Friday, November 25, 2011

Wolverine and the X-Men #2

I was somewhat surprised at how much I enjoyed the first issue of Wolverine and the X-Men - it was fast, funny and entertaining.

The second issue manages to be - with a few exceptions - none of those things.

That's because the story operates under no sense (or rules) of reality.

The story is, basically: Wolverine has reestablished the original Xavier School for Gifted Children in New York, where he hopes to use veteran X-Men (Kitty Pryde, the Beast, Iceman, Husk) to train young mutants in the use of their power.

But before the school gets past its first day, the Hellfire Club (which is now led by a group of children for silly reasons) attacks the school and rains destruction on it.

So far, that's fine. But the attacks all have the smell of Calvinball on 'em (that being the sport invented by the comic strip kid in Calvin and Hobbes, wherein the players make up the rules as they play the game).

So the attacks are just crazy. Mortars shells erupt into hundreds of robotic, flame-thrower-wielding Frankensteins, innocent administrators there to evaluate the school are turned into monsters, the ground attacks the school - that sort of thing.

The entire issue is given over to a chaotic battle between the good guys and the monsters, and none of it feels like it could possible happen in the real world - even the "real world" of comic books.

Give artist Chris Bachalo credit for trying to make sense out of the chaos. There are some awesome renderings here, but there are also numerous fights using unidentified characters, crazy layouts and loads of panels where I have no idea what is happening.

The worst offense is that the only thing of interest that happens in the comic is that one long-time character acts inappropriately with another long-time character.

Aside from that, the issue begins and ends at the exact same point - the school on the edge of destruction. Not good at all.

Grade: B-


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