Forging a Way Ahead! Forge has a secret mission that he’s been working on for the Quiet Council for some time. Now that he’s been elected to be one of the X-Men, the world’s greatest heroes, it’s time to put it into action…even if it does break some of the laws of Krakoa.
As Forge continues his journey into the vault, with his Caliban skin wrapped around his body armor as a portable Cerebro unit, to save Darwin from the Children after being left behind by Synch and Wolverine (Laura), we see the team continue to…develop outside, waiting for the heroes return whole and hearty. We also get the second issue with new series artist, Joshua Cassara, and his vision for the X-Men. We also get an interesting peek into Forge, his role on the team, as well as his role on Krakoa. Also, how will the Summers brothers interact? These two often are at odds with each other, so how will this dynamic work itself out moving forward? All things that have piqued my interest in the coming months.
With AXE still going on, this arc feels like a bit of a filler, waiting for the upended new status quo to be established after the end of the event, which is one of my biggest pet peeves about this story. Honestly having stories that clearly takes place after events detract from expectations regarding any consequences or having an actual impact on the characters that are involved, so having Jean here who’s one of the main protagonists in AXE, so having her here just kinda spoils it for me. Do I expect any long term ramifications? Of course not. We’re in the world of corporate comic books. We’re only teased with the thought of character progression.
Actual character progression is a myth that we like to believe will happen, rather than facing the truth that all things will revert to a default state. These characters have to remain accessible, and recognizable for the general public, in order to remain financially viable. This can be seen with most characters, with a select few being the exception to this rule. Case in point: the Beast. The Beast went from being the bubbly baboon, super scientist of the X-Men, and former partner to the Avengers Wonder Man, to this morally bankrupt, scientific nihilist, through which he has no problems committing some truly reprehensible acts as where the ends justify the means.
I bring this up, because I’ve noticed two characters who seem to be following in Mrs. McCoy’s favorite blue bouncing ball, Synch, and now Forge both seem to be going down that sinister hallway. Forge has had a long history of being morally…bankrupt over the last 40 years of his existence. When first introduced he was a weapons manufacturer for the United States government, filling in Tony Stark’s old role. He even invented a weapon that stripped mutants of their powers, with Storm being the main victim of this device. So the way he used Caliban during this era. It’s just so…callous, and disrespectful. I’m not sure where Duggan’s going with this, but there’s nobody that’s really likable on the roster. Is this the point?
Now it’s on to Joshua Cassara’s art, and what he’s bringing to this new era for the public X-Men team, and I’m just not liking it. I understand that he’s one of the previous class of Stormbreakers, and while his style is unique, it’s a style that just doesn’t mesh well with Duggan’s storytelling style. Following Pepe Larraz on art duties is an incredibly difficult task, so having that unenviable task ahead of Josh was rather daunting. What he does next will probably go a long way in my enjoyment of this title moving forward.
As Forge and Caliban as a talking pullover sweater dives deeper and deeper into the Vault trying to save Darwin, we get another look at Krakoa’s new public team. Still finding the cohesion of this team to be a tad lacking thus far. Rather unremarkable character work, with middling art that just doesn’t mesh with the writing style, it might be a rather forgettable arc in the Krakoan era.
X-Men #16: Strut pout, put it out, that’s what you want from Forge…
- Writing - 7.5/107.5/10
- Storyline - 7.5/107.5/10
- Art - 7/107/10
- Color - 7.5/107.5/10
- Cover Art - 7.5/107.5/10
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