Thursday, August 18, 2016

All-New Wolverine #11: Nuff Said!

We all have awkward encounters at some point in our lives. Sometimes we have them with people we try desperately to avoid. Like explaining to a New Jersey traffic cop why you're drunk and your pants are missing, it's rarely a memorable experience for the right reasons, even if it can be pretty damn hilarious.

There's nothing funny about the encounter between X-23 and Old Man Logan though. We all knew their paths were going to cross at some point. Tom Taylor doesn't even try to hide it in All-New Wolverine. He just waits until the shittiest possible time during Civil War II when heroes are killing their friends, injustice is treated as justice, and people have horrifying visions of a naked Hulk. For X-23, however, a naked Hulk is only the second most horrifying vision. The one that is most pressing in All-New Wolverine #11 involves Old Man Logan killing Gabby. It has terrifying implications, but I still contend it's less terrifying than a naked Hulk.

You know what also has terrifying implications? Sending a bunch of armed government types to tell Old Man Logan to surrender himself. Seriously, who the fuck still thinks this is a good idea? Really, what the fuck are they smoking to think that armed government types put ANY version of Wolverine in a cooperative mood? Seriously.

To SHIELD's credit, they do send Captain America, one of Wolverine's old war buddies. So whatever they're smoking, they stopped at one joint I guess. They suspect Old Man Logan is about to kill Gabby. I still say giving him a case of whiskey and a box full of Japanese porn will keep him this from happening, they just have to come in with guns. I guess that's all SHIELD knows how to do these days. Since X-23 did so much to help SHIELD recently, including flying a jet pack naked, I guess they think they owe her. Someone still needs to tell them that an old, cranky version of Wolverine is still not going to respond kindly to government types.

They manage to avoid a typical Wolverine-fueled blood bath and stab-fest, thanks largely to Captain America's presence and Maria Hill barking orders. X-23 allows Captain America into her apartment so they can chat before they start stabbing shit. That's when Gabby shows up and she helps break the tension with her undeniable cuteness. That, and she has a pet wolverine. I dare anyone to create anything more adorable.

It helps that Captain America is also nice to Gabby's pet wolverine. That immediately wins him some points in my book. It wins points with Gabby too, who is like an adorable little fangirl geeking out in the presence of her hero. It helps ease the tension somewhat. In a situation with a lot of armed guards and no whiskey, that's pretty damn important.

Things get tense pretty fucking fast though. Captain America tells Old Man Logan that a vision from Ulysses reveals he's going to kill a lot of people. Before he can roll his eyes and say, "No shit, dumbass! I don't need some racist xenophobic slave-owner to tell me that shit!" X-23 steps in and questions their approach. It's one thing to follow up on a vision from Ulysses. It's quite another to show up with armed guards trying to subdue a version of Wolverine that's old, cranky, and easily pissed off.

Even so, Gabby is involved and that's kind of a big deal in Old Man Logan's eyes. He's not going to get too stabby around her, her pet wolverine, or X-23. So he says he'll go along with them and give these armed government types a chance to do something right. Try and read that sentence again without laughing. I swear it's not possible in this universe.

Naturally, X-23 suspects that Old Man Logan knows how ridiculous that idea is. She assumes Old Man Logan isn't going to go with any government types unless it involves a lot of stabbing. She doesn't like the idea of government types attacking her dimensionally-displaced father either. Having already lost one version of Logan, she's not eager to lose another. That means she's willing to fight Captain freakin' America to stop it. Yes, she's willing to fight the government's top gun to avoid SHIELD's bullshit. Any version of Logan would be so proud of her.

This leads to a beautifully rendered, nicely detailed fight between Captain America and X-23. It's a uniquely satisfying fight because Captain America and Logan fought on more than one occasion. They may be war buddies, but it doesn't take much for them to get at each other's throats and not just because certain Canadian beers are inherently superior to American beers. Captain America and Wolverine function on a very different level so of course they're going to fight.

This is no exception. In this case, X-23 just battles Captain America to give Gabby and Old Man Logan time to escape. Even Jonathan the Wolverine gets in on the action. He actually bites a SHIELD agent. That alone makes him the pet of the year in my opinion. At the rate he's going, he'll deserves his own Pixar movie by the end of the year.

So how does a grumpy old man and an adorable little girl escape armed government thugs? The awesome way, of course. That means they use jet packs and blow a hole in the wall. I'm pretty sure that's how Chuck Norris chooses to leave every room. They even blow past some of the neighbors as well, adding some nice humor to along with the serious crime of running from SHIELD and Captain America. X-23 doesn't have a jet pack of her own, but she does steal a gun from a SHIELD agent and uses it to hit Captain America with a tranquilizer. It's like pissing on the Statue of Liberty for some heroes. For X-23, it's protecting her sister and displaced grandfather. It's a powerful and satisfying moment.

After hitting Captain America with enough tranquilizer darts to give Ozzy Osborn a mild buzz, X-23 confronts him. X-23 isn't quite as eager to stab him as most enemies so that gives Cap a chance to share some details of Ulysses' vision that may have been useful before. He claims that the vision is pretty damn specific. Old Man Logan flat out stabs Gabby. He even says jet packs were in the prediction because he's that fucking specific. Imagine what this guy could do in fantasy football. It's enough to give X-23 mild pause, if only because it'll be devastating to Gabby's pet wolverine.

Jet packs are awesome. Escaping with them is pretty fucking badass. That's objectively true. However, jet packs have their limits, especially when the enemies have a fleet of fucking helicarriers at their disposal. This is where Maria Hill finally contributes. She manages to use one of the Hellicarriers to shoot them both down over Central Park. It's effective in slowing them down. It also gives Old Man Logan all the more reason to stab shit and that's just pouring gasoline on an open fire. I don't know if that's in Ulysses' vision too, but even he probably understands how fucking retarded that is.

More SHIELD agents arrive. They still have guns and they still want to subdue Old Man Logan. Again, when has this EVER been an effective method of dealing with Logan? When has sending armed government types to shoot him EVER not led to a terrible bloody mess? SHIELD can afford helicarriers. Surely they can afford to answer a question like this.

It gets ugly real fast, even as Captain America and X-23 catch up. They pump Old Man Logan with so many tranquilizers that they could down an 80s hair metal band. Eventually, X-23 and Cap get them to stop, if only to limit the stabbing damage. Gabby even tries to calm things down, as only an adorable little girl can. Then, it fucking happens.

Yeah, I'm sure even Ulysses threw up a little when he saw this. It's the kind of emotional gut punch that you thought they were avoiding. Instead, we get this. Old Man Logan stabs Gabby and not because of asshole SHIELD agents either. It's a moment that hits you in ways only reserved for bag hangovers and tax audits. It's a moment that turns this issue from a simple run-of-the-mill tie-in to something pretty fucking epic. Now excuse me. I need to drink heavily and cry a little. it awesome?

Let me just look at that final page for another minute or two before I answer. Okay, I'm back. I can now say it definitively. Holy hellfire in a hobo's asshole, yes! Tom Taylor delivers the comic book equivalent of a gut punch and a blowjob in a single book. We've spent the last few issues falling in love with Gabby, enjoying every cute little quirk about her and X-23. Now, Civil War II enters the picture and we get this. Fuck me with a bag of dildos, it's powerful. It's whiskey mixed with gasoline powerful, but in the best possible way. Even if you think Civil War II sucks elephant balls, All-New Wolverine #11 will leave a dent in your soul. If not, you're dead inside.

Final Score: 9 out of 10


  1. "Old Man Logan stabs Gabby and not because of asshole SHIELD agents either."

    Gotta disagree with this, because the SHIELD agents were very MUCH responsible. Had SHIELD not tried to apprehend Logan none of the events of this issue happen.

    1. I second that. Everything hapend because SHIELD did their usual Gestapo routine. No wonder that people see them as villains, me included. I never liked them since i first saw them in cartoons anyway.

    2. And this isn't the first time they made a prediction happen that they tried to stop, there was that Wrecking Crew on a bridge one in the S.H.I.E.L.D. series, and I still say that Captain Marvel almost made that Hulk prediction happen. They probably pump enough tranquillizers in Logan to perhaps kill two elephants which drove him crazy.

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