With Old Man Logan, Sabretooth, and Lady Deathstrike possible killed by the Orphans of X, Wolverine, Gabby, and Daken are partaking in a ritual with Muramasa to create a shield and armor that can deflect the creations of the Muramasa Blade being used by the Orphans. Unfortunately, this lays the three mutants up for a few days.
This gives the Orphans time to track down Muramasa's temple, and they've brought the Hand along as backup.
The action finally ramps up once more in this issue, with our heroes taking on the Orphans of X and the Hand in battle.
The primary flaw of the "Orphans of X" arc is that it's become a lot more about the tools used to kill "Wolverines" and not the Orphans or their motivations. Their uniting quality, the loss of loved ones to the likes of Logan, Laura, and Sabretooth, is an interesting premise for a cult-like organization of murderers. However, the story continues to be more about the Muramasa Blade and creating "get-out-of-jail-free" cards for whenever a mutant is killed by it from now on. It's also clear that this story could have been a lot shorter with a decent amount of condensing and trimming of fat.
It's still frustrating that this arc has taken the edge off the Muramasa Blade (pun pun pun). It's no longer something that can kill the unkillable. It's just another contrivance that characters can contrive their way around.
All this aside, All-New Wolverine #29 is at least a fun read. It's great watching Wolverine, Gabby (aka Honey Badger), and Daken tear into Hand ninjas, and Juann Cabal puts together a nice sequence wherein we get to watch the battle take place. Plus, the comic does have one pretty cool twist involving the Hand and Muramasa himself. There are also great moments with Gabby and Laura sprinkled throughout.
There is also the absolutely ridiculous yet amazing armor Muramasa forges for Laura. It is way overdesigned, looks a little impractical, but I love it anyway.
Cabal's art looks great throughout. He gives Laura a lot of muscles, which definitely adds to her intimidation factor. Beyond that, his style just looks quite good overall. Nolan Woodard's color art continues to be bright and upbeat. It may not completely match the tone of the story, but it does look good regardless.
All-New Wolverine #29 is one of the high points of the "Orphans of X" story, but it's still a little disappointing to see how this tale has turned out. It's still too wrapped up in its own plot contrivances, but it's still a fun read. On the whole, I can recommend it, but I wouldn't call it a must-buy by any stretch of the imagination.
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