Comic Book Review: ‘Wolverine And The X-Men: Alpha & Omega’ #1

Posted Sunday, January 8th, 2012 08:00 pm GMT -4 by 0

Wolverine and the X-Men Alpha and Omega #1 Cover - Mark BrooksWould-be world conqueror/anarchist/sociopath/hipster Quentin Quire, has been remanded to Wolverine and his faction of X-Men for looking after, rather than imprisoned by the government, in hopes that Wolverine can help lead this kid down the right path.  (Check out ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ #3 for more.)  As of this issue, things aren’t looking good.

This issue opens with him declaring his own superiority over his fellow students “You’re all sheep and don’t know it.  Jocks.  Conformists.  Little capitalists.”  When Rachel Grey informs him that he is late for ‘Psychwar 101,’ he dismisses her, thinking “I should be teaching that class.”  Quire considers himself a political prisoner, as he gazes out the window into the courtyard where Wolverine is sparring with Armor.  Inspired by ‘Psychwar 101′ Quire decides to test his telepathic skill by sending both of his fellow mutants into a telepathic simulation entirely created by him.

Wolverine and Armor find themselves in a futuristic, Asian-inspired urban landscape, working as smugglers.  To them, this is their home and their lives.  They aren’t aware of their true natures.  Quire gloats (to himself) about his actions, then notices their lifeless bodies laying in the courtyard.  He scrambles to hide them.  With Armor, he has little problem, but Wolverine is too heavy.  He drags him into a nearby shed and locks the door.

Meanwhile, in the simulation, Wolverine and Armor slowly develop their abilities.  When Wolverine’s claws pop out, they are startled, but to Wolverine, it feels right.  When they are struck by a car, Armor’s psionic energy protects her, but she isn’t sure how.  Quire continues to revel in his feat.  But Wolverine’s had experience with telepaths before, so things may go awry.

Quentin Quire is among comics’ current crop of sociopathic teens, including Damian Wayne.  (Check out Scott West’s review of ‘Batman & Robin’ #4, for example.)  I kind of like him and his smug air of superiority.  But the main draw of characters like that, is when you see them knocked off their high horse.  He’s just stepping into the forefront of the X-Books, so I think it’s too early for that.  I’m a bit wary that he’s going to start getting grating before long.

The X-Men need a wild card, though and since Wolverine has taken on the role of mentor and leader, that spot is up for grabs and I suppose Quire– or Kid Omega, his rarely-used codename– is the group’s latest.  In that sense, it’s refreshing that he isn’t just a Wolverine knock-off.  There have already been plenty of those.  Quire is a new type of wild card, so that’s a plus.  But it’s tricky to write such unlikeable characters and make them appealing.  Jason Aaron’s handling of the character in ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ is great!  We’ll have to see how Brain Wood does as this series continues.

I experienced a tiny bit of confusion trying to figure out when this took place.  It apparently happens after the last ‘Wolverine and the X-Men,’ but in a continuity snafu, the school is in perfect shape, with no reference to the destruction caused by the Hellfire Club’s attack.

The art was handled by two pencillers.  Mark Brooks illustrates the “dream sequences” and does a great job!  The double-page spread of Wolverine and Armor “waking up” in that reality is simply a knock-out!  Just amazing!  Roland Boschi’s scenes, at the school are less to my liking.  It’s perfectly fine, just very sparse and a bit crude.  It’s a stylistic thing.  I’m not going to criticize it too badly.  It just wasn’t my thing.

‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ is shaping up to be one of my favorite titles, but this issue lacked the over-the-top, chaotic action and hilarious dialogue and interactions of the main series.  So it was a decent read, but nothing to make a special trip for.  It’s too early to say, but I worry that this series won’t even have any impact in the main book, but you never know.

Verdict: Borrow

WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN: ALPHA & OMEGA #1
Written by Brian Wood
Art (Westchester) by Roland Boschi and Dan Brown
Art (Construct) by Mark Brooks with Andrew Currie, Jay Leisten, Normal Lee and Ronda Patterson
Cover by Mark Brooks