Review: X23 #20 ‘Laura chooses a side…’

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Cover Artist: Kalman Andrasofszky

X23 #20 “Girls Night Out part1”
Writer: Marjorie Liu
Artist: Phil Noto

Laura Kinney begins her last adventure, before the unfortunate cancellation of the series with the next issue. Unfortunate indeed, as this series has been superb from start to finish.  It was dark and touched on subjects that I wouldn’t have expected, like underage prostitution and trafficking. Considering Laura’s upbringing, that shouldn’t have been a surprise and this series wouldn’t have been as truthful to X’s character if these weren’t the paths taken. The series could take a complete twist, being fun and mystical, with X battling dragons or being the vessel for a cosmic entity. I thought this series had it all! Also, Marvel’s collection is highly lacking in female solo books… the only one after X23 is Ghost Rider… and her face is on fire!

With that said, Marjorie Liu has penciled one hell of a run.

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This issue kicks off with a four person touch football showdown, starting with a lighter note! May I add that it is always a pleasure to see X interact with X-Men that she regularly wouldn’t and for this instance, it’s Iceman! Laura’s mind works like a computer, always analyzing but never feeling anything, so there’s always an interesting dynamic when she interacts with new characters. The inevitable question gets poised: Which side will X23 take, progressed by Wolverine and Cyclops ‘Schism’. Thanks to Vampy-Jubes (Vampire Jubilee) who steals Laura away before she could answer for a night on the town and, you guessed it, adventure ensues! The plot gets a little heavy, as is Liu’s style but then ends on a happy note!

Artist Phil Noto does a fantastic job within. His subtle style is perfect for the grounded storyline.  I must add, that Noto does both art and coloring, which makes every panel personal. The color tones and highlights are perfect. Worth adding is a scene within a nightclub and every other panel had a different solid color tone, to mimic the changing lights; reminded me when I used to watch Batman Beyond when I was younger.

Cover to X23 #21 Series Finale!

I’m incredibly saddened to know that issue 21 will be the last. Laura has already begun her next adventure within another title and though I have very much enjoyed her character from her time spent with the students as the ‘New X-men’, I will not follow her exploits as a “superhero”. I was mad to here that the series was getting the boot and I was pissed to hear where she’s ending up, until I read this issue. There is a female guest-star, I won’t spoil who, her interaction made it all click. This series has been about Laura trying to find life inside of her, to make herself feel again and the progression into hero-dom now makes sense, I just feel it was forced on too soon due to the books cancellation. This series still had great forward moving potential and if there’s a petition out there to keep this series going, sign me up!

Story: 9
Art: 9.5

Follow me on Twitter @Ddsuperbatnix

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Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.