All-New Wolverine continues to truck along as one of the more consistent titles Marvel has been publishing. Tom Taylor has done a great job in making the Wolverine mantle Laura Kinney’s own. The development of the Laura over the course of the series has been solid throughout. The addition of a little sister for Laura in the form of Gabby has been a good consistent source of amusement when needed. Now it is time for Gabby to take a bit of the spotlight as she hangs out with her best friend: Deadpool. The brief interactions we have seen between Gabby and Deadpool was fun. Now with a full issue of dedicated to their friendship what crazy adventures will they have? Let’s find out with All-New Wolverine #31.
Writer: Tom Taylor
Artist: Marco Failla
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: Laura tells Gabby to take Jonathan the actual wolverine out for a walk after he chewed through a statue. Gabby doesn’t want to but Laura uses a universal translator to show that Jonathan wants to go out for a walk outside.
While walking outside Jonathan senses something and drags Gabby to the Extendaco facility with some sketchy security guarding the place. Jonathan, still wearing the universal translator, tells Gabby that Extendaco is the place that hurt his family.
Gabby calls Deadpool for back-up. Deadpool in the middle of a mission tells Gabby he will be there soon to back her up when he hears that she wants to do something that may be illegal.
Deadpool meets up with Gabby and is amazed Jonathan can talk. The feeling isn’t mutual as Jonathan threatens to eat Deadpool’s face.
Gabby tells Deadpool about the lab that experimented on Jonathan and his family. Deadpool is down to save the animals as long as they can burn the place down. Gabby says she is okay with that. Before going in Gabby ignores Laura’s call.
Deadpool takes out the two guards outfront with some chloroform and gives Gabby some to use next time. Gabby takes it and then suits of as Honey Badger.
Honey Badger, Deadpool and Jonathan walk into the lab. Honey badger takes out the desk clerk with some chloroform but forgets to catch him before he falls.
Taking information from a computer the trio enter Testing Hall A and find mutated rabbits and squirrels inside. The mutated animals attack forcing the trio to kill them all out of self-defense.
While walking through the hall they find a mutated sloth slowly crawling to them. Before they do anything Deadpool grabs a couple sodas for them.
Outside Wolverine finds the guards tied up. When she enters the lab she sees a bunch of rabbits cut in half. She then spots Deadpool after he skewered several squirrels with his sword.
Honey Badger is surprised to see Wolverine. Wolverine wonders what exactly is going on. Honey Badger says that this is the lab that Jonathan and his family were experimented on. Wolverine understands what Honey Badger is doing and says she will help finish things up.
The doctor responsible for the experiments, Doctor Boreland, tries to get Deadpool, Honey Badger, Jonathan and Wolverine to surrender with a shotgun. Not intimidated the threat Deadpool finds the lab Jonathan’s family is being kept and they find that they have already been mutated.
Jonathan is shocked to see his family mutated and the group calls Doctor Boreland a monster. Wolverine destroys Boreland’s shotgun. Jonathan scares Boreland and causes the doctor to fall into the pit with the mutated wolverines.
The group decide to leave after the doctor is eaten alive. Deadpool hands Honey Badger a lighter to set the place on fire.
They walk out of the lab as the fire Honey Badger lit burns the place down.
As the group watches the lab burn down Jonathan says that his old family is gone but his new family is with him. Deadpool calls Jonathan a softie. Jonathan once again threatens to eat Deadpool. They then continue to watch the lab burn down. End of issue.
The Good: Taking a break from all the drama around Laura Kinney’s life we get a fun adventure with Gabby, otherwise known as Honey Badger, and Deadpool. And that is really what All-New Wolverine #31. It is a break from what all the serious battles and just wants to have a fun, inconsequential, story with its guest star, Deadpool. Though the story is fun it did feel like there was a missed opportunity to make Gabby more of a compelling character for future stories.
Tom Taylor did a great job writing Deadpool. He understands what makes the character tick as we get plenty of over the top comedy mixed in with extreme action sequences. At the same time, Taylor doesn’t go completely overboard with making Deadpool as still as possible. There is just enough there from the comedic way Deadpool supports Gabby as she is still learning the ropes to how he decides to kill all the mutated the animals that completely fit the character.
Gabby and Deadpool’s continuing to be best friends was also a nice change of pace for things that have recently happened. Deadpool being the supportive friend even though Gabby was about to do something illegal, though for the right reason, was a great in character move. Seeing how he continued that support by taking the young Honey Badger under his wing showed how he doesn’t hide anything from the young character.
Deadpool’s short back-and-forth with Jonathan was another highlight for All-New Wolverine #31. When first introducing the universal translator it wasn’t clear where Taylor was going with this angle. But as soon as you see Jonathan threaten to eat Deadpool it all paid off from a comedic angle. These quick lines nicely balance out with some surprising character development for Jonathan, the actual wolverine. His reaction to what the animal experiment lab made Jonathan a much more sympathetic character. That is not something you expect from a pet of a supporting character but Taylor did well in executing this development for Jonathan to make the reader care about him more.
Marco Failla delivered some solid artwork throughout All-New Wolverine #31. With Deadpool’s involvement Faila was able to completely go over-the-top with the action as he had him and Gabby slice and dice some mutated animals. Even with Deadpool was wearing his mask Failla was able to make the character show various expressions that matched his dialogue or reactions to other characters.
The Bad: While All-New Wolverine #31 deliver on the over the top fun that you expect from a Deadpool appearance there was a big missed opportunity to give some actual character development for Gabby. Since being introduced we have seen brief instances of Gabby developing as a supportive younger sister for Laura. Those moments have been mostly been done to make her a stronger supporting character for the character. As a solo character we have yet to see what it would be like for her to actually carry a story. All-New Wolverine #31 was that opportunity but never happens.
That is unfortunate because we are at a point where Gabby needs to separate herself from just being the younger sister and sidekick of Laura Kinney. And with the animal experimentation angle, especially upon seeing what happened to Jonathan’s family, there was a major opportunity to give her the much needed depth. Even if she has seen some terrible things during her adventures with Laura she is still a young child. As a young child seeing the mutated animals should be something that affects her in some way. And the fact that this is closely tied to her friend and pet Jonathan we should’ve seen greater emotion come out of her.
It also came off as odd that Laura would go along with what Deadpool and Gabby were doing without trying to use this as a teachable moment for her young sister. With the subject matter of animal experimentation this was the perfect chance for Taylor to write in some dialogue for Laura that explained to Gabby the seriousness of what was going on. With Gabby still at such an impressionable age this should’ve been an important chapter in her development. And that is something Laura should’ve seen.
Instead all we get from Laura’s side is her just going along with things and not seeing the bigger picture in developing Gabby beyond just the violence. This is a head scratcher since Taylor has put a lot of time in showing us how Laura has matured since taking over as the Wolverine of the Marvel Universe. Taking that into account, letting this opportunity to teach her young protege and sister a valuable lesson came off as an out of character thing for Laura not to do.
Overall: All-New Wolverine #31 continues the consistency that one has come to expect from the series. Tom Taylor provides fans with all the fun you expect whenever Deadpool makes an appearance in a comic book. Deadpool’s involvement did a lot of the heavy lifting in the entertainment value of this issue. Though it did feel like there was a major missed opportunity for the story of All-New Wolverine to be a teaching moment for Laura Kinney to use to continue the development of the young Gabby, aka Honey Badger. That missed opportunity kept Tom Taylor’s story from reaching its full potential.