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Wolverine and the X-Men #37 (Battle of the Atom – Chapter 9)

Writer: Jason Aaron

Penciler: Giuseppe Camuncoli

Finisher: Andrew Currie

Colorist: Matt Milla

Review by Joey Braccino

As the penultimate chapter in the X-Men: Battle of the Atom crossover, Wolverine and the X-Men #37 pulls back on the high-octane action in order to move all of the major parties into place for what promises to be an all-out slobberknocker of a conclusion. Fortunately, this shift favors Jason Aaron’s quirky scripting, allowing for a series of engaging, often-humorous character beats.

Jason Aaron uses his 22 pages wisely, granting all of the various factions—the Future X-Men, the Future Brotherhood, the Uncanny X-Men, the Original X-Men, and Wolverine’s X-Men—multiple pages of conversation and witticism.  With the Future Brotherhood’s plans finally revealed and the Original X-Men kidnapped and bound, it’s up to Cyclops and Wolverine to put their differences aside and team up with the Future X-Men. Aaron provides some excellent interaction between these two divisive figures (#CyclopsWasRight), and it’s absolutely thrilling to see the X-Men teaming up once again—albeit with all of that Schism and AvX tension still in tow. SHIELD also comes into play in the latter half of the issue, and the final sequence finally reveals the scope of Battle of the Atom and establishes just what the consequences may be at the end of next week’s final chapter.

Giuseppe Camuncoli brings his distinct brand of naturalism to Wolverine and the X-Men. Camuncoli’s realist aesthetic is more in line with David Lopez’ work on X-Men than it is with Chris Bachalo’s hyperbolic figurework or Stuart Immonen’s cinematic dynamism. That isn’t to say that Camuncoli’s work isn’t exceptional and filled with detail; in fact, for a relatively quiet issue that emphasizes conversation and subtlety, Camuncli’s simple framing and classic linework is more than effective. Combined with Andrew Currie’s sharp finishes and Matt Milla’s vibrant color palette, Camuncoli’s pencils hits all the right beats from intimate interactions to full-tilt action sequences. Keep an eye out for a thrilling double-page spread toward the end of the issue. It dazzles.

Verdict

Check it out! Wolverine and the X-Men #37 continues the upswing in Battle of the Atom’s overall quality in the latter half of the crossover. Between Jason Aaron’s exceptional character work and Giuseppe Camuncoli’s stark realism, Wolverine and the X-Men moves all the players into place for what should be an absolutely thrilling finale. X-Men forever!!!

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