July 04, 2009


ASTONISHING X-MEN #30 puts a spotlight on Forge, the Cheyenne machine-making mutant. The story goes like this: In response to an extra-dimensional threat, Forge creates his own team of monstrous pseudo-mutants. The other X-Men think he's exaggerating the threat; he thinks they're ignoring it.

Here are a few reviews:

  • Astonishing X-Men #30 Review

  • Astonishing X-Men #30

  • Astonishing X-Men #30 Review:  Thinking Like an Engineer

  • Astonishing X-Men #30 Review

  • Simone Bianchi does a good job with the art. As usual, Forge doesn't look much like an Indian. In fact, the only sign that he's an Indian is his usual stereotypical headband.

    It would be interesting if an X-Men writer said he was only 1/2 or 1/4 Cheyenne by blood, but that probably won't happen. In comics, it's enough to give an Indian black hair, slightly tan skin, and a headband or feather.

    Obsessed as he is by the threat, Forge is self-righteous, arrogant, and angry toward the others. He becomes defense and a little self-pitying when the others won't accede to his plan. The critics said this wasn't the Forge they knew, but Forge has never had much of a personality. He's always been a serious, gruff engineer like countless stock characters.

    What was interesting to me is that you almost never see an Indian as a mad scientist type. And this Forge is at least half-mad. He won't listen to reason, and he's willing to kill the others or himself rather than let them stop his plan.

    And in the context of Native stereotyping, that's good. No one wants all Indians to be peaceful, wise elders, medicine men, or nature lovers. We want to see Indians in a variety of human roles, including the half-mad scientist.

    In the end, the X-Men blow up Forge's hideout and he's seemingly killed. He'll be back eventually, of course. No one dies forever in comic books.

    All in all, ASTONISHING X-MEN #30 is only an average comic. It's mostly interesting for its art and its innovative portrayal of an Indian.

    For some fans who like Forge, see Top Five Native Heroes, Loren Javier's Favorites, and Comics Picks and Pans. For more on Forge, see Forge in the Cartoons.


    dmarks said...

    "What was interesting to me is that you almost never see an Indian as a mad scientist type"

    Almost. But as you know, it has happened before:


    Anonymous said...

    Wow, an Indian mad scientist.

    Evolution had Forge as a genius kid from the 70s stuck in a time loop. Nightcrawler gets stuck in there too. And that Forge kind of looked like an Indian, but he was only there for one episode.