The second issue of this new volume of Wolverine and the X-men fails to convince me that this is a series worth following. The story is still slowly moving along with even less happening here than in the first comic.
Quentin Quire leaves the school to confront new threat The Phoenix Corporation, a very vague enemy that seems to worship the Phoenix for some reason? So, Wolverine and Storm track him down and get beaten while the students back home argue over whether they are actually safe there. It’s all very familiar territory, but with the added bonus of moving at an utterly glacial pace.
The humour that so wonderfully characterised Jason Aaron’s run on WatX remains noticeably absent here, with the few attempts at falling incredibly flat. This new tone set by Jason LaTour isn’t an enjoyable one either-being best described as “moody teen soap opera”. The characters spend most of their time on the page communicating through the ancient art of yelling at one another, and while historically this is a team that frequently disagrees with one another they usually do so in a much less dull manner. It all just feels incredibly petty and beneath them. Through the course of an argument between Armor and Idie I suddenly found myself hating the latter character, who under Aaron’s hand had become one of my favourites in the series. Storm doesn’t sound at all like herself, mistrustful of everyone and increasingly confrontational, her voice is decidedly off throughout. Although who knows, maybe she’s just been hanging around with Wolverine too much.
Meanwhile, on the art side Mahmud Asrar has yet to win me over, with much of his work on this issue feeling rushed. On the plus side he seems to be getting a better handle on drawing Quentin, as opposed to him shifting between looking twelve and in his forties as was the case last time around. There were also times where Storm looked feminine in this issue although, it wasn’t always consistent-with her appearing far more mannish in certain panels. The action scenes were similarly underwhelming-feeling clunky and unrealistic, something not helped by the fact that the opponent isn’t particularly interesting either.
So far this run of WatX hasn’t established itself in any real way, instead currently feeling like a very poor effort of an X-men comic. LaTour really needs to make The Phoenix Corporation into a interesting enemy for the X-men in its own right, whereas as it currently feels like a cheap ripoff of the Hellfire Club that appeared under Aaron’s run. I told myself that I’d at least stay with this comic through the entirety of first arc but currently I feel like I may need to break that promise as this series is doing very little to keep me invested.