Wolverine and the X-Men #9 (June 2012)
Writer – Jason Aaron
Artist – Chris Bachalo
In this prelude issue to the crossover A Vs. X (Avengers vs X-Men), Captain America visits the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning to formulate a plan with Beast and Wolverine to stop the impending threat of the Phoenix Force, which is headed to Earth. Wolverine has a choice to make – will he back Captain America’s plan to take Hope Summers into custody? Logan knows that his decision won’t go over well with Cyclops’ crew of X-Men and mutantdom at large.
During the Schism era, two X-Men books came out at the same time, Wolverine and the X-Men and Uncanny X-Men. When I had to decide which series to pull, I ended up choosing Wolverine and the X-Men based solely on the lineup of characters in the book. As much as I loved Colossus as Juggernaut, I wasn’t a fan of the character Danger joining the X-Men.
What surprised me when I read this issue was that Jason Aaron’s name was on the front cover. I forgot that he was the writer of the series. When you look at how prominent he has become at Marvel Comics, it’s nice to see the characters and series he cut his teeth on back in the day.
What I liked about this issue was the balance between how funny and serious it was. My favorite bit was when Captain America enters the school and is immediately thrust into a Danger Room scenario. He has to hold his own until Wolverine shuts it off. The Danger Room gives Cap a grade of B Minus. You can see the dejection on Cap’s face. We all know how great of a fighter Cap is and to see him as only “slightly average” made me laugh. The other thing that was hilarious was Toad saving Quentin Quire from certain doom by using his tongue to save the young mutant from falling to his death. I forgot Toad was the janitor/groundskeeper of the school. Seeing his cameo was a nice touch and very funny.
By the end of the issue, we see Wolverine gathering the faculty and telling them his decision. Beast is going to space to try to help intercept the Phoenix Force before it reaches Earth. Logan is going with Captain America to try to take Hope into protective custody. Although he knows he’ll be going to war with Cyclops and his team, Wolverine knows what’s at stake, not just for mutants but humanity at large. Wolverine might be the best at what he does, but he’s the only one that is willing to make the hard decision if/when it comes to pass.
Avengers Vs X-Men was one of the best crossovers in the early 2010s and is worth checking out if you missed it the first time around. There’s nothing like a hero vs hero fight because they are few and far between and usually end before they spiral out of hand. This time, it’s the two premiere teams of the Marvel Universe and one of them is going home a loser. The bad thing – none of these teams like to lose.
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