|DC/Marvel: Age of Infinite Heroes|
Angelo Espinosa has been enrolled into the Xavier Institute as a live-in student. That comes with all the perks and drawbacks of living in a school as one can imagine. Though the public at large believes him to be dead, interred at a graveyard in Los Angeles.
Skin is an established member of the junior hero team Generation X. As such, he's a team player for the cause of mutant equality!
Angelo Espinosa, citizen of Los Angeles. Sure, the Barrio was a low-end neighborhood, and fraught with crime and danger, but it was home. Angelo loved his mama, and did what she told him. He tried to be a good boy in a bad neighborhood. "Dios y la familia," his mother told him. "God and family. Never forget it." His mother instilled in him strong Catholic values, but Los Angeles and the gang activity, as well as public school, gave Angelo different venues of education and wisdom, becoming his own kind of boy.
Friends of his, and his girlfriend Tores, were involved in one of the myriad gangs of the area. His mother didn't approve of Tores or any gang-banger types, and Angelo didn't have the heart to stand up to his mother for the sake of his girlfriend. He tried to get Tores to associate less with the gang. But as it so often happens, people can join gangs, but leaving them on terms that don't change one's life forever... is impossible.
Life was typical for a kid who was in a gang by association, with an overbearing single mother and welfare. That is, nervously trying to work in school while maintaining a relationship and keeping his mother happy. It was very, very hard. But he made passing grades, even an A here or a B there, and he made his mama proud and his girlfriend happy.
This wouldn't be a good 90s-type of story if it didn't have a healthy dollop of tragedy to go along with it, though. So, one night while cruising with Tores, her cousin Lupo and buddy Gordo, all members of the gang, they crossed into rival territory. Unbeknownst to Angelo, he thought they were just passing through. But after spotting rival colors, Gordo and Lupo exited the vehicle, pulled their pieces and opened fire.
Angelo freaked out, and tried to grab Lupo's gun. But then, everything started to get rubbery, and his latent X-gene awoke, his powers manifesting. He kept reaching and reaching, and the resulting migraine rendered him unconscious in moments. He wasn't sure when he awoke later, but Gordo and two rival gang members were dead, Tores and Lupo were gone, Angelo was holding Lupo's Glock, some kid was boosting Angelo's wallet... and the car was on fire.
Angelo ran. The kid didn't. The car went up when the fire got to the gas tank. Angelo hid. Since the burnt carcass what was the thief had Angelo's wallet, they assumed the body was his own. Angelo was too scared to try to clear anything up, as he couldn't bring himself to testify against her in a possible murder case. He took to the streets, presumed dead, but worse, a freak.
He took to shoplifting and pickpocketing, mostly wide and baggy clothes to hide his condition. School was out of the question, as was potential for a job. He had no ID, no home, and nowhere to go. But it didn't take long for somebody to notice. His X-gene went off like a beacon for those who would look for it. With their myriad ways of finding people, Angelo was approached by Charles Xavier and associates, including Hank McCoy, and invited to Xavier's Institute.
At first, Angelo refused, choosing instead to go back to a life of isolation. But Hank proved more convincing. "Find a place where music and laughter and singing doesn't belong, where sunshine and light and hope stands no chance. Settle down in a fox hole, pull a blanket over your head and ignore the rest of the world around you." Those words made Angelo realize what he was doing, and he gloomily enrolled, taking the moniker Skin.
The first semester was hectic - Xavier's teaching was a lot more advanced than public school. Top it off with the training involving mutant powers and no serious summer vacation as the place was his new home, Angelo found himself busy most of the time, and taking Excedrin a lot too. Trying to focus his mind to control his powers was taxing to the point of giving him frequent, debilitating migraines. So much so that he faltered in his studies. However, the staff was more than understanding, and though they pushed him to succeed, they all knew in their own way, what he was going through.
The training, of course, was the hardest. Trying to move with even half the agility of some of the other students was damn near impossible, with his excess skin. Associating with Xavier and a telekinetic or two, however, taught Angelo to relax and gain awareness of his body, particularly his skin, which he learned to give fine manipulation. Sure, its weird seeing someone's skin stretch out into bizarre shapes and the like, but simple things first, and Angelo started to get the hang of it.
Eventually he had enough control that he could almost subconsciously stretch his skin and maintain his natural shape, but not skin tone. He learned he could manipulate the melanin in his skin to change his pigment, but that was seriously painful to his head. He even learned to be a skilled combatant - a Latino Ninja, he'd say - with the versatility of his skin and a lot of the training given at the school.
Coupled with that combat prowess, a nack for teamwork and the cameraderie of his fellows, Angelo was invited to become a member of Generation X. He accepted, of course, for two primary reasons. The first was to be there for his buddies when they needed him. "Angelo Espinosa isn't afraid of nothing," he'd say. The second was to hone his powers all the further - and its for a good cause, at that.
He also had a penchant for food and mechanics, and learned a bit about the culinary arts, focusing, of course, on his Latin styles of food, and muscle cars. Right now he's still in school, a senior, but he still has a long way to go before he decides to try anything like become a professional hero. Student hero? Sure, he's in Generation X. But he wants to master his powers first.
- Cynical - You fake your death, you lose your home, your mom hated your girlfriend, and your (now ex) girlfriend may well be involved in a murder case. Also, you're a mutant, and not one of the cool ones who can brush their teeth without hands or cook a steak with their stare. So life is hard, life is cruel.
- Joker - Black humor. Okay, dark humor, to be politically correct. To put things in perspective, Angelo has his own version of 'The Aristocrats.' We'll say no more.
- Flirt - Just because he's a mutant and has some low self esteem doesn't mean he still can't get fun out of life. And that means the ladies! He's suave, in a street sort of way, and he's not your typical muscle-bound fella you see so often these days. He's definite not a juiced-up Jersey Shore type, either. He's got his own charisma, and he enjoys trying to make the ladies swoon, even if its mostly playful.
- Brave - Angelo puts up a courageous front, especially when it comes to a standoff. He's used to being tough, living in a gang neighborhood taught him when to back down and when to stand up. He's not dumb enough to try to sneer at someone obviously wanting to kill him, though. He's brave, not stupid.
- Nervous - Yep, a mutant in today's society. What's worse, he's one of those physically mutated ones. Sure, he makes up for his gray skin tone as a 'pigment condition, like Michael Jackson!' but having a bunch of extra skin, and when he's relaxed, tends to look disturbing. A human Shar-pei is something to be worried about.
- 2011-04-16 - Radiation Girl & Killer Tomatoes - The Hazmat-Girl is in trouble, and the X-Men + Generation backup arrive to save the day. Of course, Wolverine has to go and get fifty restraining orders filed against him... (DG: 2011-04-16 - Friends of Humanity Protest Almost Turns Riot)
- 2012-03-05 - Acts of Vengeance: Angelo Home Alone - Angelo is left home alone when the Mansion is invaded by flying Hydra drones? What's he going to do when he's HOME ALONE?