Wolverine and The X-Men was one of the most consistently enjoyable books of 2012. It brought some much needed fun and levity to the X-Franchise while still telling the sort of deceptively meaty stories we expect from someone like Jason Aaron.
It’s been a tumultuous year for the students at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning. They’ve been attacked by the newly formed Hellfire Club, dealt with the events of AvX dividing the staff and nearly shuttering the school, and everyone’s favorite Broodling, Broo, not only had his heart broken by Idie but got shot in the face by Kade Kilgore for his troubles. Oh, and most recently the kids had to rescue the X-Men from the clutches of Frankenstein’s Murder Circus (yes, that is indeed a thing and it’s as awesome as it sounds). Oh, and the school is now the home of the X-men…from the 1960′s. So, that Jean Grey School for Higher Learning…it’s a fun place.
Issue #24 is a bit of a breather, a needed transition not unlike issue #17 (the absolutely nerdtastic Doop issue.) This issue doesn’t quite reach the stunning heights of #17, but, hey that issue had all Dopp, all the time.
This one is really more a series of vignettes chronicling the various romantic, or possibly romantic, tanglings amongst the staff and students. Some hilarious (Wolverine and Storm), some poignant (Idie and Broo), some profoundly disturbing (I’m looking at you, Quentin Quire. Keep your hands and your telepathic perv-mind to yourself, kiddo).
So, how’s the whole thing work overall. It’s a bit hit and miss, but ultimately makes for a fun read and I think that’s really all it’s going for.
The issue opens with an intriguing intro starring the perpetually-absent-Headmaster, Wolverine, and his ongoing attempts to avoid actually being at the school (his perpetual absence is to be expected, have you seen how busy that guy is…). This is also the first sighting of a great running gag involving Rachel Grey and astral projections and yelling. Good stuff, Mr. Aaron, good stuff. There are some nice visual touches by artist, David Lopez, here as well. In particular the ripped outfit and arrow sticking out of Wolverine’s shoulder for most of the issue. I found it oddly hilarious that Wolverine apparently didn’t notice or care about said arrow.
The remainder of the issue jumps around giving us highlights of the various date night pairings: Agent Brand and really-weird-new-mutation Beast, Bobby Drake and Kitty Pride, and the really well written Broo and Idie bit. Aaron does a great job making us feel the emotions surrounding this particularly odd pairing. Obviously Broo is a big fan favorite and I think it’s safe to assume that everyone is rooting for Broo and Idie, and Broo’s return. Jason Aaron is always at his best when he’s not pulling back and playing with reader’s expectations. The setup leads to a true gut punch of an ending. Touche, Jason Aaron, Touche.
All in all, another solid entry in a great series. I’m not at all sure how I feel about Beast’s new look and I’m not really feeling the Iceman-Kitty angle, but these are pretty minor squabbles in an otherwise enjoyable entry in a great series.