This was a small book for young readers that was offered to me for 50 cents when I was buying some used copies of Wolverine Novels on-line. Thought what the heck give it a try. I was a volunteer at an elementary school library for two and half years. So I do enjoy YA material.
So let’s get the legalese out of the way – 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.
Now for the credits: Barry Lyga, author, Marvel Entertainment Inc., Publisher, Copyright 2009, ISBN 978-0-7851-3757-3. The cover art is by Todd Nauck and John Rauch. The interior features art work by the follow: Roland Boschi, John Cassaday, Phil Jimenez, Julia Bax, Kris Justice, Hugo Petrus, Francis Portela, Roger Cruz, Andrea DiVito, Salva Espin, Clayton Hentry, Steven cummings, Bob McLeod, Sal Buscema, Matteo Lolli, Jim Calafiore, Andy Park, Dave Cockrum, Mark Robinson, GURIHIRU, Joe Barney, Joe Madureira, Mike Norton, Juan Santacruz, and Julia Bacellar.
Okay X-Men fans let’s roll the clock way back to when Xavier ran a school for mutants in Westchester with a non hairy Beast on staff, Jean Grey called herself Marvel Girl, Cannonball was a student, and Wolverine was the new teacher on the block. That’s the setting for this story. It is written as if it is a blog from a new student to the school. The pages are set up to have a bloggy-computer look to them to add to this feel.
The student has the power of not being noticed. Yep, his mutant power is not to be seen. During the story he learns there are ways to use and get around this. But in everyday life as it is, the other kids don’t notice him so it is hard for him to make friends. He assumes he’ll have to be a loner all his life. To learn how to be a loner he starts paying particular attention to Wolverine/Logan. He doesn’t sleep much so he follows Logan about the mansion at night and even sneaks into the Danger Room and other X-Men only areas.
What’s Wolverine’s Worst Day – his birthday during this time period. The date is given as May 12th. That was changed by Wolverine Vol. 4 Issue 5.1 but we don’t know what the new date that is. The reason May 12th is his worst day is Sabertooth always shows up to beat him up. Now that Sabertooth is back from the dead Wolverine’s turned the tradition on its head and attacks Sabertooth on his birthday. Best to be proactive ya see.
In this story we see that he worries this can endanger the school so sets off from the school just before midnight starting the 12th. Guess who follows him, yep our intrepid blogger Nowhere Boy and ends up helping Wolverine. The two work well together. In the end Nowhere Boy is helped by Wolverine just as Wolverine was helped on his birthday by Nowhere Boy. Our blogger begins to find his place in the school just as the loner Wolverine found his place there.
Here we see what we’ve always seen with Wolverine, he’s good with kids. He gets them, he treats them like people not talking down to them. We saw it in his relationships with Kitty and Jubliee as they were growing up. We glimpse it here and there with various students over the years. It all adds up to explaining why he’s now headmaster of his own school. As unlikely as it seems on the surface it works.
It was a fun light read that gave the view of Xavier’s school from a non-famous student. I’d like to see the same thing done with Wolverine’s school. Maybe a regular blog from a student that’s seen in the background of some panels but never is a star of an issue and never speaks in an issue. Just an idea folk, if you need a writer for that Marvel I know a good free-lance one that would oblige…. ahem her e-mail is listed on the Contact Me page of this very blog.
In the back of the book three issues of Power Pack comics were included. I didn’t know the Power Pack so I had to look them up to understand where we were starting. As a parent I’m not thrilled with the idea of middle school and younger kids going out on their own to fight crime. However as a former kids library assistant – I can see the appeal to young readers.
In the first issue the kids are at a natural history museum and run into Sauron. Sauron is there as a paleontologist and tries to absorb the power of the Power Pack. Wolverine sees crowds fleeing the museum and goes in to help. Thus we have a team-up of the oddest type – Wolverine and elementary kids. It’s cute. That’s about all I gots to say on that. (eats a chocolate then continues).
The next Power Pack issue included has the Power kids staying over at the Fantastic Four headquarters and playing with the Richards kids. They accidently go back in time. While there they meet a young James Howlett who is visiting New York City with his father James Howlett. This is the sickly Victorian kid from Wolverine Origin story. Jimmy, as he calls himself, is being beat up by bullies. The Power Pack help him. In the end they return to modern day and learn that their friend Jimmy in the 1800s is really a very young Wolverine! Again very cute, Jimmy reminds me of the time in Uncanny X-Men Logan was reverted to his childhood mind – a very proper, very sickly, very timid boy. So cute to see big old Wolverine cutting our chain paper dolls and hiding from villains.
The final issue included was more Power Pack centered with a cameo by Wolverine. The Power family wins a trip to Japan for the oldest to compete in a Japanese game show. While there the kids as the Power Pack meet up with Wolverine who is fighting the Hand (an old Japanese crime family) as usual. They help him out and he wishes them luck on the game show. Then at the filming of the show he can be seen in the background. His words to the oldest son competing inspire him to be his own person in the competition and not use his powers like his brother wants him to do. Again Wolverine likes the kids, treats them as equals and gives them good advice. All steps to becoming the Headmaster he is now.
Then next Comic Comments will review Batman #0 of DC’s New 52. Also I’m reading the Wolverine novels. The first one is Weapon X . Until next time!