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Extraordinary X-Men #18 Review

Old Man Logan: A Wolverine from one of many possible, dark futures. Why is he here? To prevent his timeline from ever having a chance to become a reality? To stop the Marvel Universe’s super villains before they can one day harm his loved ones?

Nope! In this week’s Extraordinary X-Men #18, writer Jeff Lemire and artists Victor Ibanez and Andrea Sorrentino make it very clear Old Man Logan is here to give Forge a pep talk!

Extraordinary X-Men #18 (Marvel Comics)

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Forge is one of those X-Men who’s always hanging around, and you know a lot about him, but we’re also aware he’s never going to be an A-lister. He’s had a rich history – most X-fans can tell you he fought in the Vietnam War, romanced Storm (and Mystique!) and can build stuff. But if he was killed off tomorrow, Marvel wouldn’t develop a major X-event around his eventual return.

Perhaps this is what’s been influencing Lemire’s take on the mutant inventor who, for the majority of the writer’s Extraordinary X-Men run, has basically been Rodney Dangerfield with an X-gene (because he don’t get no respect). Personally, I’ve found this bitter, jealous Forge to be quite entertaining – and the way in which Lemire and Ibanez explain his powers is great (see a portion of the two-page spread below). As he points out, he doesn’t shoot lasers from his fingertips but he’s still a force to be reckoned with.

In fact, Forge has been tasked with building the machine that will take out the remaining Terrigen Cloud (you know, because Alchemy is dead). And considering the X-Men are at war with the Inhumans, this mutant just wants a moment to talk to his ex, Storm. But she’s got no time for Forge and his feelings. She’s sending Forge and his machine to the cloud’s location. Did I mention Old Man Logan, the guy Storm’s currently pretty fond of, is tagging along to keep Forge safe?

Yeesh. #TeamForge, right?

EXTRAXM2015018_int2 12The X-Men saga has always been an ongoing soap opera, so it’s no surprise this issue’s a lot of fun. And, as a fan of Lemire’s Old Man Logan series, I’ll tell you it’s pretty awesome to have that series’ regular artist Sorrentino provide the visuals for a brief story from the elderly Logan’s future-past. Sorrentino gets to have fun channeling Mad Max with his Rhino Gang designs.

Even though this story is part of the larger Inhumans Vs. X-Men epic, Lemire provides a nice, done-in-one feel to this issue. This series hasn’t been too kind to Forge, but fans of the character should finish this comic feeling good.

Aside from Sorrentino’s always exceptional pencils (love how he plays with panels), Ibanez’s emotive art is also a highlight. The artist nails the characters’ many emotions and his Cerebra moments add some much-needed levity during these stressful X-times.

Feel-good X-Men comic of the year? I wouldn’t go that far, what with the whole Earth-will-soon-be-uninhabitable-for-mutants scenario. But Lemire, Ibanez and Sorrentino definitely make me sympathetic to an X-Man I never cared much about. I’d call that accomplishment … extraordinary!




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