Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… For my second review this week we have ‘X-Men Forever’. Hope you enjoy it.
X-Men Forever#9 (preview)
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Steve Scott and Peter Vale
Inker: Al Vey and Gary Martin
NOTE: Wolverine appears only in a one-panel flashback in this issue
RECAP: The issue opens with ten Sentinels attacking a village in South America. They quickly detect the X-Men and change to their primary targets. Being out numbered ten to five, the X-Men pull out all the stops. Rogue quickly destroys one as do Jean and Kitty. Kurt teleports to help those on the ground and Beast goes to join him.
Meanwhile back at the factory, Zigfried Trask is confronting Fury at gun point over her grandfather’s death. Nick tries to talk her down but she shoots him instead.
The X-Men’s fight has taken a bad turn with both Beast and Kitty nearly being killed. Jean decides to end it and takes out the rest of the Sentinels with a Phoenix-like telekinetic attack. The rest of the team is either impressed or scared, or both.
Ziggy Trask starts to tell a wounded Fury about what happened to her family after he and Logan killed her grandfather. How they tried to regain honor to their family name.
Back with the X-Men, they are cleaning up after the battle. Kitty has phased inside one of the robots and seen that they were mostly hollow with construction capabilities. But whatever they were making is long gone.
S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives in the nick of time to save Fury. Daisy repels down from a S.H.I.E.L.D. transport and disarms the doctor. Before they can question her, the transport is blown up and she uses the distraction to escape. Fury prevents Daisy from going after her. The X-Men return triumphant even though they do not have a prisoner. But they have stopped the immediate threat and are prepared for the next round.
Zigfried Trask has made it to the jungle where she is being chased. She falls and flashes back to her childhood. She was mostly raised by her mother while her father worked. She remembers a trip to see him in the factory where they made the Sentinels. Of course it was the X-Men that ruined her happy childhood and she never forgave them. She gets back to her feet in time to hear a robotic voice.
We get a brief glimpse into the Consortium as they lament their loss. The two men want to take action but the woman is urging caution. She stands and we see it is Mrs. Trask, Zigfried’s mother.
Back in the jungle the doctor is surrounded by robots but they turn out to be the end result of her Sentinel project and loyal to her. She now has a army to present to her mother and use against the X-Men.
MY TAKE: This issue read like it was two separate and unrelated comics. One was an issue of the classic X-Men complete with Claremont dialogue and giant Sentinels and the other was an issue of Fury and the Howling Commandos. I have been somewhat leery of the idea of putting Nick on the squad and this issue points out, pretty plainly, that he does not really fit.
Do not get me wrong, I like Nick Fury as a character and I think he can be very interesting, but he just sticks out here too much. I can not think of a single X-Men that would need to be rescued from, or even be threatened by, a scientist with a revolver. He is also saved by some of his troops most of whom immediately die. It is almost like having X-Men’s version of the Red Shirts.
The mutant band did not have a whole lot to do in this issue. They defeated the Sentinels but that whole scene seemed to run out of steam. It read like Claremont got lazy and did not want to have to figure out how to beat the rest of the robots and just had Jean do it all at once. While the implications on her power are interesting, we have already seen the Phoenix enough that it is overdone.
I did not really see a need for all the back story on Zigfried either. I do like to have a well-rounded villain but most of her information was merely a recap for those not familiar with the Trasks. Since the audience for the book is people that want to revisit X-Men history it seemed extraneous. The revelation that Mrs. Trask is a member of the Consortium is the most interesting bit of information we get.
Once again, while this is not a bad issue, it just does not feel like a complete or well-put-together story. What screen time the X-Men get is handled well, although I am still not sold on Kitty. However, if Claremont wanted to write a Nick Fury series I am sure he could have. Since this is a X-title the mutants should be the focus and driving force of the stories with everyone and everything else taking a back seat. Hopefully, Fury has learned his lesson on field work and will be back at base in the next issue.
Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.