Wolverine and the X-Men #37

by Tori B. on October 23, 2013

With one more chapter left for Battle of the Atom to come, it’s a make or break issue with Chapter 9 in Wolverine and the X-Men #37.
Writer: Jason Aaron | Artists: Giuseppe Camuncoli, Andrew Currie, & Matt Milla
Cover: Ed McGuinness & Marte Gracia | Publisher: Marvel
Disclaimer: I love the X-Men, they’re my bread and butter and I have a lot of opinions when it comes to them and this review is in no way unbiased because my fangirl heart is extremely biased in this turn of events.
I’m torn when it comes to Battle of the Atom and this issue isn’t helping. I’m desperate to want to like it because it involves some of my most favourite X-Men characters and yet at the same time I can’t help but shout at every turn of the page because I’m clueless as to why any of this is happening. One thing to say about this is that it’s certainly not not eventful. There are a lot of things happening, some good things, others are questionable things.
Things that I loved: The first two pages between present!Scott and future!Jean. Scott and Jean and their relationship is pivotal into most major X-Men stories, which is fine. A little tiresome, but fine, and in this case I thought it was nicely done, not over dramatic, but simple with it’s white setting and their interaction is pretty in character considering—not too much crazy happening. I’m also majorly in love with the art. There are some excellent panels chock-full of beloved X-Characters and then nearing the end there are some mind-blowingly awesome pages and spreads. No fan can say no to a big X-Men battle—Icemen vs. Iceman? Phoenix(Quire) vs. PhoenixXorn! It’s pretty epic.
Here’s the thing about Jason Aaron’s writing, I’d say he’s spot on when it comes to characters usually, and there’s this good balance between dialogue heavy scenes and action heavy scenes to keep the pacing good and entertaining. There does tend to be a slight character bias towards Wolverine and Quentin Quire (neither of which I am complaining about), and at this point I’m not sure it’s totally on Aaron about the issues within the plot. This being a Wolverine and the X-Men issue, we naturally have a stronger focus on those characters and the Jean Grey Academy (yes part of my is fairly bitter on an extremely personal note that Emma and Magneto hasn’t said or done much throughout the event comparatively) and Aaron’s voices for all the characters are unique from one another which isn’t an easy feat when dealing with so many characters, so I have a lot of praise for his writing, and the team of artists this issue.
Now here’s where I’m dwindling in actually caring about the event. I love the characters yes, but I’m supremely lost as to what they’re actually doing. The “real” X-Men of the future are cool and I’m excited that we have a glimpse of them, and their presence makes who we originally thought to be the future X-Men, the bad guys, or “the Brotherhood”. I’m just still having a hard time believing that Beast and Molly would be part of a darker team—a lot of their character appeal stems from their general optimism. While I understand character development, it’s a hard concept to grasp. Then there’s Xavier, whom I find insulting to the character he calls his grandfather. Yes, Charles Xavier was not an perfect being either but for some reason this grandson of his ticks me off. The resemblance between himself and Charles is striking, and not only do they look similar, he’s even been paralyzed (from last issue) so now he’s chair bound. Collossus hits the nail on the head when he claims that this baddie isn’t fit to call himself a Xavier (to which I agree wholeheartedly and I’m a bitter and hurt fangirl who’s still healing from his death ages ago). Xavier and this so called future Brotherhood are things I suppose I can look over for the sake of progressing the story but it’s not until the end to which I give the most dramatic eye roll of my fangirl life.
The big cliff hanger to bring us to the big and final chapter end with Jean Grey (of course) pulling the most dramatic and clichéd moves in X-history. What’s upsetting is what she does is on a Magneto level of dramatic and I just can never imagine any of the core X-Men ever setting anything up in a way that sounds exactly like an earlier Magneto, for out of all the X-Men, they’ve fought him the most and I’m just bamboozled that this is the route that they’ve decided to take on this.
I don’t have a rating for this because up until the end I might have given this a solid 7 or 8 because I love the characters, I love the writing, and I love the art despite the headache that sometimes comes with trying to create an epic event. But the very end ruined everything it had going for it and despite everything I love about this, I don’t know how to enjoy it anymore either.

(i'm giving this a 5 because a 0 looks scary and 5 seems pretty neutral enough)

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