Welcome back to X-ual Healing, the weekly recap column where we obsessively read every X-Men and X-Men-adjacent comic that Marvel publishes, tell you what happens, provide additional context where necessary, and examine whether the comic makes good use of the long and convoluted history of the X-Men by referencing it in a way that’s accessible to new readers, because we here at X-ual Healing love the X-Men, and we want everyone else to love them too.
The X-Men are returning to their rightful place of prominence after a decade of insults and neglect by a Marvel editorial that feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, which means it’s finally time for X-fans to enjoy some…
If you need to know more on the premise of this column, check out the longer explanation here.
Now, let’s dive right into…
ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #34
TOM TAYLOR (W) • RAMON ROSANAS (A)
Cover by DAVID LOPEZ
OLD WOMAN LAURA Part 2
Though most of the world’s problems have been solved in the future, that doesn’t mean there are no opportunities to SNIKT every now and then…
…and now that Laura’s back in the suit, she’s finding those opportunities aplenty.
Plus: GUEST STARS you’d never believe and exotic locales you never thought you’d visit!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
Old Woman Laura, the swan song for All-New Wolverine before it gets rebooted with a new creative team as X-23 to make way for the return of the original Wolverine, continues in All-New Wolverine #34. It’s the near future, a global paradise where All-New Wolverine is the queen of Madripoor, Honey Badger is the All-New All-New Wolverine, Kamala Khan is the president of the United States, and the only supervillain left on the planet is Doctor Doom.
The issue opens with Laura, Gabby, and Maria Hill set to infiltrate Latveria, which is trapped under a dome because they’re filming a reboot of the hit show Under the Dome (wait, we thought this was a utopia!). Before the infiltration can begin, the team is joined by Captain Marvel and Hawkeye (Kate Bishop), who Gabby called in for backup.
The team heads underwater to sneak under the dome, but when they come up on the other side, they’re missing Maria Hill. Carol dives back into the water to pull her out, and the team learns through X-pository dialog that, in addition to blocking out the Sun Mr. Burns style, no technology save Doom’s works under the dome, so they’ll have to use old-school skills and superpowers to kill Doom and rescue Laura and Gabby’s clone sister, Bellona. That means no cybernetics for Hill, no trick arrows for Kate, and no lightsaber claws for Gabby (but we’ve only gotten to see them in action for one issue! No fair!).
The team enters an undescribed facility and grabs a local, looking for information on where Doom keeps his prisoners. However, the local reveals that Doom has installed cybernetic implants in all of Latveria’s residents so he can keep track of everything that happens everywhere. Doom is now aware the team is here to kill him, so he dispatches Doombots to take them out. Laura suggests they take cover, but Maria has a better idea – take down a Doombot using Maria’s special adamantium bullet and hack it to find the prisoners. Maria agrees to let Kate take the shot, being as she’s a Hawkeye, but first she needs to “talk” to the bullet. We’ll likely find out what’s so special about that bullet before this story is done.
Three Doombots arrive. Kate shoots one through the eye. Carol tosses Laura, Fastball Special style, at another Doombot, and Carol punches the guts out of the third. The Doombot shot with the magic bullet continues coming, but we get a look inside its head, where the bullet has opened up, revealing…
It’s The Wasp, Janet Van Dyne version it seems. She takes over the Doombot, and then X-plains via X-pository dialog that she’s not dead, as the other heroes apparently believed, but trapped in small size. Just then, one of the Doombots rises, not finished. It blasts an energy bolt at the team, but Laura jumps in front of it. Unfortunately, it blasted straight through her and shot Maria in the chest as well. Carol stomps the Doombot as Maria Hill dies in Kate’s arms. She tells Laura to carry on with her mission and kill Doom, realizing the dream of a world where the heroes won. The issue ends there.
The next issue will be the last for this series, which is sad because it’s a great comic and it has been consistently great for almost three dozen issues. At least it gets to go out on a high note, however.
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