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Wolverine & the X-Men #25 - Savage Learning Part 1; Survival 101 Review

2

A group of mutant students embark on their "rite of passage" in the Savage Land.

The Good

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.

The Bad

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.

The Verdict

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.

36 Comments
Posted by John Valentine

This series is terrible!

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

This book's either not so good or really good. Gotta read it first...

Posted by Xwraith

This is the first series for which I can truly say "I'm glad I dropped this".

Posted by CaptainCyke

Strange... I loved this issue... You are going to be the worst Apocalypse ever.

Posted by VanAce

Maybe this series is starting to suffer from the erratic shipping schedule, which seems to be every two weeks almost.

Posted by sparty-dbq

I like the big step forward Quire takes in this issue, but other than that... wow.

First of all, so far these new characters blow. Eye Boy especially. And while I'm on the topic, could Aaron have maybe put more than 3 seconds of effort into naming them?

Posted by judasnixon

Someone really needs to blow up that school. Is there some X-Men rule that you have to blow up the school like ever 32 issues of an X-Men book? I think I read that some where. Then maybe we get to see some of the other student that they so well illustrated on that chart on the back.......

Posted by krexxxx4

I actually really enjoyed this issue... But the title itself does have several ups and downs depending on the arcs

Posted by Don_Jay

The book certainly has dropped in quality, but still not the worst out there. My biggest complaint right now is the new form of Beast and the way he's drawn. Even when he's outside, there's a constant shadow on his forehead. Not to mention the weird ears. On some panels he looks like Nosferatu with blue fur.

Posted by Cafeterialoca

Honestly, this book has been bugging me cause I find the cast really unlikable. They really do some mean things to one another and they come off as entirely selfish.

And the Savage Lands? Again? I mean, don't they already have a Wolverine ongoing with him stuck in the Savage Lands? And the Avengers About to go there? And the heroes of Age of Ultron about to go there?

God, the Savage Lands is probably the most boring location in all of Marvel. I'm serious! The novelty of dinosaurs aside, it's extremely boring and tedious to see heroes get stranded there, get skimpy, have a scene in a cave, then get rescued, EVERY TIME!

UGH!

Posted by pspin

While there is a overall drop in quality for the series from the excellent place it was early on. I feel like this was a intro issue that no matter what happened wasn't going to be that great because it introduces some great ideas.

Posted by Eivion

I'm surprised to see so much dislike. I thought this was a fairly good issue. It was good seeing the focus on the kids and the problems all of them are currently dealing with. The new kids didn't get as much focus as the older character so I'm not quite sure what there is to judge on them yet in terms of likability. Wolverine's side of the story was kept to a minimum with the parts he did have still focusing on the kids themselves. Not sure where you get the idea that they were chosen at random. It was said and shown in the issue why they were chosen. Also not sure where you got the idea that Logan already knew the threat to him in Savage Land since he didn't until the very end.

Posted by matticus396

Strange review, couldn't disagree more. This was a very good read, and jumping on point. You refer to the beginning with us being introduced to wolverines brothers? Plural? I hope you realize that was one guy. Also this issue was cool because its picking up on loose plot points left over from astonishing spiderman and wolverine. Not to mention wolverine did not already know of the threat in the savage land. Besides leaving them alone in the savage land is a great way to teach those kids to come together ad a team. The only area this issue suffered in was art. I think either people are being to critical, or your not getting what's really going on.

Edited by Lokheit

This series is going down issue after issue. This one threw (a very tiny) bit of hope to the future, but I don't like most things about this series. I miss the times of Hellion, Mercury, X-23, Surge, Elixir and company, the new student cast is horrible. Sharkgirl, the many eyes boy and the weird winged girl are all horrible characters, I already was wishing Idie would die during Schism, Glob Herman shouldn't be there, specially over so many interesting young mutants

The only ones I like are Genesis (and Aaron is transforming him into a depressive after the good work of Remender) and to some point Omega Kid because I like the process he's going through. I also like Broo but now he's basically Idie's pet and I want Idie to die...

Can we call Kyle and Yost and ask them to solve this mess of a school with another bomb killing all those undeserving horrible characters and picking their old team again? That team had so much potential.... since then all young mutant teams have been horrible and boring (young x-men title and their horrible new characters, generation hope, and now this...).

Posted by impossibilly

I used to be really excited for every issue of this series, but that's changed. After not being unimpressed by issue #20, I failed to buy the following issues. Maybe I'll play catch-up if Marvel does a Comixology sale on issues 21 and onward, but from these reviews, it doesn't look like I'm missing much.

Maybe this should have been a finite series.

Posted by bsmith1190

I'm starting to think I may have been right calling Jason Aaron a One Hit Wonder with Get Mystique

Posted by WaveMotionCannon
@matticus396
Strange review, couldn't disagree more. This was a very good read, and jumping on point. You refer to the beginning with us being introduced to wolverines brothers? Plural? I hope you realize that was one guy. Also this issue was cool because its picking up on loose plot points left over from astonishing spiderman and wolverine. Not to mention wolverine did not already know of the threat in the savage land. Besides leaving them alone in the savage land is a great way to teach those kids to come together ad a team. The only area this issue suffered in was art. I think either people are being to critical, or your not getting what's really going on.
This. The art was good not great ( the artist draws Quire like he's 30 years old) but this issue was good. The Savage Land field trip came out of nowhere but it served its purpose plotwise
Posted by Dman1366

@bsmith1190 said:

I'm starting to think I may have been right calling Jason Aaron a One Hit Wonder with Get Mystique

if you have ever read "scalped" or his thor run, you would be very mistaken.

Posted by Grey56

The whole premise is absurd. Schism as a story motif wasn't a bad idea at conception - but Logan running a school? Just repeat that last thought in your head a few times. Really, Marvel just looked at their profit margins from the names of their books and thought "Wait! What if we put BOTH Wolverine AND X-Men as the same title?". From there the creative board took an early lunch.

Posted by kid Apollo

this is kind of a stupid thing to complain about but i really cant stand the majority of this titles covers. im a huge fan of Bachalo so that may color my opinion a little bit, and im not saying the covers he did were amazing. but these ones and the last few kinda suck.

take that second cover for instance. it hints at the return of both Kid Gladiator and Azazel, red Bamfs, Mystique and Sauron doing their thing, and Old Man Logan meets DotFP Wolverine along side Silver Surfer Jr (Shadowcat and Colossus' kid?) walking outta the Seige Perilous. should be an epic cover right? uhh NOPE, it looks like my 3 yr old nephew helped put it together. and he has yet to master coloring in the lines

Posted by spinningbirdcake

I say this all the time but I'll say it again. I think things will be more interesting if we force Wolverine's side and Cyclops's side together. There's more mutants under the WATX banner than the Uncanny banner and that is kind of ridiculous.

Posted by benblanks

@WaveMotionCannon: I actually just got around to reading Schism (thanks local library!) and boy howdy, one of the artists, if not a couple of them (can't remember which, had to be Pacheco I imagine, since the image in my head is when he interrupts Cyclops speech, which had to be the first issue) had the same problem with Quentin Quire. The kid is supposed to be, what, 16 or something and they draw him like he's as old as the veteran X-Men, just because he's a little deviant. He hasn't been done right since New X-Men, which is where he was introduced if I'm not mistaken. Either way, I have this issue sitting in front of me, next in line for reading (Walking Dead and Batman must take precedent damn it) and I'm hoping Ms. Lima is way off on her review, though I must admit, that recent 3 (4?) issue departure where they were brainwashed circus freaks was probably the biggest let-down of any series I've ever looked forward to time and time again, otherwise this used to be one of the best on the stands, and the last issue was back to being pretty damn good. Here's hopin!

Posted by x_29

Another meh review from Babs. I will stick to the IGN review.

Posted by No_Name_

@x_29 said:

Another meh review from Babs. I will stick to the IGN review.

Maybe IGN should pay you to drop their name.

Free adverts! Like, yay!

Posted by TheAcidSkull

well this is accurate, jason aarons run sucks.

Posted by JohnnyGat

I'll only read it from a friend for Quentin Quire's scenes.

Posted by impossibilly

@Babs said:

@x_29 said:

Another meh review from Babs. I will stick to the IGN review.

Maybe IGN should pay you to drop their name.

Free adverts! Like, yay!

Oooo, BURN! Where's that fire emoji when I need it? :D

Posted by No_Name_

@impossibilly said:

@Babs said:

@x_29 said:

Another meh review from Babs. I will stick to the IGN review.

Maybe IGN should pay you to drop their name.

Free adverts! Like, yay!

Oooo, BURN! Where's that fire emoji when I need it? :D

;)

Posted by dannymalt

This review is way off. It was a great issue. This issue was a fun good time, and I read it with a smile on my face. The supporting cast of kids is fantastic. The series overall has some ups (the issue with Doop!) and downs (the circus arc) but overall it's an enjoyable book. Also IGN gave this issue a 9.2! So clearly there are varied opinions on the quality of this book. But I'm siding with IGN on this one.

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

Iceman and the X-men is what i'll read anyday... ahaaaaa D.X

Posted by CalebJeremiah

@WaveMotionCannon:

100% agree, I'm sorry but this review was either ignorant, lazy or both. The whole point of the trip was that one student ventured off campus (broo) and the result was a bullet to the head. Training and preparation is in order. And as to why these particular students were chosen it's was made very clear on a few panels as to why. I respect a critical review, but give the book a fair read through And we're not entirely certain that wolverine has more than one brother.. It took me awhile to adjust to the art...I didn't like how Idie looked on a few panels but that didn't' bother me for too long. I also enjoyed the spotlight time some of the lesser known characters got.

Posted by matticus396

This isn't a hard concept if you've read ORIGIN, and Astonishing Spiderman and Wolverine. Dog is Wolverines half brother, his only brother, (on the Logan side). He's a time traveler thanks to some special diamonds. What we saw was an older version of dog talking to a younger version. Just one brother guys.

Posted by onela
@WaveMotionCannon said:
@matticus396
Strange review, couldn't disagree more. This was a very good read, and jumping on point. You refer to the beginning with us being introduced to wolverines brothers? Plural? I hope you realize that was one guy. Also this issue was cool because its picking up on loose plot points left over from astonishing spiderman and wolverine. Not to mention wolverine did not already know of the threat in the savage land. Besides leaving them alone in the savage land is a great way to teach those kids to come together ad a team. The only area this issue suffered in was art. I think either people are being to critical, or your not getting what's really going on.
This. The art was good not great ( the artist draws Quire like he's 30 years old) but this issue was good. The Savage Land field trip came out of nowhere but it served its purpose plotwise
Interestingly, back in the fall, Ramon Perez and Nick Bradshaw were both at our local scificon.  Nick thinks of the kids as being quite a bit younger than Ramon does, and that's reflected in their respective work on this title (they were both super nice!).  
 
Anyhow, I thought this issue was A-OK.  Way better than the last story arc, interesting pacing in this issue, fun new artist.  Also I think I'm the only one who likes Eye Boy.  I love that his physical mutation is so bizarre and that he's a bit of a dud.  For an X-Men "school" book, I think it's such a great idea to have a character like Eye Boy. 
Posted by jhazzroucher

Issue #24 was really good. but this one well, just ok.

Posted by duntam

@dannymalt said:

This review is way off. It was a great issue. This issue was a fun good time, and I read it with a smile on my face. The supporting cast of kids is fantastic. The series overall has some ups (the issue with Doop!) and downs (the circus arc) but overall it's an enjoyable book. Also IGN gave this issue a 9.2! So clearly there are varied opinions on the quality of this book. But I'm siding with IGN on this one.

I am absolutely agree with you! This issue was phenomenal!

Posted by mickeymayhew

@Babs said:

@x_29 said:

Another meh review from Babs. I will stick to the IGN review.

Maybe IGN should pay you to drop their name.

Free adverts! Like, yay!

I agree with Babs, this title is on a consistent downward trajectory. I've read X-titles since the 80s and I remember when a core X-title, as I'm assuming this one is, had to be drawn by a top-notch artist, say Jim Lee etc...whereas now it seems even the most mediocre art will do. This was painful to look at, slightly less painful to read.