Page 45 Review by Stephen
Come back here, you stupid blue rats!
In which a visit from the Department of Education school inspectors passes without incident. <snort> Everything that could possibly go wrong does go wrong on the first and possibly last day of term at the new Jean Grey School For Higher Learning, and teachers will surely empathise. There is, however, a great deal more that can go wrong in a school full of mutants which boasts the most dangerous boys bathroom in history. Also on the roll call: a junior ShiAr warrior, a young and studious member of the alien Brood, a mini-Apocalypse and the spawn of Krakoa, the Living Island.
Is it a him or a her? Can a walking island have a gender?
Figure at some point itll come in handy to have school grounds that can fight back in need be. Plus Im trying to teach it to turn our ponds into beer.
And then theres the infestation of tiny blue Bamfs out to steal Logans liquor. Its an anarchic mix of misfits which makes the pupils of St. Trinians look like paragons of dutiful obedience, calm and conformity. That Kitty Pryde is headmistress is not unexpected; that Wolverines the headmaster is insane. The Toad is their janitor, by the way, and will be spending some considerable time cleaning up that bathroom later on.
Following directly on from the mini-series X-MEN: SCHISM wherein Cyclops and Wolverine stopped seeing eye to eye, there has been a mass evacuation from the X-Mens island of Utopia, Wolverine opting to educate the children rather than allow them to fight. Joining their faculty is the Beast who stopped enjoying Scott Summers increasingly militant company quite some time ago plus Iceman, Rachel Grey, Cannonball, Chamber, Husk, Karma, Frenzy, and Doop. Yes, Doop. He of the translatable alien language.
The schism was engineered by Kade Kilgore, school-aged son of a wealthy arms manufacturer, whos forcefully inherited a fortune and multiplied it considerably by selling Sentinel technology on the back of the some pretty successful worldwide scare-mongering. It also secured him his seat as Black King of the Hellfire Club. His next move, then, is something of a surprise.
Writer Jason Aaron (SCALPED) appears to mainlined raw, liquid sugar, for the whole, frantic fiasco is played purely for laughs, and long may that continue. Theres even a couple of pages of school twitterfeed and a school prospectus in the back complete with extracurricular activities, special events and the proud school motto, The best there is at what we do. Courses include Algebra Sucks: I Know, But You Still Have To Learn It which is, naturally, delivered by Professor Bobby Drake who couldnt even spell quadratic equations let alone solve one.
Chris Bachalo (DEATH, SHADE THE CHANGING MAN, GENERATION X) plays the perfect co-conspirator with cartoon comedy postures, expressions and hyperkinetic action against backgrounds with an enormous attention to detail, injecting background and even foreground jokes galore. That hes managed to make Apocalypse Jr. look cute is extraordinary.
Meanwhile the unruly Mr. Quentin Quire, Kid Omega, starts as he means to go on, dripping with attention-seeking sarcasm.
"The Wolverine Home For Wayward Boys. I cant wait for that scene in the third act when your tough love finally breaks through my thorny exterior to reach the frightened, lonely little boy underneath. There wont be a dry eye in the house. Should we just skip the drama and hug it out right here?"
"Shut your face, bub, before I cut it off. Hows that for tough love?"
"Im feeling the magic already."