Thursday, 28 May 2009

X-Men Forever Alpha 1



The lead off to the new Chris Claremont/Tom Grummett series.

It's almost all reprint as it contains adjectiveless X-Men issues 1-3 by Chris Claremont and Jim Lee. Though there are two previews of the X-Men Forever series at the end.

Now it's easy to find online the backstory as to why CC left the X-Men when he did and the tensions behind the scenes between him, Bob Harras and Jim Lee regarding the direction of the series so I won't dwell on that.

So what do we get. We get what ostensibly should have been the very last Magneto story. It reads like that from start to finish, there is an inevitability about his fate and to be honest the minute Claremont and Byrne starting shifting him from villian to misguided "hero" the only way the character should have ended was to die at some point. After this story only Grant Morrison actually did anything of real interest with the character.

The art from Lee and Williams is pretty darned good. I know a lot of people dislike it, but I loved it back then and still enjoy it now. I'd have to ask how much of the distate towards this art is actually down to Lee/Williams as it is to the endless stream of imitators they have spawned over the years. The X-Men teams are split up into the blue and gold teams (although not named as such till X-Men 5). In this era the X-office wisely assigned Wolverine to one team - this one. Oh how times change.

The book while embedded in continuity does it's best to actually explain things. I know the X-books get lambasted for that a lot, but Claremont usually references the events in such a way you understand and follow things without missing out.

Now on to the new material.

It's in two bits. The first is the first six pages of X-Men Forever 1 and starts to hammer home the changes that Claremont has in mind. Gambit has a different name, Kurt and Kitty are in the Mansion and an old enemy returns. The second preview is a two page flash-foward sequence which I assume also happens in X-Men Forever 1. I shan't spoilt it but it's a good cliffhanger and makes me want to pick up the book.

1 comment:

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