Monday, 27 June 2016

All-New Wolverine, Volume 1: The Four Sisters Review (Tom Taylor, David Lopez)

Wolverine’s currently “dead” as a piece of modern art and apparently someone in the Marvel universe needs there to be a Wolverine so who better to step into the iconic yellow outfit than his female clone/daughter Laura Kinney aka X-23? But that’s the thing with clones - you make one, you can make more, and Laura discovers the shady Alchemax group has been doing just that with her DNA. Laura’s got some sisters and of course some villains want them dead - time to snikt, Wolverines!

The latest diversity change to the Marvel lineup isn’t bad but it’s not that great either. Writer Tom Taylor keeps up a steady stream of fairly entertaining action throughout from Laura sky-diving onto a drone over Paris to leaping between tanks during a car chase to fighting a squad of soldiers with her clone sisters. There’s also an amusing team-up with Doctor Strange and a molecular adventure in an Ant-Man suit with Janet van Dyne/The Wasp. 

But it’s still generic surface-level superhero stuff that’s pretty unmemorable particularly the “shady government agency conducting dangerous experiments” angle that’s been done to death in Wolverine comics. It seems that whether Wolverine’s a guy or a gal this shit’s gonna keep happening to whoever’s assuming the mantle! 

The characters in general are similarly quite shallowly written. Laura and her two sisters are archetypical tough girls while everyone else is whatever their role is - mad scientist, macho military man, etc. Gabby is the only standout as the cute little sister who has some great chemistry with Laura, like Robin to her Batman. Also, like in his DC series Injustice: Gods Among Us, Tom Taylor throws in the occasional comedy curveball that works for being unexpectedly silly - the Angel patting Laura on the head scene made me laugh. 

Despite a confusing ending (unless you recognise that character), All-New Wolverine is a decent read with some solid art from David Lopez. It’s not up there with female Thor or Ms Marvel but, considering how crappy most Wolverine solo books are, female Wolverine more than holds her own and lives up to the name. Logan would be proud and Wolverine fans might find themselves unexpectedly falling for Laura’s charms - worth a read!

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