Orphans of X Part 1
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Juann Cabal
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Cover Art: Terry Dodson
Published: October 11, 2017
One of the biggest moments of Marvel Legacy was the return of Logan, the original Wolverine, who is the focus of the first pages. In them Logan retrieves a sword “Forged from his soul” from an acquaintance of his in Japan (that guy loved Japan). This scene doesn’t immediately tie into the rest of the book which is centered on Laura (the current Wolverine) and Logan’s son Daken. Daken gets attacked in a bar (after wisely not falling for a patron’s nice guy routine) by a group which calls themselves the Orphans of X (coincidently the name of this arc). The bar where they attacked Daken is then immediately blown up and it’s not exactly clear what happens to Daken. Laura and Gabby (recovered from her transformation into a massive insect) are called in to investigate when Daken’s arm is discovered hanging from a bridge and clues from that scene lead Laura back to the facility where she was cloned/trained and the painful memories of her childhood come rushing back. In the final pages she discovers a person suspend in some sort of liquid stasis chamber (think Luke in the bacta tank) who she assumes is Daken, but turns out to be her mother.
Over the previous 24 issues, Laura has rather constantly been dealing with her past, much as Logan always was. She was made to be one thing and have only one purpose, so how does the person raised in those circumstances deal with the rest of their life? What do they become? Maybe, more succinctly, can people change? This issue was entertaining and a quick read, but it established the potential to retread some old ground with Laura. Her past, and specifically her time at the facility, were (extensively?) dealt with in the arc where her trigger scent was removed. So having her return to this facility might be a bit of a retread. Laura’s past will always be something she has to deal with, but she can only return to anonymous Weapon X facilities so many times before it becomes meaningless. Laura, and Gabby, have always had forward momentum within which their ability to change and develop is challenged. Lets hope that continues and this isn’t a stale return to the Weapon X well.
With the Marvel Legacy soft relaunch this book received another new artist. Since the end of this book’s first arc the art has become rather inconsistent. David Lopez did the art for the first arc and drew Laura in this realistic/muscular/fierce/attractive way that was missing from the book after he left. Juan Cabal’s art in this issue is really promising as he goes away from depicting Laura as just a female version of Logan (as she has been drawn during this run) and draws her in a similar style to Lopez. Laura isn’t just the female version of Logan and much of this book has been about her trying to be different, different from what she was made to be and different (less violent) than Logan. The art needs to reflect that and it appears that Cabal has a good idea of how to draw Laura going forward. Also, Gabby now has her own hero outfit which is great variation on the original wolverine suit. There’s even space for some fun stuff in this issue as well with Jonathan the (actual) wolverine making an appearance. This was a good issue of All-New Wolverine which launches what is potentially an interesting story arc, although it might not be the best jumping on point (maybe read this first).
(Subjective) Score out of 10: 7