X-Men Forever #13 Review: Black Kitty

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… Here’s my final review for the week. Last up next is ‘X-Men Forever’. Hope you enjoy it.

X-Men Forever #13 (preview)
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Tom Grummett

NOTE: This issue does NOT contain Wolverine

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with Magik and Cossack confronting the X-Men and Winter Guard. The heroes have the advantage of numbers at first until Cossack reveals his army of wolf men who even the odds. Gambit sends Kitty to take little ‘Ro to safety and they head off  but Illyana sees them and disables Kitty’s powers trapping them. Kitty fights the wolves with her claw but it is Ororo who powers up and is able to take their enemies down. The girls run off before the rest of the villains have a chance to find them.

Back at the mansion, Jean and Hank are talking and share a dance and an intimate moment before pulling apart embarrassed. Xavier and Fury are still discussing the ramifications of the mutants having a short life with S.H.I.E.L.D. worried that once mutants truly understand their lack of a future then things will get bloody.

In the bowels of the mansion, Sabretooth tracks down and eliminates a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that was skulking around near Cerebro. He is confronted by Agent Dugan and reveals that he had been following the man for a week and he was mapping out the underground area and planting monitoring devices. Creed believes he was a double agent for the Consortium. Not knowing who else to trust, they agree to work together.

Back in Russia, Piotr, Remy and Natasha get forced outside by the wolves with no way to help the others. Kitty and ‘Ro are confronted by Magik. She reveals that she likes being dark and was supposed to pull Kitty into Limbo rather then be rescued. She restrains Storm and then tempts her friend until Kitty gives in to her own dark side and transforms into a true Shadowcat.

MY TAKE: This is a good story for the most part. It has a lot of different story arcs and thus it does feel a bit disjointed, but they generally work. The Magik story is well done, although I am still not certain of Illyana as a villain. Still there is no denying that she makes a good threat. I am glad that her bond with Kitty is being addressed and that we are getting to see her true power. I am just not sure that I buy into how easily she became corrupted after fighting it all her life.

The rest of the stories are a mixed bag. I am enjoying Sabretooth’s characterization and his hunt for Consortium agents has a lot of potential. I would have preferred to see him team up with another X-Man though rather then a random S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. I am still not a fan of Fury being at the mansion and although he has point on the danger of mutants, I am not sure where the short life plot is going to go. It is hard to credit with Xavier and Creed already well past their supposed life expectancy.

The weakest part by far was Jean and Beast. This relationship makes absolutely no sense to me even within the alternate world that Claremont has built. Jean could have picked any of the original X-Men and she picked Scott and stuck by him. Having it revealed that she loved Logan at least made some sense in that there was plenty of tension between them. But I can not recall any sparks with Hank ever. The scene had me smacking my forehead.

The personalities are a bit stilted here but still pretty well done. They seem to have found their groove and, while it is not what a long time reader might expect, they all work within the confines of the story. Even Kitty seems a bit more like her old self and less like Wolverine. I do hope we eventually see more of Piotr and Illyana though, they have made a nice change of pace from the main cast.

In the end this is a good issue that reads well although is it a bit too ambitious. Claremont seems to want to introduce four stories at once rather then letting things flow a bit more naturally. With the twice a month format there are plenty of issues a year so there is no need to rush ahead. I miss the days when plot threads went on for years. As it is, a full third of the issue was set in the mansion. I would prefer to see only a couple of pages devoted to side plots and most of it going to the main story. Still the comic was entertaining to read which is all you can really ask for.

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.

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