Get ready for the all-new Wolverine. Tom Taylor is bringing Laura Kinney, formerly known as X-23, into the spotlight. Laura's been around for some time and this isn't the first time she's had her own series. As a female clone of the original Wolverine and created solely to be a weapon, she's had a tough time finding her place in the world and with the X-Men.
There may be some Wolverine fans upset with Laura taking over the mantle. It works for a couple reasons. The first is X-23 was just a bad name. It was simply a reminder of the experimentation she went through and the fact she was made just to be a killing weapon. She wasn't seen as a person and this likely attributed to some of her self doubt and difficulties relating to others. The second reason is it's to honor the man who was sort of like her father. He may not have been the perfect father for her over the years but there were moments he helped her out. He's been dead now for over a year (our time). This is her way to pick up the mantle and continue to kick butt in his name while also moving on from just seeing herself as a killing machine. Wolverine was far from perfect but was a noble man inside. Plus we sort of have Logan back in EXTRAORDINARY X-MEN and the upcoming OLD MAN LOGAN.
As a first issue, Taylor doesn't fill us in on everything Laura's been up to since she took on the new identity. We do have that 'eight months later' time period after the events of Secret Wars. We're just thrown straight into the action but we do see there are still some connections to before, as with one character she's working with here. Taylor gives us what we want. We see Laura's fighting skills and ability to take on dangerous situations. There is a great self-reflection scene that allows us to delve deeper into her psyche to see how she thinks of herself and is processing the changes happening.
The overall plot of this story felt a little predictable but at the same time, I'm totally going to gobble it up. We may be a little unfamiliar with why or how she ended up in Paris but this could be something we discover in the next issue.
The art by David Lopez and David Navarrot is fantastic. Laura no longer looks like a child. She doesn't have the tiny waif-like 'comic book' physique and looks like she can totally kick anyone's butt, even if she didn't have claws and an insane amount of fighting skills. Nathan Fairbairn's colors are great. I love seeing Laura in Wolverine's traditional yellow and blue outfit. I always said the color scheme didn't seem right for Wolverine but it looks perfect on Laura.
There's a new Wolverine in town. The former X-23 has stepped up into the role of her deceased mentor. Tom Taylor throws us into the action and shows us what Laura can do. David Lopez and David Navarrot do a fantastic job with the art and the two styles work nicely in the context of the story. Nathan Fairbairn's colors sets the right tone within moments of serenity and the fast-paced action sequences. This was one of the All-New, All-Different Marvel series I was most looking forward to and we're off to an extraordinary start. I can't wait to see more. We have an interesting story being set up and you won't be able to resist being curious to see where Taylor takes things. This may not be the 'Wolverine' you were expecting but you'll fall in love with her, if you haven't already.