Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #4, Two New Students Join the School

Wolverine and the X-Men #4
Writer: Jason Aaron
Art: Nick Bradshaw and Justin Ponsor [Colors]

One of the best things to come out of the X-Men’s “Regenesis” is a greater amount of cohesion between books in Wolverine’s corner of the Marvel Universe.  Wolverine, Uncanny X-Force and Wolverine and the X-Men all directly impact one another, and nowhere is that better evidenced than in Wolverine and the X-Men #4.

In the aftermath of Rick Remender’s “Dark Angel Saga” in Uncanny X-Force, Warren Worthington (aka Angel) had his mind wiped after he was “cured” of being Archangel/Apocalypse.  In that same story, Fantomex’s secret experiment — a clone produced from the DNA of the ultimate mutant villain Apocalypse, but nurtured by a loving-but-artificial family — was revealed.  Both Angel and the boy, Evan (aka Genesis), were both sent to the Jean Grey School.

Dealing with how the two fit in (or don’t) at the school — and how its headmaster, Wolverine, can also head an elite mutant covert ops squad by night — is the overall focus here.

The faculty meeting in the opening pages provides some of the wittiest dialogue I’ve ever read outside of a Spider-Man book, and “witty” and “Wolverine” are two things you typically wouldn’t expect to go together.  But Aaron makes it work, just like he makes the special guest lecture from Deathlok — the cyborg assassin from the future — work to hilarious effect, especially when paired with the quips from problem student Quentin Quire (aka Kid Omega).

Oh, and we finally learn what Wolverine is a professor of — English Lit.  Go ahead and imagine that class for a moment…

All isn’t fun and games, though, as Ice Man learns the truth about what happened to Warren (who now believes he is a real angel), Genesis suspects people at the school aren’t telling him something and Deathlok sees a grim possible future where Genesis still becomes Apocalypse.  Even other students notice that he kind of resembles Apocalypse, so that’s bound to be broken to the kid at some point.

New artist Nick Bradshaw handles the transition from Chris Bachalo well.  If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know I’m all about facial expressions and body language, and the art here does a lot with that to not only better sell the dialogue and action, but to tell you more about who the characters are, as well.

If you haven’t given the flagship book for “Team Wolverine” a chance yet, now is the time.

STORY: 9/10
ART:  9/10 

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Roger Riddell
Roger Riddell
Essentially Peter Parker with all the charm of Wolverine, he's a DC-based B2B journalist who occasionally writes about music and pop culture in his free time. His love for comics, metal, and videogames has also landed him gigs writing for the A.V. Club, Comic Book Resources, and Louisville Magazine. Keep him away from the whiskey, and don't ask him how much he hates the Spider-Man movies unless you're ready to hear about his overarching plot for a six-film series that would put the Dark Knight trilogy to shame.