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)

Lando Double or Nothing #1

Lando Double or Nothing #1

Ah Lando.. The ultra suave, seductive scoundrel we all know and love. There’s something about Lando and comic books that just click, and after the 5 issue mini series a while ago for the more familiar older version of the character, Double or Nothing brings us back to Donald Glover’s young and less jaded version of Lando, bringing us a new story in the wake of the Solo movie which just hit theaters a short while ago. Star Wars comics seem to rarely go wrong, and for as much as I like Lando as a character, I was pretty excited to see what Marvel would do with this comic. It’s worth noting that Double or Nothing may fall solely as a marketing ploy for the movie. It’s really the only reason it exists after all, so there’s always the opportunity for Marvel to really drop the ball here and make a passable, forgettable story because they’re forced to. But, these shorter runs and short stories open up the spotlight for less known and up and coming comic book writers / artists to shine. Surprisingly enough this comic is written by Rodney Barnes, who’s much more well known for writing television, and I love seeing what non-regulars in the field can dish out.

Lando is a scoundrel. He’s not a master of chance or the hero of the tale, he’s a self centered cheater. He doesn’t win at cards because of an amazing skill at the game, he wins because of the card up his sleeve. The best thing about him as a character is that his charm only covers up his scumbaggery and his taste for a lavish life. Those traits mix together to make one of the best smugglers in the galaxy, and he’s got the reputation for it. When the wealthy daughter of a slave approaches him and offers a lump sum of credits for his skills in the field, Lando can’t turn it down, so with his trusty droid L3 he takes off on another money earning adventure which of course is going to get him and his allies in more trouble than he’s bargained for.

Double or Nothing does a great job of not only extending the character development of Lando set up in the Solo movie, but also showcasing Lando’s character in a way that feels like a smuggler / scoundrel comic. Unlike Han Solo, who despite being a smuggler and a scoundrel like Lando, will always be expected to save the day or adhere to some protagonist morals, Lando has no limitations. That’s why he’s awesome, and this comic does a pretty decent job of at least showing the smuggler as the pompous slippery scum that he is. Lando doesn’t have to save the day if it’s not beneficial to him, even if he’s a decent guy at heart, and that sets up for some pretty cool stuff for the future of this comic. The excessive dialogue and slow moving pace of the comic itself gives hints toward the script-writing nature of the comic writer, but it’s easily passable with the pleasing looking art and decent beginning. Lando, if written well, will carry any story, and that’s what we’re seeing here. So as long as the writer keeps what he’s doing going with Lando, Double or Nothing will be another notable entry to the Star Wars Marvel gallery.

(4.5 / 5)

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