Bane of Kings reviews the first volume of Wolverine and the X-Men, Regenesis, published by Marvel Comics and written by Jason Aaron.
“A great graphic novel with an entertaining cast and only a few flaws.” ~The Founding Fields
Writer: Jason Aaron | Art: Chris Bachalo, Nick Bradshaw, Duncan Rouleau, Matteo Scalera | Publisher: Marvel Comics | Collects: Wolverine and the X-Men #1-#7.
So, whose bright idea was it to put Wolverine in charge of the X-Men at a new school following directly on from the events of Schism (which I still haven’t read but need to remedy), which tore the X-Men apart? Nobody in their right mind would put the Canadian knucklehead as a Headmaster if they had any sense at all, especially when Professor Xavier isn’t around to watch over him. But either way, Wolverine and the X-Men: Regenesis, is certainly a fun tale that kickstarts Jason Aaron’s run on the series with a bang rather than a whimper, and I will certainly stick around for the next volume and maybe even make this graphic novel a permanent edition to my collection after I borrowed this from my local library (alongside Superboy Vol. 1, Gotham by Gaslight and Uncanny X-Force Vol.1).
Wolverine and half of the X-Men return to Westchester, New York, to start over again with a new school, a new student body and a lot of surprises up their sleeve. However, when the new Hellfire Club decides they don’t like what Wolverine and the X-Men men have started, and decide to burn the place to the ground, will the school even outlast its first day? Plus, Kitty Pryde is pregnant, but who or what is the father?
This whole graphic novel is absolutely bonkers. We get Wolverine in a suit, working in charge of the new Jean Grey School for Gifted Youngsters alongside Kitty Pryde as headmaster and headmistress. Hank McCoy’s there as a vice principal, and we get Professors in the form of Bobby Drake, the Iceman, and Rogue. Needless to say, this graphic novel is very entertaining, made even more so when inspectors pop by to see if the new school is up to scratch.
This book is certainly the weirdest graphic novel that I’ve read (for reasons that you’ll see if you read the book), but it makes for a fun, action packed read with some great artwork (although towards the beginning of the book, I found Xavier’s portrayal to be a bit… off), and certainly delivers on entertainment value. Whilst the book itself is probably not the best to go directly into for someone who hasn’t yet read Schism and is not that familiar with the dramatis personae (there were a couple of names who I’d never seen before), it still manages to keep you entertained for the full seven issues and likely coming back for more.
Whilst this was a hugely entertaining series, I didn’t really like certain aspects of the book, for instance, the Hellfire Club consisting of young genius teens who have the power to cause serious damage to a school full of X-Men including Wolverine really didn’t fit well with me, and I wasn’t a big fan of the main antagonist, Quentin Quire. However, the Hellfire Club still did manage to make the story certainly more interesting in a way, and I guess I’ll have to read more about their characters in general.
This series is certainly a light read and we don’t feel as if any of the characters lives are at stake at any point in the series but whilst the tone is lighter the graphic novel still manages to be engaging and entertaining. Just to show you how awesome this book is, there’s a part of the graphic novel that features the class list that the students attending Jean Grey School for the Gifted Youngsters must attend, and they include: “How to weaponise household products with Professor Remy LeBeau“, “World History (1880-1950): An Eyewitness account, with Headmaster Logan”, “Ethics 101: Forgetting Everything You Ever Learned from Emma Frost, with Headmistress Pryde”, and “Algebra Sucks: I know, But You Still Have To Learn It, with Professor Bobby Drake”. Man, I want to attend that school now, it sounds awesome.
The artwork is where this issue suffers. It’s cartoony in places and really doesn’t suit well with me, as it’s not only exaggerated but also there are some moments where the action is obscured which really drags the book down a bit. However, Jason Aaron’s storyline makes up for the disappointing artwork, and as a whole, the series itself is easily the most fun that I’ve had reading a comic book in a while.
Note: Today’s original review was going to be a Doctor Who graphic novel but I decided to delay that until closer towards its release date.