In the previous issue, Laura, along with the Guardians of the Galaxy, needed to sneak into the Brood caverns near an experimental biological facility on a moon. Why? Because the Brood captured Gabby. At the end of the issue, Gabby was turned into a new Brood queen. The original Wolverine did overcome a brood infection because of his healing factor, but not only is Gabby’s healing factor likely not as strong, but I imagine the queen brood would be harder to fight off with a healing factor. That made for an intense situation.
Written by Tom Taylor, All-New Wolverine 24 finishes the Brood storyline, and the virus story arc that came before it. There’s a lot of action in this issue, like the opening firefight when Laura, Star Lord and Gamora are fleeing, the bigger escape sequence where Laura’s controlling the research base’s big guns, and a confrontation between Wolverine and Hive Queen Gabby. There’s still room for at least a little bit of drama, like a repeat of Gabby’s “Please don’t leave me”, and Laura willing to stay with her to their very deaths if need be.
There will be minor spoilers in this next paragraph.
If there’s one complaint I have about this issue, is that it feels a little rushed in the end. The escape sequence goes by so quick that it’s hard to feel anything. There could have been more time spent on Gabby dealing with her emotions after she overcomes the Brood Queen and turns back normal. Instead, she briefly comments on how much it sucked and how her desires to lay seeds in people felt “disconcerting”. It feels like this story could have been expanded on by another issue, and I had the same complaint about the Enemy of the State II story arc. The wrapping up that includes an explanation for how everything happened is expertly handled though, with the right mix of humour and closure. Also, Jonathan the actual Wolverine can talk now, thanks to a universal translator that Rocket installed. That’s just awesome.
The art by Leonard Kirk is mostly great. A couple of the facial proportions near the start of the comic look a bit weird with jagged edges, but otherwise there’s a lot of great work on facial expressions. Rocket looks delighted when he’s holding a bomb that he rigged together. When Gabby telepathically communicates with Laura a couple of times, she looks a bit stunned, and she looks appropriately angry after she figures out who caused the entire mess in the first place. Also, Gabby’s look of delight when she learns that Jonathan can talk is spot on. It’s also a nice touch that they both have messy hair after they return to the ship. The action feels big and it flows well, with a couple closeups of Laura carving up brood, Star Lord flying around with a jet trail behind him, and a lot of green blood flying around. The colouring, shared by Michael Garland and Erick Arciniega is also good. There’s an overall dark and gritty appearance during the action scenes that enhance the dark mood, balanced out by the blue light of Star Lord’s energy blasts, while everything’s bright and colourful inside the Guardians’ ship.
As usual, this is a great comic. The only thing holding this issue back is that a couple scenes feel rushed, but there’s still a strong mix of action, drama and fun. And although I’d prefer this story to be one issue longer to expand on the tense situation and the drama, I’d rather have a story that’s a bit too short but still enjoyable, than a story that’s too long and feels stretched thin. X-23 fans should be reading this series, and it’s at least worth checking out for fans of the original Wolverine as well. Guardians of the Galaxy fans may enjoy this story arc as well.