Writer Chris Claremont
Penciler Robert Atkins
Inkers Sandu Florea and Rick Ketcham
Colorist Wil Quintana
Letterer Dave Sharp
Cover Dated February 2011
I didn’t even know I had a comic done by friend to Uncanny X-Cast, Robert Atkins! He has this great blog over at :
You only get a centimeter of Kitty in this issue, and you only see her back and a claw, which was enough for me to buy it but here is how he would ideally draw her and Lockheed :
How great is that image? Apparently while doing a search for it, people take his finish inks and then color them and I saw two very good ones through Google Images.
I also know that he is well liked for his involvement in the GI Joe run over at IDW. With that, that is all I know about Atkins, the man.
Uncanny X-Cast 52 is the episode wherein they interview him, he is mentioned a couple of times throughout the run of the show. This reminds me, that I’m at least now two episodes behind on the X-Cast. Having a baby at home will do that. You would think I would know that with being a fan of that podcast.
This issue is the only issue I own of his work. Which is a shame as this post has reminded me how much I like him.
So this issue is essentially the origin story of Ro, Perfect Storm and Electric Storm (Ghost Panther).
Look at the cover, it is a better image than the last issue so you can see the scar Kitty gave Perfect Storm.
With Atkins on art, Ro goes from looking like an eight year old to looking like she is thirteen. Which works as she isn’t a scared little girl, she is coming into her own this issue and getting answers that have plagued her since the fourth issue of the first series of X-Men Forever.
Issue opens with Ro staring wide eyed at Ghost Panther. She starts asking questions. Ghost Panther rebuts with asking Ro what she remembers. She remembers growing up in Cairo, Illinois (clever!). So this makes her, Angel and Kitty all from Illinois. Sometimes I think about Chicago as its own place so much that I forget which state it is in. Sort of like Gotham, I know it is a city but which state, does it matter? I’m sure Illinois cares.
Ro recounts what else remembers. A robot, that we know as Nanny, harassing her then a guy in what to me looks like Rachel’s red horn outfit but blue is seen. Then Gambit saving her from Uncanny X-Men 266, his first appearance. She doesn’t remember much after that until the Consortium. Who are the evil corporation behind most of the evil acts in this Forever series. They are pretty successful too, they end up killing Beast and Iron Man, two big names. So great how Claremont was able to make giant changes due to having his own alternate world. No one was safe.
Ghost Panther is concerned, as Ro should have more memories than that. Ro asks if they are all family, and Ghost Panther states that they are sort of like a family. I wonder why this origin needs to be so complicated. Probably as it is based on actual X-Men comics so we have to establish what came before and then what happened in the X-Men Forever timeline.
Ro and Ghost Panther look down from the building top to see the X-Men fighting Perfect Storm’s army. The characters are tiny, only being able to tell them apart by color scheme and their powers. This is where we see Kitty and why, when I buy new comics, that I’m going through each panel to make sure I don’t miss an appearance.
Ro wants to do something and so Ghost Panther touches Ro’s head and a flood of memories kick in.
Storm, as an adult, is at the Xavier school with the New Mutants, all relaxing by the pool. The New Mutants are Boom Boom, Rictor, Warlock and Wolfsbane. No one they get captured easily. I expect more out of Wolfsbane and Warlock but the other two are holding them back.
They are taken to the Geneginner’s Citadel in Genosha. This gets a little complicated with the science, the acts and the politics.
The captured mutants arrive in the holding cell, completely nude. Only Storm is bothering to cover up, which is ironic as of the group, she would be the least modest, though she has the most to cover up. Even Wolfsbane isn’t trying to cover up and she would the the one who would be huddle up in the corner of the room for no one to see.
Hodge wants to kill Storm, as he hates the X-Men, but the Genegineer (such an odd word, describes it perfectly but it seems to be one of those words where the guy probably called himself that as a joke and it got on) wants her to be part of the genepool. Hodge wants to see her suffer as the process would make her a mindless mutate. Before the process can start, Wolverine and Psylocke start causing trouble that Hodge has to go deal with.
Genegineer Moreau quickly tells Storm the plan, how there is a rebellion in the works and she is the final piece. Storm knows that he is the lesser of two evils and agrees to the plan. Her memories are copied and her body is cloned. He tells her that she will have to pretend to be a mutate which she agrees – she started life as a thief and knows how to lie.
Hodge, being a sick foe, makes Wolverine and Psylocke watch the ‘transformation.’ Which is nice that Atkins got to draw these three X-Men. If he ever wanted to draw Storm, he sure got his chance.
Honestly, if you meet a doctor by the name of Moreau, don’t keep that person as their doctor! This is now two evil Moreaus that I know of, not counting family members of the original Dr. Moreau.
The clone Storm will have her powers but also a little of the mutant Wipeout’s powers, which are to absorb other powers but this is never done or shown. I think it is just trying to set up why the clone goes evil to not show that Storm has the capability. Though we already know she does as she could have easily gone that route in the 80s, she was a controlled ruthless but there is a fine line.
Storm watches the clone go from genetic material to adult in a matter of three panels. We get a nice recap via the caption boxes of other transformations she has witnessed such as having a Brood hatching come out of her and being merged with an Acanti. Though seeing yourself be born is a whole another thing to witness.
There is a double page ad for the Spider-Man : Shattered Dimension game, which I enjoyed that gave very much. The Noir levels were my favorite but it was cool to hear Neil Patrick Harris (NPH) portray Amazing Spider-Man again. I still remember when they were teasing what the four dimensions were going to be and how clued I was to three websites for each reveal. I have meant to buy Edge of Time but they went with only Amazing and 2099 as options and I hated those Free Fall levels of 2099 and they, of course, brought those back and more of them. No thank you.
Storm argues that once the clone wakes up, that she will have all of her memories so she is essentially her own person. She will no longer be a tool or a weapon but a living soul. She wants to know what will happen to her then. Moreau tells her they will deal with that later.
So the plan begins. Storm runs across Cyclops, is ordered to attack him, she blasts the room with blinding lightning and is switched out with the clone. So in the blinding light, and with the use of Wipeout’s power, she was able to restore the powers of the nearby mutants. I must have missed this one sentence in my original review. I read these comics before I start typing and then I read them again panel per panel so sometimes you miss a detail or two from my original opinion. Also, by this point, there is so much plot via dialogue and caption boxes. Also, see how complicated this plan is? Plus, this is mostly an alternate take on the X-Tinction Agenda crossover which I was lucky enough to pass on originally so this feels like a retread of a story I didn’t want in the first place. That’s the nice thing about following Excalibur, I missed out on a slew of 90s X-Men comics.
So when the switch occurred, the clone did her thing and young Ro was teleported away into a stasis tube.
Like these things happen, Hodge anticipated that the lousy people he was aligned with were going to double cross him, so once he saw the beginning signs, he straight murdered them.
There is an teaser ad for Fear Itself, the first real Marvel crossover that I chose to not even follow. Which I’m glad I did as apparently the big changes that occured, were undone by the final issue, so that must have been frustrating. I read the X-Men tie ins and those were good and really impacted the titles with Colossus gaining the powers of Juggernaut and Kitty breaking up with him. Good times.
So when the fall of the Citadel, everyone who knew about the switch is dead. Sort of like Face Off but more confusing? Maybe. So in the rubble, is a stasis tube as well as Storm’s memory in a computer. The Storm that rejoins the X-Men will become Perfect Storm.
The Consortium are called in once computer and the tube are found. They see could the raw data but could not remove it. Iron Man and Ingrid Trask are called in, they are members of the Consortium but Tony doesn’t know that they have anti-mutant motivations. Also, in the Forever-verse, the Starks and Trasks are cousins as they both are technology inventors – is the rationale, I imagine. The Trasks are responsible for the Sentinel programs.
Iron Man is able to free Ro but she has too much power coursing through her as she is a smaller package than the memories can fully resemble in. So there is this giant burst of light again. Iron Man senses a faint signal and investigates it. He finds Electric Storm and gives her his chest plate that has been modified. He tells her that she will have to hide until he can give her a better container.
So Ghost Panther is the memories and powers that Ro couldn’t handle and Perfect Storm is a clone. Sort of like a three way split, or a half split and then one of the halves are split again. That’s probably a better explanation. Could have saved ten pages too. But why tell when you can show.
There is a double page ad for Age of X, which was pretty fun diversion of the titles of X-Men Legacy and New Mutants at the time. Mike Carey had an interesting take on Kitty, I liked the idea of her never going by that name, and only by Katherine, and what that small detail would mean for her character.
Tony heads back to the Consortium and doesn’t tell them about Electric Storm. They are going to keep Ro safe, like an object and Tony protests but he has other things to do so he lets it go. Time passes, the X-Men save Ro. While trying to come up with a fancy armor, Tony finds out that his dear friend, Black Panther is murdered, and soon after his wedding day to Storm. We are given the scene of Trask telling Stark that Project X is ready and he needs to come to the satellite. This will be his and Beast’s final adventure.
Before he goes there, he delivers to Electric Storm her Ghost Panther armor. He made it in honor of his fallen friend and her friend as well. Electric Storm has been keeping up with all of the hero news and knows that her clone is out of control.
We get a quick recap of the first issue of Forever 2, with the Avengers heading to the X-Men to confront them after Tony’s death. The X-Men fake their deaths by exploding the mansion. So Electric Storm sees this and now believes it is all up to her to stop her clone as she has no more allies.
This concludes her story to Ro. Ghost Panther explains how the aging of the clone to adulthood made her unsettled and an easy target for her old enemy, the Shadow King to take control. Well not actual control, that would be too easy. What happen was that due to Wipeout’s mutant power that Perfect Storm has, she absorbed some of Shadow King’s wicked ways. Ooof, unnecessary complication!
I can’t remember if part of Perfect Storm’s plans involved killing the Consortium but she was working with them behind the scenes. Are they all dead? I don’t remember. She is power mad and will own the world, if not stopped.
Perfect Storm heads back to her country of Wakanda. She will fight them physically and through the press. She has her aid, Minister W’kabi tell the world that Genosha is being attacked by terrorists. Wakanda, as a country, can not deal with the political firestorm that is dealing with terrorists. So she will call in her late husband’s friends, the Avengers.
With that we are done with the issue, it was pretty much a done in one with all of that back story being told. So that explains how they could farm it out as it has bookend scenes but most of it are flashback sequences. This was the last of my back log of X-Men Forever 2 titles so we will have to pick up on this once I revisit the series at some other point.