As promised, I asked Daron "The Colonel" Jensen to review one Marvel book a week for me to post on my blog, since I have a tough time keeping up with the Marvel U in a timely fashion. Daron loves his Marvel and is now an official contributor on Marvel's ongoing monthly "Official Index". Pick up your copy today at your local Amazing Fantasy! His love of Marvel has finally paid off, first Marvel started paying him to write about comics and now he is writing about them for free on here. Fame is just around the corner for him. I can't wait until he kicks Joe Quesada out of his office. (JK of course, but still it would be SO cool!) So here is what Daron thinks about ol' Chris Claremont's newest effort:
X-Men Forever #1
What if… Chris Claremont never left the X-Men in 1991?
That’s the hook of X-Men Forever, and it picks up from where X-Men #3 left off 18 years ago, more or less making this X-Men #4. Cyclops & Marvel Girl haven’t married, Gambit hasn’t started dating Rogue, and Wolverine hasn’t had his adamantium ripped out by Magneto. This series is what Claremont would have done instead of those stories. To remind us of what was going on with the X-Men in November of 1991 Marvel has recently reprinted X-Men #1-3 as X-Men Forever #0, and if we missed that, there’s a handy recap page to get things rolling this issue.
X-Men Forever #1 opens with the X-Men hot on the heels of Fabian Cortez for killing Magneto, and sets up Claremont’s status quo for the book: Mutants are more hated and feared than before thanks to Cortez’s actions; the American Government has assigned Col. Nick Fury to oversee mutant affairs—particularly the X-Men, there’s a romance brewing between Wolverine & Marvel Girl; Nightcrawler & Shadowcat are considering leaving Excalibur to rejoin the X-Men; and Storm has a secret.
There’s a lot going on in this issue, but it effectively sets up its story and subplots without being heavy-handed about it. The scenes click along nicely with a deliberate pace, there’s a good balance between the adventure and drama, and every character gets their own introduction/reminder. The book benefits greatly from solid art by Tom Grummett, who’s always been good with both action and talking heads.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Chris Claremont, and I’m glad to see he’s in top form here. If you enjoyed any portion of his original sixteen year run on Uncanny X-Men, here’s your chance to see where he would have taken the book if he had stayed. There’s Action, Drama and Romance—the cornerstones of classic Claremont X-Men, forever!
All in all, the first issue is a darn good read and makes for a promising series. It’s Lotsafun TM!
-Daron “The Colonel” Jensen