The second issue of “Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha and Omega” (or “W&TX:A&O” as I will call it, to save on keyboard wear) sees Wolverine and Armor attempting to make sense of their constructed reality, while Quentin Quire spends his time trying to make everyone else realize what a fantastic thing he’s managed to do. If that doesn’t sound like much of a plot, fair enough, but this really is great fun.
For those of us who remember Quire as the dangerously-effective leader of “Riot at Xavier’s”, his comedown following Schism has perhaps been a little bumpy. But when it’s so easy to hate his new incarnation as Omega-Level Brat Without A Cause, it’s tough to call that a fault. He just wants to be noticed, and sadly no-one’s quite as impressed in his actions as he is — a feeling that’s at once easy to identify with, and yet loathesome.
Wood’s contribution to the series seems clearest within the construct, a mish-mash of action movies and video games that recalls some of his fantastic action-oriented content such as “Couriers” and “Supermarket”. He also writes a great Quire, and his take on the students of the Jean Grey School seems quite Ellis-influenced, with sharp dialogue and big concepts.
As with the previous issue, art is split between Mark Brooks and Roland Boschi, with the former handling the scenes set in the construct and the latter handling the scenes set in the school. The two styles don’t naturally mesh, but this actually helps the artistic split feel like it has a point, separating the two visually. It’s perhaps interesting to note that Quire’s pride over the details in the construct is reflected by Brooks’ artistic approach.
If the story suffers from anything, it’s the lack of a clear threat. A story about Quentin Quire vs. Wolverine only has one real victor. Although in the end it will presumably illustrate how and why Quire remains underneath Wolverine’s tutelage, you could legitimately ask why this needs to be a five issue series if it’s just an elaborate fight scene.
Still, with three more installments to go, there’s plenty of time for the stakes to be raised. Even if that doesn’t happen, this is still an immediately entertaining read with fantastic art, placing a spotlight on a little-explored character.