With the temperatures in Michigan hitting the low seventies and this comic in my hands, it just felt like summer. “Wolverine & the X-Men” #7 might not have a softball game going for it, as many fans will fondly remember from older X-Men stories, but it does have plenty of wild action, grand concepts and bigscreen effects, which all make for great reading and summertime comic adventures.
Jason Aaron has a way of delivering vicious battles with humor and charm in this title. Wolverine is hacking his way through hordes of aliens with Quentin Quire trying to keep pace as the two attempt an escape from the intergalactic casino with their prize. Through their pitched battle, Quire and Wolverine trade quips and one-liners, not unlike the early days of the Giffen/DeMatteis “Justice League.”
Aaron doesn’t simply relinquish this tale to non-stop shenanigans, however. In addition to the school’s financial woes that inspired Logan and Quire to jet to space, the school is beset by Professor Xanto Starblood. Starblood wants to kill Broo and he infected Kitty Pryde with microscopic Brood spores to get at his quarry. The microscopic Brood draw the attention of the X-Men, who fight a subatomic battle within the innards of the school’s headmistress. These battlefronts may seem downright silly, but Aaron is able to sell them in all their outlandishness just as easily as he has us believe that a man really can have a skeleton laced with adamantium and use foot-long claws that jut from his hands.
Nick Bradshaw is able to draw the zaniness and harsh reality in the same stroke, bringing a very detailed, lively style to this series. Bradshaw’s work is reminiscent of the summertime adventures Art Adams used to deliver to the X-Men annuals, but with a more cartoony flair. Any other artist would either miss out on the emotion or the detail that Bradshaw brings to this story, let alone the intense expressions he gives every character. Bradshaw’s style gives expression to Broo’s outburst and really brings the surprise of the moment as Bobby Drake is dragged in for some unexpected sugar.
There’s a lot going on in this single issue, which is quite indicative of the larger story Aaron is projecting over the series. Aaron delivers some story conclusions in this issue, but he opens so many other threads, such as the blossoming romance between two of the staff, the exact nature of the “Bamfs,” the unpredictability of Krakoa and Broo’s true personality. “Wolverine & the X-Men” has a little bit of everything going on and everyone can find something to like in this fun, adventurous series. This series pays wonderful tribute to the sentiment of the “classic” X-Men stories, regardless of what you might consider “classic” while blending bits and pieces together in the form of a wonderful comic book