This issue opens with a flashback to a conversation between Wolverine and Captain America where Logan essentially asks Cap for permission to keep teen terrorist Quentin Quire at the school, rather than locked in prison. Cap cautiously agrees.
Flashing back to the besieged school, attacked by a new Krakoa last issue, Quire sits alone, observing the battle on a monitor screen, quite amused. He is dragged into things when the Wendigo crashes through the wall and Idie and Broo tumble in as well. Kid Gladiator gleefully comes crashing through, pummeling Sauron. (Note: These aren’t the original Sauron and Wendigo, they are mutated inspectors from the New York Board of Education.) Quire is livid that the other students don’t know who he is. He reluctantly follows them out, after mentally commanding the two monsters to fight each other rather than them.
Rachel Grey isn’t powerful enough to mentally battle Krakoa who is tearing up the school, but Quire is. He talks to Krakoa, who was created in a lab and treated miserably in order to make him know only “rage and hate.” It has been isolated and alone all its life, but Quire basically invites him to live with them. Karkoa lowers its mental block and allows Rachel to communicate with it. Wolverine and the X-Men confront the teenage Hellfire Club and tell them to stay away from them. There’s an amusing epilogue where Wolverine sends someone unexpected after Kade Kilgore to exact a unique brand of revenge.
Though the school is trashed, classes resume outdoors. Beast is able to fix the two inspectors, who suddenly are in favor of the school. Krakoa finds himself fitting in well, serving as the literal school grounds. Wolverine notes, “Figure… it’ll be handy to have a school grounds that can fight back.” Even Quire seems comfortable. Bad things are coming, though, as Kilgore hires someone from Wolverine’s past to cause trouble.
Quentin Quire is hilarious! That cover says it all! The latest in a string of petulant youth in comics, from Damian Wayne to the Hellfire Club, he has quickly established himself as the team’s resident Drama Queen. I like him and hope that he stays on the right path. I don’t want him to become a sweetheart, but I don’t want him to turn evil.
Also pretty amusing is the snooty Kid Gladiator, who just loves hitting things! Idie and Broo also get some screen time and they are pretty charming. The Hellfire Club are more disturbing than funny though, although they do have a dark sense of humor going on.
Wolverine may seem like an ill-fit for the role, but he has slipped into the mentor position fairly well. He can be level headed when he wants to. And he has a strong support system in Kitty Pryde, Rachel Grey, Iceman and Beast.
This premier storyline was so delightfully chaotic! Jason Aaron clearly enjoyed throwing everything he could come up with at the X-Men and had things just get worse and worse for them! And the resolution this issue was wholly satisfying! Chris Bachalo continues delivering super detailed, stylized artwork. It was perfectly suited for the crazy opening story arc, but he handles quiet moments beautifully, too. There were actually two pinch hitter artists this issue, Duncan Rouleau and Matteo Scalera, but their styles resembled Bachalo’s, so it was pretty seamless.
I enjoy the other X-Books to different degrees, but I think this one might be my favorite!
WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #3
Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils by Chris Bachalo, Duncan Rouleau and Mateo Scalera
Cover by Bachalo and Tim Townsend