Comic Book Review: X-23 #7
The time for fun and games were last month. This month is the start of a brand new story arc for Laura and Gabby! Considering how the past few story arcs played out, it only makes sense that we would get around to a story that leaned towards something more serious that these two would have to deal with. At least that is the impression that the synopsis of this issue gave us. Not that we need serious, but you still somewhat expect that Laura with get herself into something dark eventually.
Now I wouldn’t say we got to that point, but we got somewhere where the tone was a bit heavier than before. What I appreciate the most about this volume so far is the overlying theme shared between Laura and Gabby. At the very end of the day there is always a question of what it means to be a clone. Before Gabby, I think most would have said that Laura was as close as it gets to accepting what she is and the way she was created. After Gabby, there’s much more that comes into questions when challenged in where you draw the line in the sand between clone and person. The right questions are asked and they aren’t overlooked. It helps that a lot of these plot situations put them in positions where you can’t simply ignore the very things that define what you do now.
What I also have enjoyed about the start of this new story arc is the way that Laura and Gabby find themselves given more of a purpose outside of the X-Men than they did before. They had their own thing going on dealing with clones and the weapons they are turned into. However, at this point they are given a little more room to find legitimacy in their work. Who they were working with was an excellent transition into what would have led Laura and Gabby into hunting this X-Assassin who has been leaving a trail of dead bodies. There was no mistaking the way this plot was described either. Nothing was as it seemed when it came to the kind of assassin they were dealing or who the assassin turned out to be when the time for confrontation came. It was an interesting challenge that this assassin posed to Laura as well.
The highlight of this issue was once again everything dealing with Gabby. Even if this was serious business for the two of them, Gabby still found a way to make this fun because she is just that good at what she does. Let’s not get started on her dialogue which makes you smile for the intimidation she creates through chilling words hidden underneath a smile. The stunt she pulled to aid Laura in this fight against the assassin was all that you ever expect from a kid who sees every new mission as a game of experience.
Being the start to a new arc, it wasn’t too surprising that we would also pick up a new art team as well. Diego Olortegui, Walden Wong, and Chris O’Halloran were excellent choices for this art team. The pencil style of Diego Olortegui worked very well when striking that balance between detailed enough to be taken serious, but not going too far where you couldn’t pick up the humor from someone like Gabby who is deceptively intimidating. That smile of here could mean a lot of things. As I said above, they got creative with the design of this assassin and who this assassin turned out to be. The effect used as well for what this assassin could do was unique. It also goes without saying that the colors made a big difference in setting the tone of this story. The color choice was organic and helped ground this a bit, considering the circumstances of their mission.
X-23 #7 is an excellent start to the new story arc. We are back to familiar ground for this duo, but all the same the story carries the same heart that has kept you engaged in their lives as clone sisters from the start.