X-Men Forever enters its second season, and Jude Terror lets you know whether you should jump on board!*
Credits & Solicit Info:
COVER BY: THOMAS VAUGHN GRUMMETT
WRITER: CHRIS CLAREMONT
PENCILS: THOMAS VAUGHN GRUMMETT
INKS: CORY M. HAMSCHER
COLORED BY: WILFREDO QUINTANA
CHRIS CLAREMONT CONTINUES HIS LANDMARK SERIES WITH A NEW STORY, A NEW TEAM, AND EVEN MORE TWISTS AND TURNS! With the drastic events from the end of Volume 1, the X-Men are shaken to their very core. As they start to pick up the pieces, they are confronted by a new enemy, more powerful than any other they’ve ever faced. With original series artist TOM GRUMMETT, these are two issues you
IN STORES: June 9, 2010
Chris Claremont's X-Men Forever gave us 26 great issues last year, an amazing feat for a modern comic. Not only that, but those 26 issues were packed with nostalgic 80s goodness, and created in such a way as to not interfere with the current Marvel Universe continuity. As far as nostalgic fanboy pandering goes, this is the least offensive form possible, making the material available to those who are clamoring for it, while at the same time allowing readers who have moved on to revel in their modern, decompressed, trade-packaged storytelling without any interruption in the main X-books. Of course, those that choose to ignore X-Men Forever are missing out on old school comics awesome in its purest form, but we'll save that for the comments section.
X-Men Forever season 2 starts out with one hell of a first issue. The recap page alone is staggering, with a huge list of events and plotlines that I would defy any modern comic to claim in its first year of publishing. One recap page, however, is not enough to contain the sheer number of subplots Claremont has thrown out in that first year. The first few pages flash between some of our main characters, touching on even more storylines. I can't think of a better way to pull new readers into a series with a new number one issue. Everything a reader needs to know is right there in a few pages. Then the Avengers show up.
We're not talking about the New Avengers, or the Secret Avengers, or the Mighty Avengers, or the Dark Avengers, or the Young Avengers, or the Avengers Academy. We're talking about THE AVENGERS. Captain America. Thor. Iron Ma... well, no, not him, he's dead. Quicksilver. The Scarlet Witch. Hawkeye. The Vision. Spider-Woman. Who needs the Heroic Age when you can revisit the original Heroic Age right here. In fact, with the Heroic Age washing over Marvel as a whole, it seems that Claremont and company, with their nostalgic throwback, may have been one step ahead of everyone else after all!
In a series where we've seen a ton of exposition and character moments, this issue is all action, and it's both a payoff to months of building as well as a fine way to kick off a new season. Claremont provides some exciting one on one matchups, which Grummett brings to life with his pencils. The entire issue is an exercise in superhero team battles, feeding us the one on one matchups, the team brawls, and the personal character moments, such as Sabretooth struggling with his desire to rip Hawkeye to shreds, or Thor's concern over attacking a young Storm.The issue is also a chance to show that Tom Grummett, when on his game, can really hit a home run on art chores for this book. It's unfortunate that we'll likely be seeing more fill-in artists during the coming year, due simply to the overwhelming schedule.
The issue does have its flaws. The Avengers are a little too quick to turn on their old allies, and completely unwilling to listen to reason, which seems a bit out of character for a team led by someone as wise as Captain America. In addition, the thought bubbles, which work very well in the series in general, slow down the action during fight scenes. Finally, the trick used by the X-Men to escape the battle feels a bit contrived, adn the resulting escape itself caused me to go back and reread the issue to see what happened. Much of this, however, can be chalked up to a style that a modern reader is no longer trained in reading.
All in all, this issue is a great jumping on point for new readers. If you like old school comic book storytelling, this comic is for you. If you want to read about the X-Men without needing to follow twelve different books to keep up, this book is for you. If you want to get a tour of a version of the Marvel Universe, I think that's what we can expect from this year in X-Men Forever. The Avengers threw down in issue one, and Spider-Man is promised for issue two. This is Claremont at his best, writing a book where he has complete control of the universe, and one with such a schedule that he can throw out tons of plots, see what sticks, and develop them slowly without worrying about beign cut off before he can finish. Even detractors of Claremont's recent work in the Marvel U will find that he still has it, and is in fact as good as ever, in X-Men Forever.
Rating: BUY IT!
My rating scale:
BUY IT - You have to read this for the foreseeable future.
TRY IT - Worth at least a few issues.
WAIT FOR IT - Pick this up in trade if it lives up to its potential.
SKIP IT - Spend your money on something better.