Born from a clone of Wolverine, Laura Kinney was slated to become a weapon until she escaped. Now, taking in another disparaged clone named Gabby, she is determined that no one else should go through what she has. But it looks like that may be too late, as she hunts an assassin who is killing geneticist. Find out more in X-23 #7 from Marvel Comics, on shelves now.

X-23 #7 ReviewX-23 #7 REVIEW

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Penciller: Diego Olortegui
Inker: Walden Wong
Letters: VC’s Cory Petit
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Cover: Ashley Witter
Publisher:  Marvel Comics
Release Date: December 12th, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in X-23: After saving Gabby from mental possession by one Esme of the Cuckoo sisters, who by the way was dead, by mentally teaming up with Sophie, whom Esme killed on her birthday, the ultimate sister/homicidal maniac fight ended with a happy ending and cake. There was no rest for the wicked and wacky, however, as the duo went undercover to spoil a high school genius robotic developer who was working in pink bubble gum shooting mechs. After all of that, what could the future possibly hold for Laura and Gabby?

THERE ARE A MILLION ISSUES IN THE BIG CITY…

As part of her attempt to ensure the presence of the X-Men, and mutants in general, are seen as a good thing, Kitty Pryde has made the X-Men and their talents available to local law enforcement. This is how Laura & Gabby Kinney, aka X-23 and Honey Badger, find themselves working a homicide case with the New York Police department. An unknown, untraceable assailant has killed three scientists, consisting of a specialist in genetics, genome engineering, and an immunologist. Security cameras show up nothing, and the only lead that the police have is that a sharp blade killed them. Laura seems to suspect more. The assumed, next target is believed to be an expert in genetic degradation, the team of X-23 and Honey Badger set up a trap, after a cone of pop rock and pistachio ice cream is obtained by Gabby.

Laura’s suspicions about the assassins mode of entry are confirmed when a heavily armored assailant attacks as she uses herself as bait for the trap. Claws are popped and blades are unsheathed as the seemingly mechanical attacker brandishes an array of impressive technological devices.  Is it a machine, or something more? After a grueling battle, the mystery attacker makes for the window in an attempt to escape, only to be stopped by Honey Badger as she deploys her secret move, incapacitating the suspect. What they find under the mask generates more questions than answers as they stare into a familiar face.

HONEY BADGER DON’T… OH, YOU KNOW THE REST.

Before I start in on discussing the writer and artistic team of this book, I have to throw a shout to the cover artist, Ashely Witter (Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, Squarriors). While I was perusing the shelves, this cover is what caught my eye in a sea of four-color fantasies. There is a mysteriously serene quality about the image that speaks of a quite danger just under the surface. Everything from the line work to the colors attached me and was a major factor in why I picked up this book instead of something else. Great cover, and great job!

With this first installment of the X-Assassin storyline, Mariko Tamaki (Hulk, Tomb Raider) continues the familial tone of the book. Even across all of the conflict and violence, you still have the feeling that Laura and Gabby have a special, deep relationship that is due to their innate natures. Laura, of course, as the older maternal sister, and Gabby as the precocious youth.  This is a Laura who is letting down some of her screens, at least when it comes to Gabby. Those screens go back up immediately once the identity of the assassin is uncovered. Despite the obvious implications, she still is trying to take it slow and consider alternate possibilities. As you see Gabby immediately come to an obvious conclusion, it becomes apparent that Laura’s reluctance shifts from protecting Gabby to protecting herself. Its great book with a fun factor I was not expecting.

Now on to the art team of penciller Diego Olortegui (Slapstick, Ms. Marvel) and inker Walden Wong (Wolverine and the X-Men, Deadpool). In short, it’s great. Their use of perspective and the character designs are spot on. In conjunction with the colorist, Chris O’Halloran (Black Panther: Long Live The King, Avengers: Back to Basics) the whole production feels like a 70’s film along the lines of a William Friedkin movie. Again, great work and a great look.

BOTTOM LINE: MORE CLONE SHENANIGANS, OR SOMETHING ELSE?

I really enjoyed this issue, which is my first exposure major exposure to the team of X-23 and Honey Badger. There is a dynamic which goes beyond the master and student of some duos and deeper into a big sister/little sister relationship which seems very natural even with the slashy-slashy action.

I enjoyed this book. I enjoyed the writing; I enjoyed the set-up, the situation, dialogue, art, pretty much everything. My main concern, if I were to voice one, is the possibility that the story may go down a familiar path. However, I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

But really, do they actually make a pop-rock ice cream?

X-23 #7 is a fast and fun issue that highlights the dynamic between the “sisters” and reinforces the effort to make the X-Men more accessible to the citizens of Earth-616.

X-23 #7

90%
90%
Fast and Fun issue

X-23 #7 is a fast and fun issue that highlights the dynamic between the “sisters” and reinforces the effort to make the X-Men more accessible to the citizens of Earth-616.

  • Writing
    9
  • Art
    9
  • Coloring
    9
  • User Ratings (3 Votes)
    4.4
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About Author

Back in February of 2008, Stacy Baugher wrote his first article for Major Spoilers and started a solid run of work that would last for over two years. He wrote the first series of Comic Casting Couch articles as well as multiple Golden Age Hero Histories, reviews and commentaries. After taking a hiatus from all things fandom he has returned to the Major Spoilers fold. He can currently be found on his blog, www.stacybaugher.com , were he post progress on his fiction work as well as his photography and life in general, and on Twitter under the handle @stacybaugher . If you're of a mind, he also takes on all comers with the under the Xbox Live Gamertag, Lost Hours. He currently lives in Clinton, Mississippi with his understanding wife, and two kids.

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