ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #25 puts Laura on the trail of her brother Daken, and introduces a new foe called The Orphans of X. Tom Taylor writes a story that embraces Laura's past, but builds on it to create new questions for the future. Juann Cabal adds solid art throughout.
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Awakened Past

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #25 uses Marvel’s focus of honoring the past by bringing Laura back to her roots. However, this isn’t just a trip down memory lane. Writer Tom Taylor, artist Juann Cabal, and colorist Nolan Woodard use the issue to showcase a new foe, a mystery involving Daken, and a return that no one saw coming.

Old Wounds

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #25 begins with a brief flashback. Logan receives the Murasma sword from its namesake blacksmith. It’s not clear what this means, but it mostly ties into an explanation for his recent resurrection (as the blade is forged from Logan’s soul).

Suggested Reading: OLD MAN LOGAN

However, the short interlude feels like a forced insert at this point. Later issues may reveal more, but right now, this feels like it could’ve been done in another book, or even as part of an explanation by Wolverine himself. This misstep is brief, however, as the story proper picks up with Daken at a bar. Daken looks and acts out of place, even though some of the patrons recognize him. They regale him as a hero for helping to save Roosevelt Island, but Daken seems quite indifferent, and more than a little snobby. However, his attitude proves beneficial, as he recognizes his drink is drugged, and the patrons attack him with advanced weaponry. They reveal themselves as a chilling new threat.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Artist Juann Cabal depicts this chilling scene perfectly. He takes a quintessential Wolverine logo and twists into a terrorist like formation. That simple shot of the masked group creates more chills than anything they do before. Even the plane shooting down the bar feels like a sign of their power and not silly overkill.

Going Home

Daken partially returns as the issue switches to Laura and Gabby. Writer Tom Taylor easily moves from Gabby demanding a cool superhero name to the girls finding Daken’s arm hanging from a tree. Taylor shows understanding of light humor and how to transition to drama easily. He builds mystery as well when Laura finds a scented piece of paper that she refuses to talk about. It unnerves her enough to leave Gabby and hitch a ride up north with Warren Worthington. Taylor again has some light dialogue between them before moving into the issue’s centerpiece — Laura returning to the facility that birthed her.

Image courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Artists and writer come together beautifully here. Taylor has Laura wandering the building, musing on her dark past, while Cabal and Woodard illustrate her memories in vivid reds and yellows. It contrasts beautifully with the largely black scenes of modern Laura, demonstrating her disconnect between the past and present. Her dialogue shows her real regret and pain over her past. It uses the past without overblowing it (unlike Brian Michael Bendis’ similar flashback in the otherwise excellent JESSICA JONES #13).

Laura finds a tube with someone inside, but it’s not Daken. Instead, we get a reveal that shatters everything that Laura has built in her life… and one you have to read the book to see.

Final Thoughts on ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #25

ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #25 shows the proper way to build a new story from the past. Taylor shows command of his story, knowing when to lighten the mood and when to darken it. Cabal and Woodard demonstrate artistic beauty in their scenes. The story largely builds a new mystery to solve. Overall, it’s another great issue that makes readers hope Laura gets to keep the Wolverine name as long as possible.

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