Tuesday, January 13, 2015

X-Men Forever by Chris Claremont issue #2 (2009)


In my recent reviews of the nineties X-Men, I complained about the fact that Jean Grey and Storm never got any time on the spotlight for those eleven issues, and I justified their glaring absence by coming up with a fun scenario where Jean and Storm are actually having a mean match of ping-pong against Bishop so that basically took a lot of their time. It only took two decades for Claremont to return and fix this mishap so he brings us this second issue which definitely puts these two lovely ladies on the very center of conflicts. AND I ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!

The issue opens with two police officers stumbling upon an incinerated corpse. There were literally only bones left for whoever this poor sod used to be. Back in the Xavier Mansion, everyone within perimeter has been knocked out because of Jean Grey's telepathic breakdown which released some sort of blinding energy. With her in the office are Cyclops, Nick Fury and Professor X and they're all passed out. Outside near a lake we have Gambit and Rogue, also passed out. I don't know where Storm was the whole time in the last scene from issue #1 but here she was cautiously entering the mansion, talking ALOUD to herself as she explains what happens (for the reader's benefit).

She went straight to the professor's office and wakes them up except for Jean who is staring wide-eyed while unconscious. Very creepy. Prof X explains to Nick Fury what just happened as Cyclops carried Jean out of the door and bumped into Gambit carrying Rogue. They all headed down to the lab where Beast was with Kitty and Nightcrawler just woke up themselves and are trying to figure out how to turn the electricity back on.

Apparently, Jean Grey did try to control the shockwave before it seriously injures anyone around her by spreading it across the grid lines which affected every machinery in the mansion that was run by electricity. That was considerate. While Beast tries to revive Rogue and Jean as the rest of the team watches on, Nick Fury makes a call and was relayed a bad news: the corpse that was featured in the earlier pages belongs to Wolverine. Because of the adamantium signature in his bones, one of the agents Fury was speaking to believe that the skeleton was his. Fury remains unconvinced especially when one of the corpse's claws was missing in one hand. After he ends the call, he starts talking to himself ALOUD AGAIN as he theorizes what must have happened to Wolverine (how about 'em narration boxes for a more realistic approach eh?) As soon as he got back to the lab, he informs Professor X about it who was also unconvinced. I am also not buying this crap.

When Nick asked where Storm is, the professor says that she decided that she can restore the electricity back, given her powers so she was down in the generators where she was attacked by Sabertooth for some reason. I shared her confusion at that moment so I can just imagine how pissed she must be when Sabertooth claws at her arm. The weather goddess is also a self-confessed claustrophobic (and, if you remember, is having issues with Rogue after their flesh-contact encounter in the previous issue; she's fairly convinced that Rogue is lying about not remembering what she saw in Storm's psyche when she absorbed her powers) so she's already in a bad mood when Sabertooth dropped on her like that. So she aggresively tosses him into the Danger Room so she can utilize the full capacity of her powers. She's on full-"Do not fuck with me, son" at this point. AND IT'S AWESOME TO BEHOLD.

The rest of the X-Men appear just in time so they can join the fun and, for a brief moment, I was shouting, "Guys, let Storm do her thing, okay? I want to see her kick some ass, for god's sake. Go away!" Storm agrees with me but fucking Cyclops, Gambit, Nightcrawler and Rogue "help out" anyway and they all take turns getting their asses handed to them by stupid Sabertooth. Storm decides she is not having any of this shit anymore so she suspends Sabertooth on air with an ice typhoon of some sort and then she hits him with something so powerful which made Kitty question whether or not she just killed him while she stared on in stunned silence as Sabertooth collapses on the ground.

Cyclops reprimanded Storm afterwards but Sabertooth claims that Storm really should have killed him when she had the chance; to which Storm calmly replies in all self-possessed goddess-ness "As you wish." Cyke warns her sternly not to engage. As the rest of the X-Men looked on, they realized that Storm just BLINDED THE FUCK OUT OF SABERTOOTH. Said bastard asserts that the fight isn't over just because he has lost his ability to see. Everyone is freaked out. The issue ends abruptly with a panel of Sabertooth's agonized face and the X-Men's collectively shocked faces in the background. What we don't see was the later scene where the X-Men probably spent some awkward few seconds looking back and forth between Sabertooth and Storm in abject horror. Storm probably just stood there unmoved in all her majestic awesomeness, completely detached from everything as she shrugs impatiently and asks, "What?" all the while contemplating to herself, "That's what you all get for leaving me out of missions, assholes."



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