Collects X-Men Forever issues 1-5

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists: Tom Grummett, Cory Hamscher

This comic continues Chris Claremont’s epic run on the X-Men from the point when he left the comic, twenty years ago. That was issue 3 of the new “X-Men” title when the group had divided into the gold and blue teams. The characters are somewhat different, though.

Supposedly, the X-Men have just returned from Asteroid X where Fabian Cortez drove Magneto to his death. Cyclops, Jean Gray, Storm, Gambit, Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, Rogue, and Wolverine go after Cortez while Beast, Professor, X and Nick Fury supervise from the mansion. Cortez is a powerful enemy but the team manages to grab him after a fierce fight. When they get back, Claremont changes the status que of this new universe: Logan is mysteriously killed; only his bones are left, minus one claw.

Even in just five issues, the team is changed forever (heh) which clearly sets this world apart from the usual Marvel Universe, which is a good thing IMHO. I love alternate worlds precisely because the writers can change the characters in ways that aren’t allowed in the main world.

The comic also has a lot of hand waving about how various X-Men can keep secrets even though several telepaths are around. In this world, Jean actually loves Logan and not Scott. My main problem with this is that Jean has been in relationship with Scott for a very long time and apparently kept a secret affair going with Logan all the time. Really? That doesn’t seem in character with any of them.

One X-Man turns out to be an enemy which was far more exciting. When I first read this, I wasn’t too sure about that because the character in question is one of my favorites, but this second time I loved it. The character is shown as very powerful and ruthless which is always great!

In the final issue another long-held secret, which is a retcon, is revealed which also affects the status quo of the comic. It took me by surprise the first time around and I wasn’t too wild about it but it keeps the book focused. Also, SHIELD’s a surprisingly big part of this comic.

These are all characters I’ve known for a long time so I enjoyed this alternate take on them.