Written by Mariko Tamaki
Art by Juann Cabal
Colors by Nolan Woodard
Lettered by VC’s Cory Petit
Cover by Mike Choi and Jesus Aburtov
Wolverine fans can rejoice with this #1. Mariko Tamaki takes over the fan favorite characters taking them on an all new adventure that is right down their alley. Pitting them up against the same sorts of people who made them while bringing them deep into an X-Men story, Laura and Gabby are sure to get some licks in along the way.
The issue begins with a visual look at how Laura got to where she is and is a nice snapshot of the history of the character. Then the books dives straight into the action that begins with Laura and Gabby jumping off of a skyscraper to the baddies below. The sequence fits right in to what is known about these two with some exotic fighting and wonderful banter back and forth. Of course they should have great chemistry and it shows in these pages. Tamaki shows the relationship that these characters possess which is a great way to introduce new readers and brings fans of old right into the story. The issue moves from the action sequence to plot, plot, and more plot. Readers get to explore the clone side of X-Men lore a bit. Clones are weird. They act differently, talk differently, and go about their everyday lives differently than other mutants. This is expressed throughout this issue and gives a new look into the inner workings of both Laura and Gabby. The two are set out on a mission that will lead them right down a road they will not see coming but will be a great way to explore, further, how being a clone affects not only the clone but everything around them. Some highlights of the issue are of course the free fall at the beginning with the action that follows, the incessant wanting for cake and pretzels, and an insanely comical fist bump.
The art fits the tale. The super realistic look at this section of the X-Men universe looks great and feels like a perfect continuation of Laura’s previous series. The action is violent without going overboard and manages to get a few nice gags in as well. The visual walk-through at the beginning looks exactly like it came from a photo album, as Laura states in her narrative. Juann Cabal does a wonderful job of taking this script and furthering the storytelling with a terrific style. Nolan Woodard’s coloring brings all of the detail on the art to light playing with the different backdrops the story has given. Light sources change from location to location and Woodard captures them, making them look as if readers were glancing through a window into this issue.
X-23 #1 is a strong first issue that has some wonderful action and great story. The tone of the book can easily be noticed, establishing what this title will be all about. Tamaki, in one issue, has taken these characters and captured their voices perfectly and their meaning even more. The clone side of this story will be a great venue to dive deep into a character study and learn more and more about how they think and feel. The art is strong as well. With great action that flows from page to page and some wonderful detail once the issue focuses on story the style goes hand in hand with the script. The sisters are back and ready to take on whatever comes their way. This is one of those books that is accessible for anyone. Be it fans of Tom Taylor’s All-New Wolverine, Wolverine, the X-Men, or just fans of Marvel in general, this issue will pull you in and hold on to you throughout.
Pencils and Colors: A