The previous issue of All-New Wolverine ended with a big reveal. After years of various people attempting to clone Laura Kinney (All-New Wolverine/formerly X-23), someone succeeded … sort of. Her sisters look like her, but they don’t heal like her. This issue picks up where the last left off, and it explains a lot more about the story while still giving us some good action.
Writer Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine 2 begins in an Alchemax building in New York City, where a scientist and security boss explain to Laura what her “sisters” have been up to. It’s a tense scene, but despite Wolverine not being the least bit happy with the situation, she agrees to help stop the sisters from killing innocent people. What follows is the official introduction to Laura’s surviving clones, an action scene where she tries to stop two groups from killing each other, and a cliffhanger that brings in Taskmaster for next issue’s promised fight.
This is a great issue in a number of ways. First off, this is a good story to introduce the new Wolverine with. It contrasts how Laura is now compared to her early days as X-23, through her clones. She’s a more complete person now. Meanwhile, her clones talk very much like she did when she first joined the X-Men. They mostly speak in short sentences and talk about how their captors “need to die”. They’re quick to violence and don’t hesitate to kill. Alchemax also screams of a shady company and that only adds to the fun. Even though this story is dark, there’s still room for fun and some amusing lines involving Laura, Angel and the sisters. And of course the action scene toward the end is appropriately intense.
The arty by David Lopez is great. Laura’s sisters look like her, but with scars and marks to set them apart. Facial expressions do a great job at showing characters’ emotions, whether it’s Laura’s concern for her new family, the sisters’ blank stares or the terrified looks on two thugs’ faces when Laura proves why it’s a bad idea to follow her. The action scene feels kinetic. It shows how much more skilled Laura and her sisters are than Alchamax’s mercenaries. And of course Laura’s apartment is appropriately a dump for a place once owned by Logan. David Navarrot draws a couple panels worth on TV screens, and they feel like a grittier version of Lopez’s art. Nathan Fairbairn’s colouring is great. It feels bright and colourful even though most of this comic’s locations are brown.
As an X-23 fan, All-New Wolverine is everything I hoped for so far. It shows how much Laura’s developed as a character since she first appeared, and in a way that makes sense to her history. The action is good, the story feels persona, and there’s a good balance between dark and fun. Wolverine fans should at least give Logan’s daughter a chance; she’s both similar to him in skills, abilities and the desire to be a hero, while perhaps being more mature and certainly better at restraining herself. X-23 fans should be picking this up, as should anyone who’s interested in learning who this New Wolverine is.