I laid on my bed last night at quarter past eleven while I consumed three issues of X-Men Forever, unsuspecting of the fact that I was going to get seriously screwed over by doing so. I ended up becoming very livid and distraught, seething in agony and panic as I hurried to finish the pages of this issue only to be thrown into yet another curve by the end. The last issue was stressful enough for me (though it had a solid 9 out 10 rating here because any story that convoluted and exciting that ALMOST GAVE ME A HEART ATTACK deserves such a score). But that stress only worsens by this fourth installment to Claremont's clusterfuck of a story arc, Love--And Loss!
RECAP: Jean Grey and Logan are connected with an unbreakable psi-link so when he gets brutally murdered somewhere, Jean suddenly releases a powerful psionic blast that knocks out everyone in the mansion except for Storm who just got back to find all of them unconscious. As the team tries to revive Jean and Rogue who are still passed out, Nick was informed by one of his agents that they found an incinerated corpse that could have been Wolverine's due to the traces of adamantium metal on his remains. Storm later on tries to use her electricity to turn on the generators but was attacked by Sabretooth. She throws him inside the Danger Room while the rest of them catches up, only to witness Storm go over the line as she blinded Sabretooth using her powers.
Back in the lab with Hank, Professor X mentally probes Jean Grey's psyche and discovers that the person responsible for Wolverine's death was no other than Storm. Prof X collapses because of such an overwhelming strain while Jean projects her anger towards Storm who was still in the Danger Room with the others. Everyone else heard Jean confess her love to Wolverine, including her boyfriend Cyclops. Also, that Storm killed Logan. They all attack Storm but she manages to escape and lock them inside except for Kitty Pryde who was so pissed at what Storm did that she produces one of Wolverine's missing adamantium claw and cuts Storm's face with it. And here we are.
I'm pleased that we don't spend a lot of time wondering why Kitty is suddenly wearing Wolverine's missing claw. Hank readily explains three pages in that when Kitty tried to stop Fabian Cortez from absorbing Wolverine's powers back in issue #1, their genetic physiology infused with each other which was why Kitty retained one of Wolverine's adamantium claws by accident. Now this is where my theory fits: I theorized that Wolverine may still be alive (because, hello, it's motherfucking Wolverine) because I think Kitty's own powers may have been absorbed by Wolverine to a lesser extent, enabling him to perhaps "phase" the moment Storm struck him with lightning. That doesn't explain his skeletal remains, I know, but I'm just not buying the fact that Claremont really did kill Wolverine. He may stay dead for now but I bet we're going to have to explore more of the love triangle among Jean, Scott and Logan later on. I know I would want that. Claremont writes the best soap opera, period. And if there is one thing I've learned while reading X-Men Forever, it's to expect the unexpected.
Onto the story: Kitty may have maimed Storm's face but she was ultimately unsuccessful in catching her so as Storm flies away, Kitty frees the rest of the X-Men inside the Danger Room. Cyclops then tries to convince Sabretooth to work with them if he hopes to find out who really killed Wolverine because all of them are convinced that something must have turned Storm into an enemy because it's shocking to believe that their well-loved comrade was not their friend all along. Sabretooth begrudgingly agrees only because there is strength in numbers. Jean Grey finally wakes up and asks to join them in their search, much to Professor X's disapproval. She tries to talk to Cyclops about her feelings for Logan by Cyke gently brushes her off since it wasn't the right time to discuss about personal matters. They divided themselves into two teams: Nightcrawler, Rogue and Gambit are flying together in the rainy skies while Jean, Cyclops, Shadowcat and Sabretooth find themselves underground in the sewers. Storm turns out to be hiding in the latter and she attacks them.
She was able to flee yet again but was confronted by a mysterious bunch of armed men who are sent there to kill her. Storm is officially a double agent after all, working for something called the Consortium. But these men are not here to retrieve her and report to their commanders. They are there to dispose of her since her cover has been blown wide open and they can't risk the X-Men finding about the Consortium--whatever the fuck that is. And just when I think things couldn't get any more topsy-turvy, we get a scene with Gambit (who was dropped off by Rogue on top of a building so they can widen their search) coming face-to-face with an adolescent version of Storm--a young Ororo who was so glad to see Gambit again. She embraces him tearfully, telling him something about Logan saving her (in her own timeline or the present timeline? Which Logan is she referring to?) But it looks someone wants to kill this Ororo too. AND I DON'T KNOW WHY and it's freaking me out! WHAT IS HAPPENING??! Even though I read the next issue immediately, I was still confused!