Wolverine and the X-Men #9 marks the book’s final issue before the titular character’s publicized death and Jason Latour dedicates it to Wolverine’s last ditch attempt to instill some heroic mentality into wayward X-Men student, Quentin Quire. Wolverine’s had his fair share of teenage protégées throughout the years but there’s never been an X-Men student quite like Quentin and this issue is a worthy and surprising end to the relationship that’s dominated the title since it’s first volume.
After countless threats to abandon the Jean Grey School, it was an interaction with his disappointing future self that causes Quentin to finally ditch the X-Men. Now a leader of the Hellfire Club, Quentin hosts an extravagant birthday party, which Wolverine crashes with good intentions. However, Quentin flips the table on him and offers his former teacher some much-needed humble pie.
Some may argue that this issue marks a step back from the development that Quentin received under Jason Aaron’s pen but I find it refreshing to see a failure of the X-Men come to the surface as Quentin reverts back to the rebellious and ambitious character he was when Grant Morrison originally created him. While I wouldn’t call Quentin a villain just yet, striking out on his own and distancing himself from the school shows the potential in his character that’s been missing since Aaron dusted him off. The mind games and pure bitterness that Latour has him throw towards Wolverine will make you hope Quentin doesn’t get back in his Jean Grey School uniform any time soon.
I never thought I’d say this but this is an occasion when it actually pays to be spoiled. Typically, readers could assume that Quentin and Wolverine’s squabbling will pick up where it left off next month but knowing Wolverine’s death is rapidly approaching adds extra emotional weight to each biting insult that are scattered throughout Latour’s smart, focused script. It makes for a heartbreaking read and assures us that the decisions Quentin makes in this issue will factor heavily in the character’s future.
The idea of an X-Men cosplay party gives artist Jorge Fornes an opportunity to have a lot of background fun but he settles on filling panels with generic Spider-Women and uninspired Sabretooth knockoffs. The dialogue implies we’re at a high-end, decadent party but the art reads more like a teenager’s house party, thrown last minute in their parent’s unfurnished basement.
Israel Silva colors the issue with a green grayish tone that sells the boozy, nightlife atmosphere but due to Fornes’ lack of background work, the color simply floods the book, making for some very bland pages. Silva also makes a choice to dilute Quentins trademark pink hair causing him to tragically fade into the background at his own birthday party. Simply put, the art feels rushed and doesn’t live up to the drama and setting that’s present in Latour’s story.
Logan learns a harsh lesson in this closing chapter to one of the relationships that’s defined his role in the X-Men for the past four years. When he eventually bites the dust next month, this issue will be the one to remind readers what type of hole his death will ultimately leave in the X-Men franchise.
The Verdict: 7.0/10