The Tank is under attack, Laura, Gabby and the restrained X-Assassin are under fire. They agree that the X-Assassin has to come with them though Laura’s motives appear more pragmatic than Gabby’s. Gabby dispatches their attackers with apparent ease.
Beast picks up the three ex-assassins (see what I did there?) in the X-Copter (I’m not sure what makes it an X-Copter, do they also have X-Boats and X-Bicycles?)
At the Xavier Institute Hank confirms that the X-Assassin is at least partly a clone of Laura but with extensive cybernetic modifications and no healing factor.
Dr. Robert Chandler (yeesh, that guy again) is giving a presentation on his newest project, the X-Assassin, at Medi-X-Tronics HQ. He claims that it is completely under his control.
Laura warns Gabby not to get attached to the X-Assassin, they head to bed, but Gabby sneaks downstairs to have cookies with the killing machine.
The issue starts strong with a good action page making inventive use of bullet trails as panels.
Unfortunately there are only a few other standout pages in the issue. One of which appears to be a PTSD flashback.
The art IS good, but I can’t help feeling that Juann Cabal was a big loss to this series.
This is the second issue in a row that’s been lacking in humour, which is unusual for a book featuring Gabby, who is likeable nonetheless.
On the positive side this arc is a natural story to tell with these characters. Dr. Chandler is the original villain for Gabby. The issue of the X-Assassin goes to the heart of what the Kinney sisters are about and also highlights ways in which they are different that may lead to conflict in the future. Gabby’s innocent and irresponsible kindness (and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing) contrasts starkly with Laura’s world weary, traumatized realism.
Gabby’s interaction with the X-Assassin is heartbreaking, because currently there’s a definite sense that Laura is right to be cautious.
This is nicely foreshadowed by the juxtaposition of Laura’s monologue: “every step toward that is a step toward something horrible” with Gabby sneaking down the steps to visit the X-Assassin.
There was a similar plot-line in Spider-Man/Deadpool recently with Master Matrix which disappointingly sidestepped the philosophical conflict at its heart. I’m kind of expecting something similar here. I preferred the approach Captain America: Civil War took where you had two characters who genuinely held irreconcilable ideological beliefs. Despite its title, this series is essentially a two-hander so I can’t see them going too far in that direction.
All that being said, aside from the aforementioned meaningful dialogue and the reemergence of Dr. Chandler, the plot doesn’t advance too much. In the second issue of the arc we’re still in setup mode, waiting for the other shoe to drop…
A few nice character moments but not the most eventful issue. Still, there’s no more appropriate story for Laura and Gabby so hopefully it’s setting up a good arc. Looking forward to the next issue.
X-23 #8: Lethal Weapon 3
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7.75/107.8/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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