By Andy Frisk
January 11, 2012 - 20:21
“Just Another Day in Westchester County” opens with Logan filling in Kitty and Hank about his dual activities as the leader of the underground mutant strike force X-Factor, and his day job of Headmaster and professor of English Lit (Hooray!) at The Jean Grey School for Higher Learning, of which Kitty and Hank are also high ranking faculty. Kitty in fact is the Headmistress. Then the scene flashes to a faculty meeting with Bobby Drake/Iceman and Rachel Grey/Marvel Girl in attendance where Kitty announces that she has found her first gray hair. Later on we’re treated to some classroom scenes in which Deathlok is a guest lecturer, and we’re introduced to Genesis (“call me Evan”), the young Apocalypse clone who recently surfaced over in the pages of Uncanny X-Force. He’s a bit of a tortured soul, and just one day might be the death of all the X-Men, but for right now, he’s just a young man trying to discover who he is, like most of the kids at the school and those of his age in real life. He isn’t the only one going through an identity crisis though, Warren Worthington/Angel is as well, and after what he just endured that’s not surprising. What is surprising though is his current delusion might be based in some disturbingly shocking reality…
Have I mentioned that Wolverine and The X-Men is one of the best mainstream superhero reads being published right now? Oh, yeah…I have many times. I even picked it for Best New Series of 2011 and awarded it its very own Binnie. Well, a Binnie is kinda like a No-Prize, but they’re worth plenty nevertheless. Smart comic book readers will be rewarded for checking this book out. Jason Aaron’s first solo writing job on a mutant book is off to a grand start. This book is easily tops of the weekly reading pile. Any comic book that showcases some perennially unchanging characters actually undergoing some change and becoming dynamic (Kitty with a gray hair, and Logan as a college professor), like Supergirl was under Gates and Igle, is a comic book that is worth more than the paper its printed on to legion of fans who have grown tired with superhero character stagnation. Kitty should be showing signs of having grays (even if she doesn't want to face it) and Logan should be able to put his extensive knowledge to use in ways other than he usually does, i.e. in order to gut people. This type of storytelling is not only rare, it's desperately needed in the world of comics right now.
Something that makes this issue even better, besides the great characterization, witty storytelling, and interesting glimpses into the possible futures of several of the students of Grey’s, is Nick Bradshaw’s art. While Bachalo‘s work is at best interesting, and at worst indecipherable, Bradshaw’s is sharp, detailed (especially his backgrounds), anatomically correct, and imaginative enough to make Iceman look new and cool without looking like a total mess. Here’s my vote for Bradshaw to take over regular artistic chores on the book.
Wolverine and The X-Men is now my new favorite monthly book. Since I’m not enjoying The New 52’s Superman, something has to rise to the top. Aaron and his wonderful take on The X-Men takes the top spot, even if he isn’t able to get as smart assed as he usually does in his storytelling. He’s at the top of the list of writers who are making the X-Family of books the best superhero books out there right now…and once again.
Rating: 9.5 /10