Monday, October 8, 2012

Review: Wolverine and the X-Men Volume 1

Cover

Its the first day of school at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
To add to natural fuss and chaos of the first day of school, the New York State Department of Education inspectors are knocking at Wolverine's door.

Everything that can go wrong does go wrong.
Lava on the walls, the ground tries to swallow the school, Bamfs running around causing misfit and mutant teenagers.

Seems like Logan, Marvel tougher badass, is finally faced with a tasked that is more than he can handle.

How good is it?
Its been a few years since I've followed Marvel's books regularly. As a consequence I don't fully grasp all the continuity "whys" and "how's" that made the Universe come to be in the beginning of this story. What made Wolverine, Beast, Iceman and Kitty Pryde take over Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters (now called Jean Grey School for Higher Learning)? 

I didn't know.

I also didn't know who Broo, Armor, Kid Omega, Dust or some of the other students are. Fortunately that wasn't a problem because Jason Aron does a great job of getting you up to speed on any relevant facts you need to know. 
One of my fears when coming into this book was the fact that Wolverine had such a prominent position. I like the character but it seem that he's been on almost every corner of the Marvel Universe, and that almost never bodes well. Also I never pictured Logan as a Headmaster of a school. That seemed very out of character. But Jason Aron plays around with all those elements and brings it all together in a masterfully way. He really does a great job of mixing all this different characters and new situations together and the result is a funny, lightweight and fresh take on the original concept of the X-men. This is one status quo change that worked perfectly.

Chris Bachalo's approach may look a bit odd at first sight, but after 2 or 3 pages the art starts to look just about perfect. The panel dynamic is really good and fluid and the look he adopted for the book marries the mood set by Jason Aron's writing just right.

Never a first day of school (in Marvel Universe at least) was this funny and easy to read. This is not a book about the darker side of the Marvel Universe. Traditional X-men topics like discrimination and segregation of the mutantkind are not addressed in this book. And that is a good thing, because it elevates this book out of the sea of gloomy X-titles out there and creates a unique book with a unique feel. 

On a side note, the relationship between Quentin Quire (Kid Omega) and Wolverine is very promising.

The Headmaster telling it how it is


Would I recommend it?
While I don't think this is a book to draw in new readers to comic books, it is a very good superhero book. And if you're into the superhero genre then this one is going to make a great addition to your shelf.
Also, being a 1st volume, its a great jump in point, even if you (like myself) haven't been following the Marvel Universe in the last years.


Publisher: Marvel Comics
Year: 2012
Pages:112
Authors: Jason Aaron, Chris Bachalo
ISBN0785156801

2 comments:

  1. I honestly don't know why I let this pass by me... I guess I've been quite disappointed by so many Marvel # 1 issues and new titles. I like the way you explain how Jason Aaron makes the most out of this new status quo. I remember some discussions in message boards regarding Wolverine as a headmaster which got me a bit worried (just like you were too). I've only read one issue because I found it for 70 cents on DCBS, and damn, now I want all of them. PS: It's great to see Quentin Quire back.

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    Replies
    1. If you have the chance, read this one. You'll enjoy it.
      Quentin is indeed a very interesting character, and he takes a prominent role in Wolverine and The X-men Omega that I'll review eventually.

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