Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron issues #29-30

In issue #29 of Wolverine and the X-Men, our titular hero comes to terms that he had failed his students. A natural progression, I must say, given his sporadic decision-making lately, risking the lives of his students when he delivered them to Savage Land, only to be confronted by his estranged brother Dog Logan who grabbed the opportunity of tormenting him and the kids he's supposed to look after. Sure, he had a nice conversation with each of these eight kids, imparting enough insight and lesson to get them through that grueling field trip at prehistoric killing grounds, but there is more to being an X-Man than being prepared for battle and expecting the worst. And these mutant kids are still socially awkward and insecure teenagers who need more hands-on guidance, and giving them such an overwhelming baptism of fire is simply NOT RIGHT, Wolvie. Luckily, the kids survived the entire ordeal even when they all got separated midway, long enough so they could band together to stand up to your brother in the last minute but what if they didn't? Would you hold that against them? You probably would have. In a way, they were successful in vindicating themselves in the situation that forced them to grow up and be fighters--but what about you, Wolverine? What of your failings now? Oh, James Howlett, where is your duty of care? Where is your Twelfth Doctor?

Granted, Capaldi Doctor is not the most heroic of the Doctors but he's the closest you got, Logan

The issue opens with Wolverine in a podium during a time capsule ceremony, giving a speech. It was a great one where he admits all his wrongdoings and how he was never truly fit to be a teacher but he tries anyway. He expresses to keep the dream of Charles Xavier alive and thriving. He acknowledges his students' strength and uniqueness. He tells them that he is proud of them. The sentimentality is earnest that it's hard to make fun of it (not like I wanted to). I've been so disappointed with the adults of this series, to be honest. If they were Scott, Emma and Ilyana, I would've understood because those three people are the most closed-off AND YET somehow they were actually the BETTER TEACHERS with their own recruits as they train them in their secret school located inside the Weapon X facility. Seriously, it truly boggles the mind that these radical revolutionists have a firmer grasp on what they are fighting for and they are adamant about this that their recruits are readily inspired and eager to prove they want to learn and adapt so they can stand next to them in their revolution. The same thing cannot be said for the Jean Grey School. The teachers and students don't communicate. The students themselves are restless or suffering in silence; while others have betrayed the school itself, and resorted to forming alliances with the enemy. Glob has officially enrolled in the Hellfire Academy and Idie Okonkwo, as revealed in the last pages of this issue, ran away to do the same.

Can you honestly claim that this is still the case, Logan? 

The issue then jumped forward at least thirty years into the future where we see an old man stumbling upon the buried time capsule. This is Headmaster Wolverine himself and it looked as if JGS did manage to survive all the onslaughts of the current timeline we are reading right now. However, Wolverine Sr. claimed that he doesn't remember ever burying a time capsule before. He consulted Eye-Man about this (who is such a freaking badass, btw, acting as a satellite surveillance above Earth's atmosphere and fighting space entities) and he also said he doesn't remember any time capsule. This was strange. I wonder if this holds some meaning for the upcoming events regarding the Hellfire Club's nefarious schemes that are by now slowly but surely coming into fruition. Wolverine Sr. tried to acquire some sort of time machine located in the headquarters Eye-Man is protecting, and his former student warned him not to use it because we all know how that fucks up everything. Wolverine Sr. claimed he wanted to warn himself from the past about the dangers and battles to come but in the end Eye-Man convinced him not to do it. Instead, he puts in a note inside the time capsule, wishing his younger self the best of luck and taping a key in it.

That key in question turned out to be the very one that unlocks the box that Wolverine has been trying to open ever since this issue started. It belonged to his brother Dog whom he had been searching for after he transported himself out of Savage Land in the previous issue. He opened the box and saw remnants of a happy time in their childhood, and probably the only time. Meanwhile, Kade Kilgore, accompanied by Sabretooth, just recruited said brother Dog to become a teacher at his Hellfire Academy. And the clusterfuck of shit has just hit the fan. 

There is no escaping what is about to unfold next!

Issue #30 is the prelude to the Hellfire Club Saga that's going to be covered by the seventh volume of Wolverine and the X-Men. After this prologue, we got five installments for that story arc and given the material I had read in this prelude, I am very much looking forward to see how the Wolverine's X-Men and Kade Kilgore with his lackeys will battle it out. This issue sets up the stage for the upcoming fight. Beast was in space with the still-feral Broo, accompanied by his girlfriend, S.W.O.R.D Special Agent Abigail Brand. As I have predicted issues ago, Beast finally consulted the help of Dr. Starblood, the alien zoologist who tried to kill Broo before because he believed that a civil, intellectual and kind-hearted Brood creature is an abomination to the status quo. Naturally, he refused to help. He was glad to see that Broo has reverted back to his real form. So I don't know why Beast even bothered. Back on earth, Storm, Kitty and Iceman view surveillance footage of Idie running off and FINALLY WE HAVE THEM ADMITTING WHAT CRAPPY TEACHERS THEY HAVE BEEN! And then Kitty reveals that there may be a traitor in their midst who gave up information to the Hellfire Academy. They all thought it's Quentin. Spoiler Alert: It's not.

And of course, Glob Herman live-tweets the clusterfuck as it's about to go down. Thank god for the social media.

After sharing their first kiss during a dance, Quentin and Idie have been at odds since. Idie has blamed herself for what happened to Broo and also regretted kissing Quentin because if only she danced with Broo instead, he never would have left the school that night and gotten himself almost killed. Obviously, Quentin still cares for her and it shows with his concern over her plight, and even though he realized Idie might actually be in love with Broo, he still wishes to save her from making a big mistake and joining the bad guys. But after seeing a memory from a Bamf about last night, he realized Idie was going to join the Hellfire Academy just so she can kill everyone, all so she can savenge Broo. Q is not going to let Idie fall from grace that fast, and rushes to confront the real traitor in JGS who is no other than Toad!

I knew this was going to happen. I think we all did. After all, it really wasn't the humiliation of being the school janitor and always having to clean up after people's messes--it's the fact that his girlfriend Husk, former JGS teacher, has quit the school for good and, as it turns out, also joined Kilgore's side off-page. She wants to see JGS burn down and Toad is going to assist her in accomplishing this. She appeared with Dr. Starblood and Broo and also a mutant called Philistine. He was the one who teleported Starblood and Broo from space to take them to Hellfire Academy and now Quentin has no choice but to come with them as well.



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