The third and final installment of Marjorie Liu’s X-23 book is a solid conclusion, bridging us from Schism to just before the events of Avengers Academy (I think…)
The art (Sana Takeda for the first 3 issues, Phil Noto for the last 2) is a high point. Takeda’s is highly Asian/Manga inspired, and I mean that in a GOOD way. The features are softened in some ways, and the art is kinda dream-like/painting-ish if that makes any sense. Noto’s is a change of pace, but works in it’s own ways too.
As for story, most of it is a 3-part “Mis-Adventures in Babysitting” tale. I love that one of the covers is a spoof of the Elisabeth Shue movie from the late-80s. (Huge crush on her at the time, and Thor shows up!). It revolves around Sue Richards asking Laura (X-23) to babysit Valeria and Franklin. The FF and Laura worked together in the 2nd volume, and the kids got on well with her. Of course, something goes wrong (as it always does with the Richards kids) and they end up chasing a dragon, then being stuck on The Collector’s ship.
As if this weren’t bad enough, Hellion spends most of the time trying to get with X, and she’s just not quite feeling it. He comes across as quite an asshole, to the point where both Wolverine and Gambit (Laura’s father-figures) both tell him to back off, and make it clear what will happen to him otherwise. It’s interesting to have both the personal relationship as well as the larger adventures going on at the same time, and I enjoyed it. I also liked Logan and Remy in elder roles, giving some advice, but mostly letting Laura be her own person and do what she needs to.
Liu is almost in the Gail Simone school of knowing how to write women because she’s…wait for it…a WOMAN! I like Liu’s work on this series, and look forward to checking more of her work out.
The half-star was deducted because Jubilee the stupid mallrat vampire kid shows up again…UGH.
They bust up a prostitution ring that Laura was once a victim of, all under the watchful eye of Black Widow, who tells 23 she’s been watching her for a while and offers her a spot in Avengers Academy, saying she’d be a fantastic Avenger.
Then she’s left to make a decision, and in true Wolverine-clone fashion, rides off alone on a motorbike…oh, and has adventures with wolves.