Writer: Joss Whedon
Artist: John Cassaday
Publisher: Marvel Comics
I'm a sucker for clashes between heroes, though they're always more enjoyable when the writing takes the time to establish a reason for why two heroes would decide to throw down, and Joss Whedon does a solid job of setting up the motivation why Wolverine and the Beast would be trying to take each other out. Now I'd agree that Wolverine comes across as a little too willing to pop his claws, but the writing takes the time to deftly explain Logan's position in the aftermath of the battle, and if nothing else it's nice to see Logan's more claw-happy nature making a return in these pages, as his Zen warrior psychology has served to blunt the character's edge over the past decade. However, the real appeal of the clash is that Hank is given a stirring moment where he explains why he would seriously consider turning his back on his team-mates, and Xavier's dream, as Hank's fight to retain his humanity is a fundamental element of the character, and it hasn't really received much attention as of late.
Plus, speaking as a fan of the pure slugfest aspect I have to say my inner fanboy did let out a little cheer when Hank handily dealt with Logan's opening lunge. As for the rest of the issue, the tensions between Kitty and Emma Frost continues to provide some of the most enjoyable dialogue exchanges of the issue, as I had to smile when Kitty expressed her objections to the idea that Emma teaches a class on ethics at the school. However, surprisingly the most engaging section of the issue would have to be the conversation between Cyclops and Nick Fury, as there's a wonderful back and forth exchange where Fury points out why the X-Men are looked upon with suspicion.
John Cassaday continues to be an artist who leaves me a bit nervous, as I've yet to be convinced that he's able to met the monthly deadlines, and his art is some full of lushly detailed work that I have difficulty accepting that he would be able to deliver it on a monthly basis. However I'll readily accept his presence on the title, as he's a wonderful talent, and he's an ideal fit for Joss Whedon's writing style, as his character are nicely expressive, from Emma's looks of disdain, to the wonderful chilling moment where we see Logan is quite insistent that Hank junk the cure. There's also a great exterior shot of the Helicarrier, and the battle between the Beast and Wolverine is well presented, as there's little doubt they are both quite serious.
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