By Tom Taylor, Djibril Morisette-Phan, and Michael Garland
There has been a lot of disappointment directed at Marvel for their recent comic offerings. Some of it is deserved; some of it is an overreaction. Having said that, one book that consistently gets better as the series goes on is, All-New Wolverine. The first couple of issues were decent, but nothing that would wow you in the same manner asWhedon’s early issues of Astonishing X-Men. Now, it’s a completely different story as All-New Wolverine is one of the most interesting and consistent books in the Marvel rolodex. With issue #17 continuing to explore the trigger scent that makes X-23 a killing machine, we can be sure that Tom Taylor will continue to deliver in his epic run.
Tom Taylor has really done a wonderful job on this title. His development of Laura continues this issue as she tries to kick the allure of the trigger scent. The method Taylor uses, having Gabby put the scent on her, is probably one of the best ways to get Laura to control herself. Teen Jean is also there to help by delving into Laura’s psyche. Another welcomed thing Tayor employs this issue is his use of continuity for X-23’s flashback. Sometimes a writer will just ignore things that have happened before, but Taylor acknowledges Laura’s time spent as a weapon while her “mother” was the only loving person in her life. It’s just nice to see Laura in this environment again, and seeing one thing that made her happy in her days as a weapon. If there is one gripe with the writing this issue, it’s that it seems to end very abruptly and feels structurally incomplete. This could be a ruse of sorts, but if it stands, it just seems rushed.
The pencils this issue are handled by Djibril Morisette-Phan with colors by Michael Garland. This is a bit of a different style than normally used on this series. Morisette-Phan is not shy about leaving noses or eyes off of characters in the distance. This isn’t a terrible thing, but it begins to get noticeable when characters in the middle of the page are missing pieces of their face. Morisette-Phan also likes to use a lot of slanted lines over the faces of the characters, mostly around their noses for some reason. It’s possible this is shade from the lights, but that’s just a guess. One of the interesting things he does with his art is that his Gambit looks almost exactly like Taylor Kitsch, which is kind of cool. In the first couple of pages, the look is spot on. Morisette-Phan also has a sweet panel where Jean is in Laura’s mind and he draws X-23 in several of her costumes as she moves toward Jean. This is a nice panel and something that makes Morisette-Phan an interesting artist. The colors by Michael Garland are very good. He uses a lot of oranges and reds this issue for things like the sunset, but also to layover a panel as a character gets stabbed. His colors are light, but warm and he helps the line work pop.
All-New Wolverine continues to be one of the best X-books on the shelves. This issue had some problems, but it’s still a good read. There is something to be said for the way Tom Taylor has developed Laura Kinney as a character. It’s easy to let someone be a wild berserk killing machine, but Taylor has given her a heart.