Wolverine and the X-Men has been one of the most consistent of the X-books post-Schism. I continue to enjoy it more than any of the others. Perhaps Team Wolverine, as they like to call themselves, is just better coordinated than Team Cyclops. X-Men Legacy focuses on the battle and action sequences at the school. Both X-Men Legacy and Astonishing X-Men (once Marjorie Liu steps into the writer’s seat) focus on the adults that work at the school and their personal lives. This allows Wolverine and the X-Men to focus on the students.
So Wolverine and the X-Men seems to recapture what I enjoyed best about Grant Morrison’s run on New X-Men - while the A-List X-Men are indeed around, we get to know the next generation of mutants. As I mentioned in my review of the previous issue, I’ll probably be an old man before the current X-Men cede their positions to the new generation (if that EVER happens). That’s just not the way the comics industry works, but I still think they should continue to have a greater focus on these younger X-Men. They can tell new stories or retell the old ones with new twists based on the personalities and powers of THESE mutants. Having said all that, this issue focuses mostly on the adults. (And that also happened quite a bit during Morrison’s run) Wolverine and the X-Men continues to deal with the fallout from Uncanny X-Men including Angel’s mind/personality wipe. Certain villainous entities have brought that fact up with Worthington’s board. Not only was he funding X-Force, but he was also funding the school. So Wolverine heads off to figure that problem out. We already know from Marvel’s house ads from the past month that Wolverine and Quentin Quire are headed out to space to gamble for the school’s money. It really makes me look forward to the next issue.
This issue also continues to develop the students in a scene where Beast takes them Fantastic Voyage-style into Toad’s body for a biology class. I think Aaron is doing a great job of making us care about the students and their relationships to one another. It’s only the fifth issue and already I can’t wait for the book to be on issue #20 or so so that we could know these characters a lot better. Aaron’s also done a good job including other student characters who’ve been part of the New X-Men and other series. I hope that he continues to explore them a bit more as they’re pretty much only found in this book now. Characters like Armor really have a close relationship with Wolverine and should at least be part of the core group from time to time.
The bulk of this issue deals with the revelation from the last issue that Kitty is pregnant despite not having had sex any time in the recent past. You can probably guess what’s going on based on the issue’s cover, although it’s not wholly instructive as to what her issue is. Still, I’d rather not give away a reveal that appears midway through the book. Suffice it to say, she’s in very bad shape.
While Bachalo still has not returned to art duties, the book continues to match his style and it works very well for the light-hearted tone of the book. And it also works quite well for the serious sections. Nick Bradshaw does a great job capturing the facial expressions on all the emotions Kitty is going through - from exasperation to pain. Bradshaw also continues to pepper the backgrounds with various easter eggs and jokes for the eagle eyed readers.