I think by now we can say that it’s official, All-New Wolverine is the best X-men title on the market right now. Well, I’ve heard that Deadpool and Spider-Man is pretty good, but that’s not really an X-Men book since Deadpool isn’t officially an X-Man and Spider-Man isn’t one at all, unless you count the short-lived Spider-Man and the X-Men series. Anyway, let’s dig into All-New Wolverine 6, written by Tom Taylor.
This comic picks up shortly after the last one ended, with Laura Kinney and her clone sisters arriving at Alchemax to shut down the cloning project. Most of this issue is one long action scene, and it’s a great one at that. Laura shows off her tactical skills using deception, combat skills and deep knowledge on how SHIELD intelligence works. That last point also leads to a couple funny lines.
As fun as the action is though, the drama is what really makes this issue work so well. It’s not just Laura showing a lot of restraint with how angry she is, but Gabby shows a darker side to her normal friendly personality, while also showing some restraint. Bellona, well … not so much, but that’s fitting for her character. All three of them get their own little intimidation speech and the writing is very good in all three of them. When there’s a sad moment, you feel genuinely sorry for Gabby. When the main story is over, you feel a genuine sense of relief for both Laura and Gabby. There are also several big reveals by the end of the comic, one is related to Gabby and it’s kind of exciting. The main one on the last page though, the only thing I can say without spoiling it is that it’s about time.
The art by David Lopez is great. Facial expressions do a great job at conveying emotion, especially the terror in the eyes of Alchemax’s security team and scientists. The look of fury in Laura’s eyes is downright intimidating in a couple panels. The action flows well, and you get the impression that Lopez at least has a basic knowledge of martial arts the way he poses punches and kicks. Body language also helps convey characters’ personalities. Captain Mooney’s injuries and the damage on Bellona’s outfit remain consistent throughout the issue, and there’s just the right amount of blood. There’s also a lot of background detail, whether it’s the lab equipment, the crates and shelves in the storage area or the little touches like the fire alarm button on the wall that later contributes to the story. David Navarrot is also credited for art but in this issue’s case, I’m not entirely sure where he contributed. Nathan Fairbairn’s colouring is also great. Even though the comic mostly takes place in a white bunker, there’s plenty of colour in the background, everyone’s eyes are the right colour and when the fire alarm goes off, everything has a red hue.
As an X-23 fan, I’m so glad this series is as good as it is. It’s intense, dramatic and fun all at once. Laura’s characterization is a natural progression from the character development she’s received over the years, while her sisters are a fascinating reflection of who she used to be and who she could have become. Take notes Dennis Hopeless; this is how you should be writing Laura in All-New X-Men. X-23 fans should be picking this series up, Wolverine fans should at least give this series a chance and so should anyone who’s the least bit curious to try out a female Wolverine.
Since everything in this issue works so well, I can’t come up with a single complaint about this issue, and the ending is so exciting, I hereby give this issue the first perfect score since I started doing scores on this blog.
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This was a great finale. It felt like it should’ve been a bit longer, a bit more action, but they only have so much space, so it’s not a big deal. I do like seeing Laura being strategic, and willing to do what it takes to fulfill a mission. Gabby is still a delight. Intense one panel, adorable the next. I love Gabby.