Comic Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #28
Writer: Jason Aaron
Artist: Ramon Perez
Colourist: Laura Martin and Matt Milla
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna
Previously, in Wolverine and the X-Men: Worried that he hasn’t been very true to his ideals of teaching mutant children how to survive in a world that hates and fears them, Wolverine bundles a select group of kids into a Blackbird and dumps them into the Savage Land for a survival class, Wolvie-style. Unfortunately, the class is co-opted by Dog Logan, Wolverine’s time travelling half-brother.
The kids’ side with Dog, feeling that he is their best bet to defeat the hordes of cavemen, robots, and cowboys that have mysteriously appeared in the Savage Land – unbeknownst to them, it is Dog’s Time Diamonds that have brought them here, as a test for the kids. But when the time travelling troublemakers all team up, the tables are turned and the kids find themselves on the receiving end of a beatdown.
Dog Logan seems like a character that could easily get stuck in a supervillain rut – trapped trying to do the same thing, over and over, and getting nowhere fast with it. Sort of like Arcade. And what’s happened to Arcade recently? He’s reinvented himself and become a credible threat again. This final issue of the Dog Logan story in this title closes down Dog’s storyline, so that if/when he reappears again, he’ll have a new motivation and be much fresher as a villain, not trapped in the same patterns. Of course, it takes a bit of a beating to get there, but it’s enjoyable to see him come to certain realisations in this issue as he ‘fights’ Wolverine for supremacy over the Jean Grey kids.
This storyline has really been a character piece – taking certain kids away from the madness of the Jean Grey School so that we can focus in on them properly. It’s easy for them to get swept aside when bigger plots like the Murder Circus arc run rampant; it’s not intentional, but there’s only so much character you can pack in when you also need to establish villains and a plot too. This arc has been a bit more plot-lite, and this has allowed for more heavy character work, which all comes to a head here as the Jean Grey kids realise that their training at the Jean Grey School is working for them, and that they’re getting closer as a team, even if they don’t want to admit it.
There’s also lots of stuff going on for Wolverine going on here, with his brotherly turmoil being resolved, and as he faces the possibility that he’s going to fail at this massive undertaking he’s turned his hand to. It’s very humanizing, and since Wolverine is usually a bit more distant than other X-characters, it’s a nice turn for him to take. He’s not perfect, but he’s definitely trying, and it shows here – the kids aren’t as hopeless as he thinks they are.
Well, except maybe for Glob Herman. This is a character that has mostly just been used as comic relief since his initial appearances, or as a foil for Quentin Quire to bounce off of. This issue finally sees something happen involving Glob, and whilst it’s not necessarily something nice, it’s fun to see him drive a plot forward rather than just be in the background making snide comments for a change. His role in this issue also opens up the next arc of the book, the Hellfire Saga starting in issue #30, and still manages to elicit a chuckle or two.
I’ve praised Ramon Perez’s work overall for this arc, and this final issue is still as enjoyable as his other contributions (except perhaps issue #27). His art is very expressive, and the colours that Laura Martin and Matt Milla choose to use always pop off the page. It’s cartoony, but not over the top, and as I’ve said before, meshes nicely with Nick Bradshaw’s art. It’s a little cluttered during battle scenes, but for the most part Perez has performed admirably.
Another arc has come to a close, and for the most part, Savage Learning has been another excellent addition to the Wolverine and the X-Men storyline. It’s an intense character piece, unlike any of the arcs so far, thanks to its removal of most of the Jean Grey School clutter, and it’s done wonders for characters like Eyeboy, Sprite and Genesis who haven’t had the time in the spotlight that characters like Quentin Quire or Idie have had. This is an enjoyable, solid conclusion to the arc.
GO Rating: 4/5