This series keeps going back and forth for me. I very much enjoyed the first half-year of this series, but then AVX came along and completely de-railed the mood. Some AVX issues were good, but most of them were mediocre at best. After AVX came the rather dull circus storyline, with several very good character focused issues in-between. There are some who have enjoyed this series from the start, and others who have despised the majority of it. And now we’ve arrived at WATXM’s 25th issue and in a way, the true beginning to the second year of the series.
This issue brings back the fun nature that this series began with, yet it’s far less zany at the same time. Character-wise, there’s a strong focus on both Wolverine and Kid Omega, and Omega’s scenes might actually be the highlight of this issue. He’s forced to act responsibly as the leader of the kids while they explore the jungles of the Savage Land, even if the others don’t want to follow him. There are other hints of characterization as well, with both Genesis and Oya. There’s also plenty of humour to lighten the mood – Glob is particularly awesome. The art is fairly good and suits the comic well – not much to say on that front.
This issue isn’t without problems, but for the most part they’re fairly minor. The pacing is a bit off, especially with Wolverine’s scenes. All of his panel time is either at the start of the issue, or the last few pages. It would also be nice if there was a bit less focus on Wolverine in this series as a whole. I know his name is in the book’s title, but it’s supposed to be a teen book, and he’s well beyond his teens. That could just be my growing Wolverine fatigue talking though. Kid Omega on the other hand has character development spread evenly through the comic, and it feels much less forced.
The new mutants are also still kind of boring, with very little characterization beyond their powers and Eye Boy’s portrayal as a complete wimp. And then there’s the advertised showing of Dog Logan, who only appears on the first two pages and the last. It could lead to an interesting fight in the next issue (this is the first I’ve ever read of Dog Logan), but it almost feels as if it would work better with a full issue’s focus instead.
If Wolverine and the X-Men was written this way more often, it wouldn’t be nearly as polarizing as it is. It’s funny, but not zany. There’s legitimate character work on several characters, even if some of it is oddly paced. It truly feels like an X-Men book about teenaged characters, and it’s a very entertaining one at that.