Review: X-23 #8

Published on April 5th, 2011

After several years, it’s finally time for X-23 to meet Daken with this brand new crossover storyline, Collision, taking place in both of their solo series. In Daken Dark Wolverine, our pal has been placing himself at the top of organized crime in Madripoor and in general, being a trouble maker. Meanwhile, X-23 has left Utopia in an attempt to find herself with fellow X-Man, Gambit who’s keeping an eye out for her. Laura’s latest mission is to destroy the Weapon X Program once and for all, which has brought her to Madripoor to screw up Daken’s plans.

x-23_8We join X-23 and Gambit as they arrive in Madripoor and they don’t even have a chance to get a lay of the land because Daken has already thrown the island into chaos while taking over the mafia. X-23 locates Daken in the chaos and is about to confront him, but when she witnesses a young boy being kidnapped, her conscience gets the better of her. Luckily, rescuing the boy gives Laura the opportunity to meet with Tyger Tiger, who has recently and unwillingly joined forces with Daken. After Tyger speaks with the two X-Men, she realizes that they are exactly what she needs to get rid of Daken.

Tyger later sets up a fake meeting with Gambit and Laura while Daken is in the shadows hiding. X-23 puts on a really good show and is able to get Daken interested and set him up for a confrontation. When Daken does make his move against the two mutants, all Hell breaks loose as X-23 and Daken go at it with claws unsheathed.

I’ve been really into X-23 and Daken Dark Wolverine since these series were launched and I’ve eagerly been awaiting these two characters to cross over. I’ve found it really interesting to see them develop into their own and move out of Wolverine’s shadow. Both of these characters have the wild killer instinct in them and Daken has embraced it and uses his powers to recreate Weapon X in his image. X-23 on the other side, has decided to be more like Wolverine; to fight the urge to kill, use her abilities to help others and make sure nobody else goes through life the same way she did.

I grew up in the 90’s and one of my favorite comic team-ups was Wolverine and Gambit. So, I find it very fitting to have Gambit act as a guardian to Laura. I also find it kind of funny to see Gambit try and keep up with someone almost half his age with a healing factor. There’s a pretty good scene in this book where the two are on a rooftop and X-23 jumps off the building to get into a fight. Gambit stands on the roof and eventually decides to jump after her to keep up. Despite having broken a few bones, Laura gets up and heals instantly while Gambit has to stand back to get himself together. Then later, we see Gambit interact with Daken, who doesn’t take Gambit’s humor too well.

As far as I’m concerned, this is an underrated book that I think people would really enjoy if they gave it a chance. Marjorie Liu does a great job with writing these characters. It’s obvious that she has an understanding of how they think and how they would react in this confrontation. I also dig Ryan Stegman’s art. It’s not phenomenal by any means, but I find it a little reminiscent of Mark Brooks, who I am a big fan of. If you like slashing claws without sacrificing character development read this book.

Ken Zeider