X-23 #1

X-23 #1

I stopped reading All New Wolverine half-way through. I felt like it was lacking an important aspect of what every comic book should have – an identity. Laura Kinney, better known as X-23 is a really cool and likable character. She’s an equally violent but less serious version of Wolverine and in the midst of the extremely well written but extremely dark comic Old Man Logan that was in its prime, All New Wolverine was an equally action packed but much lighter rendition of the clawed mutant. About halfway through, however, it began to falter in its storytelling. Many of the issues felt filler and boring to read. They weren’t leading anywhere, and the characters, say for Laura and her younger quippier sister Gabby, we’re uninteresting. The comic really began to lack in telling a story that mattered, and as such became somewhat of a shell of a comic. X-23 is a chance to revitalize the ongoing story of the young wolverine clone and give it some structure where it had lost it previously, and while I hold some of the same fears that this comic will take a similar path and fade into obscurity, these first issues may be worth the time and effort to hope.

It’s X-23’s birthday, but she’s pretty lukewarm on the whole thing. Her birth and upbringing aren’t really anything to celebrate, at least in her eyes. She’s a clone created out of a malicious science. Meant to be used as a dangerous weapon to kill countless lives at the command of some pretty bad people. On top of that, there’s hundreds, maybe even thousands of clones just like her, just like her sister Gabbie, all with the Weapon X serum running through their veins. All used as weapons and killers. Is X-23 different? She’s not so sure. Nevertheless her journey continues to find information, anyway she can, about the mutant scientific experiments constantly creating newer and more dangerous versions of the Wolverines. Those responsible are few and far between, and they’re hard to find. With a myriad of villains and Weapon X clones waiting to stop her at her every move, Laura fights tirelessly, though not without the upbeat company of her little clone sister, to uncover secrets of her life and the Weapon X programs.

X-23 #1 finds its footing pretty quickly here by throwing its readers back into the action and forgiving anyone who didn’t read the entirety of All New Wolverine by offering a few points of review. The reality is that A.N.W. really wasn’t that impactful from the story perspective say for the first maybe 15 issues so it’s easy to say a few lines to refresh or quickly catch everyone up to speed. Laura and Gabbie are sisters, they’re Wolverine clones, they have claws, there’s a lot of other Wolverine clones running around, they’re trying to stop them. That’s 35 issues read, here we are. X-23 offers both a good, clean opening story and some great inner dialogue from X-23. Life can be a little difficult when you’re born and raised as a clone and a killer drone, and this first issue, by using Laura’s birthday, does a really great job of delving into her thoughts about the whole thing. Not only that, the mystery and investigation aspect of trying to uncover the secrets of the Weapon X programs makes for a compelling read. With the inclusion of the X Mansion and a bunch of other X-Men to boot, this comic was surprisingly easy and fun to read. Now the question remains: will this comic retain its interesting story and maintain its theme? Or will it go off the rails similarly to how All New Wolverine did. I think we have a great, strong start here. Now we just wait, and read.

(4 / 5)

The Weather Man #1

The Weather Man #1

Image just doesn’t stop. It’s kind of crazy in all reality. They’re truly a powerhouse of the independent world, and there’s something oddly consistent about the quality of the comic books they’re putting out. But on top of that, there seems to be no quality over quantity method here or vise versa. The sheer amount of quantity and quality Image is putting out on a weekly basis is borderline unexplainable and whatever they’re doing over there it’s working. Weather Man is really no exception and even though I was skeptical about the creative team and the genre of story going into this comic, The Weather Man is really a shining example of the benefits of this company taking risks and allowing these creative teams to put their ideas to page unfiltered.

Mars has been terraformed and of course taken over by humankind. It’s a technological wonderland and every aspect of it is carefully controlled and kept in order. Mars and its volatile ecosystem likely isn’t the most livable place in the universe so the weather is not only controlled but bought as sold as a commodity. Millionaires can purchase days of rain or sunshine and while that may be morally questionable, it certainly makes reporting the weather pretty easy. Nathan Bright is Mars’ #1 weatherman. He’s casual, suave, care free, and you can see why. Life is pretty easy when there’s no research to be done. Report the weather that’s scheduled to happen and your job is done. Life is pretty good, but of course, not for long. There seems to be more going on with Mars than meets the eye, and when Nathan goes on a date with a new mystery woman life comes full circle as he’s thrown into a life or death situation, running from an unknown bounty hunter with his girlfriend who turns out to be a Mars cop. Turns out Nathan is responsible for the death of near 20 billion people, a terrorist attack that took place sometime in the past. While it’s apparent Nathan has no idea what’s going on or even how / if he actually did, everyone wants his head nonetheless.

There’s something really special with The Weather Man. It’s intelligently written and it’s clever. It knows how to be funny and it knows when to be cool, and it’s certainly not afraid to cross any boundaries. There’s a certain amount of potential I see in this comic that I don’t see in a lot of the other really good comic books. Descender / Rat Queens potential, and I really hope the creative team carries it to fruition because they’ve successfully created a comic book #1 that can truly go anywhere and still work. There’s no obvious or right pathway here and that’s pretty useful for not only the creative team but the people waiting eagerly for every next issue. The Weather Man was an extremely interesting and wonderfully written open ended #1 and that’s always a major win in an over saturated comic book industry. Another win-win for Image.

(4.5 / 5)

Catwoman #1

Catwoman #1

The Bat wedding is upon is, and as expected so is controversy. If you haven’t read Batman #50, it’s worth checking out to at least understand what all the buzz is about. It’s been a very long buildup – months of it, and the climax of it all has people at opinionated polar opposites. Catwoman is the fallout of Batman #50, a branching of Selina Kyle’s story as she breaks away from being a main character of the Batman main title and begins her own journey outside of Gotham. If it’s not obvious yet, things don’t go exactly according to plan, and a master thief in emotional unbalance is a character worth following. Perhaps this reboot of a Catwoman going title walks in dangerous territory though, treading the line of walking on Batman #50’s coattails. *Spoilers Ahead*

Catwoman and Batman are in a questionable place right now, and although its apparent Selina’s conclusion to not go through with the wedding hasn’t left either of them in bad standings with each other, emotions and relationships are delicate right now and Selina feels the need to leave her life in Gotham, at least temporarily, and pursue both her capture of criminals and her desire for commiting her own crimes elsewhere. However, despite her lying low, someone is after her with an army of copycat Catwomen, full body catsuit and all. It sounds corny, and it kind of is, but somehow with the suave, sly and 70s spy style this comic book is going for it works, crazy deformed main villain and all.

Catwoman #1 has a couple of things going for it. It’s style and its self-awareness trump all other things here. Selina Kyle is best when she’s outsmarting everyone and looking good doing it. The black and purple colors that play into the scenery of this comic blend beautifully with her jet black hair and black costume, so the artist really knows how to add that sleek and appealing look that makes a thief / heist comic look so beautiful. While the writing isn’t anything to be disappointed about, the story is lacking, and like I mentioned earlier it’s kind of difficult not to feel as though the comic book really rode on the success of Batman #50, even putting all over the cover that it was basically just a continuation. #1’s should be and are a big deal, it’s why Marvel keeps renumbering back to #1 like every 6 months. So, with that being said the whole thing feels sort of lame. The comic itself doesn’t really deal with the wedding in a meaningful way, so it fails to really hold any identity. Had it really gone and done its own thing rather than use Batman #50 as a marketing maneuver, I would have felt better about it. Setting aside that aspect for just a second though, Catwoman does a pretty okay job at presenting a fun, stylish and easy to enjoy #1. Selina Kyle hasn’t had a solo comic in some time now, and it’s the master thief is overdue for a good run. I think there’s some potential to this, as long as it keeps its amazing style and develops an identity away from the Batman run.

(3.5 / 5)

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