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Review Group: X-Men Forever #18

Jude Terror had the pick for new comics shipping February 24th and he selected X-Men Forever #18 by Chris Claremont and Tom Grummett.
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The Review Group is a collection of posters who get together and review a new comic each week that we each take turns selecting. Our threads can be found in The Outhouse’s News Stand forum and is open for anyone and everyone to participate in.

Jude Terror loves X-Men Forever.  He loves it so much he wants everyone else to love it.  Sadly for Jude, it didn't exactly work out that way this week but XMF did have it's supporters.
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Review by thefourthman

I am Jude.
Jude I am.
That dude, Jude.
That Jude, Dude.
I don’t like that Cyclops dude.

Do you like him when he’s not in the mood?
I do not like him, dude.
I don’t like mutants, Jude.

Would you like him with a son or in fun?
I would not like him with a son.
I would not like him in some fun.
I don’t like that dude.
Don’t you see Jude, that Cyclops Dude
for him, I’m never in the mood.

Would you like his son as a girl?
Would you like him with a curl?
I do not like Tom’s girl.
I do not like Tom’s curl.
I would not like him with a son.
I would not like him to have fun.
I do not like him Jude.
I can’t stand that Cyclops dude.
I do not mean to be rude.

How about with Nick Fury?
What if Wolverine they bury?
Not with Fury.
Don’t Logan Bury.
Not with a girl.
Not with a curl.
Not with a son.
Not with some fun.
I don’t like that dude.
For him I’ll never be in the mood.
Don’t you understand I don’t like a mutant dude?

Would you? could you? On a Bike?
Read them. Read them. I’ll get you a dyke.

I would not. Could not on a bike.

You may like them.
Wear you clam diggers.
You may like them with the star jammers.

I would not, could not with the star jammers.
Not with a bike. God dammers.

I do not like him with fury.
I don’t want to bury.
I don’t like him with a girl.
I don’t like him with a curl.
I do not like them with a son.
I do not like them having fun.
I DON’T LIKE THAT DUDE
Why can’t you understand that Jude?

A brother! A brother!
A brother! Abrother!
Could you, would you, with a brother.

Not with a brother! Not with Bike.
Not with Havok, not with a Dyke.
I would not, could not with a diner
I would not could not with a girl so finer
I will not read them in space
I will not read them in your face
I don;t like his damned sun
Fuck him, I want to have fun.
I DON’T LIKE THAT DUDE
GET AWAY FROM ME JUDE

Say! What about a Dad?
Here a dad?
Could you, would you with a dad?

What could be worse?
He was in the air force.
I would not could not with a dad.

I could go on
but really why drag on
Dude, stop telling me to read this book
Stop to my precious time being a crook

What about a legacy?
What about an origin?
What about an x-force?
What if they were detectives?

I don’t like the X-men Dude
Just get over it, Jude!

(Honestly this wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but that's not really saying a whole lot.)

Story 6
Art 3
Overall 5 (screw it, this was better than Supergirl 50)

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Review by amlah6

My eyes have just been raped and I think Claremont and Grummett did it on purpose.

The biggest problem I have with X-Men Forever is that I don't know Chris Claremont's work well enough to know whether or not he's being ironic. The plot has no originality outside of a few continuity changes which, in this issue at least, seem arbitrary. The characters are flatter than the paper the comic is printed on (but it's the Summers family so it's actually pretty in character) and the dialog is so hammy that I'm having trouble differentiating between what lines are bad and what lines are so bad they're funny.

While I can't decide if Claremont's contribution to this is self deprecating genius or a viscous bout of senility, I've read enough comics with Tom Grummett art to know that the horrifying 90s design of the book is intentional. As a period piece, the art in X-Men Forever works. It's not pretty, not by a long shot, but it makes sense. Beyond the 90s goofiness, this felt horribly rushed. The inks look sloppy and haphazard and the coloring is all different kinds of wrong.

For a series that is so firmly entrenched in nostalgia-based comic book storytelling, why are modern coloring techniques being applied? Flatten that shit out and knock it off with the over rendered lighting effects. Color the book like it's 1991 for goodness sake. Claremont's writing it like it's 1991. Grummett's drawing it like it's 1991. Wouldn't it make a hell of a lot more sense for it to be colored that way as well?

X-Men Forever seems to be a book that is wholly dependent on how much nostalgia the reader brings into it. For the right reader, this could be a fun endeavor. For someone like me who comes into it without any connection to the original material, it's just a bad comic book.

Story: 4
Art: 2
Overall: 3


x-menforever_06.jpgReview by Spicy Dick

Whatever you might think about this series, and I don't much, I'm sure there have been better issues of it than this. But I could be wrong.

This is Classic Claremont, all right:

Lots of wordy, overwrought dialogue. Check.
Generic bad guys, cliche kidnapping plot. Check.
Daddy issues. Lots of them. Check.
Truncated narration. Check.

All it was missing was a baseball game.

Other than that I thought Amlah6 already said it all. That was pretty much the review I was going to write, plus I was going to mention how awful his characterization of Cyclops is in light of how long it's taken to move the character past that in the 616 over the years to arrive at a more complex, nuanced Scott Summers in books like AXM, etc.

0


x-menforever_05.jpgReview by 48THRiLLS

I have never been into the X-books, I did read Astonishing during Whedon's run so I know a little about the franchise. I actually liked this, it was fun... it walked a really close line with being a little too cute sometimes but I thought it worked okay. I am vaguely familiar with current X continuity but I was a little lost here with Nathan being a kid and I was never familiar with the Star Jammers but it did not affect the story too much. If I had a complaint it would be that the writer seems to over explain some things that are happening with Lorna when she is going after the ship that kidnapped Nathan. The best thing about this book was the art, I have never seen Tom Grummett's work before but I was really impressed with this issue, reminded me a lot of Paul Pelletier. I will definitely keep an eye out if he gets work on another book, as much as I may have liked this it is not something I would continue reading only because I just don't care about the X-Men... but this was not a bad pick at all.

STORY - 7
ART - 9
OVERALL - 7.9


x-menforever_04.jpgReview by Old Man

Wow, did I not care about this issue.

And to be honest, I didn't read it deeply. I didn't have to. I already knew what to expect from a Claremont X-Men story.

The art was acceptable. It was mostly open and airy, and looked like it was desperately trying to be Byrne-like.

The last time I regularly followed the X-Men line was when New Mutants was still young. Maybe the first 30 issues. The last time I regularly followed Uncanny X-Men was around issue 170 or 180. I think I dropped that book when Paul Michael Smith left the book.

But I didn't have any trouble following this story, because it is essentially the same characters as were used by Claremont in the early runs.

Ya know, if Joss Whedon had written this, I would probably give it an 8 or 9. The dialog would have been much better, and the scene with the rednecks in the diner might have worked. But he didn't, it wasn't, and it didn't again.

This reads to me like fanfic. And if you are going to have an issue focusing on dads, wouldn't it be better to schedule it in June? Daddy this, daddy that...eff your daddy fixation. Get over it. My daddy died 29 years ago. You never forget, but you have to get over it. I did; obviously Claremont hasn't.

5

And that's setting aside my sorry@$$ed attitude. I want to give it a 3, but that's because its been a crappy week.

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Review by Jude Terror

First of all, I should admit that I'm biased, because X-Men Forever is my favorite book on the stands right now. It's not that I think it's so much better than other books, because there are others that are just as good, but for me personally it is very important. The X-Men, after all, and specifically Chris Claremont's 80s X-Men are what got me into comic books. Like a drug addict chasing the ghost of that first great high, it's rare that I can find the kind of wonder and enjoyment in comics that I had back then, when each new issue of Uncanny X-Men was the coolest thing in the world to me.

In the early nineties, around the time Chris Claremont left Uncanny X-Men, I took a decade long break from comics, and didn't come back until Morrison's X-Men run at the beginning of the century. As a result of this odd mix of circumstances, this book picks up where I left off with the X-Men all those years ago as a reader just as it picks up where Claremont left off as a writer. It's more than just nostalgia - it's the chance to go back and relive what might have been.

There's a lot to be said about Claremont's writing style, but what defines it for me is his ability to make each issue feel special while still advancing a great many plotlines in each issue. In that respect, this issue perfectly illustrates Claremont's strength as a writer, because though we get a complete story on several levels. On one, there is the obvious story of Nathan being kidnapped and Scott, Alex, and Lorna getting him back. On top of that there is the story of Scott struggling with his desire to give up super-heroics and be a proper father to his son, and the circumstances that keep calling him back to the X-Men. Finally, we get a lot of exposition in the background about Corsair, Alex, and Lorna, and we get some advancement on the Consortium plot.

The beauty of Claremont's work is that the longer it runs, due to the nature of his plotting, the more intricate the story gets, and the better the payoff becomes. I enjoyed this book when it first started, but now that we're nearing the end of "season 1," I am simply enthralled in it. The next issue, which looks to feature Sabretooth, Nick Fury, and Daisy Dugan, should be incredible.

The art in this particular issue is an improvement on some weeks. I won't pretend that the art on this series can't sometimes hurt the book, as Grummett is forced to keep up a very quick pace on this bi-weekly book, and scheduled fill-in artists hurt the consistency. As I said though, the art on this issue was fantastic, and I hope Grummett can continue to deliver on this level in the future.

Story: 10
Art: 10
Total: 10

I wish I could give it more than a perfect rating. Best book on the stands today. Claremont at his best, hitting all his classic notes. A rare chance to get second helpings on the greatest comic book run of all time.

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Review by doombug

Obviously this book has a niche audience that feeds on the 80's nostalgia and that's exactly what the book is. To say I enjoyed the issue would be a lie but I really stopped liking Claremont when he destroyed the Exiles. (I stuck in through the entirety of New Exiles and it just didn't get any better.)

I didn't enjoy the book but I am nowhere near the right audience for the book. Weak Scott Summers dialogue which to me proves why he's become as better character now.

The art is the only thing I really enjoyed about the book.

Score: 5


x-menforever_09.jpgReview by YeaSureWhatever

I have been reading X-Men Forever since issue one, and although they have not all been winners, for 18 issues (in 9 months) it has been a book that reminded me why I first got into comics. Issue 18 is no exception.

The book opens up with Scott and his son actually having a positive experience together. No mutant hunting machines, no techno organic virus, no crazy ex turning the world into a hellish pit, but rather going for a bike ride so get some breakfast. Do we even know if Cable has ever had pancakes?

A predictable western-type scene quickly follows that where Scot proves that he is the benevolent alpha male of that particular part of Alaska setting up some possible knob touching from that nice waitress.

Then comes the part of the book that I really liked, Havok and Polaris. Between 1993-2007(ish) I was hard pressed to remember why any one ever would have liked these two seemingly whiny, emo, entitled, brats. Claremont reminds us that they are not only scholars, but also sometimes the only two people around that are able (or willing) to tell Scott the truth.

The attack scenes that bring in the series' ongoing major story line is the weakest part of the book, IMO, but again shows that Claremont's team was a team. Scott knew that some one would be there to catch him.

The disappointing part of this issue, for me, is that after allowing Scot to move on, Claremont is now bringing him back to the X-Men, I can only hope that there is some drama upon his return.

This is no X-Men Forever #15 (if this thread had read that, I would have given it a 9/10) but it was an entertaining comic book.

Story - 8.5
Art (the weakest part of this book) - 7.5


Review by MrBlack

For the record, I did not start actively reading comics until late 2004, when "Identity Crisis" was in full swing at DC. I occasionally picked up comics during the 80's and 90's, but I was not a big fan. Thus, the nostalgia factor is basically a non-issue for me going into X-Men Forever, Marvel's throwback series for fans of Chris Claremont's classic X-Men run.

The story is pretty straightforward and well serves its purpose of establishing Scott as a responsible parent. Great, now that that's out of the way, let's blow up a spaceship! My only real complaint about the story is the dialogue, which harkens back to 80's comic conventions. It's not terrible, but it is a bit dated.

x-menforever_01.jpgThe artwork is solid and helps enhance the illusion that the 80's never ended. The only problem, as others have mentioned, is that the comic uses more modern coloring techniques rather than fully embracing its nostalgia trip. Still, no real complaints here.

The cover is awful. It looks like Prof. X donned Cyclops' outfit and promptly had a heart attack.

I can see why fans of Claremont's X-Men run are eating this up. It picks up exactly where his run left off, and there are just enough modern touches to keep the title fresh. I was actually surprised at how much I enjoyed this issue. I am certainly not going to continue with the title, but I would heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a classic X-Men title.

Story: 7.5
Art: 7.5
Overall: 7.5
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That gives X-Men Forever #18 a group score of 5.49.  Fuck amlah and Spicy Dick!!! /Jude'd

For more talk about why X-Men Forever is the worst/best comic being published, join us in this week's thread found in the News Stand forum where you are also invited to post your own review. 
Comment or post your own review.
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0303-firstwave_cover.jpgdoombug has the pick for March 3rd and he has selected First Wave #1 from DC Comics.  Look for the new thread after it becomes available Wednesday morning.

First Wave #1

Written by BRIAN AZZARELLO
Art by RAGS MORALES

DC's shocking new pulp universe is finally unveiled! In the shadows of the War, the roots of the Golden Tree cabal grew deep into the heart of a fallen world… and the leaders at the heart of this secret organization see no place in their utopia for heroism. Doc Savage, struggling with the loss of his father, has been blind to their advance – until now. Central City's mysterious Spirit has caught wind of their plans as well. But whose side have the Blackhawks chosen? What is the Red Right Hand? And where is the Batman? Eisner Award winner Brian Azzarello (100 BULLETS, JOKER) and superstar Rags Morales (IDENTITY CRISIS) craft a DC universe like you've never seen before! It's a world with no supermen, only mortal men… Death can come at any moment, and adventure can still be found at every corner of the map! Will Doc Savage be the first to lead the coming world or the last to be crushed under its heel?

DC Universe | 40pg. | Color | $3.99 US
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