Toad woos a lady
One of my bigger fears about AvX was how it would inevitably affect the tie-in titles. Fortunately, most of the books I'm reading at the moment seem to be keeping themselves separate from the battle, with the notable Exception of Wolverine and The X-Men, which has been one of my favorites from the company, and considering Logan and Beasts unique position as members of both the X-men and the Avengers, it's pretty clear why I was more than a little hesitant about this new story arc. Thankfully, this issue puts my fears to rest, and remains just as enjoyable as before, while also making it's own story that doesn't feel as if it was forced to conform to this new event.
The main sell of this story has always been the great characterization, which continues here, the really laugh out loud moments, which their are plenty (including a fantastic moment where Captain America only gets a B-minus on the Danger Room examination) and plenty of emotion, which really shines through with a conversation between Idie and Logan, as well as a little moment where it looks like the oft abused Toad might get a little lovin'. Story wise, there's a bit of exposition, with Idie giving us an info dump in the form of a conveniently timed school presentation and Captain America summing up in a page what we learned in AvX 01, which is a bit rough but doesn't really do much to hurt the issue. As usual, this book tackles multiple story arcs at once, bringing in the Shi'ar to further complicate things, but I'm thankful that it tries to make it it's own story instead of ham-fisting in to fit with AvX: you could easily have replaced the phoenix force with anything and the story could still have worked on it's own.
Art wise, I'm not overly fond of the current artists stylized pencils, but there's nothing truly offensive about them. I dislike the colors more than anything the art gives us, which takes a way from the story a bit, but it's taste more than anything.
Overall, Wolverine and the X-men still delivers everything that made it special before, and doesn't seem to be suffering from tie-in syndrome. Honestly, I liked it better than AvX #1, and enough info is given here that you probably won't even have to bother the event to get the gist of the story from this title alone, but at the same time if you are following AvX, there's enough fresh and new ideas and great moments to justify spending 4$ to buy this title. I'd recommend it.