COMIC REVIEW: Wolverine and the X-Men: Regenesis

Following the events of Schism, Wolverine takes on the mantle of Professor X as he becomes headmaster of the School for Gifted Youngsters.

Reading this trade was an interesting experience. Whilst the individual components are quite pleasing, I found the sum of the parts to be underwhelming. I’m trying to work out exactly why. It’s certainly not the characters, the book is populated with a thoroughly interesting and enjoyable cast of mutants new and old.

The art is pretty good – I’m not a huge fan of Chris Bachalo’s work, he doesn’t put me off but I don’t believe I’ve ever gone out of my way to buy anything he’s drawn. I prefer the issues by Nick Bradshaw, partly because the colouring (by Justin Ponsor I believe) is more vibrant. Bachalo’s issues seem to have a purple hue which seems a bit similar. Looking at the inkers credits I’m surprised it hangs together as well as it does, I can only assume the book had terrible scheduling issues to need 12 inkers on 7 issues. But it’s not the art.

Maybe it’s the characters after all? Whilst the supporting cast are bundles of fun, the main cast of Wolverine, Kitty, Hank and Bobby just feel like they’re treading water with the same arcs they’ve been looping for years. Wolverine wants to be more than a beast, Bobby has to step up and cast off his childish ways, Kitty is scared by responsibility, Hank is the crazy scientist Uncle…it’s all been done before. Yes there’s some new wrinkles along the way but I can’t help but feel that this book would’ve been far more enjoyable without its titular characters.

It’s a shame as we’re presented with interesting antagonists and the delivery of their comeuppance via the guest-appearance of a non-mutants alter ego is a highlight of the first arc. In fact there are enjoyable cameos throughout the issues.

As ideas go the Bamfs (miniature impish nightcrawlers) feel like they’ve been done fairly exhaustively elsewhere. You could point at the Darkness for starters and I’d certainly say that naked blue men running around stealing booze smacks a little of Terry Pratchett’s Nac Mac Feegle from The Wee Free Men.

I know the book was well received commercially and critically and perhaps the hyping has played a part in my reaction.

Reviewer: Dave Williams

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