Wolverine & The X-Men #22
Written by Jason Aaron
Pencils by Nick Bradshaw
Inks by Walden Wong, Norman Lee, Craig Yeung, & Nick Bradshaw
Colors by Laura Martin
Review by Joey Braccino
::Beware! Minor spoilers for issue #22 within!::
Each issue of Wolverine & The X-Men feels like something new and exciting. This series—much like similar comics like Runaways, Young Avengers, New X-Men: Academy X—relishes in its youthful energy and relatively raw characters. Since the end of the series-soul-sucking Avengers Vs. X-Men crossover, Wolverine & The X-Men has featured Frankenstein’s monster, a gaggle of zombie carnies, demonically-possessed X-Men, and the younger students of the Jean Grey School. Who can say no to that?
Jason Aaron’s script is rife with youthful energy and wit. Kid Omega, Eye-Boy, Genesis, and Shark-Girl all get wonderful character beats throughout the issue, but it’s really Idie and Max “Descendent of Frankenstein & Now Black Bishop of the Hellfire Club” Von Katzenelnbogen that shine. While zombie clowns and the aforementioned possessed X-Men pummel our struggling maturing mutants, Frankenstein’s Monster is hunting Max in an effort to once and for all put an end to the Frankenstein bloodline. It’s all pretty twisted, and Jason Aaron makes sure to include a bit of backstory (however depraved it may be) for the Monster’s mission. Idie saves Max from the Monster, creating a hefty dose of dramatic irony in that Max and his Hellfire Club buddies have been trying to kill Idie and her X-buddies since issue #1.
Nick Bradshaw, his army of inkers, and Laura Martin again turn out a stunning book. Bradshaw has refined his style to be slightly more physically realistic, but he maintains those same kinetic energy and dynamic lay-outs that lend the book a distinct look and feel. The level of detail in each panel is impressive; Bradshaw not only has to illustrate non-stop chaos as the battles and squabbles and fires and magical spells ensue, but he also has to define the entire circus environs in the background. And he does so in exceptional fashion.
Oh yeah, and did I mention Ice-Man breathes fire in this issue? Yeah.
Buy this book. Not only is Wolverine & The X-Men the place to be for fresh and original characters and conflicts, it’s also one of the funniest and spirited books on the stands. Jason Aaron and Company have taken the “Strangest Heroes Of All Time” moniker to the next level with this book, and the final result is absolutely brilliant!