All-New Wolverine #1
ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #1
Since the original Wolverine is dead … or maybe just old … we get this all-new and all-female Wolverine. And I like her. X-23, the female clone of Wolverine, has been kicking around the Marvel Universe for a decade, so having her slide into Wolverine’s costume as the title character of this relaunch is not the gender-bending stunt it might first appear. Laura Kinney — X-23 — might be the most emotionally damaged character in Marvel’s stable, but this is not nearly so dark a tale as past X-23 stories (at least not yet). Abused as she has been, it will take time and understanding for Laura to learn to trust and love, and this issue goes there, too, with Laura’s partner and would-be lover reduced to lightly patting her on the head to show his affection, that being the only place on her body not in agony as Laura’s regeneration knits her back together after another in a serious of hideous calamities. Art from David Lopez and David Navarrot is a little sketchy in places, but tight when it counts, with good storytelling and good facial expressions. Tom Taylor’s script is a deft combination of action and effortless exposition. The reveal of the bad guy packs an emotional wallop. I’m in!
Approachability For New Readers
Not bad. Our hero’s clone origins aren’t explained, and we aren’t told much about the why of Laura replacing the original Wolverine, but a four-page flashback conversation with Logan nicely sets up the relationship between those characters, showing how they are similar, and how Laura can (hopefully) prove to be different.
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Posted on December 28, 2015, in Reviews and tagged All-New All-Different Marvel, David Lopez, David Navarrot, Marvel Comics, Tom Taylor, Wolverine, X-Men. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.
I find this character’s name a bit too confusing, let’s see if we can fix it somehow.
We already got She-Hulk, Ms Marvel, Spider-woman… Hmm, what do you guys say about Wolverina, deal?
As for the next step, I propose a new title with a group of multiple versions from alternate earths:
Cutting Claws of the Whopping Wolfpack!
Lot of swinging butt and boobs on multiple tear proof Tyvec® holographic metal foiled embossed wraparound covers drawn around the teeth by pinup artists with broken elbows!
What do you think?
I like wrap-around holographic foil as much as the next guy, but Laura is very fit, with an athletic physique … not a lot swinging around on her, especially in that outfit!
I know you are being flippant, but I think you’re doing the character a disservice by lumping her in with She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, and Spider-Woman. While all three of those characters went on to enjoy memorable runs, they were born of a copyright necessity (not unlike our beloved Captain Marvel!). Marvel Comics got wind that they might have a copyright vulnerability if female versions of their characters appeared at other publishers or in animation, and so we had a late-70s wave of obvious female knock-offs, beating the copycats to the punch with copies made by Marvel itself. That those characters proved interesting at all is a testament to the teams that worked those books — the publisher had pretty much zero expectations of them. In most cases it took decades for them to find their footing.
This new female Wolverine is a more organic thing — there are actual story reasons for her existence, and this first issue was far better than the origin issues of any of the characters you mentioned. Of course, it is also a stunt — the whole re-launch is a stunt, and one that appears to be faltering — but as stunts go, All-New Wolverine is supported by recent continuity to a degree that few of those other books could claim. As I recall, they just invented a cousin for Bruce Banner to create the She-Hulk, and while Carol Danvers had some history as a supporting character in Captain Marvel, her origin was pretty random. Spider-Woman has had her origin continually re-worked — I don’t think the current character has much more than a costume concept and a name in common with the original. The new Wolverine, on the other hand, has a decade-long history at Marvel and is a compelling character in her own right.
Taken as a whole, I think there are plenty of problems with Marvel right now. The continual rebooting of the line makes it difficult to collect and follow the books; character franchises have been line-extended and diluted to the point of exhaustion; the tortured continuity that is apparently a core expectation for the shrinking readership that remains unfortunately poses a tremendous barrier to new readers (and it is a barrier this relaunch as mostly failed to reduce). Both Marvel and DC are playing a volume game with over-large lines of books that spread talent and ideas too thin and rely on the brand identity of key characters to carry sales (I think at the expense of that selfsame brand identity). And launching a Wolverine book without the canonical Wolverine in the title role is another “brand withdrawal” in this regard.
BUT in the context of the superhero comics market as it exists today … this is a good book, and a good character. I think she will do more than just keep the costume warm until Logan’s inevitable return. Of the books I’ve reviewed in this project, the new Wolverine is among the handful that I am legitimately eager to read in collected form six-odd months from now. It is entertaining, and has the potential to be more than that, which is about the best that I think we can expect from the All-Whatever Marvel of 2016 or any other year.
Not exactly MAKE MINE MARVEL, I know, but good enough. Can I get an “Amen?” (I know better than to ask you for an “Excelsior!”)
There aren’t bad characters, just bad writers (and bad marketing).
I get you point Paul and, like any other disposable creations, in the right hands, this character could develop its own merits.
Still, a stunt is a stunt and I couldn’t care less for one that undermines the uniqueness of an established character.
I hear you about stunts undermining established characters (and there are plenty of those to go around), but I put this Wolverine more on the Supergirl/Batgirl side of the spectrum, in terms of female heroes that I expect to last. And whatever their origins, I think the comics world is better for having Supergirl and Batgirl in it. Fingers cross that X-23/Wolverine can join those ranks in time.
Did I tell you I have absolutely zero interest in Supergirl or Batgirl outside the swinging butt and boobs? There are many good woman characters, why bother with marketing plots?
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