X-Men: Forever #1 Review

X-Men: Forever #1 Review – “A Ghost”

X-Men: Forever #1 kicks off the latest mini-series that is part of the Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X crossover. This series in particular is tagged as tying into the events going on in the Fall of the House of X. As this is written by Kieron Gillen, one of the main writers of this crossover, X-Men: Forever looks to have a lot of important plot details that’ll impact the main crossover series. Let’s find out how things begin with X-Men: Forever #1.


Writer: Kieron Gillen

Artist: Luca Maresca

Colorist: Federico Blee

Letterer: Clayton Cowles


“HAUNTED HOUSE OF X! How can you kill a digital god? What do you do when the Phoenix is bleeding out into nothing? There’s been questions that have haunted you since the end of IMMORTAL X-MEN. Finally, some answers. There’s also been some questions that have haunted you since the START of IMMORTAL X-MEN. Finally, some answers too. Tying directly into the pages of the epic FALL OF THE HOUSE OF X and RISE OF THE POWERS OF X comes this story of revelation from Kieron Gillen (IMMORTAL X-MEN) and Luca Maresca (CHILDREN OF THE VAULT)!” – Marvel Comics


X-Men: Forever is not going to be for everyone. Even if you are reading both Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X this will be a tough read. A big reason why is that Kieron Gillen’s Immortal X-Men run is required reading to grasp what is going on. For that reason, X-Men: Forever #1 finds itself in a place for the hardcore who were reading every Fall of X title than bringing in everyone.

It is not a completely bad thing that X-Men: Forever #1 doubles down on all the Fall of X continuity. At this point are the X-Men franchise is once again in a spot where they are trying to balance making their final Krakoa Era crossover accessible and one where everything is required reading.

X-Men: Forever is in odd spot because it does expand on the Charles Xavier story we are seeing over in Rise of the Powers of X. X-Men: Forever #1 acts as a prequel to where Rise of the Powers of X #1 starts off. Which makes the timing of this first issue’s release a greater problem than the continuity heavy nature of it. A lot of the plot beats may have hit as intended if X-Men: Forever #1 came out right after Rise of the Powers of X #1.

This is particularly noticeable with how reliant X-Men: Forever #1 is on Mother Righteous story in the latest crossover. It is tough to be invested in the hunt for Mother Righteous when we’ve already saw her present status quo working for Xavier in Rise of the Powers of X #2. There is absolutely no tension in this plot. You can’t even see Mother Righteous getting what she deserves when facing off against Selene, Mister Sinister, and Xavier as rewarding. Her ending in the narrative of X-Men: Forever #1 has already been spoiled.

Destiny vision - X-Men: Forever #1
Destiny foresaw the events of Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X back in 1899 as shown in X-Men: Forever #1. Credit: Marvel Comics

That said, Gillen does nail why Selene and Mister Sinister are great villains. They thrive in situations where it appears they are in control. Both are such good at saying evil dialogue that you love to hate Selene and Mister Sinister.

On the opposite end, the predictability of X-Men: Forever #1 did negatively impact Xavier’s presence in the second half of this issue. Like with Mother Righteous, all of Xavier’s dialogue would’ve been more effective if this issue came out before Rise of the Powers of X #2. But because it didn’t Xavier’s dialogue came across as Gillen retroactively trying to do character and plot work for things he ran out of time doing during Fall of X.

Because of all of that X-Men: Forever #1 would’ve been better off focusing on Hope Summer’s group in the White Hot Room. There is so much potential in the story of Hope’s crew trying to get out of the White Hot Room and the race to save Jean Grey. There was genuine tension with how we see Jean bleeding out. It felt like there was a race against the clock in this plotline. Unfortunately, we only spend a handful of issues on the most interesting part of X-Men: Forever. Moving forward the story should focus on this since Rise of the Powers of X has the Xavier story handled.

Additionally, the story that should get more attention in X-Men: Forever is Destiny’s Books. The reveal of Mystique reading Destiny’s Books is a game changer for this X-Men crossover. This, along with the build towards the return of the Phoenix, should be key plot points for Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X. This is what makes X-Men: Forever have the “required reading” feeling it was going for.

While X-Men: Forever #1’s story lacked any tension it wasn’t because of the artwork. Luca Maresca did what he could to move Mother Righteous narrative along with some sort of tension. The attacks that are fired her way all had a killing intent aura. Maresca was particularly effective in elevating Selene, Mister Sinister, and Xavier’s dialogue through the artwork. It is too bad the majority of plot beats were predictable.


Timing is everything, especially with the story going on in Fall of the House of X and Rise of the Powers of X crossover. X-Men: Forever #1 is an example of how timing can impact a story. If this comic book was released a month earlier, its intent would’ve strengthened the story in the latest X-Men crossover. But because it was released now the story that X-Men: Forever #1 largely focuses on is a giant swing-and-miss. Hopefully future issues of X-Men: Forever will focus on the plot beats that were most effective in this series debut.

Story Rating: 4 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 5.5 Night Girls out of 10