Comic Review: X-23 #1

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Comic Review: X-23 #1

Publisher: Marvel Comics | Writer: Mariko Tamaki | Artist: Juann Cabal | Cover Artist: Mike Choi & Jesus Aburtov | Color Artist: Nolan Woodard| Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit | Release Date: July 11, 2018 | Price: $4.99

This review contains spoilers.

X-23 is part of Marvel’s Fresh Start initiative and the best relaunch issue thus far. This features a new creative team: Mariko Tamaki, Juann Cabal and Nolan Woodard. Tamaki is also writing Hunt for Wolverine: The Claws of a Killer.

This could have been a simple plot. Laura and Gabby are trying to keep what happened to them from happening to anyone else. The first part of the comic focuses on a fight with some baddies that possess mutant DNA. Luckily the comic gets more complex and unsettling. A plot involving the Stepford Cuckoos unfolds, weaving through narratives of birthdays.

Tamaki writes both Laura and Gabby true to the characters we saw in All-New Wolverine. Their sisterly love and interactions are evident. Gabby is annoying as always, eager and childlike while Laura is firm, but warm-hearted. The two share lunch together or a bed before Gabby falls asleep.

X-23 kicks off with a 18 page panel of Laura reflecting on her origins. The fragmented layout reflects the way she narrates her story in segments of births and deaths, a central theme of this issue. Next is a full page spread of Laura and Gabby soaring through the sky, broken glass and bullets hitting them. It’s clear from the first two pages that the art and coloring of this book is going to be amazing. And it is throughout. Artist Jaunn Cabal pays excellent attention to the details. Strands of hair, soles of shoes, the movement of broken glass, and blood are all illustrated. The details don't miss the server wearing a branded t-shirt that says XXIII.

Norwood’s coloring is fantastic AF as well. He does a fantastic job with the Stepford Cuckoos. They have a porcelain and glassy appearance that makes them look creepy in school. Also it’s dope that you can tell they’re wearing leather pants for their uniform. There’s enough cool little details to play I SPY: try and find a copy of Tamaki’s novel or a Wolverine phone! Cabal draws the more disturbing scenes with the Cuckoos in a creepy way.

There’s humor in the issue that isn’t overdone. This is a well rounded comic. The different narratives balance a type of body horror, action, and slice-of-life scenes.

The only thing lacking is the length of the initial fight scene. It it felt =a little too long, but the art was great so it didn't feel too burdensome. X-23 is a great start to this new series.

Review Score: 9.5

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