Way back in 2014, Wolverine died. In fact, there was an entire mini-series called Death of Wolverine. Of course, in comics, death is rarely permanent and a version of Logan did come back after the crossover Secret Wars...but he was Old Man Logan and no longer called “Wolverine.” Instead, that moniker was passed down to Logan’s female clone, Laura Kinney, formerly known as X-23, in All-New Wolverine, written by Tom Taylor.
Laura has a long history in the comics, dating all the way back to 2004, but this book was her entrance on the big stage (it’s probably no coincidence she got her own book just as they announced Laura was a character in the film Logan). She was no longer “X-23,” but rather the Wolverine. She took the yellow spandex and even got a clone of her own, Gabby. In fact, while Old Man Logan seemed to take on the more “traditional” Wolverine stories (fighting ninjas, being morally grey), All-New Wolverine took a long look at Laura’s history, at her relationship with the original Logan, and at what she wanted to be going forward. It helped that the book recognized her character growth and continued on with it, with both pain and humor, continually giving us deep dives into Laura’s character.
When all of the X-books were restarted for ResurrXion (still a stupid name), it was thought All-New Wolverine would either be restarted as well or cancelled, but it wasn’t. Instead, it continued on with its original numbering, but with a brand new storyline called “Immune.” The story began with an alien crash-landing in the middle of Roosevelt Island and dying from an unknown virus, the last words she said being, “Laura Kinney.” So Laura was able to get on the island just as it was quarantined by S.H.I.E.L.D. and that’s when she learned that this deadly virus that was now spread throughout the island has only one cure: her healing factor.
And that’s when All-New Wolverine #21, written by Tom Taylor, with art by Leonard Kirk, proves itself to be one of the best books Marvel has published.
Laura must come into contact with people in order to heal them, her healing factor drawing out the virus. But too much contact will overwhelm her healing factor and as a mob forms to get healed, she collapses.
(Old Man Logan stabbed Gabby through the chest when he accidentally went into a berserker rage during the Civil War II crossover. Yeah, that crossover messed everybody up.)
Aaand now I want a Deadpool/Gabby team-up book where they fight crime and have tea and be best friends forever.
In any case, things go about as well as you think: a group of people holed up in a building don’t want to let anyone infected in, so they have to fight their way in to cure anyone inside (and Deadpool makes the astute observation that he’s beating people up to heal them). Gabby finds some people who have already died from the virus, though, and says that they have to speed up.
But the virus begins to overwhelm their healing factors. First Gabby, then Daken, then Old Man Logan.
All-New Wolverine #21 isn’t just a fantastic story. It’s a great look at the character of Laura and Gabby and Logan and Daken and, hell, even Deadpool. It has action and humor and, overall, heart. It makes us feel something for these characters, so much so that I was nearly crying when I got to the last page.
If you have any interest in Laura Kinney or just great Marvel stories in general, read All-New Wolverine.