The latest trip to the Vault delivered some unexpected surprises. The biggest one may be the discovery that the original Laura Kinney who went on the Vault mission with Darwin and Synch survived and returned to Earth thanks to being saved by Forge. Now there is the older Laura Kinney and her resurrection protocol version existing at the same time. With this first in the Age of Krakoa, what will this mean for Wolverine? Can the Quiet Council handle this first-time event? Let’s find out with X-Men #18.
Writer: Gerry Duggan
Artist: C.F. Villa
Colorist: Matt Milla
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
While the rest of the X-Men deal with a crisis at one of the Orchis space stations Synch takes Old Woman Laura Kinney (the name I’ll use for the Laura Kinney from The Vault) to meet with her current Wolverine counterpart.
With how busy Wolverine and the X-Terminators are fighting the vampires, Synch and Old Woman Laura decide to help them out. As the team reaches the vampire nest beneath the surface the two Lauras go in on their own.
As they easily defeat the horde of vampires they come to an agreement that the younger Laura will continue on as Wolverine while Old Woman Laura can have a senior position.
Synch and Old Woman Laura then head off on their own to spend the night together.
Back at Krakoa Jean Grey meets with the Quiet Council to call out Beast for trying to bring Old Woman Laura to be tested due to his lack of trust. Not liking what he hears Beast calls the X-Men out for saving the lives of Orchis grunts in their recent mission but Jean is quick to fire back saying that those grunts will remember who saved their lives.
Somewhere in space, a heavily injured Corsair sends out a distress message to Cyclops and Havok as a horde of Broods is about to attack him. End of issue.
X-Men #18 is a tight wrap-up for the recent story with The Vault. Primarily this issue addresses what happens now that there are two Laura Kinneys around. That is not necessarily answered as the most we get is where the two Lauras stand with each other. Other than that there is not much here except some seeds planted to be addressed after the Captain Marvel crossover.
To his credit, Gerry Duggan and C.F. Villa do a solid job of showing how the two Laura Kinneys interact with one another. Duggan keeps both the old and young versions of the character on point in how they would take in having another version of themselves running around. Especially with their experience with clones and interacting with Old Man Logan, this isn’t the first time they’ve dealt with this type of situation. It is all a good use of how Laura isn’t one to hold onto the drama of this type of thing.
That is something to appreciate because Duggan could’ve easily gone the other route of having a bunch of confusion and drama because of that. We’ve seen that be the classic direction for this type of story development. Not going that obvious route makes great use of how Laura Kinney is an experienced superhero and would most understand this out of the X-Men. This led to a fun dynamic between the two Lauras as we saw their chemistry shine in the middle of what they each do best, fight the bad guys.
The only thing that wasn’t addressed is what this will mean for each of the Laura Kinneys. While the young Laura is with the X-Terminators which is only a mini-series. Meanwhile, the X-Men series is quickly moving on to the crossover with Captain Marvel in the next issue. So there is no room for several months to actually show what either of the Lauras’ status quo will be from here. Both characters are in this limbo state right now.
Though there are some seeds with Old Woman Laura as Beast isn’t wrong about all this being too good to be true. While you do side with how Jean Grey and the X-Men are choosing to approach things there is no way things are just back to normal for Old Woman Laura. With the Vault playing such a big role in the Age of Krakoa it would not be surprising if we see Old Woman Laura play a massive role when the Children of the Vault return.
That said, what did work for Old Woman Laura is that we see her romance with Synch going strong. Synch knew what Laura had to do and was fully supportive while not pushing to be there as he knew Old Woman Laura had to talk to her younger self alone one-on-one. Both have shown great chemistry with each other, and you are left happy that they found each other again.
The ending with Corsair sending out a distress call about a Brood attack was a good ending to transition into the crossover with Captain Marvel. Based on when this happens it does look as though the current “Revenge of the Brood” storyline will go on at the same time as this new X-Men story since the younger Laura was with Captain Marvel. So we may get at least the first issue on the X-Men side catching up to the timeline of Captain Marvel’s “Revenge of the Brood.” This wouldn’t be bad since we know the Brood are after giant forms of power so there is plenty to work into with Jean Grey, Synch, Firestar, and Iceman all prime targets for the Brood.
X-Men #18 does well in tying up some loose ends with the latest Vault storyline. The meeting between the two Laura Kinneys was handled well with seeds planted for a greater story involving the older version. The transition to how X-Men will crossover with Captain Marvel does create an instant connection with the character that appears at the end who facilitates the crossover.
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10