All-New Wolverine #29 Review

kiAll-New Wolverine #29

Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Juann Cabal
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Cover: Elizabeth Torque

All-New Wolverine #29 is an exciting chapter in the Orphans of X arc that sets up for an explosive finale in All-New Wolverine #30 later this month. The Orphans have already taken the lives of 3 former Weapon X projects and is looking to finish the job as they track Laura, Draken, and Gabby to Murumasa’s in Japan. While the Orphans of X chase after the trio, Murumasa give Laura something to help them fight back against the Orphans and their Murumasa bullets. Epic ninja fights, faces from the past coming back, and Gabby… being Gabby.

***WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!***

Tom Taylor and crew continue to deliver on one of the best titles coming out of Marvel. The Orphans of X has been an exciting arc that has let Taylor show how well he knows these characters by having their past (as well as Wolverine’s) come back to haunt them (mainly Laura). In issue #25 we were reintroduced to the Murumasa blade (Murumasa made this for Wolverine (Logan). Stops their healing ability) and Sarah Kinney (Laura’s mom. Laura killed her while being controlled). Issues #26 and #27 gave us a reunion with Sarah and Laura (as well as an introduction to Sarah’s other daughter, Gabby), but it also gave Laura a chance to watch her mom die again. In #29, we get another face from Laura’s past AND a familiar nemesis of Wolverine (Again, Logan), but I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

At the end of #28, We saw 3 of the Orphans kill Sabretooth, Lady Deathstrike, and Logan by putting a Murumasa bullet (made from the melted down Murumasa sword) in each of their heads. To open #29, we see Logan lying lifeless on an observation table with a bullet wound through his head. It is here where we get to see why Laura is such a big target for the Orphans (aside from being part of the Weapon X program). While admiring the 3 dead bodies of their enemy, Amber rips the hood off the main Orphan, revealing him to be Henry Sutter! Amber makes Henry promise that they will take out X-23 together.

Your comic book history lesson for the day (from the pages of X-23 by Christopher Yost, Craig Kyle, and Billy Tan back in 2005): Henry Sutter is the product of an affair between Rachel Sutter and Zander Rice. Rachel Sutter told her husband, Martin Sutter, that Henry was his, and they were a “happy” family. At the time, Martin Sutter was also the head of the Weapon X project and was the lead when it came to the one project we care most about right now; X-23 (a.k.a Laura Kinney, a.k.a All-New Wolverine). While X-23 was being trained, Zander Rice convinced Martin to give control of Weapon X to him. Zander then sent X-23 on a mission to kill the entire Sutter family. Henry Sutter, then just a little boy, watched from a closet as X-23 slaughtered his family. When it actually came to Henry himself though, X-23 just couldn’t kill him (chopped the head off his Spidey doll instead. Rude) letting him flee. This isn’t the first time Taylor has brought in the X-23 storyline either. The Sutter family is killed in #5 and then Laura kills her mom, Sarah, in issue #6 (Check it out if you haven’t already. It’s very good).

While the Orphans get ready to go after Laura, Gabby, and Draken, Murumasa has finished gathering what he needs from the trio and is busy making Laura something to protect against the bullets that almost killed Draken in #28. While Draken, Laura, and Gabby are similar in a lot of ways (I mean Gabby is literally a Laura clone… so pretty similar),  Taylor takes full advantage of anytime he can set these three apart and fully explore the differences. When Laura realizes how light the new armor is, Murumasa tells her that Draken soul did weigh it down quite a bit (as we saw back in #28), but Gabby’s soul was so light that it balanced out, and Laura soul was right in the middle. This is a great picture of what these three have had to deal with to get to this point. Draken was so down on himself that he couldn’t grow his arm back. Laura was used to slaughter people against her will, and though she is still tormented by this, she moves forward to try and make amends for what she has seen and done. Gabby is the heart and soul of this crew. She looks at everything with wonder and loves life; and while it is easy for Draken and Laura to live in the moments of horror and destruction of their past, Gabby acts as a lifeline of joy to keep them moving forward.

Before Laura can put on her new armor, she smells a familiar scent coming their way; death. The Orphan dispatched The Hand to Murumasa’s house to capture the trio. During the fight, Gabby is shot (having to feel pain for the second time in her life) and Draken gets her to safety. We finally get to see the armor after Henry and Amber come to Murumasa’s doors and order their troops to take down Draken. After Amber realizes that Laura has a new way to combat the Orphans, she tries a different approach, draw them in with emotion. Amber taunts that they have already killed 3 of the Weapon X family, including Logan. This sets of an all out mele with Laura taking on everyone. While Murumasa takes steps to end the fight, Draken comes up with a plan to end the Orphans. Draken then reveals to Laura that he has a plan and it starts with him sacrificing himself. While the Orphans load Draken into the helicopter, Henry tells Amber that he will stay and face what is coming for him. What’s coming for him? Gorgon.

Upon Gorgon’s arrival, a member of the Orphans drops to his knees as a sign of respect to the leader of the Hand, and is immediately killed. This helps to paint a bigger picture of the Orphans. While it may seem like each person has a reason to seek revenge on the Weapon X family, it isn’t about their personal revenge, it’s about revenge for ALL of the Orphans. 

We also get a different side of Gorgon here. In the current run of Old Man Logan, Gorgon is hungry for blood, and attacks Logan at the emotional and mental level as much as the physical. Here we see a reserved leader coming face to face with a man he respects. He is there out of honor and will do what it takes to make up for the dishonor Henry brought by using the hand for his selfish reasons, and bringing them to Murumasa’s doorstep to do it. Gorgon agrees to take Laura and Gabby where they need to go, but not before Murumasa demands a piece of Gorgon so that he may make something to remind Gorgon and the Hand of this violation.

Laura and Gabby track Draken by tracking Megan’s (Laura’s cousin) phone, which Draken has hidden inside of him. From the looks of it, it is Orphan HQ. Laura and Gabby (a.k.a Honeybadger. The most fitting code name ever) waste little time looking for Draken and find him lying next to the other 3 dead X’s. From what we learned in issue #28, the bullet’s nullifying effects to their healing ability can be worked around by cutting off the tissue around the wound to reactivate their healing. Laura tells Gabby that they will have to perform some brain surgery, meaning they will have to cut out the bullet in their brains, as well as the tissue around the wound to bring them back to life. While this does set the stage for a very exciting finale, it does leave us with questions. Draken was dying, not dead, when they cut the bullet from him the first time. Will cutting around the wound help on someone who is already dead? In the reflection of Laura’s claws we see Logan, not Draken. Is she planning on bringing them all back to life? I really hope so.

Juann Cabal’s art bring this whole issue to life. Cabal excels when it comes to showing the emotions of the characters. Gabby, normally so full of joy and wonderment, is shown feeling pain for the first time in her life, and you really feel her pain through the few panels we see of her after Murumasa is done taking parts of their soul. Then a few pages later, Cabal gives us the fun Gabby we all know and love as she cuts down a Hand member, turning him to dust, and again after she is shot and is more concerned with zombie-ninja-dust getting in her mouth than the bullet in her leg. Laura’s rage comes through loud and clear in his depiction of her reaction after Amber taunts that Logan was killed. And that armor! Cabal and Taylor make an excellent team for Marvel and this is a perfect example of what happens when you get an incredibly talented team who loves their characters. The only question I had when it came to the art work, is what happened to Henry’s hair?! At the beginning of the issue, he was sporting some thick messy blond hair and eyebrowns, and then before he goes to meet Gorgon, he is closer to a Charlie Brown/Lex Luthor cut.

All-New Wolverine #29 is a fun and exciting chapter to the “Orphans of X” arc with lots of surprises. The team does a good job at continuing this compelling narrative while exploring the characters in a deeper way and bringing in their history. It also paints the Orphans as a larger and more terrifying group than we first believed. What will happen later this month when Laura and Gabby go face to face with the rest of this group? Will Draken, Logan, Sabretooth, and Lady Deathstrike be alive and ready to fight? Will anyone be left standing when the dust settles? Will we find out that Henry developed Alopecia upon his arrival in Japan? All these answers (hopefully) and more when Orphans of X comes to a conclusion in All-New Wolverine #30! Can’t wait for the next issue!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s