By Tom Taylor, Ramon Rosanas, Nolan Woodard & Cory Petit
Tom Taylor has crafted a really interesting arc here for Laura Kinney and #34 picks up where issue #33 left off, bringing fan favourite characters Captain Marvel and Kate Bishop, now permanently known as Hawkeye, into the fray at Gabby’s request for aid after Laura’s stealth invasion of Latveria. The decision to keep this book separate from the war-torn future that normally occupies Marvel books is a breath of fresh air as it has allowed for a unique set-up, but now All-New Wolverine #34 is all about the action that follows.
The dynamic that Taylor creates with the team is really interesting, making the most out of several fan favourite characters. The back and forth dialogue between the various characters is refreshing and seeing no male characters in the team is another unique and inspired choice. Cybernetic Maria Hill is one of the key players in this issue too and a real highlight given the role that she plays, and Taylor really makes the most of her character. But despite the inclusion of so many characters who aren’t Laura in this issue, All-New Wolverine #34 never loses its focus on its main star, who is always front and centre.
The artwork from Ramon Rosanas and Nolan Woodard is excellent and really energetic, motivated by the nature of the story’s pace, having a nice and clean feel to it that feels right at home with Marvel’s current output. The character designs of Captain Marvel and Hawkeye are very cool, with Hawkeye’s feeling more closer to her present self whilst Captain Marvel’s clearly having evolved. And Gabby’s suit of armour will never not look awesome – in fact, the entire cast of characters are well-drawn and depicted in action remarkably well. Woodard’s colours are slick and stylish, and really help bring Latveria to life, whilst not going overboard. Cory Petit’s letters are as reliable as ever too, as he opts for the simple yet effective approach.
All-New Wolverine #34 remains unpredictable throughout, helped by feeling so incredibly fresh. The book makes a good use of a wide range of emotions, as Taylor effortlessly transitions from humour to heart-breaking in the space of a single issue, making the most out of the high-stakes tension that an issue set in the future can provide. The whole arc so far has an air of finality behind it in terms of the tension that the book is building towards, despite on the surface it appears that the heroes have apparently won.
It’d be a crime to miss out on this book, as Old Man Laura is shaping up to be one of the best and most exciting issues of Taylor’s run thus so far. Sadly, with this to be the final arc of the series it feels incredibly bittersweet, but Taylor is certainly making the most out of his remaining time on the series. It almost hurts to see that Laura will be returning as X-23 when the book relaunches, because she has really embraced the role of Wolverine and has more than held her own in Taylor’s memorable run.