Writer Chris Claremont
Penciler Andy Smith
Inker Cory Hamscher
Colorist Wil Quintana
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Cover Dated March 2011
Issue opens with Dr. Strange trying to combine Ghost Panther Storm with Ro. It is only one page, will he be able to do it?
Perfect Storm and the Avengers – Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman (Julia), Vision (pale) and Thor are about to take on the X-Men.
Perfect Storm may have been oust from Genosha, but here in Wakanda, she is still Queen. Due to Black Panther’s membership with the Avengers, that makes the Avengers allies of Perfect Storm.
The Avengers are still mad at the X-Men for faking their death back in issue one of this second volume. There are some trust issues there. Plus, they are still reeling that Iron Man and Beast both died during an X-Men mission.
Cyclops tries to tell the Avengers the truth, Jean (whose flesh color top of her outfit makes her look more revealing than she probably intends for it to be) echoes that Storm’s reign is based on lies. Havok helps Polaris to her feet, who was attacked by Perfect Storm at the end of the previous issue.
Captain America, hearing about lies, throws the fact that the X-Men faked their deaths to get out of having to deal with the Avengers’ questions. They don’t rehash what the problems were in first time around, and I can’t recall as it was years ago and then plenty of issues before then. I want to say it was the Consortium-controlled SHIELD wanting to bring the X-Men in for ‘questioning’ and they used the Avengers as their muscle. Instead of a fight, the X-Men faked their deaths by exploding the mansion.
X-Men Forever, both volumes, have been largely about the Consortium and Evil Storm, especially the second volume. If it wasn’t the main aspect of the issue it was at least an ongoing plot point.
Perfect Storm comes at Cyclops, with a knife!
Havok is the first to attack Thor, having no effect. This would have been Avengers circa maybe 1993, if X-Men Forever 1 was suppose to take place in 1991. 24 issues of volume one, makes two years, then another 15 (plus a Giant Size) is another year, so that’s 1994 / 1995. That’s not my era of Avengers.
Jean and Wanda fight, Jean is about to be overpowered by Wanda, so she sends a telepathic alarm to the rest of the X-Men, who are in the basement – looking for weapons. Rogue teleports up (as she has Kurt’s powers and he has hers) and grabs Wanda and teleports away.
Poor Kurt, is so afraid of using his powers, as when he does, he has worst control than Rogue, so he doesn’t know how to limit what he takes. It isn’t a power that you get to practice on people. Especially as last time he used it, his powers were not simply absorbed but straight transferred between himself and his adopted sister.
Quicksilver, seeing his sister get teleported away, runs off. All Avengers have a tracking unit on them, so once Wanda comes back, he will be there for her in a matter of seconds.
Now that the X-Men don’t have to worry about two of the Avengers, their fight isn’t any easier as the A-Listers are still on their feet.
Jean moves her target to Spider-Woman. Who I missed, she was my Spider-Woman from the 90s Iron Man cartoon so I’ve always been partial to her. Then she went into creative limbo for what seemed like a decade.
Poloris is fighting Hawkeye. Captain America notices Storm fighting in a way that makes him uneasy. He throws his mighty shield but someone throws something at the shield to throw it off course
We get a nice splash page of the rest of the X-Men are now present. Kurt has a gun. Not even a fancy comic book gun, like a real pistol. He’s not there to mess around. Kurt tries to aid Havok against Thor but he’s the God of Thunder, so there isn’t much those two can do to even slow him down.
Lockheed gets in the fight, going after Spider-Woman. Andy Smith’s Lockheed is a bit long in the peak (if that’s what it is) but ribbed as all get out.
Gambit fights Captain America, spear vs. shield.
Perfect Storm’s fight with Cyclops is interrupted by Kitty. Kitty scarred Perfect Storm’s face, and is willing to add another one if need be. X-Men Forever Shadowcat is awesome and ruthless. Kitty absorbing Wolverine’s adamantium claw, she also got some of his personality – which I’ll have to reread that issue when that time comes as I forget how they explain it away. Kitty comes at Perfect Storm with a sword and the two of them have a decent sword fight, and with a kick, Kitty is disarmed. She pops her claws, she is the weapon now! Bad arse!
Then we get an odd matchup. Sabretooth comes at Hawkeye. Clint knows not to go easy on him just because he is blind. He shoots a net arrow, capture Sabretooth. He gets in to close, claiming that this is what happens when you go up against the world’s best archer. With that, Sabretooth rips the net apart and uppercuts him. What’s the point of being the best archer around if you get too close to someone to effectively pull an arrow back and making your own weapon useless?
In an awesome sequence, Quicksilver finds his twin sister. As soon as he moves in close, to pick her up, she knocks him out. Wanda shifts back into Mystique, we get the panel of Rogue hiding behind a shaded corner, with an unconscious Wanda – a nice reveal. Mystique makes light of how her children and her are a better family than Magneto’s heirs. I do like how now Rogue has the appearance of Nightcrawler, they all look like a family now. Rogue resembles her adoptive mother, and Kurt will always be her son. It was an interesting thing to make Rogue Nightcrawler. She definitely got more out of the deal, storywise than Kurt got out of his. He lost what made him awesome and then became like Ben Grimm, whiny all the time but not without good reason.
Cyclops has joined the fight against Thor. Cyclops tells them to separate Thor from his hammer, and Thor just shrugs the concept off, calling them fools. Thor isn’t holding back as they are not allies of his anymore, and with that, back hammers them all away from him. Thor is about to unleash the lightning when Kurt tackles him and absorbs his powers. Rogue’s first appearance in Avengers Annual 10, she was able to handle it but Kurt is still so new with the power, and unskilled that he is overloaded and Thor is stunned.
Kurt has only one course and unleashes all the power he gain, leaving his exhausted and with Reed Richards’ temples (I have the Fantastic Four on my mind, apparently). Also, leaving everyone else stunned. It wasn’t a controlled attack, it was more like he opened a flood gate and let it all out.
Cyclops sees his opportunity and moves in close to Captain America. He tries to tell him everything that happen with the Consortium, and how they control SHIELD (I forgot the Trask involved is actually named Ziggy – a hard name for a villain to own but when your business is making giant mutant killing robots, you can have a silly name, I suppose).
Fury and his renegade (or good) SHIELD agents are working on the X-Men’s side and can vouched for everything Cyclops is saying. Ziggy and the Consortium had a plan to kill all the mutants on the planet, but Iron Man and Beast sacrificed their lives to stop that plan. Which is silly, if you think about, at one point in one of the volumes of X-Men Forever (it may have been the first one) it is revealed the reason why there are not more 50 year old mutants is that there is something in the X-Gene that causes burnout. The more you use your power, the faster you will burn out and die. So really, you don’t need to plan an attack to kill them, just to make them use their powers like mad.
Perfect Storm wants to silence Cyclops, and blasts enough lightning to kill him. Havok, seeing the attack, takes the blast and in an incredible panel, all red with only a hand, Cyclops loses a brother. Also, Polaris lost a boyfriend and she is not happy about it. Polaris uses her powers to throw Perfect Storm out of the building and they fight in the air.
Ghost Panther shows up to assist Polaris. Perfect Storm is surprised to see how well Ghost Panther can control the weather now. Ghost Panther gives the run down on who Perfect Storm has killed – Logan, Black Panther and Havok – an impressive butcher’s bill (is that even a term?)
Polaris notices the giant metal statue of Perfect Storm (or Queen Storm) and uses the hand of the statue to grab Perfect Storm, taking her out of the fight. Ghost Panther tells her X-Men don’t kill and so Polaris only subdues Perfect Storm.
Captain America hears Ghost Panther speak and suspects that it is T’Challa back from the grave – so that answers the question of what does it sound like when Ghost Panther speaks. Ghost Panther takes off her helmet, and instead of a young Ro, we see a more teenage / early twenties Ororo with a mohawk. Now that she is restored, so now shall the throne of Wakanda. Oh to be a comic book character and be able to speak like that and have everyone just accept it.
Next issue is the last issue of X-Men Forever 2 and the final entry in this alternate timeline. One day we’ll cover it but not this month.