Wednesday, January 28, 2015

X-Men Forever by Chris Claremont issue #17 (2009)

As much as I enjoy Rogue and Nightcrawler as characters in general, with the former as my ultimate favorite X-Men of all time, this Mississippi storyline's second installment is still taking its time developing a story we're supposed to invest ourselves in, if not rightfully so. This has ben a character-driven piece so far with a few breaks in between where we become privy to the events in the Xavier Mansion and one of S.H.I.E.L.D.S' base operations where Fury, Dugan and Sabretooth are pursuing a lead regarding the Consortium. Just like with my review of the previous issue, let's discuss about these subplots first.

The investigation about the Consortium-hiding-secret-agents-in-S.H.I.E.L.D plotline hasn't begun to yield any clear, productive results. Fury and Dugan had only managed to incite a single testimony from a female agent whose account was elusive at best. Of course, from what we know about the Consortium, perhaps our heroes should be more concerned. The said organization is behind the revival of the Sentinels project, and employing Storm as a spy within the X-Men. Honestly, the latter is the only crime that makes the Consortium a grave concern for me. But I will be reserving my final judgment until we get an answer as to what they intend to do with former Magneto Acolyte, Fabian Cortez. I'm sure we would be getting an update on that when we least expect it, just like that unforgivable Storm-centered issue #15. It shouldn't be long.

Moving on to the Xavier Mansion: Hank and Professor X finally do work out their small disagreement from the previous issue. Charles had a humble moment too when he admitted to his arrogance in the past and that he wants to learn from his mistakes. Hank opens up to him as well; about the fact that he wants to have grandkids someday and if that future will just be snatched away from them because of the burnout, then what is the point of saving the omniverse they live he, he queries.

Meanwhile, Jean and Moira have a girl talk during tea time. Of course, it's about Jean's love life because apparently that's the storyline she's been strictly confined in since we stared XMF. She hasn't been going in missions and taking on more active, participatory roles either, and her bereavement process had stretched far too long that it was derivative by now. Worse, she had just made out with one of her long-time friends while recovering from the loss of another which is just so tacky. I don't know about you but Jean is not impressing me at the moment. She's basically helpless, making some truly confounding decisions and becoming receptive to Hank's affections which he never blatantly expressed, mind you. I know I said in my review for the third volume that I won't be harsh with her because I understand her grief but honestly! This is a grotesque way of characterizing one of the most empowered superheroines in comic book fiction, reducing her into a small role of a woman who lost her love interest and is now eager to jump with another because hey, it's the only way she could deal with the potentially life-ending mutation burnout. It's just frustrating because so much fucked-up shit are happening around her and with other characters and we have yet to see her involved in a decent piece of storyline outside her romantic dilemma at hand. I mean, how long is she going to stay cooped up in the mansion, going on meditative walks or having various heart-to-hearts with people who obviously have more important things to do than listen to her pain? I am not happy about the role in which you have cased Jean Grey in, Mr. Claremont. Please remedy this ASAP.

As for the main plot with Rogue, Nightcrawler and Mystique--it was painfully uneventful. After Rogue wakes up from siphoning all of Kurt's physical characterization and teleportation power, she gets to use the latter first-hand to rescue people from a burning building WHICH SHE CAUSED IN THE FIRST PLACE after mindlessly attacking Mystique from the previous issue. Anyway, there were no horrible consequences. Everyone gets saved. Some dude takes their picture and it turns out to be Mystique in the end who was smiling coyly in the last page while looking at said picture for some reason. Does she have a diabolical plan in mind? We'll hopefully know soon enough. In the meantime, I'm slightly disappointed with what I just read in the last two issues. It was surprisingly bland and vague in some moments. Considering this is Rogue and we not get Mystique, I'm wishing we're getting something exciting later on.


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