STORY BY Tom Taylor, ART BY David Lopez, David Navarrot, Publisher: Marvel Comics
I can’t remember the last time I actually bought an issue of any X-Men book. Sure, back in the day, I used to really like the book, back when people like Claremont, Silvestri and Paul Smith were on the book. Yes…. there are more X-artists than just Jim Lee! With my lack of recent knowledge, I have no idea who X-23 is or anything about her. So a first issue seems like a good jumping on point.
As the issue starts, Laura is on assignment trying to stop assassination attempt. She initially accomplishes this by getting killed herself. This leads to, depending on your point of view, the best bit of the book or the most cheesy part. It’s a Wolverine book, so you would expect a certain Canadian furball to show up, offering advice with the sage like paraphrase of “You’re the best at what you do” bringing a wry smile to my face. From there its action time as Laura sets out to stop the assassins next attempt, concluding with a twist that fans of X-23 may expect.
I have read some of Tom Taylor’s previous work, specifically Earth 2, where he replace James Robinson. I have to say I wasn’t a big fan of that run, but here, mixing some quieter scenes with the action ones, he shows a greater depth of writing than I expected. The dialogue between Logan and Laura was fun, the give and take between Angel and Laura again was ok.
David Lopez and David Navarrot supply a mixed bag of art. For the most part, its pretty standard super hero stuff, maybe better than the average book. However, I didn’t really like how they drew Logan’s face. I can’t but my finger on why, maybe I have been indoctrinated to expect a more dynamic look. This version seems a little reserved. As for the rest, the action moves at a good pace, the panels flow and the book reads well. Nathan Fairbairn’s colors certainly add to the environment, whether it’s a rain-soaked street of an idyllic setting for a more personal meeting.
All-New? Well, for me it is. For existing fans, maybe not. Marvel, who historically have had some success in creating female versions of their male heroes, Spider-Woman and Ms Marvel back in the 70’s for example, seem to be trying their hand at the same trick in the present. Over the last year we have seen numerous female spiders and a female Thor. Will this book be as well received? It’s hard to say; Wolverine was probably in as many Marvel books as Batman was in DC books. I would like to think that this book will do well, if the writers can keep a focus on Laura rather than trying to push her into the wider X-Universe.