Marvel Comics’ New Wolverine Is Refreshingly Different From The Old One

Marvel Comics’ New Wolverine Is Refreshingly Different From The Old One

The guy who was Wolverine for decades of Marvel Comics’ publishing history is dead. The new Wolverine — a female clone of Logan also known as X-23 — is a stone-cold killer just like him. But she needs to figure out how to be something more.

Spoilers follow.

Marvel Comics’ New Wolverine Is Refreshingly Different From The Old One

A woman named Laura Kinney puts on a yellow-and-blue Wolverine costume for the first time in All-New Wolverine #1, by Tom Taylor, David Lopez, David Navarrot and Nathan Fairbairn.

Kinney has been around for years as the character X-23, starred in her own book and worked with Logan on a secret X-Men kill squad called X-Force.

One of the best sequences in this issue flashes back to a near-death moment that Laura and Logan shared after she’d been blown up by a bazooka projectile.

Marvel Comics’ New Wolverine Is Refreshingly Different From The Old One

Laura has long tried to be more than just a killing machine. It’s a struggle that Logan faced and mostly won by the latter half of his life. He had centuries to reclaim his humanity. Laura’s been alive for only a fraction of his lifespan. Normal human interactions like making friends have been a challenge for her, especially when she’s continued to live a life where she’s had to end the existence of others.

She has managed to get close to some of her X-Men teammates over the years, including the younger version of the X-Man Angel pulled forward through the timestream. Laura is business first, though, and her business can be ugly, especially to a teammate who’s the product of a simpler era. You can see the pair’s growing pains in a snippet from this first issue.

Marvel Comics’ New Wolverine Is Refreshingly Different From The Old One
Marvel Comics’ New Wolverine Is Refreshingly Different From The Old One

Explosions and broken bones aside, it’s a beat that would be at home in a romantic comedy. The gritty action moments will be a given in All-New Wolverine but I hope they’re balanced by lighter moments like these. Like her predecessor, the new Wolverine was used by other people as a lethal tool. That moment with Angel illustrates that she didn’t get much affection in her old life and doesn’t quite know how to process it. Nevertheless, somewhere deep inside, she knows that she needs it. She is going to have to balance that desire with tracking down and eliminating some of the deadliest assassins on earth.

So far, it seems like All-New Wolverine is set to explore a killer X-Man that is a lot more vulnerable than the man who came before her.


  • X-23 is awesome! Though, I’m yet to read her as the “all-new Wolverine”. I have to say, I was skeptical until after reading this. Will approach it with an open mind now…

    • For Equality!
      But as if they will turn all the iconic female characters into males.
      “Where have all the female character role-models gone!” I hear them cry.

      • Marvel barely has any ‘iconic’ female characters to begin with that aren’t derivatives of a pre-existing male character. Besides like Invisible Woman and Storm of the top of my head.

        • See I am on the fence about this, I am never in favour of removing a character to replace them; but I do believe the current state of comics is a little sad where 75% of head lining titles feature white straight men. It should probably be close to 95% for purely scientific reasons…

          I kid.

          I really just think that maybe the idea should have been to bring in the really strong popular writers and trying to pitch them on making new characters or bringing back old characters in a way that could increase the popularity of them and still maintain the overly PC culture we live in today.

          Replacing popular characters just seems like the lazy creative direction, especially if they are intended for anything more than a couple of story arcs. Icons don’t get replaced and normally forcing change (especially on people that may not being open to it in the slightest) just tends to drive a wedge between you and your customers (see Lobo’s sales).

          EDIT: An after thought I had was that some one will undoubtedly take my post as hate rather than conjecture and so I feel the need to point out that I am not a fan with many character changes, even if they serve to keep things really just the way they already are like Kyle, Wally, Bart and even all the renditions of Robin (if it weren’t for the fact that some of their writing is really damn good).

          • While I can appreciate your comment about replacing popular male characters with female ones being the lazy way out, or perhaps lacking some originality, I will offer this counter-point.

            Assuming at one of the goals is a gender balanced representation, this is one of the better ways of getting it. Newly designed characters have a small mountain to climb — a limited attention span for the reading audience (who can’t and won’t read everything, so must and will choose one title over another). By using Laura as Wolverine, they can leverage off Logan’s fan-club (and the well-known name) long enough for the book, the character, and the writing team to prove themselves — without the additional hurdle of needing to build popularity all over again.

            Honestly, I think using Laura is the smartest move in line with the goal. She’s already established, and has a connection with Logan. She’s graduations from as derivative as possible (“female clone of…”) to a major name in her own right.

            This option I believe is the only one which respects Logan’s heritage, gives Laura the opportunity to prove herself as a major title character, and deals with a representation imbalance in comics.

          • You make an interesting point. Speaking personally, I’ve never liked it when popular characters I like are changed into someone else so I don’t look at the new people at all – but what is true for me wouldn’t be true for everyone so it makes a lot of sense to use that pop character as advertising. On the other hand, it DOES limit authors to gender bending a handful of guys. I’d rather someone write a new character well and hear about it on Kotaku or Facebook and try them out. Word of mouth works really well when the character is well written.

        • Psylocke. Jean Grey, Mystique,Lady Deathstrike, Mariko, Rogue, Jubilee? Man theres heaps of female characters that are iconic – especially for Wolverine fans: all of the above had major parts to play in Logan’s life. Its more a case of every writer sick of doin the same ol stories. So they shook it up. All the major heroes had a switcheroo – be it gender, persona or whatever. They will play this phase out long enough that when they DO reset it all again the old faves may feel fresh again. In the meantime hopefully this shake up may produce more varied takes on things and writers taking more risks for a while, safe in knowing that in 3 years or so some “reality bubble” will pop and hey presto! Classic marvel again.

          TLDR – Why the hell not? X-23 rocks.

    • Turning? X-23 has existed as a wolverine clone for ages in spirit. What’s the difference from this to say when one of the Robins became Batman?

    • Would you sighh if they turned Iconic Female characters into Males?

      Or would you disappear in a puff of smoke and leave only a gently vibrating fedora behind?

  • Marvel tripping over themselves lately to be as PC as possible.

    I hate it, personally. Why not create new iconic female characters. Or better yet, just bring X-23 back into the spotlight again with her own comic?

    • Guess who Marvel are owned by… Disney. That’s why there will be no more sexualised Princess Lea figures or official appearances of Slave Girl Lea ..Disney owns it.

      • I can’t imagine there was much demand for either of them though?
        The sexualised figures are fairly expensive figures, and the ‘slave girl’ scene got its full mileage in the movie.

    • What’s PC about Wolverine being momentarily dead and a Wolverine clone developing as an interim successor to the mantle?

      I think it’s quite good. There’s a lot of room to work with the contrast between Logan and Laura. DC have been doing a similar thing with BatGordon and BatWayne, contrasting the differences between characters in a similar work environment and forging new dynamics with pre-existing characters and groups, but no one’s pissing their pants because Gordon isn’t female.

  • Ok, being real there’s no way that Laura-Wolverine, Falcon-Cap, Jane-Thor, Miles-Spidey, and… is Tony still Iron Man? I would have thought War Machine or Rescue would have stepped up by now. They aren’t going to stick. They’ll hang around for a while, twelve months maybe. Miles might get longer. But those straight white dudes are all going to end up back under their mantles as soon as the shine wears off this editorial push. Credit where it’s due, I’m loving the diversity and all of this is opening up space for stories we wouldn’t otherwise see, but putting weight behind diverse heroes in their own roles is going to make a bigger difference long term.

    Tl;dr: consider my tickets to see Falcon, Ms Marvel, X-23 (Wolverine franchise reboot) and Mystique money in the bank.

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!