All-New Marvel Now!: Wolverine And The X-Men #1 ReviewMarch 20, 2014
Remember when the Scarlet Witch uttered the words, “No more mutants,” during the House of M storyline a few years ago? Wasn’t that supposed to wipe out all the irrelevant mutants that we didn’t care about? Well, I guess that it did, but of course, new and even more irrelevant mutants have since come forth, and here are we – Wolverine And The X-Men #1… again.
There are far too many ‘X-Men’ titles, and too many ‘Wolverine’ titles for that matter. Now, my formative years were in the early 90’s, so I am rather fond of the X-Men, particularly Wolverine. With that said, it’s impossible to know what is going on with our favorite adamantium-laced Canadian without reading every Marvel title that’s available.
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!
So, as I read the first few pages of Wolverine And The X-Men #1, I had no idea why Wolverine was wearing an eyepatch, and why his powers had diminished. About halfway through, I realized the book was a bait and switch. The book was really about some pink-haired mutant named Quentin Quire, who apparently becomes the Phoenix in the future. He’s unwillingly thrust into more responsibility at the Jean Grey School, which of course, he can’t handle. To make matters worse, the school is coming apart at the seams: Storm is trying to hold everything together, Beast is off in space ‘evolving’ for the 100th time in six months, Wolverine has decided to infiltrate the self-created prison of Fantomex (Cluster), and he brings the young Apocalypse along for the ride.
The first issue of a series sets the stage, and I get that. The gripe I have is that the stage is a complete mess, and not in a good artistic kind of way. The art itself is rather good though, and I’ve become accustom to Mahmud Asrar during his time on Indestructible Hulk. The X-Men look like the X-Men (not any easy feat for some reason), and Asrar does a very good job of penciling a world that brings me back to simpler times.
I thought the writing of Jason Latour was good: Wolverine had a few one-liners, there was some juvenile ribbing directed at Storm because of her hair, some science babble from Beast, and I am seriously hoping Latour can do something with Cluster. All of those things were meaningful strokes on the canvas that Latour aimed to paint. I appreciated that he embraced that the book is a mixture of ‘old’ X-Men and mutant teenagers, and just went for it.
But when it comes to the new characters, I’m just not sure what can be done to make them interesting – there’s a character named Eye-boy…c’mon! At times, I find that there are too many seemingly introduced at once, and I often have to scroll back several pages to figure out their names. I honestly feel like I do that every month when a new book comes out, because I simply can’t remember them.
I know I’ve done my fair share of complaining lately, especially when it comes to comics. Perhaps it’s easier to write something semi-negative than overwhelming positive, however when I spend money on something, I expect it to be worth what I spent at the very least. I’m not one of those collectors who reads half the book at the store before they decide if they’ll shell out the cash. I’m generally willing to give a lot of stuff a chance – I bought She-Hulk #1 for goodness sakes.
With that said, these ‘attempts’ seldom keep my business. When I pick up a book titled Wolverine And The X-Men, my assumption is that Wolverine is going to lead some X-Men. I am not expecting it to be a cameo by Wolverine and a bunch of mutants in training to become X-Men. I wish they would put all the trainees in their own book, so that they could develop them at a more reasonable pace. However, those attempts generally fail because no one cares. Alas, these new mutants litter every X-title that is on the shelves these days, and that’s pretty unfortunate… especially for $3.99 a piece.