Spicy Dick wrote:Jude needs to defend this book--I want to know what he's getting out of it. Also (to Jude), of all the people you've proselytized how many liked the book? You need to get your crew in here to tell us what was good about this issue. Or is it just Nerdygirl?
The book is fun. It is feels like reading the X-Men of twenty years ago. The X-Men I got into when I was a kid. And unlike other books that try to do that and end up setting the entire comics universe back twenty years (AHEM DC), it does so on its own while not affecting any of those books. So I, as a fan of the comics from that era, and also as a fan of the comics today, can continue to enjoy to progression of modern comics while also enjoying a throwback to the comics I read as a kid.
In addition, Claremont was the greatest X-Men writer of all time, hands down, with only Morrison ever coming remotely close to having a run as defining, and that wasn't long enough to compete. Arguably, Claremont's X-Men run was the best run in comics history, period. And it is what got me into comics.
To have a legendary creator return to a series he left (was forced out of) twenty years ago and pick up where he left off is an awesome concept for fans. Especially when you consider that Claremont's unique style was long, slow burning plots. He told us in our interview that Wolverine's story arc that began in Fall of the Mutants had been leading up to the time when he left the book. Wolverine had been taking more and more damage, pushing himself harder and harder, without ever having a chance to rest and heal. He had plans to do something similar to what Millar did with Enemy of the State. Since he couldn't obviously do that with Forever, since it was done, he killed Logan off instead.
The point is, we get to see these things he was setting up for years finally resolved in the manner they were intended to. Claremont had a plan for all of these things. Like for Scott Summers, for instance. Scott was supposed to have a happy ending after all those years. He was supposed to remain married and living with Madelyn and their son in Alaska. It was editorial that decided to bring Jean Grey back and pull Scott back into X-Factor.
So reading Forever is reading an alternate universe, but in many ways, it's like reading the correct Universe. This is, perhaps, where many of those storylines would have ended up naturally. It is fun from both a fanboy perspective and from an observational, critical perspective.
Finally, I am just a fan of Claremont's style of slow burn plots. He throws a ton of stuff out there, let's it simmer and sees what develops. It's not all gold, but when it works its one of the most satisfying comic reading experiences. Reading the first trade of X-Men Forever won't do it justice. Reading the second won't. I enjoyed the early issues, but it's NOW been getting really good, because Claremont's stories take time to develop.
There are other cool things about the book that I'm sad people won't get to experience in this issue. Things like Sabertooth's interaction with the team. He's a bad guy, and we've seen him interact with the X-Men before, but all of a sudden, here, he's thrown in a story with them where they're both kind of on the same side. He's a killer and an asshole by nature, but his own fucked up sense of honor is causing him to side with these people as his allies. He is like Wolverine without the humanity, unrestrained, and we're seeing a perverted version of the relationship we saw with Logan and the X-Men, Logan and Kitty, Logan and Fury, etc. It's just fucking cool. Gives me fanboy chills.
If you're too jaded to even give a chance to enjoying this sort of thing, it's really your loss, but if you are actually open to giving it a shot, I would recommend you seriously read the entire series, the first volume of which will be concluding with issue 24, and then kicking off again with Giant Size X-Men Forever #1.