Writer: Tom Taylor
Art: Marcio Takara
Color Art: Jordan Boyd
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
What They Say:
Laura Kinney was created to be a weapon, but she escaped that life with the help with the help of the man she was cloned from, the man who became her mentor: Logan, known as The Wolverine. Tragically, the original Wolverine has fallen, but Laura will live as his legacy and fight for her better future. She is the All-New Wolverine. Previously… Laura has taken Gabby, a young clone of hers, under her wing. Laura is determined to show Gabby a normal life outside of captivity, despite the unpredictable existence of being a superhero.
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
When Logan died a while back, Marvel changed thing up by making his clone Laura Kinney, formerly known as X-23, the new Wolverine. This issue sees a new storyline called “The Box” begin. After Laura saved a clone of herself, a younger one named Gabby, Laura attempts to integrate her into normal life, but Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D. sort of puts a hold on that. She lost many good men recovering some box that is believed to be a weapon or contain one of some sort. The scene where Laura uses her super sense of smell on the box, declaring that it’s “familiar, but not” is very interesting because it shows just how like Wolverine she is. Logan’s sense of smell was acute enough to be able to tell him many things about objects or people, and Laura’s works the same way. She senses that something about the box may be familiar, and as luck would have it, Maria tells her that this is exactly the same thing an Alternate Logan said about the box. We learn, unsurprisingly, that this Logan was tracking the box himself and requested not to be tracked. Maria tracked him anyway, but they lost him eventually. They have no idea where he went. This is actually a great part because it shows just how like normal universe Wolverine this one is. He’s rash, he does things on his own, and he gets into problems frequently. If anything about this scene stands out, it’s just how right the book gets both Laura and Logan. Both prefer not to trust Maria or S.H.I.E.L.D. and prefer to do things their own way.
Another great scene, at least for me, was after the box is opened. Laura’s sense of smell is shown off well yet again. The box appears to contain just some odd green liquid, but Laura’s sense tells her it’s a pheromone. This pheromone gives us the second best part of this issue, even if only briefly. Turns out this pheromone was designed to attract a very rage, angry dragon. This Dragon is none other than Fin Fang Foom. His reveal comes in what I believe is the best scene in the issue. In a two-page spread, The helicarrier is just barely in the air and now tilted towards the bay near New York City. Fin Fang Foom looms over it like a colossus, smashing part of it with his fist. The art style of the comic may be a bit clunky at times, but this scene ends up looking really nice. What’s also really nice here is how the issue ends. Laura explains that the box held a pheromone to attract Fin Fang Foom and that she now knows where the alternate Logan went. It’s pretty obvious and very fitting of the character. Logan was probably eaten by Fin Fang Foom and is now somewhere inside of him. Like her predecessor, Laura shows her own level of rashness and tendency towards not thinking when she leaves Gabby in Maria’s care and rushes straight for Foom’s gaping maw. The art in the scene where Laura leaps toward Fin Fang Foom’s maw is held down only by how clunky the art looks in this scene. While the art is generally pretty good overall, and while Laura herself looks pretty good in this scene, the art on Fin Fang Foom is not very good, and he comes of looking sillier compared to the earlier scene with the Helicarrier.
The great part of this issue has to be the main character herself. Laura shows just how capable she is of bearing the mantle of Wolverine, and we get a great sense of who she is in this issue. She seems to genuinely care about Gabby, which is a nice small change. The previous Wolverine did care about others, but he was a lot more subtle about it and his main characteristic seemed to be where he gets angry and fight or when he’d rush off to tackle something by himself. Laura shows in this issue that she has a good balance of Logan’s traits and her own personality. Sure, she can be stubborn and rashly rush into things, but she also thinks a lot more and cares enough that we can clearly see it, such as when she tries to protect Gabby in the issue. Gabby herself is a great character, but she works best as a side character for now. I simply loved Laura in this issue, though. She was, for me, on full blast in this issue, showing us just why she is the new Wolverine.
The art is clunky at times and great at others, but this first part of the new storyline “The Box” is pretty good. It gives a good showing of who Laura Kinney is and what she wants to do this time around. As usual, S.H.I.E.L.D. comes in at the worst moment and brings her back into doing hero work. Laura gives us a good view of her powers and her mannerisms, and Gabby is a pretty fun character too. Fin Fang Foom is on point and done pretty well, especially if he has managed to eat any version of Wolverine. The Logan in question seems to be “Old Man Logan” or at least he looks like that. Several “next issue” questions arrive by the end here. Will Laura find what she’s looking for inside of Fin Fang Foom? What Logan will this turn out to be? Was it even a good idea to leave Gabby with Maria Hill knowing that she is a clone of Laura? Most importantly of all, how will this tie in with Civil War II? The Road to Civil War II lists this issue and issue #9 as part of the road, so maybe #9 will give us more info on how Laura and the events in “The Box” so far will impact the big event and where Laura may be during it. Overall, a pretty good issue that shows how its characters work and brings us closer to our divisive event.
Released by: Marvel Comics
Release Date: May 18, 2016