Writer Chris Claremont
Pencils Rodney Buchemi
Inker Greg Adams
Colorist Wil Quintana
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Cover Dated January 2011
I am making my through my back issues that I bought since starting this blog.
Look at Orzechowski still lettering!
My only problem with this series is the title. I don’t care for how X-Men Forever 2 12 looks, so I have to separate it with the word, issue.
What I really liked about this series, and with this issue in particular, is that the art really pops. I believe it all is due to Wil Quintana on coloring duty. It looks like a real comic, ready to compete with all of the other comics on the shelf.
So, this is my first review of this series, so a little background. This series is essentially a What If? series. What if Chris Claremont never left the X-Men back in 1991?
By this point in the series, this second season, especially towards the end of the run, was an ode to Storm.
The X-Men consists of Cyclops, Rogue and Nightcrawler (who switched powers), Mystique (who switched their powers), Sabretooth (who is blinded – and replacing Wolverine, who is dead), Jean Grey (who’s costume has weird flesh colored portions), Gambit (wearing an awesome suit), Kitty Pryde and Lockheed. Also, Lil Ro, who is Storm as a child.
There are two Storms, the kid and the Storm, the ruler of Wakanda as she killed Black Panther after marrying him.
SHIELD is also working closely with the X-Men, for a reason I can’t remember at this moment.
Issue opens in Chicago. We learn that Warren is from there, which I thought Kitty was the only one from the great city. Warren is a Cubs fan, just like Kitty and me. Screw the White Sox. I’m all for the Bulls and Bears too. I’m still not cool with the renaming of Sears Tower to Willis Tower, but what are you going to do?
Some guy from accounting starts trying to hassle Warren. Warren has to drop the knowledge that he owns the business, so shut up already.
In Genosha, where adult Storm is trying to take over the country. Mutate 1110 is defending herself against some racist humans. The mutates use to be slaves and now that they are free, the flatscans are having a hard time adjusting. The exchange starts getting heated. Then a lightning bolt crashes to the ground and separates them.
Ghost Panther, who has been fighting for justice in Genosha, and is super mysterious, is the one who threw the bolt. Ghost Panther jumps to the ground, so he can confront the humans. They run away. Ghost Panther has a chat with the mutate about the future of the country, she isn’t sure if she can forgive all of the horrible things that happen to her people. He gets back up to the roof and sees Ro and Lockheed.
Buchemi draws Lockheed almost like a cat, but with the dragon wings. Lockheed looks softer in the face, instead of like a lizard. If I could do my goal of scanning every panel Lockheed is in, this comments would be so much easier. There has to be a program that I can get that would make that possible, right?
Over at the United Nations, we get the political atmosphere of what is happening to Genosha. We see Everett Ross, from the simply amazing Christopher Priest run of Black Panther – there is an arc titled, Sturm und Drang, issues 26 through 29. It essentially has the Kings of Marvel – Black Panther, Namor, Magneto and Dr. Doom. Such a great arc.
Storm, as queen of Wakanda is annexing Genosha. Storm wants the country as it is predominately mutant, so a country full of superpowered individuals can only be a good thing to be the queen of. Its why Magneto did it in the Proper Marvel Universe. Which was also an awesome storyline by Alan Davis, Magneto Rex and Magneto War sets that up.
We cut to the Blackbird, where the X-Men with Havok and Polaris are on their way to Genosha. Havok also gives us what is happening from the ground perspective. Jean doesn’t trust anyone in power in Genosha. Alex asks if that includes him, as he is a Magistrate. At this point in the Forever timeline, Jean has committed to never getting back together with Cyclops – which was awesome as we got plenty of stories with those two as a couple. Next, she dated Wolverine, then he died. Then she threw a bone at Beast, then he died.
Alex wants the X-Men to know that the island country is getting better. It is a work in progress though.
Scott mentions to Alex about Robyn Hanover, a lady from Scott’s time in the orphanage. This is part of the subplot where Claremont gets to tell his original idea for Mr. Sinister – how he was really a young boy who used the image that we know as Mister Sinister (since the silly name). Which was the whole point of the Forever universe of titles, for original writers to pick up where they left off. But really, done of the stories that we got after issue two of the first volume, could have been his original plan but it is enough of an excuse to launch a series.
Alex reminds him that he didn’t spend that much time there in the orphanage. Which I forget that Alex was adopted, I wonder where his adopted parents are now? Like most X-Men, joining the cause means you abandon your family and all hobbies you may have had.
Robyn is now the nanny for Scott’s son Nathan, who is never thrown into the future in this timeline, also a cool direction to go in. That changes a bunch of potential stories. I really like how Claremont got to play with these toys again and really went all out with it. For a while, this was my favorite X-Title, as it was the cast of characters I wanted, the writer I wanted and he got to work with some great artists.
Kurt speaks up, there is some activity on the island.
Ro is asking Ghost Panther who he is, she wants to know if he is a ghost. He states that it is his name and every name hints at the truth. She finds him offputting and he states that is his goal. He essentially is trying to be Batman, causing fear in the hearts of criminals. All Ghost Panther wants, is to protect people. The three of them head over to another building. At this point in the series, Lockheed has been hanging out with Ro more than Kitty.
We see Callisto, the Morlocks along with mutates and humans alike who want to make Genosha a better country. Warren has been giving money and resources for a revolution. He is trying to settle an old score with Cameron Hodge, who was responsible for the state the country is in now, as well as screwing over X-Factor.
Ro is confused by how she is involved in this, Ghost Panther has an idea what the connection is, and then Adult Storm shows up. She isn’t alone as she brought a small army. She and Ghost Panther start to fight.
Adult Storm announces that she should be called, Perfect Storm, from this point on – which is handy for us reviewers. At this point, Perfect Storm has a narly scar across her face, from when Kitty clawed her with the Wolverine claw she absorbed a while back. Also, Perfect Storm is the reason Wolverine is dead as she fried him.
Her army isn’t sure if they should fire at Ghost Panther, as what if this is their king returned to them. Ghost Panther states that they should trust their instincts.
Perfect Storm presses the attack, shouting that she saw their beloved king murdered in front of her eyes and she won’t let this cheap imitation ruin his legacy.
Callisto then pushes Ghost Panther out of the way, he states he owes her one and she is quick to state that he owes her more than just one. As thanks, Perfect Storm attacks Callisto with lightning. Callisto counters stating that the real Storm was a true fighter. Perfect Storm lacks her courage, honor and leadership skills.
Then The X-Men arrive in an awesome splash page that I just stared at for a while. This is the page that I realized that I really like the art team and that Quintana is a huge reason for why. Though I do have to give him one critique, he gives Jean’s upper part of her costume a near flesh color, making it look like she is flaunting her chest for all to see. Which, good for her, if that’s what her goal is, as I’m all for women empowerment but I suspect it was just a bad color scheme to go with.
Gambit and Ro, who have a friendship based off of their adventures in the Proper Marvel Universe. Storm had lost her powers, then Nanny showed up and turned her into a child, to restart her powers. She lost her memory in the process, her adult memories, and ran into Gambit during his first appearance. They then trekked to New York for a reason – I wasn’t reading the title during this era.
Perfect Storm ruins this reunion and knocks Gambit back and naps Ro. Kitty sees this and draws everyone’s attention to it. Scott is about to tell Jean to aid in the rescue when Ghost Panther states he will handle it.
Up to this point, Ro has shown that she has lightning powers, they are uncontrollable and she is practicing when she can. Ro is now showing she has master over the wind as she is flying and shooting lightning. Perfect Storm shouts how dare Ro think she is her equal. Ro quickly rebuttals with how she isn’t her equal, she’s better. Then she loses her control over the lightning.
Ghost Panther arrives and also shoots lightning, as an assist. Ro can’t handle the extra charge. She unleashes all of her lightning into a sonic wave that will make Guile proud. This knocks all three of them back. Perfect Storm realizes she doesn’t know who she is up against and flies off, threatening to return in force.
Ro sees that Ghost Panther’s armor has been damaged. Ro blames herself, stating she isn’t more than a copy and a fake. Ghost Panther states she is so much more than that. Ro asks if she is the real Storm then.
Ghost Panther then takes off her helmet, revealing that she is both, a woman and a lightning version of 80s Storm. We now have three Storms, ya’ll! She also states that both Ro and Perfect Storm are the real Storm.
This is one of those reveals that wouldn’t work in a movie or a show, anything with audio as we would have known that some voice acting was happening to tip off the secret.
I do have issue 13 to reveal next so don’t worry baby birds, you won’t have to wait too long for the next chapter.