After the Brotherhood beats a hasty retreat, Wolverine and Cyclops’ teams must unite to face down their common enemy at Cape Citadel, where the original X-Men revealed themselves to the world. As “Battle of the Atom” nears its conclusion, Jason Aaron, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrew Currie’s “Wolverine and the X-Men” #37 feels every bit as stretched out and unevenly paced as the rest of the event so far. The issue, as it stands on its own, shows all the signs of a hasty production, from editorial slips and story inconsistencies to rushed artwork.
As if to herald the shoddy workmanship inside the issue, the mistakes start to appear as early as the recap page, which incorrectly touts the book as the 5th chapter of the event. From there, inconsistencies begin to crop up in the story. For instance, Wolverine pops his claws with no adverse effect, even though the previous issue established that his healing factor had disappeared. Likewise, Aaron establishes a timeline by giving Colossus a throwaway line that drops a date, where the future before this point had been vague; based on the future characters’ appearances, however, they appear much younger than the date would suggest (with an exception, perhaps, of Iceman).
Additionally, the issue includes several fan service moments that draw away from the plot. Aaron fills pages with unnecessary scenes, although none quite so bad as the one where future Quentin Quire meets up with his younger self. Nothing gets accomplished here, except perhaps for an attempt at humor that ultimately falls flat; the scene, which follows a jump to the Brotherhood’s point of view, fails to explain how Quire got where he was or why he left Beast’s lab at all, especially during such an important meeting. Though this scene in particular is the issue’s worst offense, the book forces other heavy handed references as well, like young Xavier’s paralyzation and the final fight’s location at Cape Citadel.
Camuncoli and Currie’s team-up results in overall standard artwork for the issue, with a drop in quality at the end in what appears to be a subtle, if noticeable, switch in artist. They do a decent job juggling the sheer multitude of figures, but details get lost in the hasty work, the most noticeable being the lack of eye detail in background characters. Aside from that, the action is fluid but not particularly outstanding. Their finest moment appears towards the end of the issue, in a splash page that vividly captures the initial clash between the X-Men and the Brotherhood, highlighted by Matt Milla’s gorgeous reds and blues.
Jason Aaron, Giuseppe Camuncoli and Andrew Currie disappoint in this latest addition to “Battle of the Atom.” Though the issue has some solid moments and exchanges, the sheer amount of careless mistakes and throwaway lines make them instantly forgettable as the reader slogs through a confusing story with too much dialogue and not enough revelation. With “Wolverine and the X-Men” #37, the cover shows all you’ll get inside: one giant fight and not much else.