seem to agree on what color(s) Marrow is supposed to be. Her skintone ranges from "caucasian" to "purple," and half the time her bare arms and legs were colored yellow, like they were cloth. This toy does its part to keep tradition alive, by leaving unpainted a section of her shoulder that's clearly sculpted like skin, meaning it's blue instead of the puce it should be. Her hair is dark magenta, and the same color is applied to the circles around her eyes. There's a slight discrepency between the gold on her shoulder and the gold on her torso.

Clearly the bones Marrow is able to grow and extract are unrelated to normal human anatomy - the ones sticking out of her scalp should have made that clear from the get-go. She comes with accessories to portray her mutant power: five bone spikes, all of which can be stored on her body in one way or another; two cross over each other in her backpack, two fit into the holes on the sides of her legs, and one... well, there's a hole on top of her head where a bone can fit, but since it's only about ¼" deep, none of them look right in it. Both her hands are molded to hold the bones, which have an epiphysis at one end and a sharp point at the other. All five bones are unique, and are molded in color - no paint.

The figure only moves at the big five, which is low for a 1996 ToyBiz toy - you'd expect maybe knees, or swivel/hinge joints at the shoulders, but nope, nothing but swivels. And her neck barely moves, thanks to the length of her hair. She stands fine on her own, but like all the Generation X toys, she has a logo base to help keep her upright.

Marrow was the only member of "Gene Nation" ever released, but only because Generation X Series 3 was cancelled - in addition to (Cannonball's sister) Husk, the lineup would have included Marrow's compatriots Hemingway, Ever, and Sack. But it never happened, and so neither did they.

The idea behind Marrow was to create a character so monstrously evil that Storm would have no choice but to kill her (the plotpoint "Storm kills somebody" having been decided on at the editorial level). So Lobdell did his duty, and had Storm off the poor girl. Five months later, a different editor suggested Warren Ellis should use Gene Nation in the Storm limited series, with the explanation that Marrow didn't die because she had a second heart. Finally, it was decided that Marrow should join the X-Men, so it fell to Lobdell to find a way to take character he'd specifically written as irredeemable, and find a way to redeem her. Yeesh! She's one of the more interesting new mutants to come out of the '90s (suck it, Maggott, nobody loves you), and even if she was one of the one to lose her powers after M-Day, it's a shame that she's never had another figure after this one.

-- 10/27/14

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