X-23 #9 Is A Study In Contrasts And Butt-Kicking

by Tony Thornley

This is the story of two sisters. One is a cynical former weapon learning to love, the other an enthusiastic ball of optimism. This arc has been all about how they’re different. X-23 #9 shows us not only the difference between the two, but also how they’re both right in their own way.

Cover by Ashley Witter

Mariko Tamaki, Diego Olortegui, Walden Wong, Chris O’Halloran, and Cory Petit return for this issue. It’s an action-filled story with a lot of heart.

Laura goes after the organization that has created Assassin X, while Gabby stays at the mansion to watch her newfound sister (against Laura’s wishes). Laura encounters a legion of battle cyborgs, while Gabby discovers that there’s much more to Assassin X. This leads to Gabby running to Laura’s rescue, Assassin X in tow…

This still stuns me that nine issues in this series is still able to tell a sharp and exciting action story that has such a strong theme of family running through it. Even better, it doesn’t feel tired, or worn. Tamaki is writing one of the best Marvel solo series month in and month out, and there’s been no drop off, no exhaustion, just a good comic.

Olortegui and Wong’s line art continues to be stellar. This issue has some great action sequences, with layouts that emphasize the impact of Laura’s actions. In particular, there’s an amazing two-page spread of Laura ripping through the gang of cyborgs. Meanwhile, the more emotional moments with Gabby and Assassin X are able to effectively land, selling us on their relationship.

I start to lose interest as time goes on in many series, and not only is this series keeping my interest, I look forward to it every month.

X-23 #9 is available now from Marvel Comics.

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