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I’m grouping Issue 18 & 19 of Wolverine and the X-Men together for two major reasons 1) I’m very behind on my Comic Comments and 2) both deal with post AvXinterruptus. I’ll give the writers credit this time they did say school focused no roaming off with the Jr. Hellfire Club (though they make an appearance), no roaming off with one student or faculty member (though various ones move in and out of the spotlight). Humor is used well in Issue 19 to ease the serious losses in 18. In these two issues I’d say Marvel has shown it can master the ensemble cast – have them going different directions, cover them and not tell a disjointed story! CUDOS! Yes when one story gets hot focus will have to draw only onto that story & characters with a few ‘meanwhile back at the ranch…’ panels. I enjoyed both issues and think this is how I wanted to see AvX in this title – from the school’s point of view.
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Issue 18 entitled Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow credits – Jason Aaron, writer – Jorge Molina, Penciler – Norman Lee, Inker – Morry Hollowell & Rachel Rosenberg, Colorists – Chris Eliopoulos, Letterer – Ed McGuinness & Morry Hollowell, Cover Artists – Jordan D. White, Assistant Editor – Daniel Ketchum, Associate Editor – Nick Lowe, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief – Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
Issue 19 entitled More Pencils, More Books, More Teachers’ Dirty Looks credits – Jason Aaron, Writer – Nick Bradshaw, Penciler – Walden Wong, Inker – Laura Martin, Colorist – Chris Eliopoulos, Letterer – Nick Bradhaw & Gurur EFX, Cover Artists – Jordan D. White, Assistant Editor – Daniel Ketchum, Associate Editor – Nick Lowe, Editor – Axel Alonso, Editor In Chief, Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer – Dan Buckley, Publisher – Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
AvX has been over enough I don’t feel it is a spoiler to say - Phoenix is destroyed erasing M-Day (so why did we go through that just to undo all of it!) and making many new mutants. Charles Xavier is dead (AGAIN! I think this is about the 10th death maybe the 9th still lags behind Jean Grey’s 14 – 20 deaths). Oh and Scott Summer killed Xavier this time and is in jail for it (at least for now).
Issue 18 shows how the school views all these big universe. While this is going on Idie, Quentin, and Broo all have their own important events happen. Staff wise Husk is feeling the strain of her powers fracturing and being a teacher. We see more of her relationship with Toad as she makes a big life change.
Issue 19 deals with the aftermath – Broo’s injured and Henry is doing all he can to save the boy. Kitty is stressed with Husk gone and more mutants popping up and enrolling daily she needs to expand the staff. Logan is out to find Broo’s attacker. We also see the next arc setting up with Frankenstein’s Circus rolling into town…
I love how the financial issues of the school were solved with Warren gaining control of his company and Xavier leaving his estate. Yet I’d enjoy it more if a constant stressor on Logan was paying the bills. I think that would relate to the real world’s economy and give interesting story lines for the school. Can you imagine a bake sale in town with the Jean Grey Students? Or in his solo title Logan taking various jobs for pay to support his school? Oh the comic interludes, moral questions, serious situations, and interesting issues that could be raised and dealt with – but no money is no longer a worry. Phooey heck even Krakota could make diamonds if need be… pfft too easy.
The handling of the title as an ensemble TV show is improving. Think of any show you followed that had an ensemble cast – there’s the lead characters (here Logan, Quentin, Bobby, Kitty, Hank) and the major characters (Idie, Broo, Husk, Toad) and the supporting regulars (Chamber, Gambit, Doop, Glob…) Rarely do you have a show (or issue in this case) where the lead character’s story isn’t addressed or moved forward. Next if the lead characters are in the valley between stories you catch us up then shine the light on the major characters to move their story forward more significantly. Finally the regulars take stage if there is time if not they support the other story lines. Think of Hillstreet Blues one of the best written longest running ensemble shows – that’s how it’s done. I applaud these issues for mastering it so well! We get the conclusion of the major multi-title event but not without losing the title’s focus of the school. We see the issues faced after the event but again through the school’s perspective. Yet while doing this we’re developing the major character story lines since the lead characters are winding up their major story arc. Cudos!
I can’t not mention my ache for Broo and hope that they do bring him back. I think he’s a good student for Henry to mentor for many reasons. They are so similar. Besides I love Broo and don’t want to lose him. Next I have to mention Kitty’s interviewing of various Marvel characters for position as teacher at Jean Grey… hilarious and the one REAL teacher’s reactions OMG! I got a case of the giggles. Great comic relief and excellent way to intro the new lead character!
Finally – the budding student romance has been hinted at in the flashes into the future finally gets a small start here. I enjoy seeing Quentin’s insecurities at the first school dance. For all his bluster and talent he’s still just a scared kid inside. So good, so good… I see Quentin and Idie being that generations Jean & Scott with Broo being that generation’s Logan carrying a torch for Idie. The more things change the more they stay the same.
As for the art – OMG they got it right! After such a hideous start to this title with tiny footed Kitty and gotta poop tie Logan with such confusing panels that the story was overwhelmed Marvel has found its footing with solid art that has style but supports the story! I actually recognize the characters. Their proportions don’t throw me out thinking they look like toddler toys with the oversized feet for easy play. Here they have comic features when needed – see the cover of 18 for the students looking almost Archie-like to Scott being rendered dramatically with hyper-realism. I think that juxtaposition sums up the story of the school trying to put on the happy face of normalcy with a dance as the final battle rages. Then the cover of 19 returns to the ensemble cover we’ve seen in other issues.
I give credit to Marvel for having rescued this title from the roller coaster of good school centric issues to WTF where’s the school issues! They pulled it together for these two issues and the following arc. **STANDING OVATION** This is why I get this title!
You know what is next…. interior scans
These might be spoilery for some…
So if you are worried…
Stop scrolling right NOW
If not then here’s the first page…
Here we see Xavier extort the promise from Logan to protect the next generation. While that is going on we see the dynamic of the next generation start to take shape. I thought the set up here was very effective
Okay this amused me on many levels – first the Bamfs at the buffet of the dance! So cute I can’t wait until we get the issue or arc that explains how they aren’t grimlins. Next I used my trusty Doop Translator I determined he says “You know my wounds have healed from last time.” I still can’t wrap my head around those two being friend with benefits. I think I really don’t want to go there.
Deadpool you crack me up! Oh Spidy I think it’s worthy of getting a picture of him actually doing it for his English Lit class. Good summary of how Kitty’s interview process is going be sure to check out the real teacher in the issue!
Remember Broo helped Tony solve the Phoenix problem and became a friend of Tony Stark’s. I find it touching Henry consults the brains of Marvel Universe in an attempt to help Broo.
I don’t know if it’s good that the headmaster dons stripper spandex and goes about sniffing floors in town… I know it is for a good cause but really if you are trying to build good relations with the community does this work? I won’t go on my rant against the return of the blue and yellow spandex uniform. Honestly I liked the black one best be it the turtleneck with shoulder holster, leathers with a shirt please, or my fav the western look with cowboy hat.
Any way that’s it until next time!