It’s hard to believe there were only six issues. It seems that many good things are coming to an end with Secret Wars heralding the end of the Marvel multiverse to be replace with fans don’t know what but if you have not been reading this monthly book and you’re a fan of Spider-Man and these underused X-Men this is a no-brainer.
In the wake of Wolverine’s death, Logan’s last will and testament included a request to Spider-Man to ferret out a traitor amongst the Jean Grey’s School’s most incorrigible and dissatisfied mutant students. Despite the inherent suspicion and outrage at the invasion of a non-mutant teacher from the school’s permanent staff of first line X-Men such as Storm, Beast and Rachel Grey, Spider-Man accepts the challenge his begrudging friendship with Logan expected and the result was just a great fun ride. His X-Men students are the relatively forgotten and definitely neglected characters that highlighted great X-books of the past like Grant Morrison’s “New X-Men Academy X” including Hellion, Rockslide as well as even newer students such as Shark Girl, Eye Boy, Glob Herman, Ernst and No Girl. Each student is suspected along the way as they join Spidey in the field on one adventure after another facing a great combination of both Spider-Man and X-Men rogue’s gallery members. Who’s the traitor? Well nothing is as simple as that in this book and you’ll have to either pay up or follow their adventures on Marvel Unlimited to find out.
Spider-Man has always been a favorite for team-ups throughout Marvel’s history and lately whether it’s been as a New Avenger or a member of the Freedom Foundation or Fantastic Four Spider-Man has been the new Wolverine of guest characters. Despite what could potentially be too much of a good thing such as I personally felt with so many Wolverine guest appearances ‘Spider-Man and the X-Men’ was darn great fun. Spider-Man fans will remember Peter Parker’s tenure as a high school science teacher at his alma mater during J Michael Straczynski’s mostly well remembered run and it’s good to have him in front of a class again this time in costume. From teaching Uncle Ben’s wisdom about Great Power to the importance of patrolling to his self-interested and embittered mutant students, and even showing the resident super scientist Hank McCoy how to make science practical this books finds the punchlines in every situation.
Personally I have not really liked how insular and “us versus them” the X-Men titles have become. The X-Men were always much more than an analogy for racism but that seems to have taken over the books in the past years and in my opinion all the books except perhaps Bendis’ All New X-Men have suffered for it. I’d love for Spider-Man to be a permanent teacher at the Jean Grey School; after the universe ends of course. Maybe he, Mary Jane and little Mayday can move onto campus after Renew Your Vows. Who better for Mayday to grow up with?
Without giving too many spoilers, the last page of the last issue is the money shot as Spidey makes Professor X’s famous call his own “To Me my X-Men”. I think I might smile all day.
This is my first effort to move from commenter to contributor on O-Deck following the example of Brawl2099, Mweyer, Gretnablue and many others I enjoy on this subject of comics. I don’t think I’ll have their endurance for several submissions weekly, but I think I’d like to contribute once in a while.