Oh Quentin Quire. You quirky kid with the pink coif. I don’t know much about Quentin beyond the fact that he is supposed to be the next big thing in telepathy. Think the same power level as Charles Xavier with slightly more hair and significantly less impulse control. Oh and little to no shame. Although the film X-Men: First Class is not considered canon, it allowed audiences to imagine Charles in a new light; a hormonal young mutant who has extraordinary abilities but nowhere near the amount of wisdom we’re accustomed to him having. Quentin is much like this version of Charles, except instead of being a product of the swinging 60s, Quentin is more a child of the Thatcher 80s, a punk kid shaped by anti-establishment credos and more than a little Grant Morrison-esque peculiarity.
Quentin is the crux behind the Alpha and Omega story, and if the previous description didn’t tell you enough about him, the fact he thought it was a good idea to create a highly detailed mental construct simply to mess with Wolverine (Armor just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time) should tell you what this little prat is like. He takes control of Logan and Ichiki’s mind, so they physically appear to be in a coma and are conveniently unreachable by other telepaths at the school. Quentin also moves them early on to places they are less likely to be stumbled upon. Creepy.
Logan’s no stranger to people meddling with his mind so despite the fact that he isn’t able to override Quentin’s control, his berserker rage allows his body to move on auto-pilot, seeking out the source of whoever is messing with him. Consider that for a moment: Wolverine running around the Jean Grey School of Higher Learning with no mental safeguards to prevent him from tearing into the very students he is there to protect as their Headmaster.
For all the brilliance and extraordinary abilities, you are a very stupid boy, Quentin Quire.
The world he’s created to enact his revenge on Wolverine is densely detailed, almost indiscernible from reality, though the state of affairs in this world are dire for him and Armor. They have failed to deliver a package of some kind and are now being hunted by their boss as well as the government. Despite not knowing they have any abilities in this construct, after some close calls their instincts override the mental programming and allow them to use their powers. Although they don’t remember who they are, they do sense that something is wrong but these versions of themselves aren’t as familiar with the concept of mind control. Their abilities do come in hand considering they’re being hunted, so it’s a start.
It’s an interesting tale that follows both the “real” world happenings at the school as well as the construct Quentin has built. One of the more clever elements of this book is that the art style changes noticeably between the construct and the real world. It’s a visually striking change, so it’s easy for the reader to know that we’ve switched locations without needing constant subtitles. Both artists are capable though I found the construct art more appealing personally.
There are real moments of tenderness in this story too, where we learn more about Armor’s past and even Quentin’s motivations. I still didn’t particularly like him as a character at the end of this arc (other than a few funny one liners) but I do think this story helped me understand him better. Overall, an interesting read and a good insight into three characters you wouldn’t normally put together in a story.