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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

THE NERD WITHIN - Wolverine First Class 1-12 (2008)

Fred Van Lente has been infecting me.

I've enjoyed his collaborations on THE INCREDIBLE HERCULES but thought maybe it was more Greg Pak then him.

I few months back I stumbled upon a few issues of COMIC BOOK COMICS written by Fred and found myself laughing and smiling at his clever wordplay as he ran through a history of the medium we love through said medium.

I branched out to his series ACTION PHILOSPHERS! in which he runs through the history of philosophy with equal hilarity and in the same format as COMIC BOOK COMICS.


I needed more.

I discovered, thanks to MARVEL DIGITAL COMICS, he wrote WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS.

Bring it.

WOLVERINE FIRST CLASS examines the stories that took place between the pages and panels of UNCANNY X-MEN after Kitty Pryde joined the team. Wolverine is assigned by Professor Xavier to teach Miss Pryde in a one on one capacity and the dynamic of a spunky carefree teenager and a gruff and surly sasquatch brings new meaning to the phrase "odd couple".

The stories bring new depths to the classic tales TEEBORE will soon be reviewing and better explains how Kitty and Logan managed to grow so close.

Issue 12 showcases the rivalry of Cyclops and Wolverine from a new perspective as Cyke is assigned to teach Kitty for a day in place of Wolverine. A Lovecraftian monster gets involved, like you do, and Van Lente's run ends with one of his best issues.


Peter David supplied the writing until the series ended with issue 21. Of course, Peter provided what he usually does - witty writing and strong characterization, but Van Lente's issues had a heart to them that is often lacking throughout the medium.

If you're on Marvel Digital Comics, I believe the first 10 issues are available. Otherwise, the entire series is collected in TPB and can be found at your local comic store, amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, or soon to be discounted at one of Borders fine store closings.

7 comments:

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

hah! I love that panel regarding the costumes/vs uniforms. Clearly, though, Cyke/Orbo is wrong in this case. They're uniforms

Teebore said...

Good stuff. I read this through Van Lente's run and into Peter David's, but dropped it shortly thereafter (not because I didn't like David's work, but because it was once again time to cull the pull list and I wasn't digging this as much as when Van Lente was doing it).

Also, Comic Book Comics, Action Philosophers and Incredible Hercules are all awesome comics. I really, really wish Comic Book Comics came out faster...

If you like Wolverine: First Class, I'd also suggest the X-Men: First Class book by the Fred Van Lente-ish Jeff Parker (I don't see it on Marvel Unlimited, but I could always loan you a hardcover collection I have...)

They're not quite as good as the Wolverine stuff, simply because it features the comparatively-less charismatic original team as opposed to the new X-Men, but they're still a ton of fun.

As for uniforms vs. costumes, I'm torn. On the one hand, uniforms seems more appropriate, per Wolverine's arguments (and Cyclops counter-argument that janitors wear uniforms makes him look like a dick, like he's somehow better than a janitor).

On the other hand, "costume" seems the more established term, and the use of "uniform" in lieu of it strikes me as something the insecure comic nerds would do in order to make themselves feel better about reading these "silly" stories, like, "you can't make fun of me for reading them, they wear UNIFORMS, not costumes."

And that's the kind of mentality that leads to less fun, overly "realistic" stories that take themselves too seriously. So I dunno.

Or maybe *I'm* just putting too much thought into it...

Anne said...

i'm on team uniform

Joan Crawford said...

Ha, Orbo! And they're totally outfits.

...and Cyclops counter-argument that janitors wear uniforms makes him look like a dick, like he's somehow better than a janitor.

Here, here! Good on you for calling that pretentious jerk out!

Teebore said...

@Joan: Here, here! Good on you for calling that pretentious jerk out!

Lord knows I love ol'Orbo, but I'll be the first to admit he needs to be brought back down to size every now and again.

boots~ said...

I think Parker does Agents of Atlas. I've read a few of their stories and slightly enjoyed it but I didn't know enough of what was going on to be properly intrigued. I'm working my way through Brubaker's Catwoman and Gotham Central. Perhaps I'll give First Class a try after that.

Cyclops needs to be in control. I think his dickish-ness slips out when he feels his control is threatened.

Uniforms for matching team attire.

Costume if you're out there jumping off of roof tops on your own.

Teebore said...

@Boots: I'm working my way through Brubaker's Catwoman and Gotham Central.

Good stuff. Gotham Central especially is a fave of mine.

Uniforms for matching team attire.

Costume if you're out there jumping off of roof tops on your own.


I like that breakdown!