This issue is full of really short, fun scenes. One that really stood out to me is the panel where Broo shows Tony Stark what's really up, and you can see Henry standing back, looking at Broo, smiling proudly; what a great moment. Writer Jason Aaron doesn't just focus on one individual character for this issue, he sort of catches up with everyone that has appeared in this series and shows readers what many of them have been up to. This is good in a way because with this big story arc we haven't really had the chance to see many of these characters. It's nice to get the perspective of these characters in this issue, even if it is for only a short time.
The issue opens with Hope's return, and Wolverine's conversation with her. Here he reveals that he wishes she had the chance for a real childhood. You get the sense that this is something really important to him, particularly for her. She gets to be a kid again in this issue; eating ice cream with Idie, talking about boys and school. Yet you can still feel this sense of hesitation; she knows she's walking into a fight that will be hard to come out of. I thought this scene was nice and felt it was a good breather for the character who has been at the center of the action in AVENGERS VS. X-MEN for quite a while now. It was nice not seeing her on the run for once.
It makes sense to have this break in the AVENGERS VS X-MEN happen here. Wolverine has returned to the school, he's begun to refocus and bring the X-Men together against Scott Summers and Emma, and he's putting together a team to take them down and protect Hope. Aaron also sets the stage for what characters will be present in this issue and which won't be. Not everyone we have seen will be fighting together in the upcoming battle.
I hate to put this in "the bad" section of my review, but it was something that bothered me. As much as I understand that the things that we see in this issue are the logical things to take place, it still felt a little bit off. The issue didn't feel cohesive even with the idea of this impending doom on the horizon. I understand that it's important for the writer to rope in the events of AVENGERS VS. X-MEN into this series because WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN is so important to the story arc, however, I can't say I really enjoyed it. I much prefer issues that focus on a single concept and narrow in on a single character -- here things felt a bit rushed. I find that the big problem with integrating a story event into a comic book is that it sometimes just hangs over the story -- as if the creative team is bound to tell that story. Generally, it's okay, it's just not really my favorite kind of story.
I think this issue was written well considering the number of things that needed to be addressed. It felt something like a roll call for all the characters that have appeared in this series. Although it was written well, it did still feel like it was all over the place. I don't think that AVENGERS VS. X-MEN was enough to bring everything together. This makes even less sense since it looks like the Hellfire Club will be making it's return in the next issue -- at least according to the cover of WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #15. This issue wasn't necessarily bad, but it wasn't my favorite, either.