Rachel Grey is forced into a role she was hoping never to assume again, that of mutant hunter. At the behest of Cyclops, now in possession of a fraction of the Phoenix Force, she uses her psychic abilities to hunt down Logan and Hope Summers. (See the main ‘Avengers Vs. X-Men’ book.) She and her allies, Iceman, Angel, Namor (like Cyclops, also a Phoenix now), and Kid Gladiator find themselves facing a pack of Avengers, Captain America, Giant Man, Spider-Woman, Thor, War Machine, and Quicksilver. Surprisingly, it’s Kid Gladiator that fares the best, plowing through the Avengers until he comes face-to-face with Wolverine. There are other interesting pairings such as old pals Beast and Iceman slugging it out and something unexpected occurs when Angels fights War Machine.
Ultimately, Rachel discovers Hope… but what does she do about her?
We get a real sense of just how creepy and misguided Cyclops and his allies have become. His dialogue with Rachel before and after her mission verge on paranoid. Cyclops’ stance before all of this was questionable to start with. Now he just plain seems to be off his rocker!
Chris Bachalo’s art looks great and he clearly had a ball drawing the Avengers, which he doesn’t get to do very often. His work is super detailed and stylized, but that can be a negative. In a couple of panels, I simply couldn’t tell what I was looking at. But over all, great style.
If you’re just looking for (another) super hero slugfest, this certainly delivers. And Rachel’s story is touching. But since this is part of a larger crossover, it doesn’t work in the context of the prior issues of ‘Wolverine and the X-Men.’ That happens with these sorts of things, but it’s too bad that in order to participate in a larger story, the regular storylines are seemingly put on hold.
WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #12
Written by Jason Aaron
Art by Chris Bachalo
Cover by Nick Bradshaw and Rachelle Rosenberg