As the first multiple issue story line of Wolverine: First Class comes to a close, I walk away looking forward to the next issue, which is both a good and bad thing. As previously stated, I enjoy the premise of the First Class genre, and Part II of the Wundagore story line was a fun read, but disappointing at times.

Now onto the good stuff.

A breief synopsis:

Prosimia, a lemur ‘Manimal’, has turned Shadowcat into one as well, and The High Evolutionary, by stripping him of his animalistic tendencies, has turned Wolverine into a wussy. The issue begins with a two page splash complete with rabid New Men Manimals ready to take out our dynamic duo and their friends. When Wolverine tucks tail and runs away, Kitty is left all by her lonesome to defend against the crazed New Men army of the Man-Beast. She dons a set of armor, is granted the mystical powers of myth and legend, and prepares to save the day!

All of the main characters are mentioned above, and the cast is nearly the same from the previous issue, minus Thor.

Some thoughts on the issue:

-Again, the writing is satisfactory. Even so, Fred Van Lente bordered on getting too deep with Wolverine. After Logan fled from the battle, he contemplated abandoning his life as an X-Man in order to live a life of peace out in the woods. Granted he was under the influence of The High Evolutionary, so his mind may have been a bit clouded, but the scene felt odd. Overall though, Lente captures the essence of his main character well.

-The art by Salva Espin was consistent from the previous issue and looks great in that First Class style. Expressions are one of Espin’s strong points. Still, I would have liked more variety and action in the show down between Man-Beast and The High Evolutionary. It felt flat as six panels were dedicated only to the faces and glowing eyes of the characters.

-Not to come off as harsh, but I felt cheated out of the New Men vs. the Mutated New Men battle. It seemed very anti-climactic after a full page spread depicted Kitty leading a charge into the fray, not to mention the awesome battle the issue’s cover promotes. Speaking of Kitty, it was nice to see her finally get a moment to shine in this series as she becomes the legend, Lady Shadra of the Cat People.

-Some one liners:

“I had no choice, Bova! Not when our creator left us only myths and legends with which to defend ourselves!” – Prosimia

“Is there not some way you can be content just to live?” – The High Evolutionary

“For the new generation always tears the present from the gnarled hands of the old… To drag it screaming and kicking into the future.” – Man-Beast

-A death in the issue added to the drama. Although, I must admit, the character was growing on me.

The final word:

While overall a great series, this issue of Wolverine: First Class felt rushed. The point of this story arc seemed to be giving Kitty a chance take the spotlight away from Wolverine and strut her stuff. Unfortunately, at the most pivotal moment for this to happen, the camera cuts away from the action and when it returns, the battle is nearly finished. Luckily though, we can look forward to issue #5!

2/5 stars

Wolverine First Class #4

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