Review: X-23 Volume 1 Will Melt Your Heart (And Your Face)

FIRST IMPRESSION

X-23 is an action-packed story, but its real strength is in its heart. This is a story about family and sisterhood told with some of Marvel's deadliest characters. And it's great.
Writing/Story
Pencils/Inks
Colors
Lettering
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X-23 Volume 1: Family Album is out January 9th, and it’s an action-packed thrill ride that doesn’t skimp on the emotions.

The series is written by Mariko Tamaki with art by Juann Cabal and Marcio Fiorito. Colors are by Nolan Woodard and letters are by Cory Petit. Georges Duarte did the art for issue six with colorist Chris O’Halloran.

About the story:
When a genetic scientist goes missing, Laura Kinney (X-23) and her sister Gabby (Honey Badger) are on the case. Meanwhile, the Stepford Cuckoos are acting stranger than usual. How are they connected to Laura’s missing scientist?

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Tamaki does an excellent job picking up the torch from Tom Taylor. She encapsulates the spirit of Taylor’s All-New Wolverine, but puts her own unique spin on Laura and Gabby.

“Family Album” is not a simply superhero comic. It’s a fast paced action story AND an intriguing mystery. It’s got comedy AND tragedy. X-23 is many things at once, and that’s what makes it so compelling.

But above all else, this is a story about family. It’s about Laura and Gabby, two people who are all each other have in the world. Their relationship is funny, it’s heartwarming, at times it’s even heartbreaking, but it’s also so relatable. Anyone who has a sibling – either literal or figurative – will love this comic.

And – just like in All-New Wolverine – Honey Badger absolutely steals the show. Tamaki captures Gabby’s voice perfectly. She’s so pure and good, despite also being an unstoppable killing machine. Every line out of her mouth is gold. If you read this comic for no other reason, read it for Gabby.

Cabal and Fiorito display a huge range with their art. Their action sequences are full of high octane energy, but they also pump the small moments with tons of emotion. The facial expressions deserve a special shout-out, especially the eyes. The characters’ faces are what will make you laugh the most, or cut you to the bone the hardest. Again, despite being about superheroes and clones, X-23 is incredibly relatable, and the art is a huge part of that.

If you’re looking for a superhero story that digs deep and delivers on more than just action (but still delivers the action), definitely check out X-23 Volume 1: Family Album when it hits stores.


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Anthony Composto - EIC
Editor-in-Chief for Monkeys Fighting Robots. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the Mets, Anthony loves an underdog story. He earned his B.A. in English because of his love for words, and his MBA because of his need for cash. He considers comics to be The Great American Art Form, and loves horror movies, indie dramas, action/thrillers, and everything in between.

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