ALL-NEW WOLVERINE #8 from writer Tom Taylor and artist Marcio Takara is a bundle of fun. The new duo of Laura and Gabby, along with bright colors and a surprising new villain, combine for a brighter and more upbeat direction for the series, even if it feels a little jarring at points.

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After wrapping up her own little clone saga and dealing with a squirrel infestation, Laura is starting the next chapter of her life as Wolverine. While she and Gabby get settled in their apartment and acclimate to living with each other, Maria Hill calls for her help. A mysterious new weapon has been found and is leaving no bread crumbs to be followed. It’s Laura’s job to find out what happened to the first agent sent after it, Logan, and help solve the latest problem SHIELD seems to have.

all new wolverine, marvel, review, tom taylor, marcio takara

This issue is way lighter in tone than the series’ first arc. After a dismissible issue featuring Squirrel Girl, Tom Taylor switches gears. Laura is now, in essence, an older sister to the young and happy-go-lucky Gabby. Their relationship jumps off the page, with tons of funny situations and conversations involving dogs and Chinese food. It’s a great dynamic that will hopefully carry on through the series for a while. Laura and Gabby need each other, whether they admit it or not.

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The new arc also features a new villain. The mysterious and smelly box teased in the first few pages was somewhat forgettable, but when it winds up summoning Fin Fang Foom, the issue feels reminiscent of a b-level monster movie that is aware of its own absurdness. The terror and destruction it brings when searching for what it feels is a possible mate is somewhat comical. However, after seeing Laura dive into the belly of the beast head first, it seems it will be a formidable foe that’s different than anything she has faced before. It’s great to see such a classic baddie come into the series, and Laura will have her work cut out for her.

all new wolverine, marvel, review, tom taylor, marcio takara

The book works best on its smallest level, and that is with the relationship Laura has with those around her. She’s a very damaged person and seeing her not only open up, but forced to take responsibility makes her feel as real as any character in comics. Kudos goes to the creative team for making the all new Wolverine feel right at home in these pages. However, the book doesn’t feel quite as deep as it could. The plot seems somewhat generic with the inclusion of SHIELD, considering it happens in almost every other Marvel comic. The team has a chance to build an entire mythology for Laura in her new role as Wolverine outside what already exists in the Marvel Universe, which is something that should definitely be taken advantage of. It’s also slightly jarring to have such an upbeat setting for Wolverine. While it is fun, it is hard to adjust to the difference in feeling and tone when compared to the darker and more serious tone the first arc had.

The art is quite a shake up from the earlier issues, but fits well with the upbeat story. The characters look a little similar at times, and the facial structures can be slightly off-putting, but it works overall. The bright colors from Jordan Boyd work hand in hand with the environments created. Laura’s barren apartment fits her personality and adds a lot of depth to her character that isn’t found in the dialogue. She seems to be a person who really doesn’t care about her home, always leaving and never settling down. This is a great aspect of the story, considering she’s now forced to try and live a more peaceful life at home with Gabby. The book uses its backgrounds and sets extremely well, including everything from a looming SHIELD helicarrier to a boat in the middle of the ocean.

Taylor, Takara, and the rest of the crew behind the book seem to be having a lot of fun with it, and that definitely shows in this issue. While it’s not totally perfect or game-changing, it’s simply a pleasant read with some fun characters. With a new story and a killer cliffhanger, it’ll be a lot of fun to see where this one goes.

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