Not sure how many of you subscribe to the X-Axis reviews mailing list, but this was in the most recent.
WOLVERINE: FIRST CLASS confuses me a little. At first glance, you might
assume that it was intended to bring in younger casual readers, like the
various Marvel Adventures books. And it's certainly rated for younger
audiences than the other X-books.
But at the same time, it's more of a traditional superhero book for
people who liked the style of the 1980s. Of course, that makes it a
relatively accessible title - everything's neatly introduced, with Kitty
serving as the character who needs it all explained to her, and writer
Fred van Lente carefully and skilfully ties up the plot in the course of
22 pages. It's got the good old-fashioned, salt of the earth
storytelling values that you don't always see in superhero books today.
Yet at the same time, it runs stories like this one. "Citadel" is a
flashback story where Wolverine recounts an early adventure with Alpha
Flight, in which he fought another victim of the same government project
- Weapon Y - and hoped to get some clues as to his own background. It's
partly a vehicle to use the classic Alpha Flight as guest stars, but
mainly a rather depressing story speculating about Wolverine's mystery
origins. Curiously, it does so in a way that would have made perfect
sense in the context of early eighties comics (when this series is
supposed to take place) but more or less ignores all of the revelations
added more recently. It's pick and mix continuity.
The story handles all this very efficiently, and guest artist Clayton
Henry is well used on an all-ages title. His style is always
well-suited to superheroes in the classic mould. Still, the whole thing
just seems like a rather odd story if we're going after the younger
readers here. The main impression I get from the book is of a writer
who really enjoys playing with these toys, and is inviting us to join
And there's nothing wrong with that, so far as it goes. I quite like
the book, and I share its affection for the period. It's got a lot
going for it. But this story, at least, feels a little bit like a