By: Jason Aaron (Writer), Ramòn Pérez (Artists), Laura Martin (Colorist)

The Story: Wolverine decides to teach the students of the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning all about survival in one the harshest place of the Marvel universe: the Savage Lands.

The Review: I do believe this is a step in the right direction for this series. For something that started with full of energy, style and humor, it is a little bit painful to see just how it all faltered. The faults can be traced down to many things, like an overly long tie-in story with AvX focusing on other characters that were not part of the cast, the vast retooling of said cast among many others. Still, this issue is a step in the right direction for many reasons.

One of them would be the tighter focus on the actual cast of the book, with people like Idie, Quentin Quire, Wolverine, Genesis and Broo being brought back front and center. This works much better, since most of them have been there since the inception (Genesis being the exception), allowing us to see just how they have evolved and changed thanks to the many happenings at the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning. Much of their sass and personalities are shown fully, which makes for a much more interesting comics than the latest arc focusing on some smaller or rather boring characters.

Unfortunately, Aaron fails a little to bring some of this interest to some of the newer character, like Shark-Girl, Eye-Boy or Sprite, with some of them much too new to be actually interesting. It does not help that some of them haven’t truly got much panel-time and have been relegated to stereotypical roles for now, like Shark-Girl being brutish and violent, or Eye-Boy being a constant victim of pretty much everything, be it others or circumstances. I’m sure Aaron has plans for them, but right now, they’re not really that interesting.

What’s much more interesting, though, would be the concept of this arc, with some of the newer or more troubled students being brought up together to survive in the Savage Lands, having to fight Dinosaurs and other manners of huge reptiles along the way. This leads to some fun action and some good development for some characters, particularly Quentin Quire.

However, despite all this, there is some small stuff that annoyed me in this issue. The thought bubbles returned once more, which is something that was a bit annoying in the latest arc. Here, it is used a little bit better, but is still feel a tad useless, considering the panels do speak a bit for themselves when those bubbles show up. It is nitpicky at best, but it does hinder my enjoyment a bit.

What does accentuate my enjoyment would be Ramòn Pérez art here, which is full of life. The actions scenes are well done, the dinosaurs looks good and most of all, he has a unique style that adds a little something to the whole package. Add this to the good coloring work of Laura Martin and we get a great-looking book.

The Conclusion: This series is crawling back slowly to its ancient known quality with an issue showing what made people like it in the first place: good characters, humor and the usual quality art. If Aaron can keep this up, we may have a return to glory for this series.

Grade: B-

Hugo Robberts Larivière

Some Musing: Is it just me that can see how dumb some of the people are in this comic when they bully Genesis around? I mean, if your principal reason is the fact that you do believe he’ll become Apocalypse, wouldn’t it make sense to respect and befriend him instead? If he does become Apocalypse, he will remember how much of a jerk you were with him, after all…