It feels like the first run of Wolverine and the X-men only ended last week and yet here we are with volume 2 being launched. Hang on it was only last week, so they’re not even waiting until the body of Jason Aaron’s WaTX goes cold before they reintroduce it with a different creative team?
Those were basically my thoughts when I saw that the second volume of Wolverine and the X-men was available on the app last week. But even with the knowledge that it could never live up to its predecessor I jumped into the first issue without faltering, hoping that Jason Latour could channel the Jason prior and create a worthy successor to the name. Unfortunately from the first issue it appears that my initial misgivings were right on the money.
Starting shortly after the end of the previous run not much has really changed for the students except that Quentin Quire is now a teacher; a position which makes no sense except for a quick explanation that every other teacher is on vacation. It’s the summer holidays meaning that the student body amounts to those in need of further education or those without homes to go back to-like Idie-who are being subjected to intensive X-men training.
Not a lot really happens in this first issue to be honest, we see Quire fail as a teacher (surprise there) and Wolverine in a cage match to attract the attention of a new potential teacher (who happens to be a character I hate) so…yay? Side note: considering that his identity is kept a secret for much of the issue the fact that he’s right there on the cover strikes me as an odd choice.
Alongside all of this a new mutant “Nature Girl” is introduced; she’s a girl who seems to talk to nature but not people, and Storm is struggling to hold everything together at the school essentially all by herself. There’s not really anything there to have me holding out hope for the second issue, with the first storyline seemingly focusing on how Quire will become the Phoenix in the future if the Phoenix Force was wiped out in the Avengers Vs X-men crossover.
The artwork from Mahmud Asrar is solid but unremarkable, while his work appears detailed from a distance his facial expressions are often very strange and you really have to question how Storm can bend over in that outfit. In certain panels Storm looks damn right masculine, which is admirably a bit risky with the mohawk, and Quentin varies from looking like an old man to about twelve years old. It’s amazing how he can give such a lifelike look to Rockslide’s stone face yet fail to capture the essence of actual humans at times. The only thing that really stands out is Quire’s new outfit, which absolutely looks like his attempt to appear more “mature” whilst still channelling his classic design.
So, I think you can tell that this isn’t an issue I would recommend reading. My feelings of apathy towards it probably aren’t helped by how close to the end of the previous run it was released. I can’t shake the impression that it was rushed out so as to maintain the momentum of the far superior WaTX volume one. But despite the name on the cover, without Jason Aaron’s witty writing or strong artwork from the likes of Nick Bradshaw there is little to pull this above the many X-men titles currently available. Frankly you would be better off picking up the original run, so far it seems that you’d have a much more enjoyable time.
Matt will be reviewing issue 2 when it is released in two weeks time. Stay tuned comic fans!