Saturday, 17 December 2016

All-New Wolverine, Volume 2: Civil War II Review (Tom Taylor, Marcio Takara)

Tom Taylor does two things in this book that almost floored me out of sheer surprise: 1) he makes the Unbearable Squirrel Girl bearable and, 2) the mandatory crossover issues he had to include for Marvel’s latest event, Civil War II, not only didn’t feel intrusive but were the best part!

The first half of the book is forgettable stuff. Squirrel Girl - a character Marvel is determined to ram down the throats of every reader despite her being one of their least popular titles and a terrible character too - isn’t as annoying as she always seems to be but her issue was still stupid and boring. And the Fin Fang Foom story was Fin Fang Filler - he was just there as a reason for Laura to meet Old Man Logan.

Then the second half gets into Civil War II territory and things improve. I haven’t been reading that event at all but it looks like Marvel’s version of Minority Report which doesn’t look half bad. Then again that might be Tom Taylor’s talent at making a Brian Bendis-scripted Marvel event seem appealing in the same way he made Ryan North’s Squirrel Girl tolerable (if you’ve read Bendis event books before you’ll know why I feel sceptical)!

In the first volume of All-New Wolverine, Laura Kinney/X-23, as the new Wolverine, met and freed a younger clone of hers, Gabby. She’s now her adopted sister and the two are getting used to each other. Suddenly Laura’s faced with Old Man Logan, an alternate dimension/older version of her mentor/father (she’s a clone made from Logan’s DNA - these Wolverines and their clones, eh?) who she’s told is going to kill Gabby in the near future - she’s torn between protecting her new kid sister and being loyal and trusting her familiar but unpredictably brutal father figure, and the conflict is delicious.

Unfortunately All-New Wolverine continues to be a title without a great artist and the art throughout Volume 2 is serviceable only. Also the Civil War II part is all too fleeting - Taylor hasn’t hit upon a great storyline for Laura yet. Gabby feels unnecessary too; I suppose it continues the tradition of Wolverine having a young female sidekick but I’m not interested in her, she doesn’t add anything. 

Though the first half of the book and the art in general is unmemorable, the second half is a decent read and Taylor’s overall witty writing style gives the title some personality. I want to love All-New Wolverine but these first two volumes haven’t won me over enough. Still, I’ll keep reading, hoping Taylor stays with the title and finds the key to that next level that’ll make this series snikting awesome - bub seems to have the writing chops!

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