by Dylan Duarte, CMRO Contributing Writer
Wolverine and the X-Men
Written by Jason Aaron, Art by Nick Bradshaw
Published: July 2012
Wolverine and the X-Men 011 finds the X-Men (both Cyclops and Wolverine’s teams) and the Avengers in a race to find Hope Summers, who’s slated to be the next Phoenix. While Cyclops, Iceman, and a handful of other mutants think that Phoenix will save mutantkind, everyone else recognizes the potential threat and wants to contain it. Issue 011 boasts a lot of wonderful moments, but those moments have trouble converging into a greater whole. With so much going on, the issue is really scattered. Aaron jumps between a multitude of groups, all looking for Hope in different locations. And while these glimpses are all entertaining – Aaron is really good at the character stuff – there’s just so much crammed into one issue that the main narrative suffers.
That main narrative follows Wolverine, who has already found Hope, and is determined to let her make her own choice. He’s well aware that, if Hope can’t contain the powers of the Phoenix, he may have to do the unthinkable. This is a really, really heavy idea and one that could make for the most compelling of stories, but it isn’t given nearly enough attention. Granted, the arc isn’t quite over yet, but things are already kicking into hear and this issue could’ve made an excellent slower-paced character examination of Wolverine. Instead, his thought process is conveyed in sparse narration, just enough to get the job done but not enough to do it very well.
Fortunately all of that wasted potential doesn’t mean that this issue is bad, just mediocre with spots of brilliance throughout. Like I said, Aaron is good at the character stuff, even when handling characters that aren’t usually his own such as Spider-Man. Everyone has their own unique voice and it’s fun to read, even if I only wanted to hear one voice.