Wolverine, her aunts, Gabby, and Daken are on the run from the Orphans of X. After a run-in on the way to Madripoor, the team comes under attack by the Orphans regardless. As such, Laura decides they need to go to Japan and find the man who forged the blade that can kill a Wolverine. They must find Muramasa himself.
Before we get started, it’s worth mentioning that this comic decides to come up with a fairly disappointing workaround for the Muramasa Blade’s effect on a healing factor. They figure out that, if you cut around the tissue that is afflicted by the blade, it will allow the wound to heal. That makes some logical sense, but it does take away some of its threat. I’m not sure if this was established before, but it is underwhelming.
It’s still a little strange seeing Daken this friendly. The last time I encountered this character was in Dark Reign and Rick Remender’s Uncanny X-Force where he—well, died. He was a sadistic monster then, and I must have missed his resurrection and turning point (though Uncanny X-Force did hint that Daken would probably be returning at the end).
Gabby is as delightful as ever in this issue, and she gets a new codename: The Honey Badger. This is because she is both sweet and vicious. I dig it.
The pacing is a little wild. The plot jumps forward very quickly. A brisk pace is generally good, as comics have a bad tendency to pad out stories. Hell, the last issue moved far too slowly. However, this comic jumps forward wildly without explaining itself well. Suddenly we’re in Japan, and suddenly our characters are in disguise. Then we are with Muramasa and just finished a meal. Some of this could have been better explained.
The ending is a ridiculous ass-pull. I won’t spoil it. However, I could, and you would know it’s a red herring. It’s one of those frustrating endings where many significant characters seem to suddenly die, but you know that can’t be the case. As a result, your time feels a little wasted and you’re left frustratedly wondering how this will be explained away.
Juann Cabal’s artwork is solid enough for the most part. It is more sterile and clean than one would expect from a Wolverine comic, even Laura’s. It’s also far less gory than it seems like it should be, especially given Wolverine’s recent rampage. It does hold together well beyond that though, and Nolan Woodard’s coloring is quite good.
All-New Wolverine #28 is a heavily flawed book, but it is decent enough in spite of that. Its characters manage to save it where the plot and pacing fails, and the art is mostly effective. I can recommend it to the devoted Wolverine fan. However, you may not get much out of it unless you have a specific interest in Laura, Gabby, and/or Daken.
Also, why doesn’t Jonathan talk at all? Rocket Raccoon gave him a voice!
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