This week, the Marvel Rundown visits a previous period in Laura Kinney’s history in X-23: Deadly Regenesis. Be forewarned that this review contains spoilers. Then, scroll down for a backup review on the conclusion of this Black Panther run!
What did you think of this week’s fresh Marvel Comics issues? The Beat is waiting to hear from you! Let us know, either right here in the comment section or over on social media @comicsbeat.
X-23: Deadly Regenesis
Writer: Erica Schultz
Artist: Edgar Salazar
Color Artist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: Cory Petit
Main Cover Artist: Kalman Andrasofszky
Review by: Avery Kaplan
In this issue, readers visit an earlier period in Laura Kinney’s life. This unusual time frame gives us a chance to see X-23 the way we’d (hopefully) never see her today: all alone!
X-23 and Me
I’m a huge fan of the 2015 All-New Wolverine series written by Tom Taylor and featuring a whole cadre of rotating artists, colorists, and lettering by Petit. This series introduced Gabby Kinney, a clone of Laura created by Alchemax Genetics. In addition to allowing Laura the opportunity to claim the title of “Wolverine,” this series focused a lot on the relationship between Laura and Gabby. This dynamic was absolutely killer, and also lead to the almost-perfect issue: All-New Wolverine #31 by Taylor, Marco Failla, Nolan Woodard, and Petit.
Going into X-23: Deadly Regenesis without any foreknowledge about its storyline or contents, I had assumed that the story would be set in the current Krakoa era. However, this is a story set in the past: the presence of the mutant island nation Utopia suggests the narrative takes place about 15 years ago (in our chronology, anyway).
I’ll admit that I was, at first, a little let down by my own expectations here. I’m obviously a huge fan of Gabby, and her relationship with Laura, as well as the interval in which Laura bore the mantle of Wolverine. However, after I was able to put aside the expectations I had imposed upon the issue going in, I was able to more fully enjoy this story set in Laura’s past.
I’ve been thinking a lot about conflict in narratives lately (thanks, Ghost of Gene Roddenberry). Can you depict utopia without internal conflict? Is it possible to make this narratively compelling? I’m fairly certain it is, especially when you allow for the possibility of external forces playing the role of antagonists. However, many have argued that without internal conflict, the drama dwindles.
Whether or not such unstable personal situations are necessary for narrative thrust, they certainly facilitate it. For that reason, setting this story before the Krakoa era makes a certain degree of sense.
Getting from there to here
Deadly Regenesis gives us a less personally developed Laura, one who is still struggling with basic issues of identity that are largely rooted in her unwilling use as an assassin. One standout scene features Laura lamenting that, unlike Logan, she has never received training on how to interact with the media.
The issue’s story sees Laura rescuing several people from an apartment fire before being questioned by the police. This is a classic superheroic situation and calls to mind some of the older Marvel Comics. As I mentioned in Weekend Reading 151, I’m checking out the earliest issues of Captain Britain, and Laura’s actions (plus her tenuous relationship with the cops) call to mind stories like this.
The remainder of the issue is largely spent focusing on Laura’s antagonists, and the machinations they are positioning against her. This culminates in the last page reveal of Haymaker, an assassin armed with a chemical that blunts Laura’s healing factor.
Finally, the art is solid throughout, but I want to call out the very first page, which features Laura walking toward the reader’s perspective while switching between outfits that recall her exploits before this issue. This is a visually engaging embodiment of the content of the story, which allows the reader to carefully approach a lone Laura. It’s an excellent overture for the issue (and possibly the series as a whole).
This was a solid opening issue that sets up the conflict for future issues. Furthermore, setting the story earlier on Laura’s timeline provides some interesting opportunities for conflict. And maybe someday, we’ll get Honey Badger: Deadly Regenesis. Hey, a girl can dream…
Conclusion: Laura is, and always shall be, the best Wolverine.
Black Panther #15
Review by: George Carmona 3rd
This issue brings award-winning writer John Ridley‘s Black Panther arc to its conclusion. Carrying on the concept of nation-building, where Ta-Nehisi Coates’ run gave us the blood and pain of labor, Ridley’s provides us with the sleepless nights, diaper changes, and need for support from friends and family raising that child. T’Challa is the star and driving force of this run but for me, it was Wakanda and the characters that rise to nurture and defend her that should get co-billing.
Picking up a plotline from Christopher Priest’s run showcasing the extent of how far T’Challa used his resources to spy on the world, friend or foe, and form plans or technology to subdue them. By the way, what a flex, to be able to immobilize the Avengers and this lineup included heavy hitters Thor and Captain Marvel, but when confronting Cap, Steve whooped T’Challa like a C-lister. Needless to state that Blerds across the web were enraged, but a small bump in a great run that introduced new characters.
It also doesn’t hurt when artists like Juann Cabal, Stefano Landini, and Germán Peralta come along for the ride, all of them crafting strong stylistic linework, a high point, the final showdown between T’Challa and Jhai, a visual representation of the fight that is happening between them verbally.
With story arcs titled The Long Shadow and All This and the World, Too, this series is very much a comic on its surface and at its core an elevated read full of action, drama, political intrigue, and betrayal. – GC3
Next week, Avengers: War Across Time and Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur continue, plus the launch of The X-Cellent!
Check out past entries in our Marvel Rundown archive.