I only picked up 4 comics this week, so I won’t bother with my first impressions post. Because I’ve had a busy week, I might not even get to all four reviews, but I’ll do my best. In any case, this week’s pickups include 2 major roles for Spider-Gwen, two appearances by Laura Kinney, a comic where the title characters barely show up and what is probably the most emotional issue of Ms. Marvel yet.
The All-New Wolverine annual, written by series regular Tom Taylor, takes place between All-New Wolverine 7 and 8, and it’s a classic body-swap story. Some sort of high tech weapon switched Laura and Spider-Gwen’s minds across universes. Right away this comic is very entertaining, with Gwen panicking after she switches bodies, trying to swing out of a window, and destroying a parked car on her painful landing when the webs don’t come out. Laura’s reaction is characteristically calculating, and even though she’s confused, she tries her best to adapt to the situation. Unfortunately, she’s got a lot more physical strength than she’s used to and destroys a drum set and a car door.
After the two mentally displaced characters meet up, they talk each other’s way through their altered power sets as they seek out whoever is responsible. This leads to several great moments like when Laura badly misses a web shot and when Gwen accidentally snikts herself. Gabby also has a number of great lines, and her skeptical reaction to Gwen’s first appearance in Laura’s body is hilarious. The culprit ends up being a fairly reasonable, if misguided, person who’s willing to set things right.
The art by Marcio Takara is great. The panicked looks on Wolverine-Gwen are great considering Laura is usually level headed, even if they made some of the early preview images a bit confusing. Gabby’s skeptical looks, like her raised eyebrows and her thoughtful look add so much to this already crazy situation. The background detail in Laura’s apartment is impressive, with Gabby’s appropriately messy room with a pile of text books, a food bowl for Jonathan the Unstoppable, and a sewing machine Gabby’s using to make Jonathan a costume. There’s also a Super Nintendo looking machine under the TV at one point. There isn’t always a detailed background through the rest of the comic, but when there is, there’s usually plenty of stuff to look at, like the variety of buildings, a small crowd watching after Wolverine-Gwen lands on a car, and plenty of debris after Spider-Laura breaks down walls and doors with her newfound super strength. Mat Lopes’s colouring is good. There’s some great shadow work in Gabby’s room in the opening pages, the gig where Spider-Laura first pops in is full of colourful lights and the flashback that explains the culprits motives is browned out.
Normally All-New Wolverine is well balanced between drama and fun. This comic is just fun – up there with the Squirrel Girl issue as the most entertaining entry in this series yet. The story isn’t all that deep, but there’s more than enough entertainment to make this comic a great read for either All-New Wolverine or Spider-Gwen fans.