Of all the Generations comics, this was the one I was looking forward to the most. For one, Laura and Logan never really spent enough time together in the comics. They were on an X-Force team together sure, but she never once appeared in any of his solo books, and he only made scattered appearances in hers. And now that Laura’s grown up and is starting to reach her potential, seeing the two of them work together just sounds awesome. It doesn’t hurt that Laura is my favourite X-men character.
Like the other Generations comics I’ve read so far, Laura’s somehow been transported back in time, to well before she and Logan ever met. The story entirely takes place in Japan, not long after Akiko, Logan’s adoptive daughter, was kidnapped. The comic starts off with Logan being overwhelmed by a large number of ninjas, being dragged toward the water (which could drown him). When things start to seem hopeless, Laura shows up and cuts him free. The two of them team up to take on the rest of the ninjas, and then start searching for Akiko together.
And I know that Amiko is what most people know her by, but Akiko was the original name, and that’s what she’s being called in this comic. Hence, I’ll call her Akiko.
Right away the comic does a good job at showing the similarities and differences between them. It establishes that while Logan is clearly stronger and more aggressive, Laura is faster and more precise. Either way they’re both very skilled fighters with the unbreakable claws popping out of their hands. They’re both smart in their own way. Laura is more strategic in the way she plans and kind of leads their search. Although when they arrive at the airport, Logan does quickly come up with a decent plan to get past the metal detectors. He also figures out that Laura’s from the future, and that they’re related, even though she goes out of her way to not tell him anything besides her name and how she found him.
Besides the action that eventually involves one of Wolverine’s biggest enemies over the years, there are a lot of great character moments. Neither of them seem to care when they’ve got weapons sticking out of their backs. Just before a large explosion, Logan dives on top of Laura to protect her, and then sites “instinct” when she insists that wasn’t necessary. After they borrow new clothes to cover up their torn uniforms, Logan points out there was a dress in the car, and Laura jokes that it would look good on him. But the best part is at the very end, where Laura encourages Logan to spend time with Akiko. They share a very heartfelt moment, and Laura gets to say a proper goodbye to her father figure just before she fades back into the present.
The art by Ramon Rosanas is fantastic. The opening fight is just the right level of chaotic, with Wolverine clearly surrounded, and his uniform all scratched up. There’s a great sense of progression between panels, whether it’s the chains sticking into Logan’s legs before the ninjas start dragging him to the water, or Laura carving her path to freeing Logan of the chains and flipping around as she slices them. There’s a lot of environmental detail throughout the comic, like the warehouse full of crates and the support beams above and the crowded airport (one passenger is even wearing a mouth mask). When they jump through a window, there are shards of glass all over the place, and when they steal a luggage cart and chase down a plane, luggage falls out of the back.
Facial expressions do a great job at expressing emotions. The look of surprise in Logan’s eyes when he hears someone else’s “snikt” says it all, and while both of them look determined in the opening fight, Logan shows more fury while Laura appears more focused. Their expression and body language are a lot more varied after the fight, with Logan showing a bit of regret after Laura encourages him to spend more time with Akiko, and Laura on the brink of tears as she says one last goodbye. Nolan Woodard’s colouring is also great. The opening fight scene at sunset is mostly dark, with great use of light reflecting off of all the metal weapons all over the place and brilliant use of shadows.
This is a great comic. It’s got a lot of intense action, a complete story, and it perfectly shows that Laura is worthy of the Wolverine name while still showing how awesome the original can be. Writer Tom Taylor’s been doing a great job with her character, like using Gabby to bring out her more optimistic side and letting her grow as a leader. This issue also gives us some pure Wolverine action with the original, to the point where it would work well as a Wolverine comic. If you’re a fan of either Wolverine, you should pick this up.