X-23 (2018) #1
Written: Mariko Tamaki
Art by: Juann Cabal, Nolan Woodard, Cory Petit
Edited by: Annalise Bissa, Christina Harrington, Jordan D. White
Cover Art by: Mike Choi
Published by: Marvel Comics
What it’s about…
Cloned from a warrior, raised as a killer, Laura Kinney has gone through hell and come out the other side a hero. After a stint as the All-New Wolverine, she returns to her roots as X-23 to make sure no one ever has to go through the horrors she did.
With her sister Gabby and their pet Jonathan in tow, X-23 forges her own destiny in this new series by Mariko Tamaki (HULK, HUNT FOR WOLVERINE: CLAWS OF A KILLER) and Juann Cabal (ALL-NEW WOLVERINE, ELEKTRA).
What I thought about it…
Out of all of the Marvel’s Fresh Start relaunches, X-23 is the one that worried me the most. The reason for this is because I’m a huge fan of Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine series. A title which I felt was cancelled prematurely. Plus I saw Laura returning to the X-23 name as a step back for the character. Thing is, I really like Laura, and her sister Gabby, and their pet wolverine. And so, I decided to give X-23 #1 a try.
The good news is that new writer Mariko Tamaki keeps nearly everything readers loved about Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine. Laura is still an uneasy hero trying to find her place among the X-Men. She’s even reflecting on her birthday, and if stuff like that should matter to a clone.
But the main emphasis of this new series is still the bond between Laura and her younger sister Gabby. Now, it’s only one issue, but at least for now my biggest fears have lowered.
Gabby by the way, steals most of this issue. She provides much of the book’s humor with her need for pretzels and birthday cake. Mariko Tamaki gives Gabby a great deal of charm, and often reminding us that she’s just a young girl enjoying life with her big sis. And Gabby’s fist bump with the Stepford Cuckoo was funny as hell.
Helping maintain a sense of continuity from All-New Wolverine to X-23 is the fact that Juann Cabal. has returned to draw Laura’s adventures. As usual, Cabal’s art if gorgeous, delivering his unique style that is both clean, and dynamic to look at. Cabal is also able to capture Gabby’s joy of life, and adventure.
In the end, I’m happy that new writer Mariko Tamaki isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel in this series. So fat it seems like Tamaki is building on what Tom Taylor created over the last few years, and that’s fine by me. Above all, I’m thankful to see Tamaki has a good handle on the relationship between Laura and Gabby. So for now, I’m sticking with the all new X-23.
X-23 score: A-