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Retro Review: X-23 by Mariko Tamaki

Updated: Jan 25, 2020


Issues 1-11

Writer: Mariko Tamaki

Artist: Juann Cabal and Diego Olortegui

Publisher: Marvel Comics

⠀ ⠀

These issues would be my first true run of anything X-Men related. Many in the comic community, have suggested X-23 to be a great read. ⠀ ⠀ The story explains that Laura Kinney is a clone of Wolverine and her sister, Gabby, is a clone of her. The start of the narrative explains that their story is complicated. However, the first couple of issues had me a little worried. I wasn't invested in a story that was screaming at me that Laura and Gabby are just "Damaged and Complicated". However, the plot grew stronger with the increased look into both the characterization and familial dynamic amongst the sisters. This book thrives whenever Gabby talks. Also known as Honey Badger, she acts as a window into seeing the person Laura is underneath the trauma that's turned her cold. She's incredibly kind-hearted, empathetic, sweet, and goofy. It's such a fun mirror to Laura's silence, resilience, and stubbornness. I think the best way to describe their relationship is that Laura is just trying to survive the day; while, Gabby is just trying to enjoy her day. I love their dynamic because it makes the action sequences in this book carry weight and dimension. ⠀

⠀ As for the antagonists, I do feel as though both the Cuckoos and the X-Assasins could have been fleshed out more. I enjoyed the concept a lot but I felt as if they were underutilized. I did appreciate experiencing another X-Men character (Beast) through the lens of Laura and Gabby. ⠀ ⠀ As someone who has no base knowledge with the X-Men universe, X-23 is a great start in my opinon. This story is contained to itself without dipping into lots of lore and mythos, something I was scared off. These are really fun reads. I definitely wouldn't say it's the best to pick up if you want a cool, epic story. For me, this is definitely going to be a read for characters. I fell in love with Gabby and Laura! I can't wait to see what happens in issue 12 now!

1-6 gets a 5/10 and the rest of the series gets a 7/10 for inproved story 

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