Writer: Gerry Duggan
Art: Joshua Cassara, GURU-eFX, VC’s Clayton Cowles, Martin Coccolo, Jesus Aburtov, Jay Bowen, and Tom Muller
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: October 19th, 2022
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, it’s time to put it into action. Let’s dive into X-Men #16 by Gerry Duggan to see how this story forges ahead even if it does break some of the laws of Krakoa.
The best part of X-Men #16 is the reveal as this issue wraps up. I’ve been talking about this very instance happening since HOXPOX began. And now, it’s finally arrived with huge implications. So, below will be spoilers simply because it’s impossible to talk about X-Men #16 vaguely. However, before I talk about the best part, let me go over a few other elements of the issue and end with the juicy stuff.
I love Duggan’s take on Forge, especially the scene with Sinister. There is no doubt that Forge’s abilities tend to rival that of Tony and Reed, which is even referenced in X-Men #16. Nevertheless, I love the element that something is always brewing with Forge. He’s always scheming and always prepared. Readers should leave this week’s X-Men with a newfound affinity for the character. Plus, I couldn’t tell you the last time a story was focused mostly on Forge. It’s incredibly refreshing and possibly deserves a solo series that periodically has some guest stars. Just throwing that out there to anyone who wants to scoop that up (cough) Duggan. I think you’d be perfect for it!
Additionally, like the last issue, I appreciated the Children of the Vault angle and how it was referenced again. By that, I mean how powerful they are and what they are genuinely capable of if left unchecked. Again, Forge refers to getting Tony and Reed involved and I feel like there is a huge story here left completely untapped.
However, I wasn’t a huge fan of the fallout between Cyclops and Havoc. I get the relationship. And to anyone who followed Hellions, we know Havoc is currently a bit unstable. Nevertheless, the fight was a little silly with huge consequences that just didn’t mirror the seriousness of this arc. I feel like Duggan may have done better by simply having Forge’s tech glitch due to some other event than the Summers brothers.
Darwin is probably dead (not definite yet). However, the signature found of a mutant still alive was Laura! So… just wow! The implications of this reveal are huge! She never died when they left the Vault. So now we have two people alive that are technically the same person. A clone if you will. And, this raises even more questions. Are mutants basically just cloning and not resurrecting? Because now we are looking at two identical people.
Can they both survive? Will they both survive? Do they just kill one of them? Will someone try to kill one of them secretly? Plus, this raises the question as to whether or not what the X-Men are doing is even ethical in the first place. And frankly, this makes the resurrection premise even more villainous than many would have anticipated. Who’s to say we can just create multiple Charles Xavier’s right now with the same memories at that moment and have them branch out all over the globe to take control of the world? My point is: Duggan has finally pointed out what I feel will be the pinnacle push that ends this resurrection era.
Better yet, Synch has been off ever since Laura never came back. Will this now fix Synch emotionally? There was no doubt that Laura loved him but the “new” Laura didn’t remember him so there was nothing attached to that relationship. But after they bring Laura home (and Duggan better), the ramifications of this event will rock Krakoa to its core. I could see Synch and Laura eventually going rogue on their own in order to bring the entire operation down. Heck, imagine if he started to rekindle a relationship with the “new” Laura only to discover the old one was still alive. Again, this plot thread provides some intense water cooler talk and a vibrant path that should give this next phase the jolt it needs and has been missing for quite some time.
Don’t skip out on X-Men #16. The story itself is a bit trivial with some low-key moments that will provide enough substance to engineer a reasonable score, especially the push and focus on Forge. However, it’s the imagination that Duggan infuses into X-Men #16 that propels this issue to new heights. I haven’t felt this jazzed for an X-Men title in quite some time. And after including the last issue, this entire arc so far is dripping with potential. X-Men #16 is a must-buy for any X-Men who’s been around the block since the Hickman era began. The story is exciting, the possibility is widespread, and the impact of this inventive tale will be felt throughout the entire Marvel Landscape at some point. Let me know what you think, have a great week, and God Bless!