This is a very good book that unfortunately relies on some of my least favorite storylines to propel its narrative. I like X-23 as a character, and Marjorie Liu as a writer, but I find myself so frustrated with X-Force and the concept of the X-Men allowing an assassin-brainwashed teenage girl to join a murder squad that even having the characters realize the error of that decision leaves a bad taste in my mouth. And while Will Conrad’s art was generally lovely, John Rauch’s coloring left much to be desired — some scenes were unintelligibly murky, and Storm’s skin was so light I didn’t realize who she was, or even that a black character was being depicted at all, until I reread her scene. Still, Liu clearly has a handle on this character, and as she takes Laura forward past X-Force and into new adventures, I’m certain I’ll grow to love the book more.
Good first issue establishing X-23 as a damaged character, dealing with the fall-out of her time on Stabby Kill Squad…I mean X-Force. Haunted by hellish nightmares and dealing with the mis-trust of her fellow students, X-23 is trying to find her place in a world full of adults who want to help her, but have all failed her in the recent past. Writer Marjorie Liu establishes the set up for the coming series here and not much else, but it’s done so well, I don’t mind. Will Conrad’s art is excellent, he has a lot of dialog scenes and little action, but the art never seems stiff. Looking forward to reading more.
I walked into this title with no previous knowledge of X-23’s tortured existence as Wolverine’s jailbaity daughter, or cousin, or cloned something. There’s something kinda horrifying about the idea that a plot point of a comic book (or really, any story) involves a teenage girl being allowed to go out and kill people at the behest of adults, so that skeeves me out. But the core idea, basically a bit of a back-to-basics approach in which X-23 is a really awkward, really talented (at killing people) teenager trying to fit in, seems like it might have some legs. I was far more interested in how X-23 will interact with her Xavier School classmates than I was with her strange visions of hell and blood and what-not.