Comic Book Review: X-23 #1
I never truly got to say it, but I absolutely loved Laura’s time as Wolverine. I always felt like that was the proper step forward for her even if Marvel is not the kind of publisher that can make a change and stick with it. Especially when it comes to heroes staying dead. Either way, the great thing about Laura is that she never needed to be Wolverine to be awesome. She was an awesome character before that, and would still be after. It was an easy sell on this series that she would as well still have Gabby and Jonathan with her as well in this new series.
For a new number one and going back to X-23, it was only proper that this first issue did spend a little time addressing who Laura is and where she comes from. At this point, one would expect that readers should know who she is by now, but you can never be too sure these days with what research they will do on their own. Just enough time was spent on that without taking too long, and from there threw us straight into the thick of this new chapter for Laura and Gabby. It was exiting to see that there was no slowing down for these two. On their own they were still doing what they do best which is take out the people who abuse the mutant gene for the sake of creating more weapons. When you have that kind of mission, the possibilities are almost endless for who you will encounter. For example this first group they are engaging. An all-new enemy that we haven’t seen before.
Very quickly they also established the kind of Laura and Gabby we are dealing with right away. There would always be some seriousness to Laura when she has an objective, but I enjoyed that she and Gabby can have fun with their job. It may be killing, but you never feel sorry for the person on the other end of their blades. They tend to have it coming.
As far as interactions go, it was quite memorable the scene created between these two sisters and the Stepford Cuckoos. I was a bit caught off guard by their change back to similar styles, but that was quickly overshadowed by importance placed on their relationship around the time of their Birthdays. It worked very into the subplot of this issue. When you want to explore the life of a clone, you always take a look back at the things that are hard to forget. The things that won’t allow people like them to forget where they come from. Seeing that there was even more to their involvement was clever considering what they were actually up to. They’ve been due for some risky business in the X-books and now was better than never.
First, let me start off by talking about the costume changes to X-23 and Honey Badger. I found both to be very badass for how creative this art team got with the design. What both wore was practical and had more individualism to them. Laura going back to grey wasn’t too surprising, but it was better than it wasn’t majorly grey or overwhelming. As for Honey Badger, the same could be said her the amount of yellow she wore. There was more dynamic to her selection when making room for more black, white, and grey to be used as well. That aside, I loved the pencil work from Juann Cabal which was very clean and anatomically correct. This guy was able to strike an impressive balance between character focus and fluent action sequences. The way Laura and Gabby spring into action perfectly captures their agility and physical prowess, and he does this without putting them into compromising poses. All of this wouldn’t look so great in the end if it weren’t for the stunning work by Nolan Woodard. That is a detailed color artist who knows how to put their time and effort into both characters and settings. Did not skip a beat nailing skin tones, textures, tones, shadows, and highlights too.
It goes without saying that there was a lot of creativity put into characters as a whole seen throughout this first issue. Characters familiar and new took some interestingly new looks that were quite fitting.
X-23 #1 is a strong debut for Laura and Gabby carving out their own path. Where Wolverine and others have slacked off fighting back the manipulation of mutant genes, this series now addresses that problem again with greater importance. Everything about X-23 and Honey Badger was fun, be it their personality or love for doing what they do best.