In Wolverine and the X-Men, issue 4 we get a look at the staff and students at Logan’s (yes I’m shifting to calling him Logan since that’s what the characters call him) school, The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
As always I love to give credit where credit is due. The credits for this issue are: Jason Aaron, Writer; Nick Bradshaw, Artist; Justin Ponsor, Colorist; Nick Bradshaw & Frank Martin, Cover Artists; Rob Steen, Letterer; Irene Y. Lee, Production’ 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; and Alan Fine, Executive Producer.
All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
I have to say I ADORE this cover. The sign on his back is PERFECT! I like he’s cutting the board in frustration. The Bamfs are running loose. It’s mentioned in the staff meeting in the issue that the Bamfs found Logan’s stash of martial arts instruction videos and warn him to keep his other *wink wink nudge nudge** video collection more secure.
Warren Worthington comes in as a student which is one of the main themes of this issue. The former X-Man comes in as a student not a professor because he’s had his mind wiped. Also an Apocalypse clone checks in as a student. We see a future flash of how these students work together as a team when they are adults.
Logan considers how to balance being a Headmaster who teaches English Lit among other things with his night job as Wolverine on the X-Force team. He comes clean with his staff about what he’s doing on X-Force. None are happy about it but some take the news better than others.
This is the kind of story I enjoy from time to time. We see how life is day-to-day at a school run by superheroes. It’s fun to see them as people not as just fighters. I like that they fret over finances, tater tot complaints, and getting new students to fit into the dynamic of the classroom. It well done and gives us a feel for how Logan’s school differs from Xavier’s school.
As for the art, OH THANK GOODNESS it’s better, much much much better than that first arc. I don’t cringe reading it. I can tell what’s going on and who is who. I like it much better. Still it’s not my favorite and looks a bit too, cartoonish? clean? Something… but if given a choice of this or that. I’d take this every time! Here the bodies are correctly proportional and it’s not hard to tell who is who.
This issue ends with a real surprise for Kitty. It’s the basis of the next arc, Mutatis Mutandis. That arc takes us through Wolverine and the X-Men issues 5-7.
After the jump will come comments on specific panels, might be considered spoilery by some. You have been warned.
Ahh the art, so much better! Also I adore how he’s holding his coffee to unlock the door. Silly fangurl me I know but I like it.
Also the juxtaposition of his two jobs (don’t forget he’s still an Avenger too) is captured well here in two panels and his dialogue. Why does he do what he’s best at doing even though it’s not pretty? He wants to be sure his kids, his school kids, are safe. He goes on to tell Hank and Kitty he doesn’t expect them to like it but he’s not wanting there to be any secrets between the staff. He comes clean about who he is and what he does.
Oh another aside, English Lit wasn’t listed as one of the three classes he taught. I guess he teaches four classes – Eye Witness to History, How to Fight without Fighting, How to fight with Fighting, and English Lit. He is very well read, always has been a reader in his down time. Often in issues you see him reading the classics so I’d guess he’d be qualified to teach lit. I think he’d bring a whole new perspective to it.
Later he tries do the same with Bobby. Bobby doesn’t want to know. All Bobby wants to do is try to help his friend Warren. Logan fills him in on what happened to Warren and why he’s at the school now as a student. I like how Logan responds to Bobby’s anger. He tells him the truth. He gives him what Bobby needs to know and no more. He doesn’t rise to the anger, he lets that go to deal with Warren’s welfare. Warren’s one of his kids now. This is Headmaster Logan not Wolverine in action.
Also why is Bobby wandering around the school all iced up? I mean the other professors don’t wander around in their superhero uniforms. Why does Bobby? It annoys me that they have him as Iceman most of the time now. I don’t think that’s practical or how they’d want it when working as a professor. Also all those ice slides melting everywhere – blocks of ice falling on students. I just don’t see that as safe or helpful to the learning environment Logan’s trying to create here.
The first staff meeting after a week of school. All the bugs, or in this case Bamfs, come to the surface in the first week. Financial woes are still part of funding this dream of Logan’s. Kids settling into routine plague the teachers. Lack of sleep and nerves all the way around the table.
Still they have a nice staff lounge. Look at the size of that TV! Also I adore Cyclops being on the dart board. Wanna bet that W is for Wolverine and B is for Bobby? I’m wondering how they score the hits.
All in all this is a nice view into every day life at Jean Grey School of Higher Learning’s staff.
Warren Worthington, Angel, isn’t the only new student causing concerns. Logan is getting grief for giving a teenage clone of Apocalypse the chance to be his own person. This strikes to the heart of his dream for his school. Protect the kids, let them be kids, let them decide if they want to be superheros or not, on their own, when they are old enough to make those choices. Scott on the other hand is training children to be soldiers. It seems here Logan is going Xavier’s way and Scott is going Eric’s way when those two first split over their visions of what mutant and human futures should be. Neither Xavier or Eric stuck to their original visions. Logan knows it’s not easy but he thinks it has to work this time, it’s just got to.
There will be challenges as we’ll see in the next arc. Until next time!