As with the rest of this storyline, Wolverine and the X-Men 35 is certainly not without problems. None of the humour really works, the action is so chaotic that it’s hard to follow and the ending feels too convenient. The most confusing part of the ending is how Philistine locks everyone behind an impenetrable force field, but after he’s asked to kill everyone, he releases the force field before he destroys the Hellfire Academy. Knowing the X-Men’s capabilities, why would he do that? And why is this apparently all-powerful villain working for kids?
Broo’s return to sanity comes completely out of nowhere in an already convoluted conclusion. I don’t know much about Husk, but her return to sanity is just as rushed as her slip into insanity. Has ripping off too many layers of skin too quickly ever done anything to her mind before? Someone help me out with this one.
Windigo’s few appearances simply highlight how pointless he is in the Hellfire Saga. I thought he was supposed to be a hulk level threat. Sauron may be even worse off in this regard. Out of this entire storyline, there doesn’t seem to be a single negative consequence for any of the X-Men. And why would the X-Men ever add two of the hellfire kids to their student roster? The ending feels as though it belongs in a Wayne’s World movie more than it does a serious attempt at storytelling.
On the plus side, at least Kid Omega’s character development still works. He and Oya are the only two characters to leave the academy with any sense of dignity. The appearances by a certain character whose upcoming return is well advertised are also a plus side of this comic. Apart from that, I can’t think of anything positive to say about this issue.
The art isn’t all that bad. It carries a cartoonish feel that would have worked if this storyline was actually funny. One can’t deny that it’s bright and colourful, or that there’s a good amount of detail on characters and environments. Unfortunately, Angel’s wings are still incorrectly drawn as feathery when they’re supposed to be metal. It’s also still creepy that Oya, who is supposed to be 14, is drawn sexualized and with adult sized breasts.
The word “Saga” has forever been tainted for the X-Men universe. Up until Avengers vs. X-Men, I enjoyed every issue of WATXM, and have enjoyed scattered issues since. After Battle of the Atom though, I’ll be dropping this series – probably for good. It’s just … don’t read this comic.
I know Jason Aaron can write well – just look at his current Thor series or his earlier Wolverine solo work.