We enter this issue of ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ with Wolverine welcoming some new students to the class right after ‘Battle of the Atom’ is letting off. The introduction is cut short though as all of a sudden S.H.I.E.L.D. shows up on their front door to have Hill and Wolverine talk about what had just happened. We’re told this story through two sets of viewpoints, one being through what Wolverine is up to and the other with the new students being introduced to the school by Broo.
Jason Aaron is a writer who knows his subjects well. He brings in a lot of great personality traits from the X-Men and all of them, aside from a brief scene with Iceman, felt spot on.
Focussing on Wolverine and Hill to start with, we see Hill isn’t here to apologize or threaten. She’s just there to lay down the facts as she sees them. That is, the mutants are nothing but trouble and are threatening to destroy the world as often as they are there to save it and as SHIELD was created to save the planet, they needed a deterrent in case mutantkind stops falling on the side of the angels. She sums this up perfectly by putting everything we love about the X-Men under the light of the outside world who just see the chaos that comes along with them. At the same time, Hill is trying to have Dazzler keep tabs on things to keep everyone under control.
Flip to Broo showing off the two new students to the school and we get so many great moments. Kid Gladiator’s anger about everything is brought forward as a way to antagonize Eyeboy and Eyeboy stands his grown showing how much stornger he’s become. Wait. Kid Gladiator? Yes he’s back but you had to see the recent ‘Wolverine and the X-Men’ annual to find out how that happened. Also we see Broo having become even more mature and it feels a lot like how Beast had been written for awhile. It’s also cute how he questions if he was ever as young as these two new students. Also during this scene is where Iceman is suddenly the strictest teacher here and not seeming at all himself (even though he did just outside) and the entire reason why is blaming that Kitty left him. It really felt out of character for him when he was giving detentions to everyone. Including one to Quentin Quire who responded with his usual snarky attitude.
The real reason Quentin Quire was put in detention though is quickly shown. Wolverine wanted to use his skills at hacking to reveal where the anti-mutant locations for SHIELD were so he’d have something to stab and smash. OK, that was my other annoyance at the book – they KEPT saying stab and smash when referring to Wolverine over, and over, and over again.
Finally we see the two new students showing up alone in their room but something seems off as the tentacle of one of them falls off and they need to suddenly re-inject themselves with something. What that happens to be is some kind of fake mutant formula as they radio back and we find out they are really infiltrating the base for Dazzler! Not the actual Dazzler though as it’s still Mystique pretending to be her for some new and unknown game that she’s playing.
Thankfully this wasn’t as bad as the ‘All-New X-Men’ this week which was a total filler issue. While not much really stood out here for action or plot development wise it still worked. From the characterization standpoint, again aside from Iceman, this read as a fun issue that’s building to something interesting.
Totally worth picking up if you’ve been following the series so far.
WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #38
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Pepe Larraz