So why All-New Wolverine? I’m not a particularly big fan of the X-books, only purchasing when creators I trust are running things. So I have Morrison’s New X-Men. And I have Bendis’ All-New X-Men. And I enjoyed those books and the great artists who were associated with them (Frank Quitely, Phil Jimenez, Stuart Immonen and Mahmud Asrar, to name a few)
But I knew almost nothing about Laura Kinney, X-23, save for what I had read online and when she came into those other titles.
What brought me to this book were the artists. I have been a fan of David Lopez since Fallen Angel at DC. And Marcio Takara is taking over in a couple of months. So I went out and picked up the first few issues.
While the art is wonderful, what is going to keep me on the book is Tom Taylor and the story of redemption he is crafting here. And if there is one thing I love in comics, it is super-heroes with sketchy pasts trying to get past prior deeds and become something better. I especially like it when it is a legacy hero.
So settle in as I hit some key points from the first five issues.
We learn early on she doesn’t want to be like that. In a nice flashback, garbed in the gear they wore as members of X-Force (a particularly violent and pro-active team, if I hear correctly), we see Logan praise Laura for not killing a target. He talks about regretting some of the people he has dispatched. She should be proud to move past instinct, to think more, to spare someone. That isn’t weakness. She might be best there is at killing, but she doesn’t have to.
Their situation resonates so powerfully with Laura herself. This quest to redefine herself is a way to save herself, just as defending clones is also saving ‘herself’. She is trying to become more human, to feel. These clones have been literally robbed of feelings. They want to kill those who created them. Laura is trying to move past those urges.
It is a brilliant way to convey what Laura is going through.
Even if it sounds ‘on the nose’, Taylor simply keeps the story moving so smoothly that it doesn’t club the reader over the head. It is only when I have finished reading the issue that I think back to the moments and let it sink in.
She brings the clones to the Sanctum Sanctorum hoping Dr. Strange can help them. Strange looks into each clone mystically and sees the things they have been through and the things they have done to survive. He is floored.
Laura asks if he scanned her the same way. Again, I feel like she is so unsure of herself. She is trying to redeem herself. Would Strange be aghast if he saw her life. Is she sub-human? Does she deserve salvation? And here Strange immediately validates her. She is acting the hero despite her past. No one is more deserving of the nom de guerre Wolverine.
And when provoked, when defending the helpless, when protecting the innocent, Laura is fierce. She isn’t a pacifist.
When it becomes clear that the lab chasing down her clones won’t go away, she decides to bring the war to them.
Taylor does a nice job reminding us that Wolverine is still a young girl with ‘normal life’ issues as well. She is trying to keep a romance with Angel going despite their superheroics. She has an empty fridge.
She sounds like Supergirl.
Specifically, this book reminds me of the Peter David Supergirl.
And frankly, that is the highest praise I can give the book.