Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha & Omega

Collecting Wolverine and the X-Men: Alpha & Omega #1-5

Writer: Brian Wood

Artists: Roland Boschi, Dan Brown, Mark Brooks

Marvel Comics, $24.99, color, 112 pages

I loved Wolverine and the X-Men Vols 1-4 so much, I ordered this book sight unseen. That was a mistake.This book is exactly what Shakespeare was talking about when he mentioned "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." I don't mean to call Brian Wood an idiot -- he is far from that, and I have enjoyed his work elsewhere. But I do mean the "signifying nothing" part, because nothing happens here.

OK, there is a conflict. What happens is Quentin Quire finally -- after all the empty threats and posturing he does in Wolverine & the X-Men -- does something nasty to Wolverine. Something really nasty. Something that, in any world you and I live in, ought to get him killed, or at least imprisoned.

What he does is this: Quire kidnaps Logan's brain and puts it in a videogame of his own creation, to torture him in perpetuity.

Hey, that is really nasty. As I said, this is something beyond the pale, and ought to get Quire punished in some serious way.

Well, first, Wolverine has to get out. And how that occurs is that A) without his higher brain functions, Wolverine's body reverts to animal mode and hunts Quire to kill him, and B) Quire begins to lose control of the videogame, especially since he's on the run from Brainless Wolverine.

Oh, and one more thing: Another student, Armor, gets caught up in Quire's net and is also in the videogame with Wolverine. (What IS it with Wolverine and underage girls? Kitty Pryde, Jubilee, Armor ... he's starting to look less like heroic mentor and more like creepy uncle.)

Anyway, what happens -- SPOILER -- is that eventually Wolvie and Armor get out, before Brainless Wolverine kills Quire, and before anyone (including all the telepaths at the school) notice that anything is wrong. And Quire's punishment?

A stern talking to.

I am not kidding. Wolverine, who spent five issues trying to kill Quire, does nothing. Headmaster Wolverine, faced with a student who put another student in lethal jeopardy for an extended amount of time, sees no need for disciplinary action. And Armor shrugs it all off, despite nearly being killed. And the other professors shrug it off as well. As for Quire, nothing changes there, either; he learns no life lesson because he still has to be a jerk in Wolverine & The X-Men.

In other words, a tale "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Because nothing happens.

Again, I don't blame Wood; he's proven himself a good writer, there's an interesting premise, and I have no doubt whatsoever he was told to put all the toys back the way he found them when he was done.

But save your money, and skip Alpha & Omega. Let me be shortchanged enough for all of us.

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I'd have to agree with Cap.  I remember reading this when it came out, and while I didn't think it was horrible, I didn't think it was that good either. Ultimately a truly pedestrian Wolverine story, and the fact that Quire's entrails aren't hanging from the walls of the school also points to it's ignorance of the characters involved.

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