All-New Wolverine #34

Writer: Tom Taylor

Artist: Ramon Rosanas

Colors: Nolan Woodard

Cover: David Lopez

Published: April 25, 2018

It was was mentioned in the review of issue #33, but our heroes were left in a bit of hectic situation, with an unidentified object inbound towards them. Turns out it was just a bit of help for Laura, Gabby, and Maria Hill as a whited-haired (but still with the great high and tight haircut) Captain Marvel and Hawkeye show up. Turns out Gabby called in the calvary, at which Laura is a bit annoyed, but if they’re going to finally take Doom out they need all the help they can get, and Laura acquiesces. Their plan is to swim under the dome (a Doom-dome) that surrounds the city and make one of the citizens tell them where Doom keeps his prisoners. And that is really all the plot that happens in this issue (minus one thing at the end that we’ll get to), they start outside the Doom-dome, they go underneath and fight some stuff. To focus only on the slender plot though, would be to miss the real joy of this issue (and arc) which continues to be a celebration of what this comic has been. Laura gets thrown by Captain Marvel at a Doom-bot (a fastball special), Hawkeye shoots a bullet with microscopic Janet Van Dyne (Wasp) into a Doom-bot’s head turning it into what Gabby calls a Janet Vann Doom-bot, Maria Hill is (in an amusing sort of way) all curmudgeonly about doing things herself, Gabby complains about her laser claws not working inside the Doom-dome, and Hawkeye has a sort of ‘umm excuse, I’m right here’ moment when Hill tells Laura what a great shot she is. As single moments probably none of this sound spectacular, but in the context and as part of this issue they add up to something fun and special. All-new Wolverine has often been a deadly serious book, centered around a character who is working through trauma and dealing with the weight of large expectations, but there has always been room for levity in the midst of that ongoing narrative. You don’t have look further than the two recent one-shots with Deadpool and Amber. In one Laura, Gabby, and Deadpool survive an attack from zombie bunnies (its much better than it sounds), and in the other her and Amber literally take nazi-stomping boots to the patriarchy.

All-New Wolverine (2015-) 034-003
Taylor, Rosanas, Woodard/Marvel Comics

This issue issue is a testament to Laura’s ability to receive help. To know that she isn’t the only one fighting for justice and noble causes, and so she doesn’t have to do everything alone, and it’s better for it. It would be great to have Laura’s final arc see her (or her and Gabby) eliminating the final sticking point in the battle to rid the world of injustice and authoritarianism, but it’s so much better that she gets to do it with a group of kick-as superheroes (they could even get President Kamala Khan in on this if they wanted). In the review of the previous issue there was a fair bit of discussion about this being (or appearing to be) the type of final arc that Laura deserved, and this team-up pays that off. Laura does not have to walk into this battle alone, she would, but despite her past she hasn’t isolated herself. Just because you could go it alone, doesn’t mean you have to. That’s probably enough editorializing about this issue as it’s quality is is a little bit ineffable in that there’s just a certain joy that comes from reading an issue or arc about a character you love who is just represented absolutely perfectly by a writer and artists who know why that character is great. It was said in the previous review and is worth repeating here that it would have been so disappointing if Laura’s final story was a sad and gruesome affair. But no, she gets to live in a world where Kamala Khan is president, Gabby has Laser claws, and Captain Marvel still keeps her hairstyle on point, and its fantastic.

All-New Wolverine (2015-) 034-017
Taylor, Rosanas, Woodard/Marvel Comics

The previously mentioned development at the end of this issue is that a Doom-bot shoots and kills Maria Hill. After they make their way under the Doom-dome, they find out from a citizen where the prisoners are, but then some Doom-bots show up. There is a fight at the end of which Laura throws herself in front of an energy blast to save Hill. Instead it goes though Laura and strikes Hill a fatal blow. It’s a sad moment for heroes who have already lost so many peers in the fight to rid the world of its last despot, and Maria Hill won’t see that fight finished.

The art on this issue also needs to be mentioned and celebrated as Ramon Rosanas and Nolan Woodard continue to do great work. You see a lot more of Laura’s grey and red suit which is just such a good dynamic look for her. And all the heroes have a great unique look that is similar to their normal suit, but just ‘futured’ up. There’s a lot of really good stuff in the action scene as Hawkeye, Captain Marvel and Laura each get a great moment of taking down the Doom-bots. Laura has her ‘fastball special’ moment but there is a great panel of Captain Marvel face stomping a huge robot. In other panels there are details that begin to flesh out this world a little more (an abandoned Thor’s hammer and Iron Man Mask) and it will be really interesting to see what other bits of the world get revealed in the next and final issue of All-New Wolverine.

(Subjective) Score out of 10: 8

All-New Wolverine (2015-) 034-015
Taylor, Rosanas, Woodard/Marvel Comics

 

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