The first tie-in book from the X-side of the fence has arrived and it is written by the same architect who penned Avengers Vs. X-Men #2, Jason Aaron. This has been a highly anticipated book for me, as this series has grown on me since the beginning and as AvX started to unfold I found myself very curious as to how the school would fit into everything. I knew this book was going to tie-in to the conflict somehow, I just didn’t realize it would so well. Jason Aaron has a fantastic voice for these characters and he does a great job of filling this book with a somber aura. These characters don’t want to be in this fight, they don’t know where they stand in this fight, nor do they know how this is going to play out. It’s convoluted, but it’s a situation that leads to some great character moments. The X-Man we’ve been dying to peer into the brain of gets the full-on analysis in this book and it was great to read Wolverine’s position on this conflict. That said, Aaron does a solid job of adding a dynamic side-plot to AvX into this book so that it is not purely a companion to AvX. The storyline will definitely be tied heavily into the main event, but the seeds to some really entertaining plots have been planted in this issue, some of which could have major effects on the main event.
On art duties is the man who kicked off the series, Chris Bachalo. If anyone read my early reviews of this title my primary complaint was Bachalo’s somewhat “chaotic” art. I’m happy to say I didn’t get the same reaction at all to him returning to the series and found this book to be filled with really solid, if stylized, pencils. The art suited the story very well and the layout confusion that I experienced at times before was nowhere to be found. This issue is everything a tie-in book should be: heavily integrated with the main event, planting seeds within itself to keep the story fresh in this series and featuring art strong enough to rival the primary story. A great read in what is becoming one of the best titles at the House of Ideas.