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Review: X-Men Forever #1

A throwback in all senses.

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Wolverine and Phoenix pose as honeymooners at a tropical resort to route out agents of the Hand lurking there, but their act may run the danger of becoming real as their feelings surface.
Takeda has an unique digital-paint style that gives this comic a dreamy look at times - - and that's something you don't get in your average X-Men story. That dreaminess extends to his rendering of the X-Women here, making Phoenix, in particular, look stunning. 

Claremont's scripting style really hasn't kept up with the times. There are a lot expository captions that run a little long in the tooth and much of the dialogue has an unnatural, on-the-nose quality. One exchange that stood out involved Psylocke fighting a mind-controlled Wolverine. Her answer to his threat is, "You may have adamantium claws -- but I can read minds AND I have own martial arts training -- !" That wouldn't sound right, even if the characters weren't in the middle of a fight. Wolverine's characterization runs a little dated too - - you really have a hard time believing this guy's a cunning killing machine when he comes off such a dopey softy, especially in comparison to his more convincing portrayals in the movies and recent comics. Takeda's rendering of him is a little off, too - - so much so that some friends of mine who were flipping through this asked if it even was Wolverine they were looking at. He looks uncharacteristically dumpy, for some reason.

Claremont is a legend whose contributions to the X-Men cannot be understated. If you've grown up on his work, then you're going to love this. If his more traditional style has never jibed with you, then it isn't going to jibe with you, here. This annual's interesting to pick up if you want to see the X-Men interpreted in a completely different style, even if it goes a little too far off from the established looks, sometimes.