Saturday, December 1, 2012

Wolverine & the X-Men #21

I can safely say that I’ve never even considered Frankenstein’s monster could be a corrupting circus ringmaster. So that’s a point to you, Jason Aaron! 

This issue felt distinctly Claremontian, with its mind control, alternate costumes and abuse heaped on the faculty at the Jean Grey Academy. I did find it interesting that Warbird is counted among the main team now; I almost thought it was Dani Moonstar for a moment! 

Had we already determined that one of the new Hellfire Club members is a Von Frankenstein? I certainly don’t remember it, but it ties this current, madcap story to the ongoing tale of this title. I like the idea that the Monster basically wipes out entire towns through mental powers, but that the X-Men alone are putting up a heck of a fight. Part of what makes the whole issue so disconcerting is the en media res approach that the X-Men have already been beaten. Aaron emphasizes the power of his leads by giving almost every one of them a chance to vocalize their confusion and resistance to their new circumstances. They’re down, but not out. 

Nick Bradshaw is fantastic. Other than drawing the bustiest Kitty Pryde I’ve ever seen, I’ve got nothing back to say about his art (and I suppose that one thing isn’t BAD, exactly). The debut of Clown Wolverine is a triumph of storytelling in one panel. That goofy grin, the strange tilt of Logan’s walk and the bucket of vomit… how can the reader not be stunned at the state of our lead? 


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