Wednesday, February 18, 2015

X-Men Forever 2 by Chris Claremont volume 3

In the previous volume, the Consortium, thanks to Mariko Nashida, was able to abduct 'Ro. Fortunately, she was rescued by the Ghost Panther (whose identity remains a mystery) while she was being flown to Wakanda. The X-Men are making plans to get her back while Mariko and Perfect Storm argue about who has the biggest vagina of bitch authority. P. Storm is not pleased that young 'Ro has escaped and she's determined to make anyone who is hiding her suffer. Meanwhile, the Ghost Panther takes her to Calisto and the Morlocks who seem to be working with Ghost. Both reassure 'Ro that she is well-protected and that they have no intention to harm her.
While in the middle of yet another long-winding battle (which this time includes P. Storm), 'Ro was able to fight for her own freedom though she is greatly unmatched with the adult Storm's powers. Ghost Panther helps her by--literally shooting electricity that 'Ro can utilize. This caused Ghost's metal armor to malfunction, though. Curious, P. Storm decides to retreat, overcome by a feeling of foreboding upon witnessing what Ghost Panther had just done. 'Ro tries to help Ghost, and by this time she's definitely determined to find out who this person is. Ghost takes off the helmet and reveals that--SHE IS YET ANOTHER VERSION OF STORM!
Here's all you need to now for #11-13 issues: the Ghost Panther version is the energy of Storm with no physical form and it's actually Tony Stark who designed a steel armor that she can wear to maintain a semblance of tangibility. Meanwhile, 'Ro is the innocent aspect and the Perfect Storm--the vicious turncloak cunt who broke my heart--was a COPY-gone-wrong who can easily be re-programmed as long as you know how to calibrate her. So, yes. P. Storm is NOT THE REAL ORORO MUNROE. She's  just travesty wrapped in audacious queenly clothing and sporting an ugly face-scar. 
In the latter issues (#14-16), I thought it was appropriate that X-Men Forever ends with the resolution of the Storm arc, considering it's a parallel to where the series first started which was Ororo Munroe's betrayal and deceit when she was revealed as a spy for the enemy (the Consortium) and after her brutal murder of Logan a.k.a fan-favorite Wolverine. The five-issued story arc from the first season entitled Love--And Loss! was ultimately my favorite of all the arcs and the entire series itself so I already have expectations for these three concluding issues, and I generally forego having expectations for XMF a long time ago (since the Sentinels bullshit, to be specific). There are two ways of looking at the ending of this series; one is a cynical  one where you still believe this series could deliver something better than it established from the beginning because you want to think Claremont still has it, considering his legacy. The other one is to accept without any sort of condescension or resentment that XMF delivered exactly what it can only achieve in its grand finale that may not be as promising as we all thought when we started reading past the five issues. I chose the latter. I wasn't disappointed when I finished reading. In fact, I thought it stuck its landing given the scope of hits-and-misses as a whole.

Divided meticulously well in three parts, the Storm story arc is a rather quiet and straightforward gameplay that began with the X-Men's infiltration of Wakanda (issue #14), which slowly progressed to a final climactic confrontation against the Avengers who are still in the dark in the most ridiculous and pathetic sense (it's the only thing that annoyed me about this ordeal; I really hoped Captain America and Thor would know better than to expect the worst from the X-Men when Tony Stark obviously gave up his life for the salvation of mutantkind). Finally, Perfect Storm (the vicious cunt clone) was apprehended and stored away as the real Storm (Ghost Panther and young 'Ro) have successfully merged  as one at last, and she has chosen to stay in Wakanda not only to rule its constituents but also to lead (even if the Consortium still lurks in the corner, probably ready to strike soon enough) by the end of issue #16. And there we have it.

In X-Men Forever, they killed Wolverine, Beast and Tony Stark. They sent Professor X to some alien planet. They destroyed the Xavier Mansion in a way that it's constantly "phasing" between realities. They switched Rogue and Nightcrawler's powers. They gave Kitty Pryde an adamantium claw. They brought back the lame Sentinels. They turned the Avengers against the X-Men. They made Sabretooth and Mystique unlikely allies. They made the Silver Samurai join forces with Matsuo as Mariko Nashida joins forces with Sigrid Trask and the Consortium. BUT THE WORST OFFENSE of it all, in my humble opinion, is turning Storm into a fucking diva and a cunt who conspired against the X-Men as a double agent and then murdered one of her friends. Afterwards, she took over Wakanda by once again murdering a man she supposedly loved so she can rule in his stead.

I don't think the ending of this series would have been better either way because, though the series started out good, it  also got frustratingly disjointed midway through so hoping for an ending that will somehow fix the shitty clusterfucks that occurred earlier in the series is simply delusional. XMF, however, still tried its best to conclude on an acceptable average note. It had a nice ending, and that's it. I would also like to commend the fact that even when important characters like Wolverine and Beast died, they died not for shock value but rather in a dignified way that also allowed other characters some room to grow and thrive as individuals and as a team. I was invested in the Storm storyline so I was fine that the series ended on its pay-off. Also, I thought the character arcs with Kitty Pryde and Rogue (plus Nightwalker and Mystique) were satisfying even when they weren't absolutely concluded in this last issue. I can just come up with other ways their arcs would have developed some more which leaves a lot to contemplate about. I also thought the fact that it ended with Jean Grey and Scott (Cyclops) reconciling their differences not as lover but as comrades and leaders of the X-Men felt right. It resonated with me.

Everything about this wrap-up was...NICE.


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