I cover Jason Aaron’s Wolverine and the X-Men #33 from Marvel Comics.
WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #33
Story: Jason Aaron | Art: Nick Bradshaw, Walden Wong | Colours: Laura Martin | Letters: Clayton Cowles | Cover: Nick Bradshaw, Walden Wong | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Price: $3.99/£3.25
• THE HELLFIRE SAGA CONTINUES!
• Searching for answers of how the JGS students left the school, the X-Men look to the very ground they walk on.
• The X-Men discover that Krakoa, the island that walks like a man, can fight like one, too.
• Meanwhile, Quentin remains the most sought-after student at the Hellfire Academy.
You may have noticed that this blog now has a new look, so I’d thought I’d just mention that quickly before getting into the review. Our first new review on the blog is going to be Wolverine and the X-Men #33, which hit shelves last Wednesday – and is a comic that I picked up digitally in exchange for an ongoing trade with a fellow Comic Book Resources member. This installment is Part 3 in the Hellfire Club saga, and whilst I’m not a massive fan of the whole concept of kids, particularly ones as annoying as these – taking centre stage, #33 does allow for some interesting focus on a character who I don’t really know that much about – Idie, who gets a massive boost in characterisation as one of the most obvious changes in this issue to previous instalments, with #33 shifting the attention from the humour-filled to the drama and action packed heavy, which is just the way I like my X-Men comics.
Wolverine and the X-Men is an odd series, really. It’s one of the two that survived the Marvel Now! reboot with creative team/story intact, (the other one that I’m following is Daredevil), and it shows here that it manages to be consistently strong. Having not been familiar with Idie in the past – the issue itself provides a great eye opener for the character in question, as she finds herself struggling to decide whether her allegiance lies with the Hellfire Academy or with the X-Men. From her eyes, we learn that the Academy is essentially a place that feels like a weaker version of everything that Wolverine’s school stood for, and the pagetime that she has focused on in this issue really proves that Idie was really the one that this whole arc should have perhaps been focused on, rather than the annoying and dislikeable Quentin Quire.
Whilst other comics such as X-Men and All New X-Men are best focused on the various team members when they’re outside the Jean Grey School, Wolverine and the X-Men is best when it delves with its day-to-day running. Whilst a large amount of this issue takes place at the Hellfire Academy as opposed to the latter school, the issue really feels like a comic that’s better focused on the youngsters (and Wolverine) than it is on the main cast of the X-Men, who take up one – sometimes two, ongoing series already – and even get appearances here.
A thing that I’ve raised before about Wolverine and the X-Men, and I’ll raise again here though – is where does it fit into the current happenings of the X-Men books? The X-Men from the past and Cyclops’ revolution are barely mentioned in the issues that I’ve read, however – this all looks set to change with the upcoming Battle of the Atom storyline. Quite how this series plays into that remains to be seen – but I for one will certianly enjoy Aaron’s take on the time-displaced X-Men. Alongside Uncanny X-Men and The Superior Spider-Man, Wolverine and the X-Men is one of the few bi-monthly Marvel titles that I’m currently following – and it’s a really strong series that certainly deserves your attention. It’s one of the weirdest books out there on shelves at the moment, and Aaron is certainly excelling. The art by Nick Bradshaw is pretty solid as well – maintaining its usual awesomeness.
I can’t wait to see how this Hellfire Club story unfolds, and count me in for future issues.