By Tom Taylor, Juan Cabal & Nolan Woodard
All-New Wolverine #25 is the latest issue to join Marvel’s legacy series and writer Tom Taylor pairs Laura Kinney up with Daken, the son of the original wolverine for what should be the start of an enjoyable new arc, involving the mysterious Orphans of X. Much of the first issue of this arc is spent laying the groundwork and catching readers up with who the various characters are and what their role is.
This issue mainly fleshes out Laura’s relationships with her various supporting cast including appearances by Angel, her ex-boyfriend, and Gabby, her cloned sister. There’s even a flashback in which we get to see Logan himself show up, so it’s a real who’s who of Wolverine’s corner of the Marvel Universe, and even with Legacy in mind, Taylor still manages to put Laura front and centre for the most part of the book and it really pays off, embracing her past successfully.
A potential drawback is that readers might be getting a sense of Deja-vu with this series and Taylor will have to be careful about repeating old story-arcs that we’ve seen before. There’s a line that has to be drawn between calling back to history and repeating it, and hopefully Taylor will find a way to balance that in the issues to come. The first issue of this arc does a good job at putting confidence in the reader that this is exactly what Taylor will do however, as he manages to establish the threat to the characters at stake and put the building blocks in place for a melodramatic, emotional encounter between Daken and Laura.
The artwork from Juan Cabal is effective and really helps bring Laura to life, working with colourist Nolan Woodard to craft a storyline that’s perfectly at home with the character. The colours are varied and the art itself is dynamic, with several versatile and energetic fight scenes that are really entertaining to read. The fashion choices as well particularly out of costume are worth noting, as Cabal crafts a stylistic and unique look for the characters that’s almost as memorable for them as if they were in costume. The facial expressions too are superb, and as a result the art really helps add some fantastic depth to the characters.
Another thing that does look set to spice up the series and prevent it from re-treading well-trodden ground is the cliffhanger which promises to be a potential gamechanger for Laura’s life. It has all the ingredients to play a major part in this arc, and certainly will no doubt give her an extra motivation going forward depending on how things play out. The well-balanced plot builds up to this moment really well, and the end result will no doubt be enough to draw readers back for the next issue.
With some great characterization of pretty much everyone on show, Taylor easily shows that he can balance the multiple characters on display here and get their personalities spot on, regardless of whether he’s handling Logan himself in flashbacks or Gabby in the present. The book shows that in the hands of the right creators, exploring the past can really pay off, especially when a richly compelling mystery is also brought to the table.