Ramon Perez's art, for the most part, is pretty solid. There are some moments where the art does falter a bit and looks a little bit sloppy, but in general it is pretty well done. It makes following the comic and Jason Aaron's story really easy. The panels are well organized and the layout is really well done.
As far as the plot goes, I was definitely not impressed with this issue, but I'll get to that later. What Aaron does manage to do well in this issue is the way that he organizes the story. We are first introduced to Wolverine's brothers, so that's the set-up. The story jumps to the decision to bring the students into the Savage Land followed by Wolverine. Perez illustrates this great effect when Wolverine is talking to Quentin Quire where we see a flashback to Logan and his childhood. That was very clever.
Aaron ends the issue with the same theme he opens with, a focus on Wolverine. Although I am not crazy about that, I can appreciate the story having come full circle at the start and finish.
At this point I have read all twenty-five issues of WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN and I can say that the series has been suffering a steady decline in quality. Although this issue does eventually get someplace, it takes a bit longer to do so than I personally would have liked. Additionally, things don't really make any sense. If Wolverine knows the threat to him in the Savage Land, why would he return and why would he bring his students? Why would he purposely endanger them that way?
It is also strange the way writer Jason Aaron introduced new concepts into this series in recent issues but has yet to build on them. This issue feels like it came completely out of left field the way that it thrusts these random students into the Savage Land and are left by Wolverine to fend for themselves. In a lot of way, this issue makes absolutely no sense.
What this issue did do, however, was create an opportunity for Aaron to flesh out these new characters (like Shark Girl, for example). In a lot of ways, these relatively unknown characters take center stage, so to speak, and readers are given the opportunity to get to know them a bit better, Unfortunately, rather than showing us their respective personalities, we don't get a lot of interesting stuff to work with in this issue, These characters don't feel very interesting or likeable and that's where the problem lies. This issue's focus also goes from being about the students and the way they need to work together, to being another story about Wolverine. I have to say, I am a little Wolverine's out. If this series is going to be about the Jean Grey School, keep the focus on the students.
Going to the Savage Land also felt totally out of place and a little bit pointless. I admit I was pretty disappointed. There isn't an overall plot development here at all. Why are these students in the Savage Land and why does Wolverine abandon them? It seems strange and almost contradictory for the teacher who is preaching a "work together" ethic but ends up abandoning his students completely.
What happened in this issue? Why are we here, in the Savage Land? Why isn't the dialogue better? How come this story in this issue doesn't mesh well with the overall scop of the series in general? Those are the types of questions I asked myself while reading the latest issue of WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN. This issue feels just so completely out of place, that I wondered whilst reading it why Jason Aaron decided to do this now. It feels like a filler issue and seems totally out of place when we look at everything else that has been happening to the school lately. In addition to the fact that I really don't understand why things happened the way that they did in this issue, I am at a complete loss when it comes to the reason
I understand that Wolverine's name is in the title, but this series doesn't have to be about him. When I read this series each month I do so not because he is in it, but because I enjoy reading a book about the students at the Jean Grey School. Although we get a peek at the students in this issue, the theme is still revolving around Wolverine and I think that's a problem: the focus of the issue should be about the kids, they should be at the center of the story. Wolverine should be there as a supplemental character.