Forge had his hand and leg blown off during Vietnam in a rather complicated mission. His squad was killed by the Vietcong, so he used his Cheyenne Medicine Man powers to summon an army of dark spirits to possess their bodies and kill the enemy. Fearing what he had done, Forge ordered a B-52 squadron to destroy the portal and the creatures. The resulting bombardment destroyed Forge’s right hand and leg. This began a long battle between the spiritual and tech realms for Forge. His mentor Naze would frequently enter his life to push him towards the way of Cheyenne, so naturally Forge became a cheap government contractor for those projects that couldn’t afford Tony Stark.
When the U.S. government was looking to hire people to ruin mutantdom, Forge was ever-so willing to lend a metal hand. Forge had nearly been recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. during Vietnam, but never quite left the radar of the government sector. Working through various creations, designs and devices; Forge became a contractor wunderkind who worked out of Eagle’s Plaza in Dallas. When the government had become interested in neutralizing mutant powers, Stark had stepped down from creating weapons due to philosophical differences. Forge decided to step up and create a Neutralizer gun that was non-violent. But, it still destroyed an essential part of what made a mutant function.
Forge allows the Neutralizer to fall into Henry Peter Gyrich’s hands, who in turns shoots and depowers Storm. This begins the LifeDeath story and a brief Marvel Comics fascination with the Dire Wraiths. Storm goes on to redefine her personality, while Forge begins a slippery slope downhill. The dark creature that led the attack in Vietnam is back and he’s taken over Forge’s mentor Naze. Using Naze to trick Forge into reopening the portal, The Adversary uses Forge’s growing mysticism to trick Storm into stabbing Forge. Forge survives the stab wounds, but the Adversary chucks Forge and Storm into another dimension. Forge and Storm emerge to help stop The Adversary in Dallas. Forge decides to sacrifice the X-Men and Madelyne Pryor to stop the Adversary once again. Naturally, Forge can’t be bothered to throw himself into the mix.
After some time, Forge started hooking up with Mystique. They started fooling around after Forge joined the Muir Isle era X-Men and helped Freedom Force to repel an attack by the Reavers. Several people were injured or died, but the carnage brought Forge closer to Storm’s enemy. In time, Storm returns and Forge plays his two-timing very oddly. Forge helps out during the X-Tinction Agenda, but everything builds to what comes once the original X-Men return to the fold. Storm is quick to pair up with time traveler Bishop, while Forge finds out that Mystique is starting to break down. Due to frequently shape shifting and living under so many identities has lead Mystique to become a schizophrenic.
Storm reveals that she would’ve accepted Forge’s planned marriage proposal, if he would’ve ever got his ass to do it. But, Forge is way too cool being Mystique’s caretaker/lover. This continues throughout their days in X-Factor, as Forge takes over being that team’s government liason. Sabretooth screws over the team and Mystique skips town. It’s not long before Forge is back to being X-Mansion support staff and used as background material for various storylines. This peaks with Forge’s use as the villain in Warren Ellis and Simone Bianchi’s work on “Ghost Box”. Basically, it’s a much meaner spirited tweak based in how Forge dealt with The Adversary and his Vietnam squad. Fortunately, the X-Men outsmart him and leave Forge in the position to die. Naturally, Forge gets better.
What does one make of a supposed warrior who can’t keep his allies alive? Many fan sites have joked about Forge being the worst X-Man. He nearly gets the team killed twice, builds a Nimrod sentinel out of scrap and then keeps screwing over Storm. What does it take to get a mind wipe up in this bitch? Forge is constantly portrayed as a man willing to sell out any family he has, so that he can maintain a certain amount of prestige. While he frequently finds the right idea of what to do, he keeps stepping on his own dick in what can’t be called editorial interference. Even when editors screw with a character, they still get a few moments of decent character development over the years. Even Gambit got to gain a personality.
Forge’s push to always find a solution for things is tiresome over three decades. When Forge is recovered by Cable after the “Ghost Box” incident”, there is a push for Cable to telepathically restore Forge’s sanity. Newly sane Forge builds a new arm for Cable and then joins the latest incarnation of X-Force. From there, Forge has fallen back into the background. While there aren’t a ton of Forge fans out there, there’s a certain affinity for the character among 80s era X-Men fans. That being said, the cooler Native American X-Man is Danielle Moonstar. We’ll be talking about her later.
What does the future hold for Forge? Probably screwing over more allies until he catches a bullet. When you look at Forge across the various alternate realities and dimensions that Marvel portrays, there are certain patterns that keep recurring. Forge dies in the Age of Apocalypse to motivate Nate Grey. In the Marvel Zombies reality, Forge is used as a living utility to create artificial limbs for survivors that lost arms and legs to the zombie attacks. Then, it doesn’t matter if we’re looking at the Ultimate Universe, Exiles, Mutant X or related worlds. Forge either gets killed, used as a means to an end or helps to create evil devices. For all intents and purposes, Forge makes far more sense as a villain. A failed villain, but there’s no reason for the X-Men to keep him as one of their own due to the fact that he’s such a giant twit. It’s not like the Avengers taking the Great Lakes Avengers seriously. But, even Flatman and Squirrel Girl are right twice a day.