Tom Taylor’s run on All-New Wolverine has been one of the better comics Marvel has published since it began. Taylor has done a very good job in making the Wolverine mantle Laura Kinney’s own. Now after more than two years on All-New Wolverine, Taylor’s run on the series is coming to an end. Before he finishes up his run on All-New Wolverine Taylor is going to visit the future as we see what will happen when we see Old Woman Laura in action. What future does Laura Kinney have? Let’s find out with All-New Wolverine #33.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Ramon Rosanas
Colorist: Nolan Woodard
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: As a couple of thieves from Latvaria leave Madripoor they are confronted by Wolverine (adult Gabby Kinney). While the robbers are well armed Wolverine’s healing factor makes their attacks useless and she easily takes them out.
During the fight Laura calls Gabby over to have dinner.
Gabby goes visits Laura (who has become the Queen of Madripoor) to have dinner and catch up on what has been going on in their respective lives. As they eat dinner Laura shocks Gabby by revealing that she is dying. Laura goes on to say that she is dying because of a breakdown in her genetic code. As a precaution Laura ran tests on Gabby and Gabby’s family. She found that they are safe as this is only affecting Laura.
Gabby hugs Laura as she breaks down crying. Laura says she will be alright since she had a lot of good years with Gabby and Julian (Hellion) since they also were able to see the heroes win. She then mentions having a short bucket list that includes saving Bellona. Though they haven’t heard anything about where Bellona is Laura has someone she knows that can help her out.
Sometime later, dressed in her Wolverine costumes, Laura sneaks into the White House and meets President Kamal Khan (the former Miss Marvel). President Khan reveals that Bellona was a model prisoner while under SHIELD. That was the case until the events of the Doom War, when heroes went to war with various villains led by Doctor Doom, who ended up pulling the SHILED Helicarrier through a rift.
Laura is surprised to hear that SHIELD and the US government kept the Helicarrier disappearance a secret. President Khan says that it was a big embarrassment for SHIELD and it seems like Bellona might have been recruited by Doom to work for him during this time. Laura promises to kill Doom for this.
SHIELD agents suddenly come in but are told to stand down by Joint Chief Maria Hill. Maria Hill tells Laura she is going with her to takedown Doom.
At the Madripoor rehabilitation center Laura and Hill meet the Latvarian thieves from before. They play bad cop, bad cop to get answers about Latvaria from them.
Outside the barrier around Latvaria the two Wolverines and Maria Hill fly in and get ready to break-in. Before they go in Gabby stops them and says they aren’t going anywhere. Suddenly Hill detects something flying at them fast as Gabby apologizes to Laura. End of issue.
The Good: All-New Wolverine #33 does exactly what it needed to do to set the stage for this “Old Woman Laura” story arc. Tom Taylor builds a strong foundation for this story not to be about an end of the world scenario. Instead it is a smaller story that is directly tied to Laura Kinney. But while the story choice has a lot of potential there were certain aspects of All-New Wolverine #33 that did not hit the right note.
While “Old Woman Laura” is clearly inspired by the classic “Old Man Logan” story arc it was refreshing to see that we see a completely different world for Taylor’s last All-New Wolverine story. Seeing one of the X-Men actually living and being the leader of a prosperous nation is something we have not seen before. And for Laura, someone with one of the darker pasts in the X-Men, to be able to achieve a utopia of sorts as the Queen of Madripoor was a cool thing to see.
Laura’s leadership position added weight to her revelation that she was dying. Taylor did a good job quickly explaining why Laura was on her last days was because of the cloning process that created her. This is something that was logical to see be the reason for Laura’s body breaking down. It’s a story point that further points to how she was created was not the best process since we did know that she wasn’t the only clone to be created but was successfully brought to life.
This being an obvious way for Laura’s death made the way she calmly revealed it carry more weight. This is something that Laura clearly knew would possibly happen in the back of her mind. Her calm expression made Gabby’s reaction hit harder as this was not something she was expecting. Though given Laura’s calm expression, it was good to see that Gabby was more than up for helping Laura, though it wasn’t all for the best as we learn later in the issue.
Adding to this world was Taylor implying that the current status quo that helped bring a utopia for Madripoor was because of the Doom War was an interesting way to use Marvel’s big event mindset. The reveal of this event and some of the things that occurred made it even more important because of how impactful it seemed to be. The splash page showing what looked to be the final battle did a good job getting across the impact with how we saw heroes and villains fighting, with some of them fallen like Hellion.
This also set the stage as to why Laura is picking up the Wolverine mantle again. Going back to the plot elements he introduced with Laura’s clone is a full circle story to tell. The redemption of Bellona is something that Taylor seemed to set up given that she was left locked up. Laura looking to help Bellona before she died only further emphasized how Laura has fully embraced her heroic side. Given that she was seemingly successful in raising Gabby to be Wolverine made her looking to do the same for Bellona mean more to filling in her legacy.
With all this set up Taylor delivered some good moments that will put a smile on fans faces. The biggest one that will stand out for most is seeing Miss Marvel, Kamal Khan, is the President of the United States. This is a good moment for fans and her interaction with Laura in this issue nicely built up the world we are in. In addition to that it was also good to see Hellion mentioned and seen briefly. The character has been closely tied to Laura before she became Wolverine. Mentioning that they had a possible relationship was a nice payoff for fans who may have wanted to see that relationship blossom back during the New X-Men era.
Ramon Rosanas delivered some solid artwork throughout All-New Wolverine #33. Though there wasn’t any big action sequence Rosanas was able to match the art to Taylor’s dialogue to enhance what was going on in each scene. The big double page splash piece showing off the Doom War also delivered on what happened during that event in its brief scene.
The Bad: While it was good to see that the “Old Woman Laura” story will be centered around retrieving Bellona, having Doctor Doom involved is not the most exciting. The reason for that is simply that there is no connection between Wolverine, specifically Laura Kinney, and Doctor Doom. These two have rarely, if ever, interacted and Doom has not gotten involved with the X-Men in the past. That lack of connection hurts the overall impact of what this story will be. It would’ve been much more impactful if we saw Laura’s last antagonist be someone like Lady Deathstrike, Sabertooth or someone else connected to the Weapon X program.
The fact that wasn’t the case also hurt what was supposed to be a big surprise in Gabby turning on Laura at the end of the issue. Since it is Doctor Doom who is seen as the villain it does not make sense that Gabby would turn or apologize to Laura for doing that. This is in turn hurts how we see two different Gabby’s, the one who cares for Laura and the one who would easily turn on her. The next issue of All-New Wolverine will need to do a better job at explaining this sudden turn or else it will be an even worse turn if it is just because of something Doctor Doom has done.
Overall: All-New Wolverine #33 is a solid start to Tom Taylor’s final story arc on this series, “Old Woman Laura.” Taylor gave us something different as we got to see a more positive future Marvel Universe. That setting made Laura going on her final adventure as Wolverine have a more personal feel to it. Though where All-New Wolverine #33 falls short is with the involvement of the main antagonist of the story. That is something that is hopefully improved on in the following issues.