Can Laura survive losing Gabby forever?  Your Major Spoilers review of X-23 #11 awaits!

X-23 #11

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Penciler: Diego Olortegui
Inker: Walden Wong
Colorist: Chris O’Halloran
Letterer: VC’s Cory Petit
Editor: Jordan D. White
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 10, 2019

Previously in X-23Cloned from Wolverine, Laura Kinney began her life as a weapon called X-23.  After she escaped the facility she was born in, she located another clone, Gabby.  Together, the sisters began to fight for a better future.  After a bad experience with another clones, Laura has resolved to hunt down and put an end to anyone experimenting or cloning with their DNA…  no matter the cost!


After last issue’s tragedy involving another of their genetic heritage, X-23 has vowed once again to find and destroy anyone playing with their DNA to create more clones.  It’s clear from the very first page that something terrible has happened, with Laura writing an imaginary letter to her sister, but as she remembers what happened, the tension is palpable.  X-23 and Honey Badger attack another facility, unleashing their brand of swift and blinding violence while Laura wipes the data banks of their DNA.  Once they’ve succeeded (and beaten the hell out of all the facility’s guards), Laura tries to leave, only to have Gabby refuse, following the scent of what might be another clone.  They don’t catch the transport before it gets out of range, but once they return home, Gabby blows up at her big sis, raging that she didn’t get a say in their new mission.  After an intense shouting match, Honey Badger takes her pet Wolverine and leaves, leaving Laura/X-23 all alone to deal with her own flaws and failings.


It’s kind of telling to me that acting like their “father” has led Laura and Gabby to a point of irrevocable conflict, reminding us that Wolverine is a loner jerk for a reason.  The slow build in this issue to the explosion and the skillful way that the script makes ratchets that tension reminds me of the best past stories of these characters, even if they unceremoniously took away her Wolverine credentials.  Best of all, both sides of the argument make perfect sense, and the emotions that Olortegui conveys feel very authentic and make perfect sense in-story.  With next issue promising to wrap up this arc, I’m sort of hoping that we’ll see a prolonged separation, so long as they get the band back together in the end.  X-23 has turned into one of Marvel’s strongest characters in recent years, and the addition of Honey Badger (the sensational character find of 2016 and the best modern sidekick) to her story has made a big difference, putting her in a big sister role that this issue revels in smashing to bits.


In short, X-23 #11 is a good read, with strong art that supports the conflict between our main character and her sister and excellent plotting that builds the tension up until the unavoidable explosion, earning 4 out of 5 stars overall.  I don’t know whether anyone is still reading Laura’s solo book since she stopped being The Wolverine, but you absolutely should be…  It’s good.

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X-23 #11

Tense And Effective

A solid issue featuring a believable conflict and a couple of really nice fights (one physical, one mostly emotional.)

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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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