Thursday, January 19, 2012

Are you reading Wolverine and the X-Men? (You should be!)

Confession time: Most of my X-Men knowledge comes from the movies.  With that being said, even I knew Wolverine: Origins was a bad example of this group of mutants.  Enter Wolverine and the X-Men on Seth's reserve list, not mine.  My pull list was currently occupied by the women of the New 52: Wonder Woman, Batgirl, and Justice League Dark (ok, that one's not a just woman centered title, but I totally picked it up for Zatanna) as well several female driven Dark Horse titles.  (Another side note: I really like Dark Horse's House of Night.)

Wolverine and the X-Men wasn't a title that initially interested me.  I haven't read a lot of X-Men (as mentioned above), other than Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men and a mini series here and there.  Sometimes a long running series can be hard to jump into without a lot of prior knowledge.  While Wolverine and the X-Men is building from events in earlier runs, the storyline isn't difficult to follow with nothing more than a basic understanding of the who the X-Men are.  In fact, each issue has a handy key of characters to assist in your identification of the latest class of mutants.

Even if you have read a lot of X-Men, things have changed with the founding of the Jean Gray School for Higher Learning.  Our new headmasters are Wolverine and Kitty Pryde.  The new vice-principal is Beast with Iceman, Rachel Gray, Gambit and Husk making up part of the teaching staff.  A new school gives us new students to follow so you're not missing key details if you don't have a lot of prior knowledge.  While the teachers can't play favorites, there's no reason I can't, and I love the pink haired, smart ass, Quentin Quire.  Any student that tries to have a militant uprising due to the cafeteria's "draconian dietary restrictions regarding tater tots" is my kind of guy.  The class encompasses a true mix of teenagers regardless of their mutant talents.  There's even a sweet little brown noser in the adorably monstrous alien, Broo. 

My very favorite characters are the Bamfs.  I didn't read Uncanny X-Men so I hit wiki quickly to discover the history of the Bamfs.  The description only made me want to read Uncanny X-Men #153 so I can see the bedtime story that leads to the Bamfs.(If Seth doesn't have these issues, someone please lend them to me so I can have more Bamfs in my life.) They initially felt like a little Easter Egg for fans, but soon they became Easter Eggs full of giant chocolate bunnies for me.  They won my heart forever in the panel to the left in Issue #3 when they made off with Wolverine's whiskey.  Aren't they lovable little imps? I want at least three of them for pets. 

So if you like the X-Men or you like humorous comics, you should pick up Wolverine and the X-Men.  It's only four issues in so you're not far behind.  It does have the added benefit of reading four issues at once with no wait in between.  Then you can join me in long wait each month for the next issue to come out.  Various artists are taking on the interiors, with Chris Bachalo taking issues 1-3 and Nick Bradshaw taking the next arc.  While we can see differences in their styles, there's no disruption in the transition between the two.  The key for me is Jason Aaron's writing.  This is my first foray into one of his stories and it brings me pure happiness to read this book each month.  Seth and I actually have to take turns each month for who gets to read it first. I had first dibs this month and Seth was forced to listen to me read Wolverine's opening monologue out loud and then chuckle throughout my reading.  Jason Aaron, thank you for writing a comic that celebrates so much of what is fun about reading comics.  Your dialogue is interesting and witty.  Your storylines make me sad that I have to wait a month in between issues.  I hope February 8 gets here soon so I can dive into issue #5 (after Seth, of course). 

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