Written by Tom Taylor
Art by Juann Cabal, Nolan Woodard, Cory Petit
Edited by Christina Harrington, Mark Paniccia
Published by Marvel Comics
Release Date: January 31, 2018

Words aren’t going to be able to replicate the emotions writer Tom Taylor shares in All-New Wolverine #30, but I’m going to try anyway. Joined by artist Juann Cabal, colorist Nolan Woodard, and letterer Cory Petit, Taylor wraps up the engaging “Orphans of X’ tale, not with fire and blood (ok, maybe a fair amount of blood), but with redemption, recognition, and hope.

Yeah, I’m still reviewing All-New Wolverine #30, why do you ask?

There is plenty of SNIKTing in this issue and, as already mentioned, some blood, but Taylor delivers a story about redemption and growth, putting a fine finish to this tale while also metaphorically and literally summarizing Laura Kinney’s journey through the Marvel Universe.

In this final chapter for the “Orphans of X” storyline, Laura takes the lead, organizing the other various and sundry clawed mutants (Daken, Old Man Logan, Lady Deathstrike, Sabretooth, and Honey Badger) and formulates a master plan on the fly. Taylor doesn’t put the reader in Laura’s head through captions, but unfolds the plan in front of us, asking for our investment in the story and inviting us closer to the action, rewarding us with winks, nods, elbow pokes and other fun bits along the way. Of course, we’re right there when pieces of the plan peel away, and I’m certain Taylor would have it no other way.

Cabal’s art is simply masterful, from start to finish. There are no weak panels, no dropped out backgrounds, and no short cuts undermining the work poured into this story. He draws everything – EVERYTHING – as though it was the star of the story, and presents it all through gloriously crafted storytelling. He’s just as comfortable with four widescreen panels, four vertical panels, or sixteen (yes, SIXTEEN!) panels on a page. Every line on the page has purpose, every expression or gesture tells a story.

All of it comes together lockstep with Taylor’s dialog and amplified by Woodard’s colors. Nolan Woodard does not hesitate to use color for emotion and effect, lighting and temperature, and when the story – either Taylor’s words or Cabal’s lines – calls for it, the colorist adds in textures and depth. Most notably, to me, is the change in complexion one character undergoes after taking two bullets, but still persevering. Aspiring colorists should take that arc and practice the craft similarly. As the drawings do, so does the color work in All-New Wolverine #30 tell a tale of its own.

Which brings me to Cory Petit. Again. Multiple characters with claws have similar SNIKTs, as they should, particularly given their shared genetics, but Petit employs a nice range of spacing, size, and volume. Conversations stack like blocks, showing readers the rapport between characters, and when a trio of hunters analyzes the scene in the room above them, Petit plays the dialog to the edges, giving the characters space to breathe and to immerse in their environs. Petit, like Taylor, Cabal, and Woodard, is simply masterful in his craft, helping elevate All-New Wolverine #30 to tremendous heights while stitching it all together so marvelously.

All-New Wolverine #30 – and this series in general – is about victims turned survivors and survivors turned leaders. Sometimes the best way to lead is through example. Other times, an inspirational speech certainly helps. In both cases, strength of character and resilience shine through. That is especially the case in Laura Kinney as Wolverine. She’s a rock-solid character who has been through a lot in her life. All-New Wolverine illustrates that and gives readers even more reason to love Laura and her quirky cast.

The final page is so packed with emotion and puts such an elegant point on this story that I didn’t see coming. And yet, it wouldn’t have been a complete tale without it. This is definitely a story I’ll read again and one that I cannot try to share enough. So, if you’re game, and want a story with action, heart, great characters, and a dash of humor, do yourself a favor. Get All-New Wolverine #30. Find a quiet place and enjoy it.

The Verdict: 10/10


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