Friday, September 30, 2011

Comics: X-23

A friend of mine recently got me into comics again, i'd been off and on for quite some time, bascially only picking up trades that seemed interesting, and of series i loved years ago. Mostly Hellblazer and Green Lantern. Right now though, there are a couple Marvel ones that i want to point out that i've been very impressed with, both with the character X-23. I've been pretty ambivalent with Wolverine as character over the years, he's been pretty much one note with "I'm the best at what i do, and what i do isn't very nice." Although his recent development in Schism has been very well done.

I picked up an issue of her current ongoing series recently and had previously read some of her in New X-Men, and was surprised she wasn't more just a female Wolverine, whom she is a clone of. Sort of. The quality prompted me go look up more of the books i saw mentioned. These stood out to me.


Not pronounced "nix" but N. Y. X., sort of implying an X-Men spin off. The premise is basically mutant teens who developed, but didn't have Xavier or the school to help them, only each other. There are two volumes collecting the whole run out there, the first one is the only one with X-23 in it though, but both are very good. That image is the cover of the trade, and while there has been a lot of controversy over the recent handling of women in the DC universe reboot, i should point out that what you see there is not the same. Without spoiling things, that image is a good portrayal of something that happens in the book, and yet surprises you when you don't know what is coming and is actually happening. Pretty dark book, but also hopeful. I'd recommend both volumes really, but rate the first slightly higher as it feels less conventional and is more surprising to me. One thing i loved about the art is that the kids (most are teens of various ages) really are drawn like them, and expressive, not just like adults but smaller as tends to happen with a lot of artists. One awesome moment, is when someone tells X-23 "You're the best at what you do.", and while at the time of the original issues release, i'm not sure people knew how she was related to Wolverine, it worked as a nice call out, and a hell of twist on it that caught me off guard.

X-23: Innocence Lost

One of trades i've gotten and read so far that focuses on her. This one is a prequel of sorts to NYX i believe, not explicitly said, but it fits. The cover bugs me for the reason that she looks too old there. Most of the book is several years before NYX, she starts out at as a baby when first seen, then the book advances seven years. Then another three years, so by the end she's 12? It's a little confusing, not sure if she ages slightly faster, or the art of Billy Tan (which is quite different than the cover, and i like better) reflects her age properly. Either way, she's not even close to as mature as the cover shows. It's pretty dark, since it is basically about a girl being created to be a weapon, and only thought of and treated as such. It also explains a lot of her actions and behavior in NYX and later books, and while i guess Wolverine has similar origins, the way she's portrayed as going through them and how she reacts later is something i connected to better.

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