So I'm finally getting the hang of the new status quo of Post-Schism X-life. For the last few years Uncanny was the steadfast flagship title while a lot of interpersonal relationships were dealth with in X-men Legacy. But how do you maintain that with those two titles occurring on opposite ends of the country? EASY! Make Wolverine and the X-men the new East Coast flagship and split up the personal relationship development between Generation Hope and X-men (Vol. 3)! Well since Legacy's format hasn't really changed as far as that goes, how do we keep all these mutants cooped up on a school campus and STILL make interesting...by turning the teachers into children right along with the stuednts of course! As I read through these, latest issues I realize that the supposed "teachers" of this "school" are no better then the kids in how they interact (in some cases they are even worse ::ahem:: Frenzy and Gambit). You can safely say that this grouping of adult mutants is a completely new and innovative gathering that years ago we would never have thought of. Frenzy is an X-man? Rogue and Rachel are becoming BFFs (considering during Rachel's original stint with the team, they two barely ever spoke)?? In fact the only people we can honestly say are doing exactly what we expected them to do are Kitty Pryde and Paige Guthrie, who, in my humble opinion, were always going to end up as teachers. All this and I haven't even touched on the villain yet...just wait for it...
Still on the topic of the faculty...Frenzy and Gambit?? I'd like to say this is completely out there, but the truth is that out of all the current members of either X-men team, those two are the LEAST unlikely couple to spring from Schism. The writers had us all set up after Age of X to watch some Emma-Cyclops-Frenzy triangle action but then they sent Joanna to the complete opposite side of the country, which made this impending storyline seem sort of unlikely. However, now we are seeing that while she still has feelings for Scott, she's becoming more and more attracted to Remy (due in no small part, I am sure, to them sleeping together last issue but I digress...). As of now of course Rogue doesn't know about this so she's still off in La-La land about her and Magneto, but I suspect that once she finds out (and she will...they always do), she's not gonna be too thrilled and possibly be more than a little bit jealous. And speaking of Rogue, yeah when did she and Rachel become best buddies??? Back when they were both last on the team, they barely said two words to each other before Rachel stole part of the team's lifeforce to fight the Beyonder and then Wolverine stabbed Rachel before she disappeared. During Rachel's second stint on the team, Rogue was off on her own and by the time she got back Rachel was off in space. So where exactly did this burgeoning friendship come from exactly? Seems slightly contrived to me, but it does make for fun reading and their gossipy conversation really nails down my theory that the teachers are no better then the students. Except maybe one pair: The Guthries. These siblings and their family have been through everything you can think of so it made sense for them both to come to the (theoretically) calmer environment of the new school. It's also nice to see members of both the New Mutants and Generation X (yeah remember them??) made it to full time faculty at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.
And then there's the villain of the story. After quitting mutant politics and domination all together in the pages of this very books a few years ago, this classic X-villain returns and is none-to-happy with the recent split between Cyclops and Wolverine. Exciting yes, he seems to return to th3 villain we first met back in the early 90's...then problem with that is that villains in the 90's were a bit cheesy, poorly written and way transparent. Which is exactly how Exodus came off. With the exception of his interaction with Frenzy, where he chastised her for giving up on their cause, the entire battle (colorful power displays aside) seem pointless and over too easily. The idea that one peek inside one person's mind, even Rogue's, will send him running off in a completely different direction to kill someone else is weak to say the very least. On the bright side it means we will get to see some interaction between Team Cyclops and Team Wolverine, cant wait!
Overall a good issue. The art is slightly cartoony, but not so bad where it ruined the issue and it keeps with the lighter and more fun tone that the Wolverine's X-men books have been having. The villain scripting and the battle were lame, but they weren't really the point of the issue I don't think. The purpose of this issue seemed more like "ok the dust has settled, let's see what everyone is up to" which I can accept. Not every issues needs to be sheer perfection of writing, storytelling and art. As long as next issue handles Exodus a bit better and we see some Utopians, I'll be happy with it.