Comic Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #27
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ramon Perez
Colourist: Laura Martin
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna
Previously, in Wolverine and the X-Men: Worried that he is losing touch with his teaching abilities, Wolverine selects the most dangerous and most in need of assistance students from his classes, and takes them to the Savage Land on a field trip. Their mission, and the only way to pass the class, is for the students to work together and escape the Savage Land, rendezvousing at the parked Blackbird on the opposite side of the jungle. Wolverine leaves them to fend for themselves and stalks away to watch in peace.
The students don’t fare too well, with their lack of teamwork scattering them across the jungle. Wolverine is distracted from his young charges however by the appearance of his long-lost half brother, Dog Logan, who promptly beats Wolverine to a pulp and captures him. Using the Time Diamonds that allowed him to travel from the past, Dog rips open the timestream and sets threats from across history on Wolverine’s unsuspecting students.
I’d like to start off this review by saying that Wolverine and the X-Men is inconsistent, but considering it is consistently inconsistent, I’ve kind of written myself into a corner. Ever since it launched, the book has been up and down faster than a yo-yo, but overall has given a very enjoyable reading experience despite the occasional disappointing issue, and after last issue’s less than stellar performance, this issue gets us back up to where we belong.
What was missing last issue was the balance – given the huge cast of characters in this series which Aaron is usually very adept at balancing, having an entire issue dedicated to Wolverine and Dog felt like I’d picked up an issue of Wolverine And Not The X-Men instead of what I’d actually wanted to read. This issue broadens our focus once again, with some spotlight on Wolverine’s fellow faculty members back at the Jean Grey School as well as the kids that he decided to bring to the Savage Land. There’s plenty of time for Wolverine and Dog too, but the balance is struck properly so that this is indeed Wolverine and the X-Men again.
What we’d seemingly forgotten last issue as well was that Wolverine’s goal of bringing all of these problem kids to the Savage Land is that he wanted to try his hand at teaching them properly, since teaching isn’t something that comes naturally to him. This issue is interspersed with flashbacks to the journey to the Savage Land, as Wolvie corners each of the kids on the Blackbird and tries to explain why he chose them and tries to help them through whatever it is that sets them apart from their peers. His personalized teaching attempts come across as heartfelt and exactly how you’d expect Wolverine to approach the problem – a more straight forward approach wouldn’t be Wolverine-y at all.
After splitting his time between beautiful painted artwork and rushed pencilwork last issue, Ramon Perez is able to focus just on his pencils for this issue and they benefit from it. His art returns to the standard set in his first issue, and manages to capture both the emotional beats and the slapstick humor that the scenes involving Wolverine’s attempted escape from Dog’s trap require.
With one issue left of this arc, I’ve got my fingers crossed for a strong conclusion. Aaron’s stories tend to lose their way in the middle whilst starting and ending very well, so previous experience would suggest that my prediction will be correct; in the meantime, we’re treated to a penultimate issue that gets back to the core of the series and shows what happens when Aaron, his characters, and his artistic collaborators are all on the same page – excellent stuff.
GO Rating: 4/5