Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pull List Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #12

I have some pretty strong complaints about this, but because they have more to do with the whole of AvX and less to do with this specific issue, I want to start by saying that, by and large, I enjoyed Wolverine and the X-Men #12. It was mostly a big fight, but an inventive one with a lot of strong humor and a massive, varied collection of combatants. And most of all, it played to Chris Bachalo's strengths. It was bombastic and chaotic and huge in its scale, and Bachalo, who I am usually not a fan of, clearly had a blast with the whole thing. That in-your-face two-page spread when the two teams collide was phenomenal, and there was so much rock and ice and blood filling the air throughout the issue, which helped to fill out the pages and create an atmosphere of relentless, all-encompassing violence. Did Bachalo still have a panel or two which I couldn't decipher? You better believe it. But the vast majority of these drawings were kinetic and energetic and alive. I was surprisingly impressed.

Jason Aaron's script seems to be aiming for cool and/or funny moments first, with the establishment of an actual plot being less important. The focus is on Rachel Grey, who's meant to be struggling with the decision to return to the role of a hunter, but this personal conflict doesn't ever get enough momentum to hold my interest. And her conversations with Cyclops were just so annoying, because Cyclops is just so fucking annoying now, that I ended up wishing Aaron had cut the throughline about Grey completely in favor of giving the fight another few pages to breath. Not that the fight needed to be bigger, but it wouldn't have hurt, I don't think, and it certainly couldn't have been worse than the obnoxious, half-assed narration and dialogue we got instead.

My aforementioned larger problems lie in what are, yet again, apparent contradictions between this tie-in and the event proper. Because, unless my memory has turned on me, I'm pretty goddamn certain that Beast walked out on the Avengers in Avengers vs. X-Men #6. And I know for sure that was before the Avengers got custody of Hope, since that's what happened, like, immediately after he quit. So what is he doing here, not only fighting alongside them, but being kind of a huge dick to Iceman in the process? I have no idea. And here's something else: if the Phoenix Five are each capable of reshaping the world, and Phoenix Colossus can actually talk villains into helping the cause, why is Phoenix Namor just another dude throwing punches in this issue? Shouldn't he be, I don't know, defeating the Avengers by himself in a matter of minutes? And come to think of it, if the X-Men want Hope back so badly, why only send Namor? Where are the rest of the Phoenix Five during this fight? Cyclops clearly cares about its outcome, seeing how he interrogates Rachel afterwards, but I guess he was too busy standing on a platform overlooking the world with his hands behind his back to actually get involved. So, yeah, I was taken out of the story on several occasions as my poor mind tried to make what I was reading match up with things I'd read the week before. Is Marvel just too lazy to keep this shit consistent? And even then...isn't Aaron one of the guys writing the main event book? Shouldn't he know whether or not Beast is even on the team? Seems obvious to me...

Whatever, taken on its own, this was a fun, knock down drag out issue with art to match, so I'll quit my bellyaching.

For now.

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