Orphans of X Part 3
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Juann Cabal
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Cover Art: Terry Dodson
Published: November 22, 2017
Much like that episode of Community this issue of All-New Wolverine is a bit of a bottle episode which takes place mostly inside Laura’s Aunt’s house (its not totally a bottle episode but I just wanted an excuse to mention Community). It picks up immediately after the last one with Laura bringing Daken inside where he then tries to explain to Laura what’s going on. Daken is surprisingly together for a man who is still missing his arm and has been undergoing torture for the last few days, but it’s still not a good look with him waving gun around inside the house. Laura introduces Daken to her mom but he is immediately suspicious of the coincidence of the Orphans of X showing up and Sarah Kinney resurfacing. He’s actually maybe not that suspicious as much as he knows it’s straight up false and he takes Sarah out with that aforementioned gun. It is not depicted in a particularly gruesome manner, but it is massively shocking because it is so immediate with no sort of standoff. Laura, and Gabby, are on top of him immediately (there’s even a Polygon piece about this moment) with Laura even using her foot blade to deliver a massive kick. Apart from that moment the fight is kind of weightless with neither really set on wrecking the other (which she could do because he is down an arm) and makes you wonder if Laura was also a little suspicious of her mom’s return. Laura runs to mom’s side but Sarah’s eyes turn green and she says, “We’re coming. The Orphans of X.” A man sitting at a huge control panel in a cave somewhere begins speaking through Sarah Kinney and explains that he is coming for Laura, Daken, and all the products of the Weapon X program (maybe we’ll see Deadpool). He has set a target on them not because he wants to manipulate or use them, but because someone he loved died as part of Logan’s or Laura’s or Daken’s collateral damage. It is a sort of righteous anger, and if Laura and Daken respond by killing more people then aren’t they proving the Orphans correct.
In the rest of the episode the orphans, which count members of Shield as part of their group, manage to retrieve Logan’s Murumasa blade. This is kind of the ultimate weapon against someone with a healing factor and adamantium enhancements. Laura had asked Captain Marvel to throw the blade into the sun, but the orphans tracked her and just before she retrieved the blade they blew her up, took the blade, and left. At the end of the issue Daken, Laura, and Gabby take off but the orphans intention to hunt them is made clear. After worrying about the direction of this arc just a few issues ago it has really come around and is setting up for something great. The issue of collateral damage or unintended death is something that could apply to any superhero, but maybe feels like it goes well with Wolverine and those who have followed after him. His line was “I’m the best there is at what I do, and what I do isn’t very nice.” This is a bleak statement about his skill as a killer and is something that Laura is trying to distance herself from. Since the first arc (Four Sisters) Laura has been trying to put the blades away, but she is not innocent. Collateral damage has been a big problem in superhero movies (looking at you Man of Steel) so it will be interesting to see how it’s handled here, and in a medium where things can be smaller scale and explained more easily. This is another real growth point for Laura which forces her to confront her past but keeps her moving forward towards something new.
The art was solid in this issue. Juan Cabal and Nolan Woodard continue to do a good job with this book. Laura’s fight with Daken has some good panels. The design of the Orphans of X bomb suit is pretty good and the page where they dive in to Captain Marvel has a great sound effect. After three issue this art probably isn’t as good as David Lopez in those first issues but really suites this book. He draws Laura, Gabby, and Daken really well, and finds places to have fun in multiple scenes (with Jonathan the wolverine or Daken wearing a “Strong Girl” sweatshirt), which is something that should never go out of even the most serious book. They are taking their time with this arc and letting it development and hopefully that allows them to drill dow into some of the emotions and morals that are sort of in the air of what’s going on.
(Subjective) Score out of 10: 7