Combating Dystopia.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Multi-Purpose Nerdiness- Wolverine and His Amazing Friends. (In Which We Eat Crow)

Okay okay. Honest nerd moment: Despite how little I care for Wolverine and his "I'm the best at what I do and what I do is show up in every single Marvel book there is" level of overexposure, I fully and totally love the "Mutant Hogwarts...on crack" tone new writer Jason Arron  has taken with a book I was frankly planning on skipping altogether. But the early reviews were so good it was hard not to reconsider, and am I glad I did.

Why Wolverine and the X-Men #1 worked:

  1.  The titular character actually comes off a bit out of his depth in his sudden role as Headmaster, which might be a first.
  2.   The staff (Yay for underused characters like Husk getting a glossy new coat of paint) and the students are getting fleshed out, as well as the nature of the school in a way that is both organic and...thanks to Chris Bachelo, rather adorable. Also (poor, sweet, disturbing) Idie is so layered and complex she manages to creep out and endear all at once ...and Rockslide in a school uniform with shortpants is just too cute to miss. 
  3.  The snappy, archly biting dialogue of the members of the school board and their thinly veiled contempt just comes off so amusingly snide I almost hope they stick around in some capacity. 
  4. The tone and feel of the book, with the creative team churning out some incredibly fresh and innovative work, comes off as new and full of the Hogwarts for Mutants weirdness a school housing young mutants should be. 
What doesn't: 
  1. Professor Xavier being out of play during the X-Men:Schism event and being blithely okay with it (making a few admittedly fun one liners and giving the thumbs up and dottering off again)  all of it seems an oversight. 
  2. Kade Kilgore was ...interesting in Schism, and yes, the idea that the methaphorical mustash twirling supervillian is a 11 year old meglomaniac is fascinating. He's the flipside to the coin, self interested and utterly unconcerned with Wolverine's newfound "save the children" mandate. Mutant hatred = his business model, so he's going to make sure it thrives. Bachelo's rendition of him made him seem much older than the artists in Schism and it took a bit to figure out who he was in the story (especially with so many other teenagers in suits and pithy comments around)

So what we have is a new number one in a series that could have easily been a pass for me if not for the incredible treatment. While I'm not always over the moon about Wolverine, and find his involvement in X-Force counter to his sudden humanitarianism as a headmaster and educator... this is a great introduction to what might actually be an even greater series. I'm...begrudgingly going to keep an eye on this one.

Honorable Mention goes out to Jason Asmus on his one-shot Astonishing X-Men issue. Danger and Emma Frost was a team up so random  I didn't even know I wanted it. Having read through the issue I have to say a.) Emma when written well is always a joy read snark from, but her developing bonds with other characters seems somehow rare inbetween crisises. Her place in the X-Men is often dominated by her relationship with Scott, so it seems pretty interesting to watch her actually connect to others. b.) I'm looking forward to Asmus' run on Generation Hope given this interview. 

Pretty great comic book day between the two issues. 

Here's some new comic book day nerdy music to accompany your reading.

Ladies and nerds, the effervescent Toro Y Moi "Still Sound" 

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