Comic Review: Wolverine and the X-Men #17
Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciller: Mike Allred
Colourist: Laura Allred
Letterer: Virtual Calligraphy’s Clayton Cowles
Usually, I try and write a witty little recap that highlights important features that might be of use when reviewing this issue as reference. Instead, I’m going to let this issue’s recap page do the job for me.
Previously, in Wolverine and the X-Men:
With that introduction, it’s safe to say that this issue will be a little…different to the doom and gloom of the last few which deal with the impact of Avengers Vs. X-Men on the Jean Grey School. Whilst we’ll be returning to that for at least one more issue yet, this issue takes a little detour and focuses on a certain green blob in a story that will divide fans of this book in half.
It’s clear from the get-go that this issue is going to be a bit daft, and yet, not a complete throwaway, finally uncovering why exactly Doop has been employed at the Jean Grey School, despite his apparent lack of skills, talents, or brain cells in general. What follows is a silly little issue that runs Doop and Wolverine ragged, as they adventure across the Marvel Universe and beyond, grabbing a lot of cameos and guest stars along the way in order to make everything as wacky as possible, whilst still shedding some light on Doop’s purpose without revealing too much about the enigmatic little guy.
There’s not much more to add about this issue, to be fair. Doop’s misadventures take up most of the book, interspersed with flashes to the Jean Grey School staff and students wondering just what his purpose is; Wolverine assuring them that Doop is integral to the running of the school, and Doop going out to prove it. The final page is a nice ending to the story, showing that despite all of the silliness, there actually was a point to the issue, which is vital; if all of the madcap antics were just for the sake of it, this issue wouldn’t work half as well as it does.
Mike Allred appears for this issue in an entirely fitting choice of artists, given that he co-created Doop alongside Peter Milligan during their critically acclaimed X-Statix run. Allred’s style is another polarizing choice, but given his history with the character, seems appropriate. There’s something about Allred’s art that isn’t quite ‘real’, and suits the crazy tone of this issue without even trying. Any other artist on this issue would likely have taken some of the fun out of the story, whereas Allred’s style completely embraces it, and makes everything ten times funnier as a result.
If you could get a Looney Tunes comic to star purely Marvel characters, this issue of Wolverine and the X-Men is exactly what you’d get. It’s zany, out of control, and totally daft, but entirely good fun, and still manages to be important to the overall plot of the series without taking itself too seriously. If the series was like this all the time, it might be too over the top, but for a one-off special, it’s well worth paying attention to. With all of the other Avengers and X-Men comics going for death and disaster as Avengers Vs. X-Men comes to a close, Wolverine and the X-Men opts instead for a little comic relief, and that’s a welcome change.
GO Rating: 4/5