Wolverine And The X-Men #1 by Jason Aaaron, with art by Chris Bachalo, brings us the first day of classes at the newly formed Jean Grey School For Higher Learning. Headmaster Logan and Headmistress Pryde have their work cut out for them as they try to balance first day jitters with a visit from the New York Board Of Education. But, they’ve fought the likes of Magneto and Apocalypse in the past, so this new challenge should be a piece of cake, right?

Not so much.

Turns out Wolverine and company might have been better off putting up with Cyclops and staying on Utopia after all.

Spoilers and teenage angst after the jump!

You know it’s a good sign when you begin your day with a belt of whiskey, especially when you’re going to be spending the day in the company of children. I don’t know why he’s so stressed out; Wolverine has all the qualifications necessary to do a bang up job:

-Educational background: raised by wolves, Canadian wolves, eh?
-Management experience: prefers to work alone, usually in a black ops situation
-Teaching qualifications: best there is at what he does, which generally involves stabbing

Perfect. I can think of several charter schools who would hire him immediately.

Plus, he’s in it for the kids, whatever shortcomings he might have! So why is he so concerned about showing off the grounds to the two drones sent by the Board? Oh. Yeah. They’re bureaucrats who live to make themselves feel better about their sad little lives by pushing paper and belittling others:

Doop! You're back! Now, about that $10 you owe me...

No, ma’am. There are no Avengers on your Board of Regents. And, at this rate, there won’t be one to be found within a 100 mile radius of the “accident” with Ultron your Board is going to “have”. You get me, Madam Cochise?

In addition to the Board members poking around the campus, Wolverine and Kitty must also deal with a possible lava eruption, strange Bamf critters that look like Nightcrawler exploded into Lilliputian bits, and school bullying. Fortunately, the bullying is the easiest thing to deal with – let’s just say the Danger Room is portable and that one should not dally in the school bathrooms.

But, how will they deal with the emotional health of the students who are still traumatized by the events that took place in X-Men: Schism:

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't feel that way, too. Wanna go to Hot Topic? That always makes me feel better.


I’m guessing they’ll try to get their minds off all the drama with the school’s fabulous course and extra curricular offerings!

What? Where's "Your Secondary Mutation And You: A Guide To Your Changing Body"? Is that already part of Gambit's Sex Ed class?

The course offerings make me wish I was covered in purple spots with laser beams coming out of my butt, so that I could be shunned by society and go to school there. “World History (1880-1950): An Eyewitness Account” taught by Wolverine. “Know Your Alien Races. And How To Kill Them” with Professor Lockheed (Yes. That is Kitty’s dragon. Teaching a class.) Oh, and let’s not forget “Ethics 101: Forgetting Everything You Ever Learned From Emma Frost” with Kitty Pryde. Your handy need for systematic deprogramming, now with class credit toward graduation! Awesome!

Look, I’m not sure you could tell or not from my review so far, but I had a hell of a lot of fun reading this book. Jason Aaron puts the humor back in the X-Men series, when it’s been sorely lacking over the course of Crisis Event after Crisis Event after Crisis Event. Really, in much of the Marvel 616 universe at this point actually. The X-Men, at its best, is about the struggles of teenagers who feel isolated and alone because they don’t think they fit in. This book refocuses X-Men back toward that purpose and I, for one, welcome it. Chris Bachalo’s art is delightful, playing up the humor and absurdity called for in the script, without sacrificing the emotions of the characters involved.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, the brochure at the back of the book provides a helpful website to learn more about The Jean Grey School For Higher Learning (www.jeangreyschool.com). I’m going to go see if they offer any online course offerings to supplement “Quantum Biophysics, Molecular Phylogenetics and Other Elementary Scientific Concepts with Dr. Henry McCoy”.

Happy Halloween!

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