Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Wolverine and the X-Men by Jason Aaron issues #27-28

Previously in Wolverine and the X-Men: I stated in my review of issues #25-26 how I was a little bit angry toward the faculty of JGS because I honestly feel they are not good role models or exemplary teachers who are always helping their students especially when it came to each of these kids' emotional welfare that they should all be personally responsible for. Issues #27-28 has somewhat made me reconsider that perspective even though I still believe it to be true--but there is a need for a more nuanced context and I can readily accept the fact that the education that these mutant kids are being put through had to be unconventional and often dangerous. It still doesn't excuse the adults for being neglectful and often cavalier when it comes to dealing with their most troubled bunch of students. These students turned out to be Quentin Quire, Idie, Broo, Genesis, Sprite, Eye-Boy, Glob, and Shark Girl.

The eight of them were taken by Wolverine to Savage Land for some misguided lesson plan on Survival 101. Things go haywire when Dog Logan, Wolverine's estranged brother from a hundred years ago, came back and decided to take over the field trip. Using a diamond time traveling device, he transported cavemen, cowboys and robots from different timelines to battle these vulnerable kids. It's...a disaster of magnitude that made me face-palm several times as I read on. Issue #27 opens with the teachers (Beast, Kitty, Storm, Iceman and Warbird) chatting in the lounge about how everything in school has been at peace ever since those eight were sent off to prehistoric danger times. They mostly addressed that it's Quentin whom they are relieved to see gone from the school but it's implied that the other seven are a handful as well and that JGS would be better without them. They also expressed how confident they are that Wolverine would do just fine with the kids out there on their own in Savage Land. Meanwhile, Rachel Grey follows up on leads about Hellfire Club, and Angel continues to recruit newly awakened mutants post-Phoenix Force with the hopes of enrolling them to JGS. 

You know what, as much as I disapprove of the teaching styles of everyone in this goddamn school, I'm really in no position to judge. Mutant kids are vastly different than normal kids, although we all have to agree that their basic needs are just the same. Teenagers need guidance, mentorship and a firm hand. For me, Wolverine is the only one who actually bothers to educate them even though his methods are flawed. Still, I can commend him for his insights because issue #27 also revealed that he did approach each and one of these eight students before they landed Savage Land hours later. Last issue we saw him talk to Quentin, urging him to become a leader. In this issue, we see him in flashbacks with Genesis and Shark Girl. Genesis (Evan) bemoans the fact that he's a clone from Apocalypse's DNA which sucks because all he wants is to be good. He says, "It was easier to see myself as a hero before I knew I was grown from the blood of a madman." Wolverine tried to console him by telling him the story about his father who is a bad man and how Wolverine chose not to follow his steps. And Genesis can do the same. He can forge a better path.

On the other hand, Wolverine tried to get through yet another surly mutant loner, Iara Dos Santos (Shark Girl) by saying this:

It was a nice moment. Wolverine also had some face time with Idie who gave her Kurt's copy of the Bible which was great because I just mentioned in my previous review that I wish Nightcrawler was still alive because he might be the only person who can talk to Idie about her crisis of faith. Wolverine left the location of the Blackbird to a feral Broo, hoping beyond hope that there's still a small part of Broo that's conscious. Lastly, he teaches Eye Boy some card tricks to hone his all-seeing abilities, and then expels Glob for good because he had the worst suspicion that Glob has been a lost cause from the start. And he is right, by the way.

Issue #27 ends with Dog Logan helping out the kids by equipping them with guns as they shoot their way through cowboys and robots. Things looked like they are coming up for Dog but then Quentin started getting through his head, verbally shaming him about his brother complex and jealousy over Wolverine. Blah, blah. He violently retaliated at Q and hit him. Look, I'm all for punching Quentin Quire in the face, but Dog is not helping himself by becoming abusive like his dead father had been to him. It's a pretty sad affair. You can tell he wants to prove he's a better man than his brother and father, that he can be a hero, but his actions just don't cut it. Too bad. Anyway, moving on to issue #28, Eye Boy had a shocking brilliant moment of awesome here:

Afterwards, the kids banded together to stand their guard (except for that backstabber Glob) against Dog Logan just in time as Wolverine, Idie and Broo arrive on scene. Wolverine expressed how proud he was to see these teenagers finally working together as a team, and I was a bit misty-eyed myself when I read these panels below:

It's been show issues ago that Glob had joined the Hellfire Club (excuse me, Hellfire Academy) already so him running off like a dickhead was no surprise to me. Dog Logan transported himself outta there after Q mind-probed him to show his younger, maltreated self, and Wolverine thankfully ends this fiasco of a survival field trip. They all go home sullenly, unable to talk to Wolverine, much less look at him in the eye. They had every right to be mad at him, and Wolverine knows it. He's actually glad to be the bad guy for them because at least they might get along from now on, banded by their mutual disregard and hatred of him. Heavy stuff, bros. I'm legitimately sad about this. But it can't be helped. The life of a mutant and that of an X-Man is always going to be a sad affair.


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