ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #18 Review | Writer: Tom Taylor | Artist: Nik Virella | Colorist: Michael Garland | Letterer: Cory Petit | Cover Artist: David Lopez
This issue was packed tight with action! We ended our last issue with Kimura and her crew preparing to attack Wolverine, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the few X-Men accompanying her. Without many options in the bag, they leap on board, and using a Black Market Iron Man suit, X-23 and Angel attack Kimura. I’ve always hated Kimura ever since X-23’s early solo series. The woman had made her name as being X-23’s “handler” due to having super strength and unbreakable skin, rendering most of X-23’s attempts to fight her ineffective. She is pretty much pure evil.
This entire arc so far has been studying Laura in terms of her past and her present role as Wolverine, in ways quite similar to Logan. She was bred to be a killer and with the Trigger Scent to control her, it seemed there was no way to fully keep her from being just that. However, as confirmed in this issue, Jean was able to help her break free of that conditioned mental prison (in #17) and thus overcome her greatest enemy: herself.
Even as the action explodes, in this chapter, the inner battle is apparent. When she gets her chance, with the aid of Stark’s suit she’s able to overpower Kimura and drown her in a rage-fueled declaration of her title. It was a dark, but freeing, and empowering moment, and I was happy to see her finally gain victory over the evil wench. Still, this was more symbolism of her defeating herself.
The cover art for this issue was okay, but I would have much rather seen something that put her and Kimura on even ground instead of the latter towering over her. I think that’s how all the covers with Kimura look, with her looming over Laura. The art in the story was cute, and I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. It’s a very soft style, and the happier scenes look better for it, but for what this issue was trying to accomplish with X-23 overcoming some major past barriers, I don’t know if it was able to portray the emotion that Taylor was trying to capture.
As far as the script goes, it was a nice tie-up to the “Enemy of the State II” storyline and I’m excited to see where Laura goes from here.