Monday, July 30, 2018

X-23 #2 Review

Call of the Cuckoos

Writer: Mariko Tamaki
Artist: Juan Cabal
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Release Date: July 25, 2018
Cover Price: $3.99
Reviewed by: Jon Wayne

We left off at the end of X-23 #1 with the contrasts between Laura and Gabby and the Stepford Sisters being clearly laid out. Where Logan’s two best kids have been faced with adversity and come out better and stronger for it, the same cannot be said about the Cuckoo sisters. They too have dealt with setbacks, but that has led them to be more self-preserving. They lack the care for others embodied by our heroes, and to me, that is the chief difference between the two sets of sisters so far. The last issue ended as one of those two sickly sisters killing the other and taking a shot of Weapon X… So what happens next?

We open to some narration by Laura set amidst the backdrop of the funeral of the previously mentioned Cuckoo sister before she is awoken to Gabby and Jonathan jumping on her. Really, if there is one thing that Tamaki is proving so far it’s that she gets the dynamic of our main characters. While it was a concern of mine going into the series, I firmly believe she’s got a handle on that now. I also believe that acing this dynamic is not enough to sustain a book, so I wanted some more plot development in this issue.

Which… we don’t really get, unfortunately. A couple pages to show us the rationale of why the Cuckoos are plotting the way they are (mini-spoiler: it’s pretty generic!) and a couple pages showing us that Laura has better detective skills than Tom King’s Batman, before we get to the final scene of the issue. I don’t want to reveal much, but the art from Cabal and co. is particularly good here. The battle scene is over rather quickly, but you really feel how Laura is processing the situation and the art definitely accentuates it.

That is basically it for this issue, not a whole lot going on, even the setup we get doesn’t feel all that meaningful yet, and our cliffhanger is rather predictable. On the plus side, the way the panels flow on the last page is excellent, and Cabal is quickly shooting up my list of favorite artists in the business.

P.S. If you guys ever want to talk comics, about our favorite wolverine sister/clones or otherwise, shoot me a tweet @the_jon_wayne

Bits and Pieces:

I am a stickler for plot development or lack thereof in this case, and so I can’t give this issue a high grade. I’m still on board with this run, but I’m a firm believer that readers need to get a fair amount of bang for our buck per issue. Reading comics is a slow burn, we all know that, but not enough happened for me in this issue. Realistically we only got 3-4 scenes in total, and yet none of those scenes felt fleshed out at all, more padding than anything of substance. It’s still early in the run so I won’t be too harsh, but Tamaki needs to pick up the pace next time.


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