Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review # 69: "Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron Vol. 6"

For the first time with Jason Aaron's "Wolverine and the X-Men" I'm putting down the trade not feeling particularly impressed. However, I understand what's going on here as a necessary evil.

Taking a break from his ongoing storyline setting up the new Hellfire Club as the chief rivals of the Jean Grey Institute, Aaron sends Wolverine and his students to the Savage Land for a team-building/survival exercise. The headmaster is stunned to discover his half-brother Dog Logan is waiting for him. Dog snares Wolverine and takes over responsibility for his students. It's your classic "I'm jealous and hateful and could be better than you at whatever" storyline where he assumes control, things go well for a bit, yadda yadda yadda, the students revolt.

It's a reliable concept, but I have to ask: Why Dog Logan? Introduced in the semi-controversial "Origins" series, Dog is not a villain that carries very much weight. Aaron does a good job at providing their unfamiliar-to-most backstory (from Dog's perspective, no less.) But I spent a lot of time wondering "Why not Sabretooth?" Though I suppose with the Hellfire Academy looming, his presence would be overkill.

For that matter, I have to ask: why aren't they dealing with the Hellfire Academy? Despite the unusual arc involving the Frankenstein monster, that story was red hot and taking a break - from an issue standpoint, one that would have lasted months - just seems off.

But as I mentioned off the top I can see why that's the case. Aaron had just introduced the new students Shark-Girl, Eye Boy and Sprite and he needed more time to establish them. The jury is still out on Sprite and Eye Boy has a strangely compelling weirdness, but Shark-Girl is a flop so far. I compared her to Wolfsbane in my review of the last volume, but at least when Rahne gets all angsty she has good reasons. Shark-Girl's over-aggression is pointless and irritating, though it seems Aaron is determined to ram her down the reader's throat.

I still envision many more good things ahead in this series, but this has to be considered the low point of Aaron's run so far.

Rating: 6/10

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