All-New Wolverine #31
Story: Tom Taylor
Art: Marco Failla
Colors: Nolan Woodard
Cover: David Lopez
All-New Wolverine #31 is a fun one shot to break up from the previous arc, Orphans of X, and the continuation in #32, The Orphans of X Return. Gabby and Jonathan come across the lab that he was rescued from (Squirrel Girl rescued him back in #7!) and Gabby calls on her best friend, Deadpool, to help Jonathan get some revenge!
***WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD***
This is an issue I have been waiting for since Gabby and Wade became best friend back on Roosevelt Island (issue #21). This team-up is a delight to read. Deadpool is a pre-teen stuck in a highly trained mercenary’s body and Gabby is a literal pre-teen, who is the clone of a highly trained mercenary. How could it not be hilarious and adorable?
The plot of the story is pretty straight forward. Jonathan is getting antsy being cooped up inside all day, so he eats a pelican statue (poor Penagos). Laura tells Gabby to take Jonathan for a walk and gives Jonathan a universal translator so he and Gabby can talk (I’m sure Squirrel Girl will be stocking up on these for the next time she busts in to someone’s place with a wild animal). Jonathan sniffs out the lab that Squirrel Girl rescued him from and Gabby calls Deadpool for backup (because who else do you call when you are looking for murdery vengeance?). Deadpool and Honey Badger quickly find out that this isn’t just some animal testing facility. This lab is more like Pet Cemetery. Doctor Boreland has been reanimating animals, so now Deadpool and Honey Badger have to go room by room killing murderous zombie bunnies and zombie squirrels!
There are a lot of great bits in this issue that make it a lot of fun to read, and will make you legitimately laugh out loud. I was worried that giving Jonathan the ability to communicate would make this issue a little too campy, but Taylor uses Jonathan’s voice very sparingly, simply to help add some details to his personal story, so it works well (especially his interactions with Deadpool). The relationship between Gabby and Wade is what makes this issue so great (as well as Jonathan’s relationships with Gabby and Wade respectively). There are so many fun bits in this issue, but the one that perfectly highlights this team-up (and why I hope we see more) is when Gabby and Wade come across a terrifying zombie sloth! While the comedy of slow moving danger coming right at you isn’t a new bit, the reaction (and the art work) is what makes this stand out to me. The back and forth between Gabby and Wade, as Wade gets snacks from the vending machine while they wait for the sloth, made me legitimately laugh out loud, and I had to show my wife as I said, “This is why I love these two!”
Marco Failla hops onto this issue for the artwork, and combined with the colors from Nolan Woodard, this is a feel good issue all the way through. Where Orphans of X was very dark and used lots of hard ink lines, this issue is full of bright colors, and lots of emotion coming through the characters eyes (for Wade, that’s really all he can show). Woodard like to use oranges and reds in his panels to heighten the tension of a violent scene, but with Failla’s style and the sparse use of those colors throughout the issue, you felt more satisfaction than tension when they came into play.
Speaking of satisfying, the last few pages are very satisfying. While you do feel some sadness for Jonathan when you learn about his family, you get some instant satisfaction by seeing Doctor Boreland meet his end. Even Gabby and Laura get some satisfaction in this issue. They both know what it feels like to be locked in a cage and had experiments run on them, so being able to shut down a lab (Or burn down. Whatever) that does the same to animals, adds an extra layer of meaning than just helping out Jonathan.
This is an issue that I would recommend to anyone. If you follow the All-New Wolverine title, then here is a great issue that highlights our favorite little clone. If you aren’t current on this title, no worries! Get to know why we all love Gabby and why Wade is like the best uncle of all time (or worst. Whatever). While I can’t wait to see what happens in The Orphans of X Return and Old Woman Laura (starting with #33), I sincerely hope we get a lot more Honey Badger and Deadpool team-ups in the future (still got my finger crossed for a mini-series after Deadpool vs. Old Man Logan), because we all need these kinds of fun breaks in comics, and in life, every once in a while.