WOLVERINE AND THE X-MEN #23

By: Jason Aaron (Writer), Nick Bradshaw (Artist), Laura Martin (Colorist)

The Story: Teachers and student team up to beat up some evil clown and Frankenstein himself.

The Review: The final issue of a story arc always has many things to achieve. First of all, it needs to gather all the characters together by following the themes approached in the arc in question. It needs to solve the conflict in a way that feels satisfactory.  And it should also set up some more conflict or events ahead to keep the series rolling. This issue, in a way, is a hit and miss, as it accomplishes two of these three things.

The first thing it does well is gather the characters together in a way that is entertaining. With all the teachers free of the brainwashing, the students are now joined with them to finally bring some pain to those who wished to do them harm. What makes this satisfying is that it gives us some of the great interaction between the cast of teachers and students that made this series so enjoyable during its debut. The Quentin Quire and Wolverine bits are always fun to read, even though in this issue they are sparse, but Quentin’s interaction with Idie is also genuinely good to read. The characters are back on track, which was something Jason Aaron did great in this series.

The other great point that this issue managed to get is the setting of eventual conflicts and events. We get some good setup for newer characters like Shark Girl, Eye boy and the relationship between Idie and Quentin, which shall prove to be interesting to read if Jason Aaron continues like this with these characters. Of course, the few final pages of the issue are also well done in setting some eventual nice development for the future of the series, as it may involve the mysterious nature of the BAMFS that were there right from the start of the series. Jason Aaron seems to have some interesting stuff left for this series.

What was less interesting, however, was the conflict solving point. Sure, the teachers and students prevail by bashing clowns while using their strength and powers to save the day, but truly it felt a little bit rushed and hollow. Frankenstein, the zombie clowns and the witch never truly felt like actual adversaries to the might of all the teachers and students combined. Considering the ease that Wolverine and the others had in defeating Frankenstein, I never felt like it was a great victory or even a great battle while I read all those panels and pages full of action. It is some nice action, but it does not leave any true impact as everything is resolved much too quickly and easily.

What does leave an impact, however, is Nick Bradshaw art. The action scenes, despite being a bit hollow on the narrative side, are nonetheless very entertaining to watch thanks to his unique style. It is easy to get overly chaotic and a bit rough in action-heavy scenes, but thankfully he manages to make every action of each characters pop out with ease. What makes each panel pop out even more are the colors, which are frankly gorgeous. Laura Martin palette of warm and cold colors in some of these panels are very well done, which invigorate the arts even more.

The Conclusion: This issue manages to bring the title back on track a bit with some nice actions and the character interactions that had made this series so much fun to begin with. The actual conflict might be a bit dull, but it is a step up from previous issues of this series.

Grade: B-

Hugo Robberts Larivière

Grade

Conclusion