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.
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.