(w) Jason Aaron
(p) Nick Bradshaw
(i) Walden Wong
I started reading Wolverine and The X-Men at issue nine when the series started it's "Avengers vs. X-Men" tie-in arc. At the time, I found the book to be inexplicably irritating. To this day, I can't explain (even to myself) why I was so averse to reading about the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning. After seeing Logan and his students through the events of "AvX", I've come to appreciate Jason Aaron's whimsical and off-the-wall take on a school for mutant children. Wolverine and The X-Men #19 is the first issue to be published under the 'Marvel NOW!' banner. One might assume this is only because "AvX" is over, and in that assumption, one would be wrong. Aaron goes to great lengths, this issue, to give readers a good jumping-off point for the series.
The biggest result of "Avengers vs. X-Men" was the activation of new mutants across the globe. Since the JGSHL is the only school equipped to deal with such a situation, Kitty Pride is attempting to prepare for an onslaught of new students. Husk has been put on medical leave for psychological reasons, meaning Kitty's got potentially hundreds of new students to enroll with one less experienced teacher. Aaron has some fun with these pages, having random mutants and heroes from around the Marvel Universe applying for the job including Blade, Sasquatch and Puck (from Alpha Flight), Damian Hellstrom, Dr. Nemesis, Ghost Rider (???), and, of course, Deadpool.
The other half of the issue is dedicated to the attack on Broo at the end of last issue -- the under-18 version of the Hellfire Club shot the pacifist Brood child and left him for dead in a field. While Beast attempts to recruit the greatest scientific minds on the planet in efforts to restart Broo's damaged brain, Wolverine and Rachel Grey scour Westchester County for the assailant. Broo has been a fan favorite since he was introduced, and it's sad seeing him broken in a hospital bed, stuck in a coma. Jason Aaron is very good at tugging on heart-strings and it shows this issue.
I'm actually very much anticipating this coming year of Wolverine and The X-Men. The series only got eight issue under it's belt before being forced to connect to "AvX" events, so it will be fun and interesting to see how Aaron handles the series going forward.