The Phoenix is headed towards Earth, but you don’t have to be either Rachel Grey or Quentin Quire to figure that one out, although they both got a little psionic warning before the rest of Jean Grey’s School did. Captain America and The Avengers are preparing to take steps to head off the potential disaster that The Phoenix represents to all live on Earth. Cap needs to know which side Wolverine will be on if things come to blows between The Avengers and Cyclop’s X-Men when Cap and his team arrive at Utopia to take Hope Summers into custody. See, Hope is the most likely conduit/target for The Phoenix on Earth. Since Wolverine is both an X-Man and an Avenger his choice will not be an easy one. One thing that will be easy for Logan to figure out though is how he feels about how his new school fits into the equation…
Leave it to master scribe Jason Aaron, who’s sadly ended his run on Wolverine as a solo character, to actually conjure up a tie in issue to this year’s mega-Marvel crossover event that is worth reading. So far A vs. X has been slow at best and boring at worst. Why does Marvel Comics seem so determined to put their readers through another Civil War-like event? The answer is simple. They sell, even if they are rehashes of old stories that are meant to drive sales first and tell a good story second. At least we have Aaron’s considerable talents and wit to ease the process.
Chris Bachalo is back on the artistic chores and again some pages of Wolverine and the X-Men #9 are beautifully brilliant in the art department. Others are an indecipherable mess. What Bachalo fails to covey (realistic body language and anatomy) he more than makes up with originality and background. Like I’ve said before, you either love his art or hate it. I happen to do both at the same time.
Hopefully, we’ll get through this A vs. X stuff pretty quickly and Aaron can get back to writing quality X-Men stories that don’t have to revolve around the latest sales-pitch-turned-ploy crossover. Regardless, Wolverine and The X-Men is still one of the best of the X-Titles month in an month out at this point.