Comic Vine Review


Wolverine & the X-Men #20 - The Search for Something New


The aftermath of Avengers vs. X-Men means there are more mutants, and that means it's time for the Jean Grey School to do some recruiting...

The Good

First off, Angel's memory wipe is explained in this issue; something that is really important to his character that had not yet (to my knowledge) been fully addressed, so that I was really grateful for.

Now that Avengers vs. X-Men is over and more mutants are beginning to pop up all over the world, the Jean Grey School will have their hands full trying to recruit as many of these new mutants as possible. Essentially, the race is on -- the Jean Grey School will have to compete with the Hellfire Club, Mystique and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and Cyclops since all three will also be recruiting new mutants to try to bring them into the fold. This issue addresses that fact and sort of sets the stage for conflicts to come, and in that sense, it's good to see. Aside from the fact that this issue deals with an important notion and a conflict that we will likely see more of in future books, this wasn't exactly the best issue.

The Bad

Okay, so maybe I am nitpicking, but anyone who knows anything about Brazil knows that Recife is very far away from Rio de Janeiro. Now, I understand that the cover artist was trying to capture the geographic location of the fight between Angel and Mystique, but it doesn't really make sense. Not once is there a mention of Rio in the book. Recife is a completely different coastal city. Regardless of that, the cover wasn't too bad -- it's at least prettier than the interiors.

Having been an avid fan of this series, I have to say I was really disappointed in this issue. It felt very out of place and the quality was way below Jason Aaron's abilities in my opinion. It felt really poorly written and a lot of the dialogue was forced. The issue felt rushed, both in the writing as well as the art, which was really disappointed. In this issue we are introduced to a new character named Iara Dos Santos whose special abilities include turning into a shark when she gets really, really angry. First off, those powers are kind of silly, but that's beside the point. Her character is kind of strange in the beginning; at first she's ungrateful and doesn't want to hear what Angel has to say about her. By the end of the issue, however, it seems she's drank the Jean Grey School kool-aid, so to speak, and is completely immersed in her new environment, ready to take on the challenges of learning how to "control her powers." That's all well and good, but it doesn't really align with the perception we have of her when she's initially introduced.

I also felt Angel was the wrong guy for the job. Not too long ago, Angel experienced a "rebirth" and was completely changed in the process. The character, presently, has no recollection of who he was before. That means all the years with Betsy are gone as well as his time as Archangel and the experience as leader of X-Force -- this version of Warren Worthington is completely different. This version of the character not only seems naive and inexperienced, but he also seems completely unsure of himself. Having said that, is someone this unsure of themselves really the right person to be recruiting potential new students? I personally don't think so.

I really did not like the art in this issue and felt it was awkward in a lot of panels. I am not sure if it was the heavy inking, or if the expressions and the characters were just not aesthetically pleasing but it was really not pleasant to look at.

The Verdict

I think this has to be one of the weakest issues in the series. To me, it really felt like a filler and it didn't even do a great job introducing us to this new character. Is she likeable or not? In the beginning she has a terrible attitude which she alters later on, but still. It's all very strange. I really didn't like the art in this issue, I felt it was sloppy and I thought the writing and portrayals of the characters were, overall, pretty poor. There is, however, a silver lining. Since this does feel like a filler issue, you might want to save your money and just pick up the next one -- aside from the introduction to this new character, and the explanation as to why Angel doesn't remember who he used to be, this issue doesn't feel like it will be essential to read.