The common response to that would be of skeptical laughter (no one at Marvel stays dead – not even stalwart stiff Bucky), but according to an interview previously conducted on the site, Chris Claremont, exquisite “X-Men” extraordinaire, is playing for keeps in his new ongoing series, “X-Men Forever,” which takes place immediately after his departure from the X-Books back in ’91.
Pretty sweet deal. In the words of Bon Jovi, “Who says you can’t go home?”
But first, a re-cap.
The two respective X-Teams have just been formed and Magneto was killed at the hands of a former acolyte, which brings us to the present.
Fabian Cortez is back to his boisterous baddie status, unceremoniously using the X-Men’s powers against them while predictably flaunting the flair of his gorgeous, mahogany locks.
These are comics, after all. There’s no such thing as a bad hair day, unless you’re bald – or Logan.
In a classic moment of knavery, he throws a semi-clad Rogue into Storm and suddenly the Weather Witch starts acting weird.
Wolvie and Jean are back to thoroughly exploring their heretofore literally abandoned amour, but now that the former is finally kaput (supposedly), the raging redhead temporarily unleashes a force traditionally known for quite the same effect.
Overall, although the first “Forever” trade suffers from occasional campiness (at one point, Cortez flees the scene, triumphantly proclaiming “I think I’ve done enough damage!”), it is an astonishingly fun read.
This is classic Claremont, complete with drawn out internal soliloquies announcing moves and motivation, outdated dialogue (at times triggering a thorough search words like “chum”) and a genuinely addictive, adrenaline-filled romp through the rancorous realm of our favorite muties.
Tom Grummett’s pencils are absolutely exquisite, especially on the women. The respective X-Girls balance the microscopic line between softness and toughness with uncanny grace – effectively portrayed as feminine, though heroic and looking realistically capable. This is a notoriously difficult feat in the graphic literature industry, as the scales are generally imbalanced, either leaning toward masculinity – as they do with Alex Ross – or a lack of realism – as with a list whose length rivals the Summers family tree.
All in all, the trade is worth a read, if only to learn about Wolverine’s mysterious killer – and it is certainly a surprise. You won’t be disappointed – in fact, you’ll likely find yourself parroting the Beast with your own rendition of “oh my stars and garters.”