Not a big fan of the cover. I take it that it's supposed to be a "pirate" version of Gambit and X-23, but it's just not doing it for me. What I do like is how the X-23 is colored yellow. I've always been a fan of when they change the color of the titles throughout the series, makes the issues look really colorful.
As other reviewers have mentioned, as well as friends of mine, the art was extremely well used here. For me, it took a little getting used to but it's a definite improvement over what we see in issues #5 & #6. In addition, Liu's storytelling is also much better here than the previous issues. I do have one bone to pick, so read on. Lastly, I am a big fan of Gambit, and I feel that the way he is written here is pretty cool. I also enjoyed the fight and to see how X-23 reacts to a few things.
I actually like X-23, and I still, for the life of me, cannot begin to like this arc. I understand that Songs of the Orphan Child is supposed to be about self-reflection and self-discovery for X-23; she's trying to find out if she has a soul, etc.. I understand that X-23 is disturbed and has been through a lot in her past. What I don't understand is how this story arc makes any sense. This particular dilemma is painfully obvious mostly in this issue, because while this particular issue still falls within the story arc, it has nothing to do with the previous three issues in the arc. If there's a connection I missed from previous issues, please point it out, because frankly, I'm utterly lost as to the purpose of this newest arc and even more so, the point of this issue. It was a great issue, it just doesn't seem to fit. Simply put, I felt this felt too much filler, no killer.
This is a pretty decent story, but it feels like it should have been a one-shot, stand alone kind of story. It doesn't make much sense how it ties into the other previous stories or issues to come. Hopefully, X-23's trip to Madripoor yields some explanations and interesting interactions between her and Daken.