X-Men Forever: File Under “Books I Thought I’d Hate But Love”

Over the last decade, Chris Claremont’s track record at Marvel has been poor. Heck, since leaving X-Men in 1991, his comic writing in general has been poor. Two words: Sovereign Seven.

So when I heard about X-Men Forever, where-in Claremont is going back and rebooting the X-Men as if nothing had changed since he left way back when. That means no Onslaught, no Marrow, no Bishop, no Bastion, no Fantomex, no Nano-Sentinels. Cable may be many things, but in this version of events, he’s certainly not Nathan Summers. Why? Because a young child roams around by that very name.

Now, unlike my colleague Doom DeLuise, I have been and remain a huge Cyclops fan. Thus, when I saw the cover to XMF #18 with Cyclops on the cover, I was intrigued. Then, as I read what I was sure was going to make me vomit, I was pleased.

So the run-down on the book: Wolverine is dead. A blind Sabretooth has joined the team to avenge the death of his son. There are two Storms: a child and an adult. No one is sure which one is real. A group known as the Consortium is out for all mutants. Kitty Pryde has turned pissed off and carries around one of Wolverine’s claws. Cyclops and Jean are on the outs as a result of her dalliances with Wolverine, pre-death. Rogue and Nightcrawler have somehow swapped powers. Nick Fury still is consulting with the team. Oh, and it turns out mutant powers burn out and potentially kill the person.

This all sounds so loathe worthy. Instead, it’s a load of fun. Pre-conceived notions of the past two decades are gone. Everything has the potential to be interesting again and, existing in its own world, all bets are off. Claremont is free to take risks with the X-Men again, something I suspect has been bogging him down for years. Sure, the writing has the familiar Claremont faults – the dialogue is a little stilted, the storylines drawn out to the point where plot points seem forgotten. But it’s a refreshing book with clean art in a sea of Marvel’s current mediocrity.

I rarely post here anymore because I pick up two books: Batman & Robin and Astonishing X-Men. Now, I may have found a third.

BONUS: Louise Simonsen is doing a five issue mini-series where she returns to X-Factor with X-Factor Forever! The first issue is already out.