A Teenager with Razor Claws

X-23, looking too Japanese and too happy in this cover art.

Wolverine already stars in a slew of Marvel books. He’s a member of two Avengers teams, has a role in two Avengers’ mini series, also appears in three X-Men books, and…he’s just everywhere in the Marvel Universe. It’s actually much easier to list the books he’s not in than to list the books he is in. But Wolverine isn’t the only one getting the spotlight. His family is also getting a bit of attention as his son, Dakken, and his clone, X-23, gets their own series, both of which are tied to the “Wolverine Goes to Hell” story arc.

While I couldn’t care less about Wolverine’s and Dakken’s books (for financial reasons), I’m really excited about X-23 getting her own ongoing series. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for sometime now. X-23 is one of the most intriguing characters in the Marvel Universe, making her a personal favorite. Her life’s a mess and she is more screwed than Wolverine will ever be. She was born and raised in a lab, trained to murder since her birth day, manipulated to kill her own mother and even became a prostitute whose clients are masochists. All that, and she’s only a teenager.

Her new ongoing series will focus on her sojourn to reclaim her childhood, of becoming a normal teenager. While the first issues are tied to the “Wolverine Goes to Hell” arc, with demons and other dark denizens involve, writer Marjorie Liu did well in staying on course with the book’s main theme. Out of the Second Coming event and her dismissal from the X-Force, X-23 is left lost and without purpose (no one to kill, I suppose). She also finds herself distanced from her former teammates, the New X-Men, after they have found out that she was part of a black ops kill squad. This meeting [with the New X-Men] is my favorite scene in the comics. The dialogue between them is worth a gem.

Will Conrad also did a sterling job with character expressions. As a character who doesn’t talk much, I figured that X-23 will heavily rely on facial expressions, instead of dialogue or captions, to convey her emotions. Not familiar with Conrad’s work, at first, I thought he might not deliver. But he did just that –deliver. From X-23’s frightened gasp as she wakes up from her nightmare to her sadness when she sees Julian’s (her romantic interest) injuries. I don’t like the cover art though since she looks like the Kirika version (the Japanese X-23 in Age of Apocalypse) and not the Laura Kinney.

Overall, I really like X-23. I really like its theme of “mutant girl wants to become normal”. This is the theme I quite miss on the X-books and have been looking for sometime now. But, alas, all the X-Men do nowadays is preserving their mutant ilk.  Hopefully, Marjorie Liu and her team will stay their course on this one. Because they’ve certainly pointed this book at the right direction already.

Score: B

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One Response to A Teenager with Razor Claws

  1. Pingback: Mugen: Cheap Character Tournament Round 1 : Cars Blog | Everything You should Know about Cars

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