As usual, Marvel plays relatively fast and loose with regards to crossover tie-ins for its summer crossover “Age of Ultron,” which have mostly been circular or self-contained narratives. However, “Wolverine and the X-Men” #27AU by Matt Kindt and Paco Medina sees Marvel stretch its credibility a little too far. Taking place between panels of “Age of Ultron” #6, the only overt relation this has to an issue of “Wolverine and the X-Men” is that Wolverine is in it — a shame if, like me, readers expected a comic about the X-kids in the “Age of Ultron” universe. The closest it comes is a scene with the Brood which might, at a stretch, hint at the origin of Broo, although it isn’t directly presented as such.
Dubious marketing decisions aside, it’s actually quite a good comic. The pairing of Wolverine and the Invisible Woman is oddly compelling. Typically, they’re not what you’d call friends, and probably enemies as often as allies — but there’s an unspoken respect that comes through in their interactions. A common goal is enough to get them working together like a well-oiled machine. It makes for an unexpectedly interesting team-up.
It’s lucky, too, because the unusualness of the team-up is the main thing this issue has to offer readers. Matt Kindt gives it all he has, chiefly by employing a dual-narration structure that makes the most of the characters’ opposing perspectives and the way they change over the issue. A fill-in, tying into an event crossover, taking place between the panels of some world-shaking events isn’t exactly a prime gig, but Kindt finds a way to make it a stand-alone episode in the characters’ lives. It could’ve been far blander than it turned out.
Even Paco Medina’s artwork is pretty strong. The storytelling is bold and clear, and there’s some nice body language employed for both characters. Medina’s art isn’t historically very subtle, but that makes it a good choice. This is a story about two superheroes time travelling into the past to kill another superhero. Subtlety isn’t what’s demanded. It’s just a shame that his version of Sue is in full cheesecake mode, because it’s distracting, and not in a good way.
Still, it’s fair to say that this comic is better than it should’ve been, and that alone makes me eager to see what Kindt might do with the Marvel Universe when given a bit more room to craft a story of his own devising. It also makes me want to see more interaction between Wolverine and the Invisible Woman, which is something I never really expected. On those levels, it can only be called a success. If, however, you’re looking for something about the “Wolverine and the X-Men” kids or an essential component of “Age of Ultron,” this isn’t the comic for you. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the time, but make sure you know what you’re buying when you go into it.