X-Men Forever #17

by Doug Zawisza, Reviewer |

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Cover Price
$3.99 (USD)
Release Date
Feb 10th, 2010

Mon, February 15th, 2010 at 7:16PM (PST)


For a fill-in (which is essentially what this book is, filling in the gaps between what's been done before) this book hooked me in with the premise of Rogue getting in touch with her inner elf -- her inner fuzzy blue elf. After being on the receiving end of CPR from Nightcrawler, Rogue has been graced with 'Crawlers devilishly good looks, teleportation ability, and tail. Nightcrawler, in turn, is rendered human, a condition that leaves him gaping for much of the issue. Although Rogue has "borrowed" Nightcrawler's powers before and this result has never occurred. Beyond the initial coolness of Rogue's shocking new look, this story didn't really offer me much.

Rogue, Nightcrawler, and Mystique have an impromptu family reunion in the midst of all this, and some buildings are exploding, requiring the X-Men to leap into action despite their transformations. Of course Rogue is hesitant to teleport, but Nightcrawler can't, so there's a bit of tension that never really feels like tension. Claremont even finds time to have Nightcrawler blame his inability to communicate directly with Rogue on the effects of the fire. Ho hum.

The transition between Rogue and Nightcrawler's adventure and the "tea party" with Jean and Moira is awkward at best. The two pages spent between Moira MacTaggert, Jean Grey, Charles Xavier, and Hank McCoy seem like wasted space to me, but the concept of Rogue and Nightcrawler fighting a fire and saving an aggregate three people didn't carry enough weight to fill an entire issue.

While I like Graham Nolan and am pleased as punch to see him back in comics again, I was more than a little disappointed to see Grummett wasn't handling the art chores of this book. I think Grummett draws one of the best Nightcrawlers since Dave Cockrum. That's not to say Nolan's art isn't good. He turned in quite a traditional book here, with all the straight-forward camera angles, but the blasé story didn't give him much room to shine.

This book, like "Classic X-Men"/"X-Men Classic" and "Classic Avengers" seems doomed to cancellation due to apathy. Claremont was the best of the best when he was writing "Uncanny X-Men," but the era he's revisiting here wasn't his best stuff. I appreciate what Claremont is trying to accomplish, deepening both the stories and the characters. However, it just doesn't happen here.

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