The number one thing on Wolverine fans has got to be, “Why is this book called X-23?” In Tom Taylor’s excellent run with the character, readers learned she shed a skin of sorts by dropping the name and becoming Wolverine, but here she is with the old moniker once again. Do we find out in her new series? Short answer: not really!
So what’s it about?
Read our preview.
Why does this matter?
Writer Mariko Tamaki takes on the fan favorite character and appears to be bringing her even deeper into the X-Men makeup. This first issue not only integrates the X-Mansion but also heavily involves a Grant Morrison-created mutant trio.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue opens with a 28-panel page detailing how Laura got her powers and how she got to where she is at this point. It’s a nice visual refresher and Juan Cabal knocks it out of the park. He continues to kill it with the next 10-page scene of pulse-pounding action. Gabby and Laura are seen diving off a skyscraper to take out some high flying bad guys. The captions keep us attuned to Laura’s thoughts and the banter reminds us these two clones have a great relationship (and fear nothing). It’s a nice opening for anyone, especially new readers.
The rest of the issue switches gears, slowing things down a bit and focusing on Laura and Gabby’s visit to the Xavier Institute. New details emerge about the Weapon X program, the Cuckoos run into our heroes (and remark on how they’re all clones), and the concept of birthdays for clones is discussed. This sequence helps lay the groundwork for the awkward nature of being a clone, which gets even weirder as the story progresses.
Tamaki does a good job showing two sides of clone life: one being Gabby and Laura trying to be normal and the other with the Cuckoos who are anything but. It’s between these two groups that the story gets its footing and a clear path to the next issue emerges.
It can’t be perfect can it?
This is one of those issues that ends a bit too soon. There’s a hint at where we’re going, but the big cliffhanger to set the plot in motion is yet to be seen. That can be slightly frustrating when the book ends because the hook of this new series has yet to drop.
Is it good?
This is a good issue that is written well with great art, especially in the action. Tamaki has a clear handle on the characters and their sisterly relationship, goofiness and all. X-Men fans should enjoy this one immensely since it seems to be tied closely to the mutant storylines.