Friday, January 16, 2015

X-Men Forever by Chris Claremont issue #7 (2009)

This issue has no element of surprise for me whatsoever because it's part of the second volume of X-Men Forever whose title gives away the story arc easily. I thought about pretending that I don't know it's going to happen and then not immediately reveal it here until the end of this review but what the fuck, why even bother? This issue focuses on the return of the pesky Sentinels who had irritated me when I watched them in the pilot episode of the animated series and petrified me in the film adaptation of Days of Future Past last year.

Illustrated by Steve Scott, The Past is Prologue is the first installment of the Sentinels arc and I thought the build-up was actually handled well. My favorite part about this issue was Nick Fury who has been working alongside the X-Men in one of the S.H.I.E.L.D's headquarters to solve this mysterious giant-sized footprint. Professor X and Jean Grey lend a hand using their telepathy only to witness the death of one of Fury's agents, Juniper, who is the nephew of one of his fellow brothers-in-arms back in World War II. So that sucks.

The conflict picks up in just a few span of pages where Cyclops, Gambit, Rogue and Nightwalker came to aid and discuss how to divide their group before they venture outside to investigate and stop whatever is wreaking havoc in that place. Hank volunteers to join outdoors which they thought was rather unusual since he has always function more of a scientist-in-the-lab lately than an actual combat fighter but they don't argue with his decision, considering he is additional muscle. At first, Fury insisted to send more of his agents in the field but Rogue cautions him against it because this mission looks like something mutants like them can handle and Fury wouldn't want risking any more human lives at the cost of nothing since they still don't know what's out there. He complies eventually so Cyclops proceeds to give out orders on which team members will go together. Jean, Rogue, Kitty, Kurt and Nick ride the Blackbird with Hank flying the plane while Cyke, Gambit and the Professor stay behind to monitor activity and provide back-up in case of an attack.

Meanwhile, we get a flashback sequence concerning Nick and Logan during the second world war and their seizure of a laboratory where experiments are being conducted. Here we see the Juniper soldier get killed while Logan murders a scientist (whose name turns out to be Trask *cue ominous music*) and they all decide to burn down the place to make sure that the Nazis don't get their hands on whatever innovation it was developing because that's totally what the Nazis are gonna do, of course which will only make things worse for the Allied Forces, especially when we later find out that it's one of the home bases for Sentinel technology. That flashback was a significant piece of backstory that will essentially play a part in the next issue.

Anyway, we go back to present time where the dispatched team finally arrives in the home base from Fury's helpful flashback narrative--only to stumble upon a Sentinel who, of course, is programmed to recognize that they are mutants and therefore must be destroyed. The issue ends with that climactic confrontation. I was okay with this first installment of the Sentinels storyline. It establishes the premise, the future conflicts that are going to take place, and the continuing character drama with Jean and Scott (who still cannot find the right time to talk about their relationship), and Professor X's involvement in this team exercise which was only brief and minimal, seeing as I think the team is still reluctant to work with him fully again after the disastrous information-withholding he has committed. They've been keeping it civil for now only because they really have no time to engage in a heart-to-heart, not when there is a job to be done--and a fucking Sentinel that is on the lose and ready to obliterate them. The X-Men are just not allowed to have a life.


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