Penance, Generation X #5
Art by Chris Bachalo
|First appearance||Generation X #1 (November, 1994)|
|Created by||Scott Lobdell|
|Team affiliations||The Loners|
|Notable aliases||Penance, Penny, Yvette|
|Abilities||Razor-sharp and diamond-hard skin, nails, and hair|
Has super-long claws for hands and feet
animalistic agility and dexterity
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Hollow (formerly called Penance) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. It is an apparently mindless body in which three members of the St Croix family, all members of the superhero team Generation X, had been trapped for some time. The body possesses red diamond-like skin and rarely speaks.
Penance first appeared in Generation X #1 (November, 1994), and was created by Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo.
Hollow appeared as a supporting character in Avengers Academy beginning with issue #21 (Jan 2012), making occasional appearances throughout the series.
Fictional character biography
Penance/Generation-X Early years
Monet St. Croix is the sister of Marius, Claudette, and Nicole St. Croix. When her brother Marius, who would later become the mutant Emplate, first manifests his powers, the conceited Monet often verbally abused him. An enraged Emplate transforms her body into a hardened, spiked, red state and left her mute. He then tells her to "consider this your penance". Claudette, realizing how dangerous their brother is becoming, banishes him to his own pocket dimension, but he convinces Monet to accompany him, as only he can restore her true form. Nicole and Claudette, knowing Monet was their parents' favorite, decide to merge into one body with the appearance of Monet (see Monet-twins).
Shortly after the formation of the mutant teen team Generation X, the red-skinned Monet is dropped onto the front lawn of the Massachusetts Academy by Gateway, who speaks the single word: "Penance," which is taken by witnesses to be her name. She is brought inside by headmaster Banshee, who discovers her powers as he cuts his hands by trying to pick her up As Penance cannot speak, understand English (apparently), and with an immunity to telepathy, Banshee places her in the infirmary as Banshee and Emma Frost attempt to discover her identity. Teen member M, her relation to Penance unknown, tells the adults that Penance was perhaps a prisoner of Emplate, whom the group had encountered previously and known only as a parasitic mutant who fed upon other mutants.
As the team leaves, Penance awakens with one thought on her mind: survival. Perceiving the infirmary as a cell, she escapes, tearing the room apart in the process. Hearing the alarms of a breach, the team rushes to the infirmary and is amazed at the damage she caused. The team splits up to find her before she can cause further damage to the Academy. Team member Chamber, feeling a kindred spirit due to his own mutilated body, leaves the group to search for her alone. Feeling that another deformed soul would seek him out, he waited for her arrival. After Penance fights her way past the rest of the team (Husk, Synch, Jubilee, and M), she approaches Chamber, who talks telepathically to her in an attempt to convince her that he knows how she feels and eventually calms the girl down into staying with the team.
During her stay at the Academy, she would rarely interact with her peers, due to her animalistic nature from years of torture at Emplate's hands, and fear of being captured again. Fortunately, perhaps due to Jubilee's time with the feral mutant Wolverine, she becomes a friend to Penance, giving her the nickname "Penny". Gradually beginning to trust her friends more, Penance begins to go on missions with and assist her teammates. However, while swimming with Jubilee one day, Penance suddenly has what resembles a seizure, falling into a mysterious coma that makes Jubilee and the others realize how little they truly know about her. Penance later recovers, off-panel, without explanation shortly after an attack by Omega Red.
Emplate later returns to reclaim Penance, and while she is captured with the rest of Generation X, her allegiance is momentarily unclear. Curiously enough, it is during these events that Emplate reveals he is Monet's older brother, also implying that he now realizes the twins are posing as Monet. He refers to Penance for the first time as "Yvette", although this name would eventually be retconned. Penance eventually sides with Generation X and attacks Emplate, leading to his retreat.
The second Penance
During the events of Operation: Zero Tolerance, Generation X is attacked by Prime Sentinels in Skin's hometown of east Los Angeles. During the battle, Monet urges Synch to synch with her invulnerability to ensure his survival. In the process, he realizes that she is actually two girls, shortly before they are buried under debris. Synch rescues her, only to discover that his teammate has now split back into the unconscious forms of Nicole and Claudette.
The mystery of the twins and Monet would remain unsolved until Emplate again returned, this time working with Chimera and seeking to claim the twins. The twins recover during the battle, joining to become Monet again, and then joining with Emplate against his will to become M-Plate, an entirely new being with plans of its own: namely, to journey to the Citadel of the Universal Amalgamator and force Synch to synch with the Guardian there, thereby combining all life into a single consciousness. Generation X prevents this, thanks largely to unlikely ally Dirtnap, who not only swallows M-Plate whole, but soon after explodes, restoring Emplate and the twins to their separate bodies. However, during their time as one entity, their secrets were exposed to each other, and the twins now know what truly happened to Monet. Synch is later seriously injured by two bullies, and while recovering in the hospital, he accidentally synchs with the twins, learning the truth about the twins and Monet in the process. He urges Nicole to reveal the truth to the team, which she does. But in an effort to "make things right", the twins merge once more into the form of Monet and swap places with Penance, freeing the real Monet at last, with the merged twins taking over as Penance's body.
Monet continues to operate under the twins' original codename of M, while the twins retain the identity of Penance. Both remain a part of the Generation X team, while still trying to somehow cure the still mute Penance. Notably, Penance becomes far more expressive during this period, and begins wearing everyday clothing over the black restraints she had worn since her creation. Later, an explosion frees the twins from the Penance body, but the body would continue to function as though a mind is still inside it.
When the twins leave for their home, they take the now-empty Penance body with them, along with the young mutants Artie Maddicks and Leech.
When Ricochet breaks into a building holding women being used to harvest Mutant Growth Hormone, he meets an assassin named Delilah. During the fight, one of Ricochets discs break open a chamber and Penance emerges. At first confused as to where she is, Penance tries to convince Ricochet that she isn't a threat, though he is forced to avoid her claws. Lightspeed (following Ricochet out of concern) lands between the two and uses her Kymellian powers to mesmerize Penance, but when she places her hand on Penance's shoulder, she stabs Lightspeed through her shoulders. Later, Penance encounters the rest of the group at the hospital where Julie is recovering. It is then she senses a kindred spirit in Phil Urich. She is followed by the ones intent on imprisoning her, including a mysterious woman named Fuyumi Fujikawa who calls her "Hollow". Mickey Musashi's makes a deal with the woman that allows Hollow to remain with the group, and which allows her to stay at Phil's residence.
While Phil is in the kitchen washing dishes. She is woken up by the sound of him smashing plates when he hallucinates an image of himself as the Green Goblin, kissing her, and tries to comfort him. After an attack by Nekra, Penance witness Phil become irrational when he sees Chris and Mickey share a celebratory kiss after attack. Later, she follows Phil to Mickey's apartment. After Phil steals the Darkhawk amulet, Hollow joins the other Loners in the battle between Phil, who is wearing the Darkhawk armor and Chris, who managed to summon his second Darkhawk armor. After the fight, she joins the defeated Phil who leaves the group.
It is still unknown who is inside the armor.
Monet St. Croix is mentioned when her brother Emplate attacks Utopia, under her former codename.
Penance/Hollow (along with most of the members from the Loners) was seen among the new students attending the Avengers Academy.
Dawn of X
Claudette and Nicole St. Croix have re-appeared as members of the new mutant nation of Krakoa, they were shown at the Akademos Habitat both turned into Penance, they were being reprehended by their sister Monet.
The original creative team behind Generation X, Scott Lobdell and Chris Bachalo, intended Penance to be a girl called Yvette from Yugoslavia. This was never directly revealed in the comic and links to Monet St. Croix were made by the subsequent creative team.
Powers and abilities
The powers of the different hosts/prisoners of the Penance form vary, but the hollow Penance form's powers are red diamond-hard skin and extended super-long razor-sharp claws on their fingers, toes, and hair follicles. Because of the density of the skin, it is quite durable, as well as resistant to psychic intrusion. Hollow also possesses animalistic agility (as she usually moves around by crouching and padding and leaping on all fours) and dexterity (as she has been shown on occasion to use her feet to grab and grip objects and people, as if they were just like her hands).
In other media
- In X2: X-Men United, Penance's name appears on a file while Mystique is going through the files on William Stryker's computer.
- DeFalco, Tom; Sanderson, Peter; Brevoort, Tom; Teitelbaum, Michael; Wallace, Daniel; Darling, Andrew; Forbeck, Matt; Cowsill, Alan; Bray, Adam (2019). The Marvel Encyclopedia. DK Publishing. p. 268. ISBN 978-1-4654-7890-0. Search this book on
- Generation X #40
- Generation X #1
- Generation X #2
- Generation X #3
- Generation X #8-9
- Generation X Annual '95
- Generation X #11-12
- Generation X #12-14
- Generation X #29-31
- Generation X #34
- Generation X #38-40
- Generation X #41-46
- Generation X #58
- The Loners #2
- The Loners #3
- The Loners #4
- The Loners #5
- The Loners #6
- X-Men Legacy: Emplate tpb
- Avengers Academy #21
- New Mutants (Vol. 4) #1
- Generation X, Ashcan edition (1994)
- Uncannyxmen.net character bio on Penance I/M II
- Uncannyxmen.net character bio on Penance II/M twins
- Uncannyxmen.net character bio on Penance III
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