Tom Taylor ended “Enemy of the State II” by firmly establishing Laura Kinney’s place as Wolverine by putting a close to her traumatizing past. Now with the X-Men franchise moving into a new direction called ResurrXion, Laura is joining the party with a whole new black and grey Wolverine costume and Gabby as her sidekick. With these changes Laura and Gabby are no longer hiding from the public eye. Will this choice be a good one for both characters personal and heroic lives? Let’s find that out with All-New Wolverine #19
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Leonard Kirk
Inker: Cory Hamscher
Colorist: Michael Garland
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: In space an object is quickly falling towards Earth. On a boat a guy sees this object falling and is suddenly taken away by someone hiding in the shadows. Two people stay in the shadows and make their way through the boat while taking out more guards.
Suddenly the falling object gets close enough to New York City to light up the entire area. This cause all the guards on the boat to see Wolverine and Gabby. The guards start firing on both of them.
As that is happening Ironheart (Riri Williams) tries to stop the falling object from hitting New York. As she does this her Tony Stark AI says Ironheart can stop it from falling. Ironheart decides that rather than stopping the object to redirect it towards the East River.
On the boat, Wolverine and Gabby have been knocked out by the gunfire. The guards get distracted by the falling object. This buys Wolverine and Gabby enough time to recover and start fighting all of the guards that have surrounded them.
Ironheart ends up crashing with the falling space object at a park in Roosevelt Island. Ironheart notices the object is a spaceship and a door opens to reveal an young alien girl inside. The alien girl jumps into Ironheart’s arms and speaks a language no one understands. Before passing out the alien girl suddenly says Laura Kinney.
Back on the boat, Wolverine and Gabby have made it below deck and find a guy named Yvgeny, who has been in charge of a human-trafficking ring in Madrippor, hiding. Wolverine stabs Yvgeny in the shoulder and says they know all about his work. Gabby says they know a guy named Vlad is really in charge but Yvgeny says he is in charge of the operation. Wolverine pulls out a phone with Yvgeny’s mom listening in and thanks Yvgeny for admitting to the human-trafficking.
Meanwhile, Ironheart is attending to the alien girl. When she tells the crowd not to take pictures or videos of the situation people start passing out for no reason. Ironheart contacts all sends an emergency broadcast to every known broadcasting system, including those other heroes are using, to tell them to cut off everything coming in and out of Roosevelt Island.
Back on the boat, as police arrest everyone involved with the human trafficking operation Wolverine calls out Gabby for blowing their cover. Gabby then mentions how it was her idea to have Laura wear a bulletproof costume to protect her. Laura tries to use Logan not wearing that type of costume as an excuse for not doing so before. Gabby interrupts by saying that Logan probably always had something to prove and Laura does not need to needlessly hurt herself.
Before Laura can say “Gabby you were right” Captain Marvel arrives on the scene. Captain Marvel tells Wolverine that they need her and quickly fly her away.
On the SHIELD Helicarrier, Nick Fury informs Wolverine about people being infected by a virus that’ll kill them in 48 hours on Roosevelt Island. Nick says that Ironheart has Stark’s iron sight cameras monitoring the area while SHIELD has closed off all transportation to the island and have quarantined the island, including blowing up the bridges.
Nick then asks Wolverine if she knows why the alien girl said her name. Wolverine says she has no idea why but is going to find out. Nick warns Wolverine that if she steps onto the island she can’t leave. Wolverine says she understands and dives towards the island. End of issue.
The Good: As he has shown throughout his career, Tom Taylor has a great sense of scale. That ability was on full display with All-New Wolverine #19. From the fight sequence on the boat to the new alien threat, Taylor shows off how all writers should develop threats so they feel contained to this story but could be a bigger threat if not stopped.
Blending together two very different scenes throughout the first half of All-New Wolverine #19 was well-executed by Taylor. There was never a moment that the shifts between the scenes took you out of what was going on. By accomplishing that Taylor was able to create a sense of how much time was passing between all that we were seeing. In doing so, there is a sense of urgency created, especially when SHIELD gets involved quickly to quarantine Roosevelt Island.
The fight on the human-trafficking boat does a very good job in establishing the new Dynamic Duo-esque partnership between Laura and Gabby. Taylor is able to portray them as an effective team that still has some kinks to work on to be a truly polished duo. Seeing those issues helps establish what Laura will need to work with Gabby on as they now work together rather than Laura working alone as Wolverine.
It was also interesting to see that Laura’s new Wolverine costume is more than just a change of appearance. Learning that the new Wolverine costume adds a bulletproof feature does show how Laura is willing to step out on her own. It is also a smart addition to show that Laura is not going to be as reckless as Logan was in fights. Even though she still has a powerful healing factor this will help make her fights stand out more as there needs to be other things that Laura will need to overcome than just being shot all the time.
The introduction of a mysterious virus by an alien girl was also a surprising move. This is not necessarily a story you would think that Laura as Wolverine would be involved with. At the same time adding in the virus factor and the alien girl speaking Laura’s full name does create an interesting mystery into what is really going on.
Seeing Ironheart get involved in this story does create a new opportunity to show Laura as Wolverine interacting with more of the hero community in the Marvel Universe. That’s been a big part of Taylor’s run on All-New Wolverine and I’m glad that it is extending to newer characters like Riri Williams. Seeing how Wolverine and Ironheart’s dynamic works during this new arc will be fun to see play out.
Creating a greater sense of scale for this story is how Taylor quickly got SHIELD involved. Though the story does have a contained feel to it, SHIELD being so proactive in quarantining Roosevelt Island shows readers how serious a problem this is. And putting a 48 hour time limit creates a greater sense of urgency for Wolverine to stop whatever is happening on the island and discover why the alien girl crashed on Earth in the first place.
Leonard Kirk delivered some solid artwork. It is not going to wow readers as there were a few inconsistencies but he is able to effectively get over the sense of urgency in everything going on in All-New Wolverine #19’s story. I was especially impressed with how he drew all the scenes involving Ironheart and this issue makes me hope he gets to work on an Iron Man title soon.
The Bad: The only thing I will say against this issue was some of the inconsistencies with the artwork that I just mentioned. It was especially bad with how Kirk made the blood look like splotches of paint rather than the characters actually bleeding. Wolverine also look bad in the final panel of this issue as if there was a bit of rush to get the issue done by the time Kirk reached this panel.
Overall: All-New Wolverine #19 does a good job kicking off the new “Immune” arc. Tom Taylor’s ability to create a sense of scale continues to be a big positive for this series. Taylor is also able to push Laura Kinney forward as Wolverine and create an interesting direction for her and Gabby now that the latter is getting directly involved in the action.