Wolverine stays true to his word and with a little help, prepares to re-open a school for mutants. What are the chances it's all going to go smoothly?
The idea of Wolverine trying to run a school full of teenage mutants seems a little crazy. Wolverine isn't exactly known for his patience and being around and in charge of kids isn't easy. What's nice is this is something that Wolverine acknowledges from the very beginning. He seeks out advice from the person that would know best and their conversation is extremely candid and quite amusing.
Here's the thing, I do like Wolverine and I do like the X-Men. The idea of a comic focusing on the school...it wasn't something I was exactly looking forward to. In the early issues of the X-Men, we'd see the school setting from time to time but it was always the adventures that made the comic great. The New Mutants was meant to focus more on the them being students but they had plenty of adventures as well. Generation X had a school feel to it as well but the mutants often ended up outside of school. It was New X-Men that gave us more school elements but that series didn't always hold my interest. With this issue focusing more on setting up the school and the first day of classes, I'm actually fully on board with the idea.
There is a pleasant and fun vibe to the overall series. It's not going to be a walk in the park and Wolverine is already facing numerous obstacles, both in terms of making sure the school stays opened and being officially threatened by an enemy. Kitty Pryde shines here as well. Her attitude is refreshing and seeing her step up to the challenge of being a head mistress is a great evolution.
Being a school full of mutants, there's bound to be issues of prejudice. We see some of it here and it could be a great way to make readers aware of the problem without feeling like a forced message. Even those that are judged tend to judge others. The dialogue coming from the students is honest and what you'd expect from those that aren't always...respectful of their elders.
Jason Aaron's been doing a great job writing Wolverine but this is almost an entirely different take on him. It's going to be a challenge to both Wolverine and Aaron to make this work and so far, it's working perfectly. Chris Bachalo's art is top notch. As a fan of his work, it's great to see his portrayal of all the mutants. And there are a lot of them here. There have been occasions in the past where his art comes across as almost too stylized but here it fits and feels right. His designs for the school immediately establishes and sets it apart from the previous versions of the school. I simply can't wait to see what future issues will hold.
It's hard to say if this first issue is an indication of what we can expect. Will the series focus on the school setting or will the mutants actually suit up, leave the school and go on adventures? The cover to the next issue does show in costume. There is an extremely light tone yet there are and will be deadly threats. The school appears to be public. With everyone knowing this is a school for mutants, how long can it survive before being attacked?
The main issue will be how committed Wolverine will be to the school. Beast has commented in X-Men: Regenesis #1 that he'd probably be the one actually running it. Wolverine needs to be around but with his commitments to X-Force and the New Avengers along with his solo adventures, we might have to continue to stretch our imagination when it comes to his time management skills.
I figured this would be an okay series. The idea of Wolverine trying to run a school for mutants didn't seem possible and I was necessarily looking forward to another book with young mutants. Jason Aaron continues to show his understanding of Wolverine and is showing him in a new light. Wolverine is capable of many things and trying to run a school is a new challenge. The few scenes with the students actually worked for me. Their candid conversation felt genuine and they also will be faced with a new challenge as Wolverine's school won't be run in the same manner as the Xavier Institute. Chris Bachalo's art is refreshing and the way he captures the emotions of the characters with their facial expressions speaks volumes. It's not clear if the series will stay focused at the school or if we'll see the X-Men suiting up to go on adventures or stay in the classrooms. With the school's nature of being for mutants being public, you can imagine things won't remain calm for too long. I wasn't sure if I needed another X-title to read but Aaron and Bachalo have convinced me with the first issue that this will easily rise to the top of my reading list each month. I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed it and cannot wait for the next issue.