Laura Kinney’s time as the Wolverine has come to an end. Laura’s journey into the heart of Latveria — and into the heart of Dr. Doom’s lair — in ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35 isn’t just the end of the “Old Woman Laura” arc, it’s also the end of the ALL-NEW WOLVERINE series. Tom Taylor, Ramon Rosanas, and Nolan Woodard bring the series full circle by including Laura’s “sister” Bellona (who appeared in earlier issues of the series), but they also leave a lot of room for further character development in Mariko Tamaki and Juan Cabal’s new X-23 series coming in July.

And, as always, beware: many spoilers lie ahead!

all-new wolverine #35
ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Death to Doom in ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35

From the first page, we already know what’s coming: the death of Laura Kinney. The “Old Woman Laura” arc is all about how Laura wants to take down Dr. Doom before her approaching death. In ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35, Doom captures Laura and tries to implant his consciousness into her body because he believes it to be immortal. But, much to his surprise, he discovers that Laura is dying. Unable to handle the immense pain Laura constantly feels due to her illness, Doom falls dead.

Gabby finds Bellona and releases her from Doom’s prison. They find Laura close to death and eerily content. It seems like the end. But, Gabby isn’t willing to let her mentor go that easily. According to Gabby, Laura should “@#$% noble sacrifices.” So maybe the end isn’t really the end? As readers, we’ll never really know. But we can take a guess.

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How to End a Series

The ALL-NEW WOLVERINE creative team has been quiet about the end of the series. A firm final issue wasn’t given until recently, but knowing that the last part of “Old Woman Laura” is the last issue in the series, everything makes a lot more sense. Most series end with a big, climatic event that’s meant to sort of sum up the rest of the series. But, most of the time, the end of a series doesn’t really feel like the end. There’s always the “what if” or the “what’s next” or the “what about this.” It’s difficult to wrap up a series and actually make it feel like the end.

As sad as it is to see a series as successful as ALL-NEW WOLVERINE go, this issue does an amazing job at bringing a sense of finality. Because it concludes the “Old Woman Laura” arc — which takes place in the far future — this really does feel like the end. This is Laura’s last adventure and the last thing she wanted to accomplish as the Wolverine. There is no “what’s next” for Laura.

But, ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35 does cleverly ask the question “what happened before?” We, as readers, want to know what happened before Laura became the president of this new utopian society. We want to see her growth into the person she is in ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35. Luckily for us, there’s a new X-23 series coming out that will probably start to answer some of those questions.

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35
ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Sisters Stick Together

I really love it when an author is able to bring back elements from the beginning when wrapping up a series. It’s a fun way to help loyal readers remember past parts of the series and it encourages new readers to go back to the first issue. In ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35, Bellona — who was one of numerous clones created from Laura’s DNA — reappears in Latveria. Laura’s last wish before dying is to save Bellona from Doom. Throughout ALL-NEW WOLVERINE, Bellona and Laura have a rocky relationship, which makes this final issue all the more emotional. It really shows how much Laura and Bellona have grown and changed since their first meeting in ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #2.

With that in mind, I wish Laura and Bellona could’ve had a moment to talk. Gabby and Laura of course needed to be together in the last panel, since the entire ALL-NEW WOLVERINE series is about their relationship as sisters. Still, I think a short little dialogue between Bellona and Laura would’ve gone a long way. The series already feels finished, but it would have helped close the circle from the first issue to the last.

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Almost Realism

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35 penciler Ramon Rosanas has a very unique style that is both very realistic and defiantly unrealistic. His backgrounds are distinctly realistic in how precisely they’re drawn, but they don’t look like they could actually exist. I think this is because the backgrounds and foregrounds are almost always too clean and organized. Colorist Nolan Woodard helps emphasize this with a lot of blanket colors. These backgrounds almost remind me of a video game in that they are realistic but not necessarily real.

Rosanas draws people with a realistic style, but like his backgrounds, they don’t appear necessarily real. While not heavily stylized, the anatomical proportions of the characters are frequently off — with an elongated torso being the most common problem. Still, Rosanas’ mixture of both realistic and unrealistic styles is uniquely his. In the larger context, Rosanas’ and Woodard’s artwork functions well in ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35 since the issue is about a distant future that is both real and not real.

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35
ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35. Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Final Thoughts

The creative team of ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35 give the successful series a well-deserved ending. ALL-NEW WOLVERINE explored a more caring and thoughtful side of Laura Kinney that no series before it was able to do, and the final issue is a testament to that. While it’d be nice to see ALL-NEW WOLVERINE continue on for a few more years, I’m glad Taylor ended it the way he did. There’s a finality to ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35 that few final issues have.

Laura Kinney’s new solo series, X-23, arrives in July!

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #35 by Tom Taylor, Ramon Rosanas, and Nolan Woodard
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
The final installment in the "Old Woman Laura" arc is exactly what ALL-NEW WOLVERINE needed to cap off an amazing series. Just like everything else Taylor has delivered, ALL-NEW WOLVERINE is full of surprise twists, kick-ass action scenes, and one or two tear-jerking panels. If you enjoyed Laura's adventures as the Wolverine, make sure to pick up this last issue. It's definitely worth a read!
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2 Comments

  1. Ambaryerno

    May 16, 2018 at 11:03 am

    Keep in mind this is an AU future, not THE future. None of what happens here is destined to come about.

    Reply

    • Peyton Hinckle

      May 16, 2018 at 2:00 pm

      That’s true! In comics, anything is possible and the future is never set in stone.

      Reply

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