All-New Wolverine #13
Writers: Tom Taylor
Penciller: Nik Virella
Colors: Michael Garland
Inker: Scott Hanna
Letters: Cory Petit
Reviewed By: Gregory Brothers
It is hard to believe that Lara Kinney has been part of the Marvel Universe for a dozen years, first showing up in readers hands in NYX #4 in 2004. In that time readers have learned quite a bit about Lara and her back-story as more and more layers have been exposed. The past year has seen perhaps the biggest changes in the character as she has picked up the mantle of her “father” and become the Wolverine for the All-New Marvel Universe.
Since picking up the mantle Lara has found out that there was a group of clones that has been created using her DNA, found out that a older alternate reality version of her “father” exists now in her universe, and switched bodies with another girl from another realty. All of this while dealing with living with youngest of her former assassin clones and her pet wolverine Jonathan. So it makes sense that Lara would want to take some down time to reflect on what has happened in the last year and make some changes. The plan to take some time off and enjoy some R & R takes an unexpected turn as a mysterious package shows up at her apartment door.
Taylor uses the old plot device of showing us where we will end up before flashing back to show us how we got here. It’s a plot device that works well and grabs the readers attention as they open the first page and see the destruction that has been cause as Lara kneels in the street defeated look, as rain pelts down on her. All-New Wolverine #13 kicks of the Enemy of the State story arc and anyone that has been a fan of the original Wolverine series knows the impact that arc had on the original character. They also know that if that arc has taught us anything, then things will get much worse for Lara before they get better. That being said the series could have taken a dark tone that may have turned away regular readers of All-New Wolverine, however Taylor has mastered the use of Gabby and Jonathan to provide moments of levity to the story that do not take away from the seriousness of the tone. Using Gabby’s lack of knowledge of Lara’s past allowed Taylor to give new readers the short version of Lara’s past without regular readers having to hear about them again.
The art here is brilliant through out as the reader is first drawn into the story by the brilliant colors used as the city burns around her and the foreground is filled with bodies and alternating puddles of water and blood throughout. Those images against the images of Lara’s apartment and the traffic jam trying to get out of New York and you get a sense of the mood even before reading a single speech bubble.
All-New Wolverine #13 is the perfect jumping on point for any new reader to the series. Readers are given enough of a background of the characters that they will not feel lost if they are new, while regular readers are given enough to not make them feel that things are just being rehashed. The fact that at no point do we see Lara in action, or do we here her called by her Wolverine mantle, tells me that this is a story of Lara and the struggles that she has in overcoming her past and leaving those secrets and actions behind. For my money, Taylor is writing one of the best books that Marvel is putting out right now. Jump on now and get ready as I think big things are about to come for Lara and the All-New Wolverine corner of the Marvel universe.