Comicsly | adverb; in a manner that defies explanation but deserves recognition and praise

All-New Wolverine #31

Writer: Tom Taylor

Artist: Marco Failla

Colors: Nolan Woodard

Cover Artist: David Lopez

Published: February 28, 2018

After a fantastic conclusion to the “Orphans of X” storyline, issue #31 seems to be a bit of a breather before the next arc begins. This is the third or fourth time that All-New Wolverine has taken a ‘break’ with these much more lighthearted one-shots (in a previous one Laura and Gabby had a very enjoyable team-up with Squirrel Girl). This issue involves another team-up, but this time with Deapool (Wade Wilson), who has developed a rather odd but very fun relationship with Gabby (Honey Badger and Deadpool, I would definitely read that). The plot of this issue is fun but mostly forgettable. Jonathan the actual wolverine has been destroying things in the house and so Gabby takes him for a walk (oh, also now he can talk via use of a universal translator). As Gabby is walking him (as you do with your pet wolverine) Jonathan drags her towards an unassuming building that is surprisingly well protected. Jonathan tells Gabby that this is the lab he was rescued from, and Gabby’s next logical move is to call Deadpool so they can break inside. Deadpool has a soft spot for Gabby and a predilection for doing illegal things, so he’s right up for it. Their exchange is very entertaining as he tries to convince her to burn the place down, while she tells him that they are only there to rescue the animals (and maybe they will burn it down at the end). The interaction between Gabby and Deadpool is really what you’re here for in this issue, to just spend some time with these characters. She is rather ‘devil may care’ but tempered by her better instincts, which creates a really silly dynamic when she and Wade meet up. Their infiltration of the building is a lot of fun as Wade instructs Gabby to never leave the house without chloroform, reminds her that if you are going to chloroform someone you have to be ready to catch them, and they encounter a room full of cute zombie bunnies. Eventually Laura tracks the two of them down, and even in the midst of all this nonsense there is time for Gabby and Laura to have a moment together. It’s small, inconsequential to the plot, and maybe is a little tacked on, but a more generous reading sees it as a sweet moment between two sisters who are still learning to trust each other.

All-New Wolverine (2015-) 031-009
Taylor, Failla, Woodard/Marvel Comics

Their moment is disrupted by the paranoid and raving scientist who oversaw the ‘zombification’ of all the bunnies, sloths and  wolverines. Deadpool notices that the lab doesn’t have the sort of data keeping computers, cameras, and notebooks that a normal lab would maintain. This leads them to the conclusion that the doctor’s interests are more for sport than actual scientific discovery. The doctor attempts to back the three heroes into a corner with a gun, but is startled by the appearance of Jonathan and ends up falling into the pit where he confined his creations. The zombie creatures dispatch him quickly before Gabby and Deadpool set fire to the lab (and ultimately the whole building). It seems antithetical to Laura’s whole ethos to light a massive building on fire in the middle of Brooklyn (that’s kind of a dangerous thing to do), but that is admittedly way overthinking the ‘plot’ of this issue. Don’t think about the fire  or whether Gabby’s final line about catharsis being pretty is actually representative of what happened in this issue (it might be more of a revenge fantasy than it is an exercise in catharsis). Contradictions aside this is a fun issue that reads really fast, the interplay between Gabby and Deadpool is fun, and Laura and Gabby have a nice moment together. Part of what allows you to set those contradictions to the side is the art in this issue. Marco Failla’s depiction adds necessary levity to a number of scenes that remind the reader (me) that this is supposed to be fun. At various points in the issue Deadpool makes a kebab out of zombie squirrels, there’s a zombie sloth walking very slowly down a hallway, and Laura, Gabby and Deadpool have a slow-mo superhero walk away from a burning building moment. The art is a bit more cartoonish than Juann Cabal has been drawing recently, but it’s suites the tone of this issue really well, and with series regular Nolan Woodard still on colors the change in artist isn’t too dramatic.

(Subjective) Score out of 10: 6

All-New Wolverine (2015-) 031-013
Taylor, Failla, Woodard/Marvel Comics


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